Omnidirectional, or 360°, cameras are able to capture the surrounding space, thus providing an immersive experience when the acquired data is viewed using head mounted displays. Such an immersive experience inherently generates an illusion of being in a virtual environment. The popularity of 360◦ media has been growing in recent years. However, due to the large amount of data, processing and transmission pose several challenges. To this aim, efforts are being devoted to the identification of regions that can be used for compressing 360◦ images while guaranteeing the immersive feeling. In this contribution, we present a saliency estimation model that considers the spherical properties of the images. The proposed approach first divides the 360◦ image into multiple patches that replicate the positions (viewports) looked at by a subject while viewing a 360◦ image using a head mounted display. Next, a set of low-level features able to depict various properties of an image scene is extracted from each patch. The extracted features are combined to estimate the 360◦ saliency map. Finally, bias induced during image exploration and illumination variation is fine-tuned for estimating the final saliency map. The proposed method is evaluated using a benchmark 360◦ image dataset and is compared with two baselines and eight state-of-the-art approaches for saliency estimation. The obtained results show that the proposed model outperforms existing saliency estimation models.
Mazumdar, P., Lamichhane, K., Carli, M., Battisti, F. (2019). A feature integrated saliency estimation model for omnidirectional immersive images. ELECTRONICS, 8(12), 1538 [10.3390/electronics8121538].