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Multiscale Anisotropic Texture Analysis and Classification of Photographic Prints: Art scholarship meets image processing algorithms

Abstract : Texture characterization of photographic prints can provide scholars with valuable information regarding photographers? aesthetic intentions and working practices. Currently, texture assessment is strictly based on the visual acuity of a range of scholars associated with collecting institutions, such as museum curators and conservators. Natural interindividual discrepancies, intraindividual variability, and the large size of collections present a pressing need for computerized and automated solutions for the texture characterization and classification of photographic prints. In the this article, this challenging image processing task is addressed using an anisotropic multiscale representation of texture, the hyperbolic wavelet transform (HWT), from which robust multiscale features are constructed. Cepstral distances aimed at ensuring balanced multiscale contributions are computed between pairs of images. The resulting large-size affinity matrix is then clustered using spectral clustering, followed by a Ward linkage procedure. For proof of concept, these procedures are first applied to a reference data set of historic photographic papers that combine several levels of similarity and second to a large data set of culturally valuable photographic prints held by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The characterization and clustering results are interpreted in collaboration with art scholars with an aim toward developing new modes of art historical research and humanities-based collaboration.
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Patrice Abry, Stéphane Roux, Herwig Wendt, Paul Messier, Andrew Klein, et al.. Multiscale Anisotropic Texture Analysis and Classification of Photographic Prints: Art scholarship meets image processing algorithms. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2015, 32 ( 4), pp.18-27. ⟨10.1109/MSP.2015.2402056⟩. ⟨hal-01514632⟩

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