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Objective methods for assessing perceptual image quality traditionally attempted to quantify the visibility of errors (differences) between a distorted image and a reference image using a variety of known properties of the human visual system. Under the assumption that human visual perception is highly adapted for extracting structural information from a scene, we introduce an alternative complementary framework for quality assessment based on the degradation of structural information. As a specific example of this concept, we develop a structural similarity index and demonstrate its promise through a set of intuitive examples, as well as comparison to both subjective ratings and state-of-the-art objective methods on a database of images compressed with JPEG and JPEG2000. A MATLAB implementation of the proposed algorithm is available online at http://www.cns.nyu.edu/∼lcv/ssim/.
Date of Publication: April 2004