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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 137349, 16 pages
Research Article

Saliency Detection Using Sparse and Nonlinear Feature Representation

1Beijing Key Laboratory of Intelligent Information Technology, School of Computer Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
2School of Automation, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
3Centres of Excellence in Science and Applied Technologies, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan

Received 17 February 2014; Accepted 11 March 2014; Published 8 May 2014

Academic Editor: Antonio Fernández-Caballero

Copyright © 2014 Shahzad Anwar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An important aspect of visual saliency detection is how features that form an input image are represented. A popular theory supports sparse feature representation, an image being represented with a basis dictionary having sparse weighting coefficient. Another method uses a nonlinear combination of image features for representation. In our work, we combine the two methods and propose a scheme that takes advantage of both sparse and nonlinear feature representation. To this end, we use independent component analysis (ICA) and covariant matrices, respectively. To compute saliency, we use a biologically plausible center surround difference (CSD) mechanism. Our sparse features are adaptive in nature; the ICA basis function are learnt at every image representation, rather than being fixed. We show that Adaptive Sparse Features when used with a CSD mechanism yield better results compared to fixed sparse representations. We also show that covariant matrices consisting of nonlinear integration of color information alone are sufficient to efficiently estimate saliency from an image. The proposed dual representation scheme is then evaluated against human eye fixation prediction, response to psychological patterns, and salient object detection on well-known datasets. We conclude that having two forms of representation compliments one another and results in better saliency detection.