Visual quality assessment algorithms: what does the future hold?
Creating algorithms capable of predicting the perceived quality of a visual stimulus defines the field of objective visual quality assessment (QA). The field of objective QA has received tremendous attention in the recent past, with many successful algorithms being proposed for this purpose. Our concern here is not with the past however; in this paper we discuss our vision for the future of visual quality assessment research. We first introduce the area of quality assessment and state its relevance. We describe current standards for gauging algorithmic performance and define terms that we will use through this paper. We then journey through 2D image and video quality assessment. We summarize recent approaches to these problems and discuss in detail our vision for future research on the problems of full-reference and no-reference 2D image and video quality assessment. From there, we move on to the currently popular area of 3D QA. We discuss recent databases, algorithms and 3D quality of experience. This yet-nascent technology provides for tremendous scope in terms of research activities and we summarize each of them. We then move on to more esoteric topics such as algorithmic assessment of aesthetics in natural images and in art. We discuss current research and hypothesize about possible paths to tread. Towards the end of this article, we discuss some other areas of interest including high-definition (HD) quality assessment, immersive environments and so on before summarizing interesting avenues for future work in multimedia (i.e., audio-visual) quality assessment.