- Keywords: interpretation, perceptual quality, perceptual loss, image-restoration.
- Abstract: Pre-trained Deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) features have popularly been used as full-reference perceptual quality features for CNN based image quality assessment, super-resolution, image restoration and a variety of image-to-image translation problems. In this paper, to get more insight, we link basic human visual perception to characteristics of learned deep CNN representations as a novel and first attempt to interpret them. We characterize the frequency and orientation tuning of channels in trained object detection deep CNNs (e.g., VGG-16) by applying grating stimuli of different spatial frequencies and orientations as input. We observe that the behavior of CNN channels as spatial frequency and orientation selective filters can be used to link basic human visual perception models to their characteristics. Doing so, we develop a theory to get more insight into deep CNN representations as perceptual quality features. We conclude that sensitivity to spatial frequencies that have lower contrast masking thresholds in human visual perception and a definite and strong orientation selectivity are important attributes of deep CNN channels that deliver better perceptual quality features.