A similarity-based approach to perceptual feature validation

Theresa Cooke, Florian Steinke, Christian Wallraven, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)


Which object properties matter most in human perception may well vary according to sensory modality, an important consideration for the design of multimodal interfaces. In this study, we present a similarity-based method for comparing the perceptual importance of object properties across modalities and show how it can also be used to perceptually validate computational measures of object properties. Similarity measures for a set of three-dimensional (3D) objects varying in shape and texture were gathered from humans in two modalities (vision and touch) and derived from a set of standard 2D and 3D computational measures (image and mesh subtraction, object perimeter, curvature, Gabor jet filter responses, and the Visual Difference Predictor (VDP)). Multidimensional scaling (MDS) was then performed on the similarity data to recover configurations of the stimuli in 2D perceptual/computational spaces. These two dimensions corresponded to the two dimensions of variation in the stimulus set: shape and texture. In the human visual space, shape strongly dominated texture. In the human haptic space, shape and texture were weighted roughly equally. Weights varied considerably across subjects in the haptic experiment, indicating that different strategies were used. Maps derived from shape-dominated computational measures provided good fits to the human visual map. No single computational measure provided a satisfactory fit to the map derived from mean human haptic data, though good fits were found for individual subjects; a combination of measures with individually-adjusted weights may be required to model the human haptic similarity judgments. Our method provides a high-level approach to perceptual validation, which can be applied in both unimodal and multimodal interface design.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - APGV 2005
Subtitle of host publication2nd Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization
EditorsS.N. Spencer
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventAPGV 2005: 2nd Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization - Corona, Spain
Duration: 2005 Aug 262005 Aug 28

Publication series

NameProceedings - APGV 2005: 2nd Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization


OtherAPGV 2005: 2nd Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization


  • Features
  • Haptic
  • Multidimensional scaling
  • Perception
  • Shape
  • Similarity
  • Texture
  • Touch
  • Validation
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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