ARTSCENE: A Neural System for Natural Scene Classification
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How do humans rapidly recognize a scene? How can neural models capture this biological competence to achieve state-of-the-art scene classification? The ARTSCENE neural system classifies natural scene photographs by using multiple spatial scales to efficiently accumulate evidence for gist and texture. ARTSCENE embodies a coarse-to-fine Texture Size Ranking Principle whereby spatial attention processes multiple scales of scenic information, ranging from global gist to local properties of textures. The model can incrementally learn and predict scene identity by gist information alone and can improve performance through selective attention to scenic textures of progressively smaller size. ARTSCENE discriminates 4 landscape scene categories (coast, forest, mountain and countryside) with up to 91.58% correct on a test set, outperforms alternative models in the literature which use biologically implausible computations, and outperforms component systems that use either gist or texture information alone. Model simulations also show that adjacent textures form higher-order features that are also informative for scene recognition.