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Interpreting MOS scores, when can users see a difference? Understanding user experience differences for photo quality

Katsigiannis, Stamos; Scovell, James; Ramzan, Naeem; Janowski, Lucjan; Corriveau, Philip; Saad, Michele A.; Van Wallendael, Glenn

Interpreting MOS scores, when can users see a difference? Understanding user experience differences for photo quality Thumbnail


James Scovell

Naeem Ramzan

Lucjan Janowski

Philip Corriveau

Michele A. Saad

Glenn Van Wallendael


The use of no-reference image quality evaluation tools that produce MOS scores, like the VIQET tool which was released by the Video Quality Expert Group, raises the question of whether the produced MOS differences between images correspond to noticeable differences in quality by the consumers. In this work, we attempted to approximate the minimum MOS difference that is required in order for people to be able to distinguish between a higher and a lower quality image under realistic conditions that are commonly encountered in the current consumer space. 91 people participated in a subjective just-noticeable-differences study across three countries that used non-simulated image stimuli, produced and evaluated through crowd sourcing for the validation of the VIQET no-reference image quality tool. The image dataset consisted of 15 different scenes belonging to three different scene types, with a total of 210 different image pairs being used. After evaluating the quality of the collected data, a logistic regression analysis approach was employed in order to estimate the minimum MOS difference required between two images in order for a given percentage of people to be able to detect the higher quality image.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date May 2, 2018
Publication Date 2018-12
Deposit Date Sep 15, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 18, 2020
Journal Quality and User Experience.
Print ISSN 2366-0139
Electronic ISSN 2366-0147
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 1
Article Number 6
Public URL


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Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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