On Symmetry, Aesthetics and Quantifying Symmetrical Complexity

  • Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie
  • Anna Ursyn
  • Robert Zimmer
  • Mohammad Ali Javaheri Javid
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10198)

Abstract

The concepts of order and complexity and their quantitative evaluation have been at the core of computational notion of aesthetics. One of the major challenges is conforming human intuitive perception and what we perceive as aesthetically pleasing with the output of a computational model. Informational theories of aesthetics have taken advantage of entropy in measuring order and complexity of stimuli in relation to their aesthetic value. However entropy fails to discriminate structurally different patterns in a 2D plane. In this work, following an overview on symmetry and its significance in the domain of aesthetics, a nature-inspired, swarm intelligence technique (Dispersive Flies Optimisation or DFO) is introduced and then adapted to detect symmetries and quantify symmetrical complexities in images. The 252 Jacobsen & Höfel’s images used in this paper are created by researchers in the psychology and visual domain as part of an experimental study on human aesthetic perception. Some of the images are symmetrical and some are asymmetrical, all varying in terms of their aesthetics, which are ranked by humans. The results of the presented nature-inspired algorithm is then compared to what humans in the study aesthetically appreciated and ranked. Whilst the authors believe there is still a long way to have a strong correlation between a computational model of complexity and human appreciation, the results of the comparison are promising.

Keywords

Human aesthetic perception Symmetry and complexity Aesthetics Swarm intelligence Dispersive flies optimisation 

Notes

Acknowledgement

We are grateful to Thomas Jacobsen of Helmut Schmidt University for granting permission to use his experimental stimuli.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie
    • 1
  • Anna Ursyn
    • 2
  • Robert Zimmer
    • 1
  • Mohammad Ali Javaheri Javid
    • 1
  1. 1.GoldsmithsUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.University of Northern ColoradoGreeleyUSA

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