Statistical thermodynamics of natural images Journal Article

Author(s): Stephens, Greg J; Mora, Thierry; Tkačik, Gašper; Bialek, William S
Article Title: Statistical thermodynamics of natural images
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: The scale invariance of natural images suggests an analogy to the statistical mechanics of physical systems at a critical point. Here we examine the distribution of pixels in small image patches and show how to construct the corresponding thermodynamics. We find evidence for criticality in a diverging specific heat, which corresponds to large fluctuations in how "surprising" we find individual images, and in the quantitative form of the entropy vs energy. We identify special image configurations as local energy minima and show that average patches within each basin are interpretable as lines and edges in all orientations.
Keywords: QUANTUM THEORY; Thermodynamics; statistical mechanics; Critical points; Image patches; Local energy minima; Natural images; Physical systems; Scale invariance
Journal Title: Physical Review Letters
Volume: 110
ISSN: 1079-7114
Publisher: American Physical Society  
Date Published: 2013-01-02
Start Page: 018701
Copyright Statement: CC-BY
Sponsor: This work was supported in part by NSF Grants No. IIS-0613435, No. IBN-0344678, and No. PHY-0957573, by NIH Grant No. T32 MH065214, by the Human Frontier Science Program, and by the Swartz Foundation.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.018701
Notes: G. J. S. and T. M. contributed equally. We thank D. Chigirev, S. E. Palmer, and E. Schneidman for helpful discussions, and D. L. Ruderman for recovering the original data from Ref. 9
Open access: yes (OA journal)