Fraser Halley

The Texture Lab
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS
0131 451 4166

PhD Abstract

This thesis describes the development of a large database of texture stimuli, the production of a similarity matrix reflecting human judgements of similarity about the database, and the development of three browsing models that exploit structure in the perceptual information for navigation. Rigorous psychophysical comparison experiments are carried out and the SOM (Self Organising Map) found to be the fastest of the three browsing models under examination. We investigate scalable methods of augmenting a similarity matrix using the SOM browsing environment to introduce previously unknown textures. Further psychophysical experiments reveal our method produces a data organisation that is as fast to navigate as that derived from the perceptual grouping experiments.

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Texture Database

During my PhD, I developed a database of 500 high quality texture height maps of resolution 1024 × 1024. A subset of 334 of these is available for other researchers to use in their projects. These are available on the PerTex Database Page. Please cite my PhD Thesis in any publications using this dataset.

Browsing Environments

Research Applications DendroNav | DimNav | RetrievalNav | MDSG (Animation)
Browsing Comparison 1 RFG vs. SOMG vs. MDSG
Augmentation Experiment 1 SOMGSOMRSOMA
Browsing Comparison 2 SOMG vs. SOMA vs. SOMF
Augmentation Experiment 2 SOMR2SOMA2


Before returning to higher education, I was a research and development software engineer in the test and measurement business of a large multinational technology company. I have had an eclectic career history and have previously worked as a Civil Engineering Technician, Police Officer and University Senior Warden and have been a registered Prince2 practitioner since 2003. In my spare time I am a freelance group exercise coach specialising in Bodypump.


A. D. F. Clarke, F. Halley, A. J. Newell, L. D. Griffin & M. J. Chantler. Perceptual Similarity: A Texture Challenge. Proceedings of the British Machine Vision Conference, page 52, 2011.

A. D. F. Clarke, F. Halley, P. R. Green & M. J. Chantler. Similar Symmetries: The role of wallpaper groups in perceptual texture similarity. Symmetry: Special issue on Symmetry Processing in Perception and Art, 3(2), pages 246-264, 2011.

S. Padilla, F. Halley, & M. J. Chantler. Improving Product Browsing whilst Engaging Users. Proceeding of Digital Engagement, Newcastle, November, 2011.

F. Halley. Perceptually Relevant Browsing Environments for Large Texture Databases, PhD Thesis, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, April, 2012.

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