Hotelling trace criterion and its correlation with human-observer performance

J Opt Soc Am A. 1987 May;4(5):945-53. doi: 10.1364/josaa.4.000945.


The Hotelling trace criterion (HTC) is used to find a set of linear features that optimally separate two classes of objects. The objects used in our study were simulated livers with and without tumors, with noise, blur, and object variability. Using the receiver-operating-characteristic parameter da as our measure, we have found that the ability of the HTC to separate these objects into their correct classes, by detecting the presence or absence of a tumor, has a correlation of 0.988 with the ability of humans to separate the same two classes of objects. This suggests, therefore, that the HTC can be used as a figure of merit for optimizing system parameters, since it calculates a single, scalar figure of merit that has a high correlation with human-observer performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / standards*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual