Online System Rates Images by Aesthetic Quality (May 6, 2009) — An online photo-rating system developed by Penn State researcher is the first publicly available tool for automatically determining the aesthetic value of an image.

acquineAesthetic Quality Inference Engine (ACQUINE) is a system that judges the aesthetic quality of digital images.

This tool is a significant first step in recognizing human emotional reaction to visual stimulus, said James Z. Wang, associate professor of information sciences and technology.

ACQUINE can be found online at, you can upload their own images for rating or test the system by providing a link to any image online. The system provides an aesthetic rating within seconds.

Wang said the system extracts and uses visual aspects such as color saturation, color distribution and photo composition to give any uploaded image a rating from zero to 100. The system learns to associate these aspects with the way humans rate photos based on thousands of previously-rated photographs in online photo-sharing Web sites such as

“In its current form, we’ve seen more than 80 percent consistency between the human and computer ratings,” Wang said.

According to Wang, there are also opportunities to link the rating system directly to cameras so that when a photo is taken, the photographer can instantly see how it might be perceived by the public.

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