ARTICLE | doi:10.3390/sci2030065
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: coins; review; problems; data corpus; grade; preservation; condition
Online: 20 August 2020 (00:00:00 CEST)
Automatic ancient Roman coin analysis only recently emerged as a topic of computer science research. Nevertheless, owing to its ever-increasing popularity, the field is already reaching a certain degree of maturity, as witnessed by a substantial publication output in the last decade. At the same time, it is becoming evident that research progress is being limited by a somewhat veering direction of effort and the lack of a coherent framework which facilitates the acquisition and dissemination of robust, repeatable, and rigorous evidence. Thus, in the present article, we seek to address several associated challenges. To start with, (i) we provide a first overview and discussion of different challenges in the field, some of which have been scarcely investigated to date, and others which have hitherto been unrecognized and unaddressed. Secondly, (ii) we introduce the first data set, carefully curated and collected for the purpose of facilitating methodological evaluation of algorithms and, specifically, the effects of coin preservation grades on the performance of automatic methods. Indeed, until now, only one published work at all recognized the need for this kind of analysis, which, to any numismatist, would be a trivially obvious fact. We also discuss a wide range of considerations which had to be taken into account in collecting this corpus, explain our decisions, and describe its content in detail. Briefly, the data set comprises 100 different coin issues, all with multiple examples in Fine, Very Fine, and Extremely Fine conditions, giving a total of over 650 different specimens. These correspond to 44 issuing authorities and span the time period of approximately 300 years (from 27 BC until 244 AD). In summary, the present article should be an invaluable resource to researchers in the field, and we encourage the community to adopt the collected corpus, freely available for research purposes, as a standard evaluation benchmark.
ARTICLE | doi:10.3390/sci2010008
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: numismatics; Roman; Rome; deep learning; computer vision
Online: 2 March 2020 (00:00:00 CET)
In recent years, a range of problems under the broad umbrella of computer vision based analysis of ancient coins have been attracting an increasing amount of attention. Notwithstanding this research effort, the results achieved by the state of the art in published literature remain poor and far from sufficiently well performing for any practical purpose. In the present paper we present a series of contributions which we believe will benefit the interested community. We explain that the approach of visual matching of coins, universally adopted in existing published papers on the topic, is not of practical interest because the number of ancient coin types exceeds by far the number of those types which have been imaged, be it in digital form (e.g., online) or otherwise (traditional film, in print, etc.). Rather, we argue that the focus should be on understanding the semantic content of coins. Hence, we describe a novel approach—to first extract semantic concepts from real-world multimodal input and associate them with their corresponding coin images, and then to train a convolutional neural network to learn the appearance of these concepts. On a real-world data set, we demonstrate highly promising results, correctly identifying a range of visual elements on unseen coins with up to 84% accuracy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.3390/sci2010018
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: colour words; hue histogram; colour representation; machine learning; computer vision
Online: 24 March 2020 (00:00:00 CET)
Ancient numismatics, that is, the study of ancient currencies (predominantly coins), is an interesting domain for the application of computer vision and machine learning, and has been receiving an increasing amount of attention in recent years. Notwithstanding the number of articles published on the topic, the variety of different methodological approaches described, and the mounting realisation that the relevant problems in the field are most challenging indeed, all research to date has entirely ignored one specific, readily accessible modality: colour. Invariably, colour is discarded and images of coins treated as being greyscale. The present article is the first one to question this decision (and indeed, it is a decision). We discuss the reasons behind the said choice, present a case why it ought to be reexamined, and in turn investigate the issue for the first time in the published literature. Specifically, we propose two new colour-based representations specifically designed with the aim of being applied to ancient coin analysis, and argue why it is sensible to employ them in the first stages of the classification process as a means of drastically reducing the initially enormous number of classes involved in type matching ancient coins (tens of thousands, just for Ancient Roman Imperial coins). Furthermore, we introduce a new data set collected with the specific aim of denomination-based categorisation of ancient coins, where we hypothesised colour could be of potential use, and evaluate the proposed representations. Lastly, we report surprisingly successful performances which goes further than confirming our hypothesis—rather, they convincingly demonstrate a much higher relevant information content carried by colour than even we expected. Thus we trust that our findings will be noted by others in the field and that more attention and further research will be devoted to the use of colour in automatic ancient coin analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.3390/sci2010006
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Signal Processing Keywords: rendering; graphics; heritage; Japanese; Asian
Online: 28 February 2020 (00:00:00 CET)
Ukiyo-e is a traditional Japanese painting style most commonly printed using wood blocks. Ukiyo-e prints feature distinct line work, bright colours, and a non-perspective projection. Most previous research on ukiyo-e styled computer graphics has been focused on creation of 2D images. In this paper we propose a framework for rendering interactive 3D scenes with ukiyo-e style. The rendering techniques use standard 3D models as input and require minimal additional information to automatically render scenes in a ukiyo-e style. The described techniques are evaluated based on their ability to emulate ukiyo-e prints, performance, and temporal coherence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.3390/sci2010013
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: deep learning; computer vision; Cycle-GAN; image reconstruction
Online: 12 March 2020 (00:00:00 CET)
In this paper, our goal is to perform a virtual restoration of an ancient coin from its image. The present work is the first one to propose this problem, and it is motivated by two key promising applications. The first of these emerges from the recently recognised dependence of automatic image based coin type matching on the condition of the imaged coins; the algorithm introduced herein could be used as a pre-processing step, aimed at overcoming the aforementioned weakness. The second application concerns the utility both to professional and hobby numismatists of being able to visualise and study an ancient coin in a state closer to its original (minted) appearance. To address the conceptual problem at hand, we introduce a framework which comprises a deep learning based method using Generative Adversarial Networks, capable of learning the range of appearance variation of different semantic elements artistically depicted on coins, and a complementary algorithm used to collect, correctly label, and prepare for processing a large numbers of images (here 100,000) of ancient coins needed to facilitate the training of the aforementioned learning method. Empirical evaluation performed on a withheld subset of the data demonstrates extremely promising performance of the proposed methodology and shows that our algorithm correctly learns the spectra of appearance variation across different semantic elements, and despite the enormous variability present reconstructs the missing (damaged) detail while matching the surrounding semantic content and artistic style.