This paper uses quantitative eye tracking indicators to analyze the relationship between images of paintings and human viewing. First, we build the eye tracking fixation sequences through areas of interest (AOIs) into an information channel, the gaze channel. Although this channel can be interpreted as a generalization of a first-order Markov chain, we show that the gaze channel is fully independent of this interpretation, and stands even when first-order Markov chain modeling would no longer fit. The entropy of the equilibrium distribution and the conditional entropy of a Markov chain are extended with additional information-theoretic measures, such as joint entropy, mutual information, and conditional entropy of each area of interest. Then, the gaze information channel is applied to analyze a subset of Van Gogh paintings. Van Gogh artworks, classified by art critics into several periods, have been studied under computational aesthetics measures, which include the use of Kolmogorov complexity and permutation entropy. The gaze information channel paradigm allows the information-theoretic measures to analyze both individual gaze behavior and clustered behavior from observers and paintings. Finally, we show that there is a clear correlation between the gaze information channel quantities that come from direct human observation, and the computational aesthetics measures that do not rely on any human observation at all.
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