Similar symmetries: the role of wallpaper groups in perceptual texture similarity

Alasdair D F Clarke, Patrick Richey Green, Fraser Halley, Mike J Chantler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Periodic patterns and symmetries are striking visual properties that have been used decoratively around the world throughout human history. Periodic patterns can be mathematically classified into one of 17 different Wallpaper groups, and while computational models have been developed which can extract an image's symmetry group, very little work has been done on how humans perceive these patterns. This study presents the results from a grouping experiment using stimuli from the different wallpaper groups. We find that while different images from the same wallpaper group are perceived as similar to one another, not all groups have the same degree of self-similarity. The similarity relationships between wallpaper groups appear to be dominated by rotations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-264
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • social sciences
  • engineering


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