We introduce a new light-field dataset of materials, and take advantage of
the recent success of deep learning to perform material recognition on the 4D
light-field. Our dataset contains 12 material categories, each with 100 images
taken with a Lytro Illum, from which we extract about 30,000 patches in total.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first mid-size dataset for
light-field images. Our main goal is to investigate whether the additional
information in a light-field (such as multiple sub-aperture views and
view-dependent reflectance effects) can aid material recognition. Since
recognition networks have not been trained on 4D images before, we propose and
compare several novel CNN architectures to train on light-field images. In our
experiments, the best performing CNN architecture achieves a 7% boost compared
with 2D image classification (70% to 77%). These results constitute important
baselines that can spur further research in the use of CNNs for light-field
applications. Upon publication, our dataset also enables other novel
applications of light-fields, including object detection, image segmentation
and view interpolation.