Umut, acutance as I've described it is meant to be an objective measure of edge sharpness in a film or print emulsion. This is why the test on a film (for example) involves "direct" exposure without a camera lens. It is less straight forward with a print, but ultimately the guiding principle with image structure characteristics is to find measurements that correlate well with subjective impressions when viewing prints. Resolving power is complicated because in the end one is interested in the resolving power of the system. MTF is a more sophisticated measure of resolution incorporating contrast and is often used to evaluate optical systems/lenses.
In the document I dealt with image definition as it pertains to films and processing. Optics are not really considered in that context as they are essentially assumed to be a non-limiting constant in tests. Obviously in actual photography optics are important.
PE could comment further on the work of Kriss which seems to be a combination of the objective characteristics correlating with subjective impressions (resolving power/modulation transfer, acutance, edge effects, granularity) into an overall measurement of image quality called "image content". As noted in the document these characteristics can be interrelated, which is presumably why Kriss's model requires some fairly complex math.