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Bridging the Semantic Gap in Image Retrieval

Bridging the Semantic Gap in Image Retrieval
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Author(s): Rhong Zhao (Wayne State University, USA) and William I. Grosky (Wayne State University, USA)
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 23
Source title: Distributed Multimedia Databases: Techniques and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Timothy K. Shih (Tamkang University, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-29-7.ch002


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The emergence of multimedia technology and the rapidly expanding image and video collections on the Internet have attracted significant research efforts in providing tools for effective retrieval and management of visual data. Image retrieval is based on the availability of a representation scheme of image content. Image content descriptors may be visual features such as color, texture, shape, and spatial relationships, or semantic primitives. Conventional information retrieval was based solely on text, and those approaches to textual information retrieval have been transplanted into image retrieval in a variety of ways. However, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Image content is much more versatile compared with text, and the amount of visual data is already enormous and still expanding very rapidly. Hoping to cope with these special characteristics of visual data, content-based image retrieval methods have been introduced. It has been widely recognized that the family of image retrieval techniques should become an integration of both low-level visual features addressing the more detailed perceptual aspects and high-level semantic features underlying the more general conceptual aspects of visual data. Neither of these two types of features is sufficient to retrieve or manage visual data in an effective or efficient way (Smeulders, et al., 2000). Although efforts have been devoted to combining these two aspects of visual data, the gap between them is still a huge barrier in front of researchers. Intuitive and heuristic approaches do not provide us with satisfactory performance. Therefore, there is an urgent need of finding the latent correlation between low-level features and high-level concepts and merging them from a different perspective. How to find this new perspective and bridge the gap between visual features and semantic features has been a major challenge in this research field. Our chapter addresses these issues.

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