Image retrieval using automatic region tagging

Awg Iskandar, D 2008, Image retrieval using automatic region tagging, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), School of Computer Science and Information Technology, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Image retrieval using automatic region tagging
Author(s) Awg Iskandar, D
Year 2008
Abstract The task of tagging, annotating or labelling image content automatically with semantic keywords is a challenging problem. To automatically tag images semantically based on the objects that they contain is essential for image retrieval. In addressing these problems, we explore the techniques developed to combine textual description of images with visual features, automatic region tagging and region-based ontology image retrieval. To evaluate the techniques, we use three corpora comprising: Lonely Planet travel guide articles with images, Wikipedia articles with images and Goats comic strips.

In searching for similar images or textual information specified in a query, we explore the unification of textual descriptions and visual features (such as colour and texture) of the images. We compare the effectiveness of using different retrieval similarity measures for the textual component. We also analyse the effectiveness of different visual features extracted from the images. We then investigate the best weight combination of using textual and visual features. Using the queries from the Multimedia Track of INEX 2005 and 2006, we found that the best weight combination significantly improves the effectiveness of the retrieval system.

Our findings suggest that image regions are better in capturing the semantics, since we can identify specific regions of interest in an image. In this context, we develop a technique to tag image regions with high-level semantics. This is done by combining several shape feature descriptors and colour, using an equal-weight linear combination. We experimentally compare this technique with more complex machine-learning algorithms, and show that the equal-weight linear combination of shape features is simpler and at least as effective as using a machine learning algorithm.

We focus on the synergy between ontology and image annotations with the aim of reducing the gap between image features and high-level semantics. Ontologies ease information retrieval. They are used to mine, interpret, and organise knowledge. An ontology may be seen as a knowledge base that can be used to improve the image retrieval process, and conversely keywords obtained from automatic tagging of image regions may be useful for creating an ontology. We engineer an ontology that surrogates concepts derived from image feature descriptors. We test the usability of the constructed ontology by querying the ontology via the Visual Ontology Query Interface, which has a formally specified grammar known as the Visual Ontology Query Language. We show that synergy between ontology and image annotations is possible and this method can reduce the gap between image features and high-level semantics by providing the relationships between objects in the image.

In this thesis, we conclude that suitable techniques for image retrieval include fusing text accompanying the images with visual features, automatic region tagging and using an ontology to enrich the semantic meaning of the tagged image regions.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre School of Computer Science and Information Technology
Keyword(s) Image files -- Databases
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