Mental image search by boolean composition of region categories
Multimedia tools and applications
Existing content-based image retrieval paradigms almost never address the problem of starting the search, when the user has no starting example image but rather a mental image. We propose a new image retrieval system to allow the user to perform mental image search by formulating boolean composition of region categories. The query interface is a region photometric thesaurus which can be viewed as a visual summary of salient regions available in the database. It is generated from the
... clustering of regions with similar visual content into categories. In this thesaurus, the user simply selects the types of regions which should and should not be present in the mental image (boolean composition). The natural use of inverted tables on the region category labels enables powerful boolean search and very fast retrieval in large image databases. The process of query and search of images relates to that of documents with Google. The indexing scheme is fully unsupervised and the query mode requires minimal user interaction (no example image to provide, no sketch to draw). We demonstrate the feasibility of such a framework to reach the user mental target image with two applications : a photo-agency scenario on Corel Photostock and a TV news scenario. Perspectives will be proposed for this simple and innovative framework, which should motivate further development in various research areas.