Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A New Era for Image Annotation

Searching for images on the Web has traditionally been more complicated than text search – for instance, a Google image search for “tiger” not only yields images of tigers, but also returns images of Tiger Woods, tiger sharks and many others that are ‘related’ to the text in the query string. This is because contemporary search engines look for images using any ‘text’ linked to images rather than the ‘content’ of the picture itself. In an effort to improve the recall of image searches, folks from UC San Diego are working on a search engine that works differently – one that analyzes the image itself. “You might finally find all those unlabeled pictures of your kids playing soccer that are on your computer somewhere,” says Nuno Vasconcelos, a professor of electrical engineering at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. They claim that their Supervised Multiclass Labeling System “may be folded into next-generation image search engines for the Internet; and in the shorter term, could be used to annotate and search commercial and private image collections.
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