Image Abstraction in Crossmedia Retrieval for Text Illustration (Filipe Coelho, Cristina Ribeiro) Accepted for the 34th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2012).
Text illustration is a multimedia retrieval task that consists in finding suitable images to illustrate text fragments such as blog entries, news reports or children stories. In this paper we describe a crossmedia retrieval system which, given a textual input, selects a short list of candidate images from a large media collection. This approach makes use of a recently proposed method to map metadata and visual features into a common textual representation that can be handled by traditional information retrieval engines. Content-based analysis is enhanced by visual abstraction, namely the Anisotropic Kuwahara Filter, which impacts feature information captured by the Joint Composite and Speeded Up Robust Features visual descriptors. For evaluation purposes, we used the well established MIRFlickr photo collection, with 25,000 photos and user tags collected from Flickr as well as manual annotations provided as image retrieval groundtruth. Results show that image abstraction can improve visual retrieval as well as significantly reduce processing and storage requirements, even more when paired with Google's WebP image format.
We conclude that applying a visual rerank after an initial text retrieval step improves the quality of results, and that the adopted text mapping method for visual descriptors provides an effective crossmedia approach for text illustration.