Monday, April 13, 2009

Exalead : A Look Into Semantic Image Search

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Exalead, the search engine founded by Francois Bourdoncle (earlier involved with AltaVista) has a number of features that makes it a bit of everything. It has vertical search option (including blog, video, image search), products tailored for enterprises and the search engine sports nifty features such as – Truncation, Thumbnails of pages and more. But semantics is my theme and this article focuses on Exalead’s image search.

Unwrapping the Exalead Image Search

By leveraging the core image recognition engine from LTU Technologies Exalead offers image-searching features that can be used for comparison and classification of images.

The image recognition engine consists of two modules:

1. Image DNA generator (Image Analysis): The engine generates a numerical vector (DNA) encoding image information such as color, texture, shape, spatial configuration, image quality, image size, image brightness, contrast, distortion, object translation, object rotation and scale.

2. Semantic description Generator (Image Description): The DNA for the image is classified on the basis pattern recognition vis-à-vis a knowledge base using state of the art techniques modeled after behavior of human subjects.

The analyzer and describer work in tandem in real-time and also include “learning” capabilities to enhance the search experience. More information on the technology is available at the official LTU website.

This classification scheme fits well with the surplus options that Exalead provides for narrowing down image search. You have the option to search images based on size (Small, Medium, Large), content (Face), pixel size (800×600, 1024×768, 1280×768) and image color (color, Gray scale, Black & White).

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