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Semi-Supervised Image Classification based on a\ud Multi-Feature Image Query Language

By Raoul Pascal Pein


The area of Content-Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) deals with a wide range of research disciplines. Being closely related to text retrieval and pattern recognition, the probably most serious issue to be solved is the so-called \semantic gap". Except for very restricted use-cases, machines are not able to recognize the semantic content of digital images as well as humans.\ud \ud \ud This thesis identifies the requirements for a crucial part of CBIR user interfaces, a multimedia-enabled query language. Such a language must be able to capture the user's\ud intentions and translate them into a machine-understandable format. An approach to tackle this translation problem is to express high-level semantics by merging low-level image features. Two related methods are improved for either fast (retrieval) or accurate(categorization) merging.\ud \ud \ud A query language has previously been developed by the author of this thesis. It allows the formation of nested Boolean queries. Each query term may be text- or content-based and the system merges them into a single result set. The language is extensible by arbitrary new feature vector plug-ins and thus use-case independent.\ud \ud \ud This query language should be capable of mapping semantics to features by applying machine learning techniques; this capability is explored. A supervised learning algorithm based on decision trees is used to build category descriptors from a training set. Each resulting \query descriptor" is a feature-based description of a concept which is comprehensible and modifiable. These descriptors could be used as a normal query and return a result set with a high CBIR based precision/recall of the desired category. Additionally, a method for normalizing the similarity profiles of feature vectors has been\ud developed which is essential to perform categorization tasks.\ud \ud \ud To prove the capabilities of such queries, the outcome of a semi-supervised training session with \leave-one-object-out" cross validation is compared to a reference system. Recent work indicates that the discriminative power of the query-based descriptors is similar and is likely to be improved further by implementing more recent feature vectors

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