Cognitive Processing

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 233–242

Improving image annotation via useful representative feature selection


    • Department of Computing, Engineering and TechnologyUniversity of Sunderland
  • Michael Oakes
    • Department of Computing, Engineering and TechnologyUniversity of Sunderland
  • John Tait
    • Information Retrieval Facility
  • Chih-Fong Tsai
    • Department of Information ManagementNational Central University
Research Report

DOI: 10.1007/s10339-008-0247-6

Cite this article as:
Lin, W., Oakes, M., Tait, J. et al. Cogn Process (2009) 10: 233. doi:10.1007/s10339-008-0247-6


This paper describes the automatic assignment of images into classes described by individual keywords provided with the Corel data set. Automatic image annotation technology aims to provide an efficient and effective searching environment for users to query their images more easily, but current image retrieval systems are still not very accurate when assigning images into a large number of keyword classes. Noisy features are the main problem, causing some keywords never to be assigned to their correct images. This paper focuses on improving image classification, first by selection of features to characterise each image, and then the selection of the most suitable feature vectors as training data. A Pixel Density filter (PDfilter) and Information Gain (IG) are proposed to perform these respective tasks. We filter out the noisy features so that groups of images can be represented by their most important values. The experiments use hue, saturation and value (HSV) colour feature space to categorise images according to one of 190 concrete keywords or subsets of these. The study shows that feature selection through the PDfilter and IG can improve the problem of spurious similarity.


Image annotationImage retrievalInformation gain


Nowadays, due to the speedy development of the Internet and computing technologies, the number of visual information collections is increasing day-by-day. Millions of people access digital images and/or multimedia documents from the Internet daily. Therefore, effective and efficient retrieval techniques need to be developed and incorporated into current search engine style systems. Automatic image annotation technology assigns relevant keywords to each image in the data set, in order to provide an efficient and effective searching environment for users to query their image databases more easily (Del Bimbo 1996).

Due to the semantic gap problem (Gupta et al. 1997), current image retrieval systems are still not very accurate when they are required to assign images into one of a large number of keyword classes. An example of the semantic gap problem is when two images, such as a fingerprint and a wave pattern near the sea shore, have similar edge-orientation visual features but represent very different concepts (Vailaya 2000). Lavrenko et al. (2003) and Jeon and Manmatha (2004) classified images into more than 100 categories with low accuracy. In addition, the semantic gap problem also resulted in some keywords being found to be unreachable or unassignable to any class when Tsai et al. (2006) carried out 150 keyword classification. The most successful current image classification systems are based on supervised machine learning (Carneiro et al. 2007; Del Bimbo 1999). With machine learning, noisy features are the main problem for image classification, which cause some keywords never to be assigned to their correct images. For example, a noisy image of a car might include other image types, such as tree, road or grass. In training, the features typical of a car might be swamped by those of the other image types.

Following Tsai (2005), this work interprets the image annotation task as being the task of identifying that class of images to which an annotation label applies at some level of accuracy.

In this paper, we will address two main tasks in machine learning for image classification. First, we will consider how best to perform feature selection. A feature is any characteristic used to represent an image which is used to assist with its classification, features typically being colours, textures or shapes. The Pixel Density filter (PDfilter) is proposed here to select representative features which are more similar to their values in the original image than is possible with traditional approaches. It works by averaging the feature values in the area of HSV colour space which contains most pixels. The second task we address is that of training data selection. Rather than using all the feature vectors derived from training set images as training data, we select just those vectors which best discriminate between the various keyword categories. For the task of feature vector selection, we propose the use of Information Gain (IG) (Breiman et al. 1984), which is used to select the features which hold most information about each keyword category. IG gives a weight, called gain value, between the feature vectors for each image and each single keyword category, and then extracts the most useful feature vectors (those with highest gain value with respect to a category) to enable training data improvement. A supervised machine-learning technique is then applied for image annotation. The machine learning technique used in this paper is based on the k-Nearest Neighbour (k-NN) classifier (Bishop 2006), where training and testing data sets enable classification of feature vectors into particular keyword classes.

Related work

Content-based image retrieval (CBIR), first proposed in the early 1990s, has been a lively research area over the past few years (Müller et al. 2003). It not only provides a search methodology which enables images to be retrieved by the contents of the images themselves, but also aims to supply: (1) the ability to handle visual queries, (2) a friendly query model for users to approach, and (3) automatic descriptions of image content features (Wu et al. 2000). In the indexing process, CBIR systems extract image features automatically to facilitate retrieval (Eakins and Graham 1999). Images may be segmented or analysed in terms of their constituent areas or regions, before low-level feature extraction takes place (Idris and Panchanathan 1997). Complex schemes are required to segment an entire image. The size and shape of segments that can be assigned by different resolutions is an active area of research (Tsai 2005). The perceptual features used in automatic low-level feature extraction include colour (Lai 2000; Wu et al. 2000), texture (Howarth and Rüger 2004), shape content (Shanbehzadeh et al. 2000) and spatial object layout recognition (Mandal et al. 1999). Images may be annotated off-line manually, typically with information such as the image’s creator, creation date or event activity (Eakins and Graham 1999). Various authors have developed retrieval engines, which allow users to search for images by keywords (Barnard et al. 2003), query by example, where users submit an image similar to the one they are looking for (Jin and French 2003), or query by image feature (Del Bimbo 1999). The users are typically given a searching environment to inspect the initial set of images retrieved in response to the query, and to filter out the images not considered relevant. In systems which allow relevance feedback, user judgements of search results are fed back into the system to refine the query, so that new results are more fitting (Lew 2001). The main challenge for current CBIR systems is overcoming the semantic gap, which is the arduous task of translating low-level features into high-level concepts (Gupta et al. 1997). While CBIR systems store and retrieve images by low-level indexing, most users would like to submit queries for images using semantically meaningful high-level concepts. As a step towards closing the semantic gap, Barnard et al. (2003) and Tsai et al. (2006) have shown the feasibility of using a probabilistic model, such as Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) (Blei et al. 2003), and/or machine learning techniques, such as the k-NN classifier (Bishop 2006) and Support Vector Machines (SVMs) (Burges 1998), to automatically assign controlled vocabularies of around 150 words to unseen images. However, a powerful image searching environment would need to operate with much larger vocabularies, to allow users to query for images of interest efficiently and effectively (Tsai 2005). How to filter out noisy features to solve the semantic gap problem is the main challenge before larger vocabulary approaches. The PDfilter and IG are suggested in this paper, which select the most representative features of images, and then select the feature vectors most useful for classifying each image, thus aiming to avoid the influence of noisy features within image classification.

Technology approach

Pixel Density filter

In automatic classification tasks, a set of features which characterise the original objects must be chosen. When selecting such features for images, we cannot simply use every single characteristic of the original image, since images are composed of a very large number of individual pixels. Individual pixels in the original image can be characterised by various values, including values mapped onto the range 0–1 for hue, saturation and value, which is called HSV colour space (van der Heijden 1994). However, using every single pixel’s value will introduce more noise to the system than choosing a single representative value for all the pixels in each region into which the image has been segmented. In most related work, such as Barnard et al. (2003) and Tsai (2005), the representative image feature comes from the average of all pixel values within a region or tiling area. This can mean image feature values can be too similar to each other. For example, two regions composed of a mixture of red and green areas will be both represented similarly, as types of brown colour. The PDfilter proposed in this paper, however, will characterise each region by its predominant (modal) pixel value, leading to the possibility that one region would be represented by red, the other by green. Thus PDfilter aims to solve the problem of providing more representative features, which are more similar to their values in the original image. The method of Tsai (2005) is the baseline against which the novel approaches described in this paper are compared.

The inspiration for the PDfilter comes from the colour histogram (Swain and Ballard 1991). Here the colour space is quantised into a number of buckets, and the image is characterised by the number of pixels falling into the range of each bucket. Lai (2000) lists 125 bins, such as “red 0, green 0.55, blue 1.00” to represent sky blue. The colour histogram has greater discrimination power when the number of colour buckets is increased (Long et al. 2003). The PDfilter not only provides a much larger number of predefined buckets than the colour histogram, but also allows the use of different colour spaces, such as HSV and HSI colour spaces (Gonzalez et al. 2004), and a high dimensional texture feature representation.1

The experiments described here are based on HSV colour space. The PDfilter works with the feature spaces in individual regions of the analysed images. Based on Eq. 1, where d means the dimension number out of N dimensions; Xd is the value of each dimension and Xdm is the maximum value of each dimension in the whole image collection, each pixel’s feature value is quantified into a bucket A(p) of a coordinate figure in S divisions. Finally, the representative feature values come from the average of the pixel values in the predominant bucket. As shown in Fig. 1, each pixel’s value in the image is quantified into a coordinate figure, and then the area that holds most pixels is computed, as the representative feature average of the most predominant colour.
$$ A(p) = \sum\limits_{d = 1}^{N} {\left( {\left\lfloor {\frac{Xd \times S}{{Xd_{m} }}} \right\rfloor} \times S^{d - 1} \right)} + 1. $$
Fig. 1

Example of Pixel Density filter operation

In order to show clearly the distribution of the pixel values, we simplify colour into just two dimensions, showing only hue (H) and saturation (S) in this example. Each pixel’s value in the image is quantified into a coordinate figure, as determined by Eq. 1. For example, a pixel with real values (0.641, 0.971) will be allocated to bucket number 97, since \( A(p) = \left( {\left\lfloor {\frac{0.641 \times 10}{1}} \right\rfloor \times 10^{1 - 1} + \left\lfloor {\frac{0.971 \times 10}{1}} \right\rfloor \times 10^{2 - 1} } \right) + 1 = \left( {6 + 90} \right) + 1 = 97. \)

After PDfilter selection, the representative feature of the whole region will be the symbol at point x (0.630, 0.976) in area 97, in contrast to the average of all pixel values at location o (0.626, 0.714), as used in the baseline system (Tsai 2005). Thus, the baseline system and the PDfilter system both represent an analysed image by coordinate dimensions, but their values are different.

In the experiments described here, each image was initially segmented into five regions, each of which as a result of the PDfilter becomes represented by a three-valued vector corresponding to H, S and V.

Information Gain application

The concept of information gain comes from Shannon’s (1948) information theory and the decision trees of decision theory (Mitchell 1997). It is an information-theoretic criterion in the field of machine learning and is frequently employed in feature selection in text categorisation (Quinlan 1986; Yang and Pedersen 1997). This paper applies IG for training data selection, in order to allow each single category to be represented by its most important feature vectors after noise and uncertainty reduction. IG is the weighted sum of the entropies or gain values of all the feature vectors in each keyword category. It measures the information required to predict the presence or absence of a feature vector in a given keyword category. In the original training data set, there are 20 training images for each keyword category. Each image is automatically segmented into 5 regions, yielding a total of 100 training vectors for each keyword. For each keyword, K-means clustering (Manning and Schütze 1999) is used to sort the feature vectors of the analysed images into a number k of clusters; we set k = 10. In Eq. (2), m is the total number of regions in an image and \( \left\{ {Ci} \right\}_{i = 1}^{m} \) is the set of images within a single category. The gain value of an individual cluster (t) is then defined (Yang and Pedersen 1997) as follows:
$$ G(t) = - \sum\limits_{i = 1}^{m} {P(Ci)} \log P(Ci) + P(t)\sum\limits_{i = 1}^{m} {P(Ci|t)} \log P(Ci|t) + P(\bar{t})\sum\limits_{i = 1}^{m} {P(Ci|\bar{t})} \log P(Ci|\bar{t}). $$

The overall IG for a cluster is thus the sum of the gain values for each image vector in that cluster. IG reduces uncertainty, since only the documents of the clusters with an above threshold gain value are retained as training data for future classification. However, there are no exact algorithms to find the optimal splitting value. In practice, the threshold is based on heuristics to find a near-optimal value (Manning and Schütze 1999). The training data for our experiments are all taken from the single cluster with the highest gain value.

Main experiment

Research question

In this paper, we explore two main questions: (1) can the PDfilter solve the similarity problem in representative feature selection? and (2) can IG operate effectively in training data selection?

The PDfilter and IG are the main focuses of experimentation in this paper. This combination has never been applied into any related image retrieval systems before. Simultaneously, this paper also extends the size of the controlled vocabulary to 190 concrete keywords.

Experimental framework

The experimental framework (shown in Fig. 2) describes how we assign related keywords to each analysed image, in order to enable users to submit queries for images of interest through keyword-based retrieval. The experimentation is separated into a training stage and a testing stage, and the image collection is also divided into two groups, one for each stage. Based on different operational models, the experiment consists of four systems, and each system will create its own database for its related feature storage and analysis. The experimental execution is enabled by the following components:
Fig. 2

Framework of the experiment

Region segmentation

Since we are going to select useful training data by IG, image segmentation is based on region-based methods in the Normalised Cuts (Ncut) algorithm (Shi and Malik 2000), which segments images by the pixels’ colour similarity and proximity cues. According to Barnard’s et al. (2003) analysis, segmentation into a large number of regions can provide more exact annotation. However, in this paper, the experiment is restricted to five regions or sub-image segments to reduce the computational cost.

Feature extraction

In order to prove the idea that feature selection by pixel density can improve the problem of similarity between each feature value, the experiments of this paper only use colour feature vectors, which are the positions in HSV colour space (van der Heijden 1994) that represent colour by every pixel’s hue (H), saturation (S) and value (V). The advantage of the HSV colour space, in contrast to the red (R), green (G) blue (B) colour model, is that the distances between colours correspond to human perception (Mathias and Conci 1998).

Pixel density filter

This component aims to represent each image by selected features, which are more similar to their values in the original image than would be the case in the baseline system. Each pixel’s value is quantified into a coordinate figure, and then the area that holds most pixels is computed, and the representative feature is the average of the pixel values in this predominant area.

Information gain

This component applies IG to select useful representative image feature vectors for training data for each single category. This filters out any noise in the classification of that category since we only use the most important feature vectors.

Similarity measure

The k-NN classifier assigns new instances of images into their k nearest neighbours (Mitchell 1997), and uses the Euclidean Distance similarity measure between the training and testing data. Analysis by Jain et al. (2000) showed that = 1 (1NN) allows reasonable classification for most applications. In our experiments we also apply 1NN, which allows us to assign a training example’s keyword to the nearest testing set simply and easily.

Data set

The image collection for the experiments comes from the four Corel Stock photo libraries2 and the Corel Gallery 1,300,000.3 This consists of 68,600 photographs that are sorted into 686 categories published by Corel Corporation, and each category contains 100 images to represent a topic.

In contrast with Li and Wang’s (2003) application, our experiment aims to represent each group of images by a single keyword, in order to connect low-level features with their related keywords. This enables the system to understand which kinds of feature can be explained by which kind of keyword, and then to assign relevant keywords into each testing image. We assigned a single keyword to each category according to the original description by the publisher, Corel. Some of the descriptions from Corel were spread over more than one category, such as “children” and “children II” or “classic cars” and “classic automobiles”. We combined such categories into single keyword classes.

The WordNet4 online lexical reference system can be used to discriminate the type of keyword. According to WordNet, a word which is a kind of physical entity is a concrete concept, such as “agate”, “car”, “dog”, and so on. A kind of abstraction and/or human activity is an abstract keyword, like “agriculture”, “design” or “summer”. Unlike Tsai (2005), we regarded an assemblage of multiple physical or entity objects as a single entity, such as “harbour” or “building”, and as a concrete class. In addition, location is also used as an attribute. This work is similar to the assignment of high-level concepts into different levels, as in Jörgensen’s et al. (2001) work to categorise levels into generic/specific/abstract levels.

Altogether, there are 446 keywords defined in total, 190 concrete keywords, 138 abstract keywords and 119 location classes. The experiments described in this paper used up to 190 concrete keywords, and the list is shown in Table 1. These experiments are based on concrete keywords, in order to prove the concept of the PDfilter and IG for feature selection. In future we will also examine the performance of these techniques with abstract and location keywords.
Table 1

The 190 concrete keywords

1 agate

39 cougar

77 garden ornament

115 mushroom

153 soldier

2 aircraft

40 cowboy

78 gemstone

116 musical instrument

154 space

3 aircraft illustration

41 cruise ship

79 glass

117 national park

155 space voyage

4 amusement park

42 crystal

80 goat

118 navy SEAL

156 spice & herb

5 animal

43 decorated pumpkin

81 graffito

119 nest

157 port car

6 antelope

44 deer

82 hairstyle

120 object

158 statue

7 ape

45 desert

83 hand-painted

121 ocean life

159 steam engine

8 backyard wildlife

46 dessert

84 harbour

122 office

160 steam train

9 bald eagle

47 dining

85 hawk

123 oil painting

161 steamship

10 balloon

48 dinosaur

86 heavy machinery

124 orbit

162 swimsuit

11 bark texture

49 dish

87 helicopter

125 orchid

163 tall ship

12 beach

50 dog

88 horse

126 owl

164 tennis

13 bead

51 dog sled

89 hotel

127 penguin

165 textile

14 bear

52 doll

90 house & cottage

128 pet

166 tiger

15 beverage

53 dolphin and whale

91 iceberg

129 pill

167 tool

16 bird

54 door

92 insect

130 plant

168 toy

17 bird art

55 drawing

93 isle

131 plant microscopy

169 train

18 boat

56 duck decoy

94 jewellery

132 playing card

170 tram

19 bobsled

57 earth

95 landmark

133 polar bear

171 transport

20 bonsai

58 Easter egg

96 landscape

134 portrait

172 tree & leaf

21 botanical prin

59 elephant

97 leopard

135 predator

173 tulip

22 bridge

60 everglade

98 lighthouse

136 prehistoric world

174 UK royal

23 Buddha

61 fabric

99 lion

137 pub sign

175 university & college

24 building

62 face

100 mammal

138 pyramid

176 vegetable

25 bus

63 firearms

101 marble

139 reef

177 warplane

26 butterfly

64 fireworks

102 mask

140 reflection

178 warship

27 cactus flower

65 fish

103 men

141 religious stained glass

179 waterfall

28 canal and waterway

66 flora

104 merchant ship

142 road

180 waterscape

29 car

67 flower

105 microscopic image

143 road sign

181 whitetail deer

30 castle

68 flowerbed

106 mineral

144 rock formation

182 wildcat

31 cat

69 foliage

107 model

145 rose

183 wilderness

32 cave

70 food

108 molecule

146 sailboard

184 wildflower

33 cavern

71 frost

109 monument

147 sailboat

185 wildlife painting

34 children

72 fruit

110 mosaic

148 sailing ship

186 wolf

35 church and cathedral

73 fur feathers and skin

111 motorcycle

149 sculpture

187 woman

36 cloud

74 furniture

112 mountain

150 seed

188 WWII Planes

37 coast

75 game bird

113 mural

151 shell

189 yellow

38 costume

76 garden

114 museum

152 sky

190 young animal

Experimental set up

A total of 190 concrete keywords were used in this paper. Separate experiments were performed with 10, 50, 100, 150 and 190 concrete keywords. The experiments of 10, 50, 100 and 150 concrete keywords constituted 10 sub-experiments, each using a different random selection of keywords from the 190 concrete keyword set. With the experiment of 190 concrete keywords only one combination of keywords was used, the full set.

Following Tsai’s (2005) work, the images for analysis were resized into 128 × 128 pixels prior to system execution, and then segmented into five regions of sub-images by the pixels’ colour similarity and the proximity cues used to determine texture. The experiments worked with 20 images in the training and testing sets, respectively. In this study based on different combinations of training data and testing data, four independent systems are created: (1) the baseline system, (2) the IG system, (3) the PDfilter system, and (4) the PDfilter + IG system. The baseline system is based on Tsai’s (2005) work. In these experiments each region is represented by a feature vector, and its values come from one of two different calculations for all training and testing data. The baseline and IG systems represent a region by the average of all pixels’ values within the region, and the remaining systems, which are related to the PDfilter, use the average of the most predominant values selected by the PDfilter. Training data are presented as one feature vector for an image. The baseline and PDfilter systems consider only the central region, which includes the central pixel of (64, 64), while in the IG and PDfilter + IG systems feature vectors are selected by IG. Table 2 lists the details of every feature value calculation and training data applied in these experiments.
Table 2

Details of feature value calculation and training data application


Feature value calc.

Training data























PDfilter IG





Feature value calculation

A: average of all pixels’ value within the region

B: average of the pixel values of the predominant colour

Training data

I and III: feature vector from the central region

II and IV: useful feature vector selection by information gain

Evaluation model

Recall and precision evaluation measures are the most common in many information retrieval applications (Baeza-Yates and Ribeiro-Neto 1999). Recall, shown in Eq. (3), measures the fraction of relevant images retrieved or placed in a desired category relative to the total number of relevant images. Precision, shown in Eq. (4), measures how many of the images retrieved are in fact relevant to the user’s interest (Belew 2000; Oakes 1998). They can be defined by the following equations:
$$ {\text{Recall}} = \frac{\text{TP}}{\text{Relevant}} $$
$$ {\text{Precision}} = \frac{\text{TP}}{\text{Retrieved}}. $$

In our experiments, TP (true positives) is the number of testing images correctly classified into a category; Relevant is number of testing images assigned to this category by the Corel data set; Retrieved means how many images are assigned to this category by the automatic system.

This study also evaluates the number of unassigned keywords. In Eq. (5), U is the percentage of the keywords that are never assigned to any related images. However, a small number of unassigned keywords do not necessarily prevent the system from producing high recall or precision.
$$ U = \frac{{{\text{Unassigned}}\,{\text{keywords}}}}{\text{Total number of keywords}}. $$

Results and discussion

Recall and precision evaluation

Figure 3 shows the results of this study, and summarises the performance of the baseline, IG, PDfilter, and PDfilter + IG systems by recall and precision. At the same time, error bars of one standard deviation over the 10 sub-experiments accompany the 10, 50, 100, and 150 category results.
Fig. 3

Experimental results for recall and precision, over 10, 50, 100, 150 and 190 categories with standard deviation for baseline, IG, PDfilter, and PDfilter + IG systems

Focusing on the recall curve, the experiments which applied IG alone produced disappointing results. However, results were better for the PDfilter application. For 10 categories, the PDfilter and PDfilter + IG systems are both below the baseline system, but the curve overtakes the baseline system at 50 and 100 categories. Additionally, both systems are better than the baseline system in terms of precision. The experiments performed especially well with the PDfilter. This suggests that the PDfilter model can be applied to discover the distinguishing features between each category, which improves performance.

Unassigned keyword evaluation

After implementation of both systems, some category keywords still could not be assigned to their related images. Figure 4 illustrates this problem using as an example keywords which start with “a” or “b”. There are some keywords, such as “bird”, which cannot be assigned to their related image by any of the observed systems.
Fig. 4

Recall and precision for example categories from the experiment of 190 categories

The results for unassigned keywords are shown in Fig. 5. Error bars of one standard deviation are shown to examine the variations of each system for each number of categories. According to this analysis, the Baseline system supplies the fewest unassigned keywords for 50, 100 and 150 category classification, but performs badly when images are classified into 190 categories. There are more keywords which cannot be assigned by the IG and PDfilter + IG systems, but both systems perform better than the baseline in the precision analysis. In addition, the PDfilter system produces the fewest unassignable keywords in 190 categories, and seems to offer a flexible system for image annotation.
Fig. 5

Unassigned keywords measured, over 10, 50, 100, 150 and 190 categories with standard deviation for baseline, IG, PDfilter, and PDfilter IG systems


The recall and precision analyses show that image classification can be improved successfully after colour feature representation obtained from the PDfilter. The reason is that the accuracy of image classification and retrieval will be impaired when image feature values are too similar to each other. When people search for their objects of interest, they usually focus on one specific feature first. For example, the colour of “tiger” is always linked with the orange specific to the tiger itself rather than the dark yellow which would come from the overall average colour value of an image of a tiger hiding in grass. The PDfilter likes to represent each category by its most important value, thus making each feature more related to its original character. This paper has proved that the PDfilter model can work with colour analysis, and in future we will examine its performance in image classification experiments based on texture.

The results for the systems which make use of IG show that when using IG alone without the PDfilter, low recall occurs as a result of noisy selection. Nevertheless, the PDfilter + IG combined system produces the highest recall and precision of all, showing the benefit of the PDfilter in feature representation. Even though IG can be a good method for filtering out noisy features, when feature values are too similar, the system will also filter out some important data.

Regarding the unassigned keyword evaluation, there were more keywords that cannot be assigned to any image when using the PDfilter + IG system than for any of the other experiments. Thus PDfilter and IG improved recall and precision, but did not solve the problem of unassignable keywords. In addition, the problem of unassigned keywords may also depend on the image collection of the dataset. Testing data that cannot be assigned may be of a very general nature, such as “animal”, “insect”, or “ocean life”. As a result, this study needs to consider image data sets other than Corel in future experiments.

Conclusion and future work

The results show that the PDfilter is a promising approach for image annotation systems. Moreover, the use of IG further increases recall and precision when applied in conjunction with the PDfilter. The PDfilter enabled us to select representative features with values similar to their values in the original image, resulting in better classification into keyword categories. In future we will extend the investigation by looking at other feature extraction methods. We also plan to use the PDfilter with other image features such as texture and shape, to try and solve the problem of unassignable keyword categories. Experiments will be conducted to observe the recall and precision in large vocabulary applications. In addition, The TRECVid data set (Smeaton et al. 2004), the IAPR TC-12 Benchmark (Grubinger et al. 2006) and the image collection built by the University of Washington5 will be used for system evaluation, so as to show how this approach performs with other data sets.

Machine learning technology and related probabilistic classification methods will also be explored, in order to compare the approach of this study against other techniques. Finally, human centred evaluations will be performed to allow system improvement via a review of system usability.


Images can be characterised by texture as well as colour. Texture is typically described by the wavelet transform (Daubechies 1992). However, the emphasis of this paper is on colour.


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag 2008