, Volume 4, Issue 3-4, pp 275-293

A Test Collection for the Evaluation of Content-Based Image Retrieval Algorithms—A User and Task-Based Approach

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Content-based image retrieval (CBIR) algorithms have been seen as a promising access method for digital photograph collections. Unfortunately, we have very little evidence of the usefulness of these algorithms in real user needs and contexts. In this paper, we introduce a test collection for the evaluation of CBIR algorithms. In the test collection, the performance testing is based on photograph similarity perceived by end-users in the context of realistic illustration tasks and environment. The building process and the characteristics of the resulting test collection are outlined, including a typology of similarity criteria expressed by the subjects judging the similarity of photographs. A small-scale study on the consistency of similarity assessments is presented. A case evaluation of two CBIR algorithms is reported. The results show clear correlation between the subjects' similarity assessments and the functioning of feature parameters of the tested algorithms.