Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 661–688 | Cite as

A survey on visual adult image recognition

  • Christian X. RiesEmail author
  • Rainer Lienhart


We provide an overview of state-of-the-art approaches to visual adult image recognition which is a special case of one-class image classification. We present a representative selection of methods which we coarsely divide into three main groups. First we discuss color-based approaches which rely on the intuitive assumption that adult images usually feature skin-colored regions. Different ways of defining skin colors are described and example classification frameworks built on skin color models are presented. Another main group of approaches to adult image recognition is based on shape information which usually also exploit color information to find skin-colored regions of interest. Color and texture features are often used to augment such shape features. Finally we introduce approaches based on local feature descriptors.


Visual adult image recognition Content-based image filters 


  1. 1.
    Arentz WA, Olstad B (2004) Classifying offensive sites based on image content. Comput Vis Image Underst 94:295–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bay H, Ess A, Tuytelaars T, Gool LV (2008) Surf: speeded up robust features. Comput Vis Image Underst (CVIU) 110(3):346–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bober M (2001) Mpeg-7 visual shape descriptors. IEEE Trans Circuits Syst Video Technol 11(6):716–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bosson A, Cawley G, Chan Y, Harvey R (2002) Non-retrieval: blocking pornographic images. In: Proceedings of the international conference on image and video retrieval, pp 50–60Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Canny J (1986) A computational approach to edge detection. IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell 8(6):679–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Choi B, Chung B, Ryou J (2009) Adult image detection using bayesian decision rule weighted by svm probability. In: Proceedings of the 2009 4th international conference on computer sciences and convergence information technology, ICCIT ’09, pp 659–662Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chong CW, Raveendran P, Mukundan R (2003) A comparative analysis of algorithms for fast computation of zernike moments. Pattern Recogn 36(3):731–742CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dalal N, Triggs B (2005) Histograms of oriented gradients for human detection. In: Proceedings of the IEEE conference Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition 2005. CVPR 2005., pp 1–4Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Deselaers T, Pimenidis L, Ney H (2008) Bag-of-visual-words models for adult image classification and filtering. In: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Pattern Recognition, 2008. ICPR 2008., pp 1–4Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Duan L, Cui G, Gao W, Zhang H (2002) Adult image detection method base-on skin color model and support vector machine. In: Proceedings of the 5th Asian conference on computer vision, pp 797–800Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fleck MM, Forsyth DA, Bregler C (1996) Finding naked people. In: Proceedings of the European conference on computer vision, vol 2, pp 592–602Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gershon R, Jepson AD, Tsotos JK (1986) Ambient illumination and the determination of material changes. J Opt Soc Am 3(10), 1700–1707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gomez G, Morales EF (2002) Automatic feature construction and a simple rule induction algorithm for skin detection. In: Proceedings of the ICML workshop on machine learning in computer vision, pp 31–38Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hammami M, Chahir Y, Chen L (2006) Webguard: a web filtering engine combining textual, structural and visual content-based analysis. IEEE Trans Knowl Data Eng 18(2):272–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hu MK (1962) Visual pattern recognition by moment invariants. IRE Trans Inf Theory 8(2):179–187CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hu W, Wu O, Chen Z, Fu Z, Maybank S (2007) Recognition of pornographic web pages by classifying texts and images. IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell 29(6):1019–1034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jebara TS, Pentland A (1997) Parametrized structure from motion for 3d adaptive feedback tracking of faces. In: Proceedings of the IEEE computer society conference on computer vision and pattern recognition, pp 144–150Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jones MJ, Rehg JM (2002) Statistical color models with application to skin detection. Int J Comput Vis 46(1):81–96CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ka CH (2009) A study on adult image detection via object analysis and multiresizing. In: Proceedings of the 9th international symposium on communications and information technology, 2009. ISCIT 2009, pp 784–789Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kim W, Lee HK, Park J, Yoon K (2005) Multi class adult image classification using neural networks. In: Advances in artificial intelligence, vol 3501. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 222–226Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kim W, Lee HK, Yoo S, Baik S (2005) Neural network based adult image classification. In: Artificial neural networks: biological inspirations ICANN 2005, vol 3696. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 481–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kovač J, Peer P, Solina F (2003) Human skin colour clustering for face detection. In: Proceedings of the IEEE Region 8 EUROCON 2003. Computer as a tool, vol 2, pp 144–148Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Liao WH, Liu MJ (2004) Robust swimming style classification from color video. In: Proceedings of the interntaional computer symposium, pp 541–546Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lienhart R, Hauke R (2009) Filtering adult image content with topic models. In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, 2009. ICME 2009, pp 1472–1475Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lopes APB, de Avila SEF, Peixoto ANA, Oliveira RS, de A. Araújo A (2009) A bag-of-features approach based on hue-sift descriptor for nude detection. In: Proceedings of the 17th European Signal Processing Conference. EUSIPCO 2009, pp 1552–1556Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lowe DG (2004) Distinctive image features from scale-invariant keypoints. Int J Comput Vis 60(2):91–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Manjunath B, Ohm JR, Vasudevan V, Yamada A (2001) Color and texture descriptors. IEEE Trans Circuits Syst Video Technol 11(6):703–715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    McKenna SJ, Gong S, Raja Y (1998) Modelling facial colour and identity with gaussian mixtures. Pattern Recogn 31(12):1883–1892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ries CX, Lienhart R (2010) Automatic pose initialization of swimmers in videos. In: Proceedings of SPIE-IS&T electric imaging: visual information processing and communication, vol 7543, pp 75,430J–1–75,430J–8Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ries CX, Romberg S, Lienhart R (2010) Towards universal visual vocabularies. In: Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME), pp 1067–1072Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rowley HA, Jing Y, Baluja S (2006) Large scale image-based adult-content filtering. In: Proceedings of the 1st international conference on computer vision theory, pp 290–296Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Shechtman E, Irani M (2007) Matching local self-similarities across images and videos. In: Proceedings of the IEEE conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2007. CVPR ’07, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ulges A, Stahl A (2011) Automatic detection of child pornography using color visual words. In: Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo. ICME 2011, pp 1–6Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Vezhnevets V, Sazonov V, Andreeva A (2003) A survey on pixel-based skin color detection techniques. In: Proceedings of the GraphiCon-2003, pp 85–92Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Wang JZ, Wiederhold G, Firschein O (1997) System for screening objectionable images using daubechies’ wavelets and color histograms. In: Proceedings of the 4th international workshop on Interactive Distributed Multimedia Systems and telecommunication services, IDMS ’97, pp 20–30Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wu O, Zuo H, Hu W, Zhu M, Li S (2008) Recognizing and filtering web images based on peoples existence. In: Proceedings of the IEEE/WIC/ACM international conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology, 2008. WI-IAT ’08, pp 648–654Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Yang J, Fu Z, Tan T, Hu W (2004) A novel approach to detecting adult images. In: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Pattern Recognition, 2004. ICPR 2004, vol 4, pp 479–482Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Yang J, Lu W, Waibel A (1998) Skin-color modeling and adaptation. In: Proceedings of the Asian conference on computer vision, vol 2, pp 687–694Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Yang MH, Ahuja N (1999) Gaussian mixture model for human skin color and its applications in image and video databases. In: Proceedings of SPIE ’99, pp 458–466Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Yoo SJ (2004) Intelligent multimedia information retrieval for identifying and rating adult images. Knowledge-Based Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems, pp 164–170Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Zeng W, Gao W, Zhang T, Liu Y (2004) Image guarder: an intelligent detector for adult images. In: Proceedings of the Asian conference on computer vision 2004, pp 198–203Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Zheng H, Daoudi M, Jedynak B (2004) Blocking adult images based on statistical skin detection. Electron Lett Comput Vis Image Anal 4(2):1–14Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Zheng H, Liu H, Daoudi M (2004) Blocking objectionable images: adult images and harmful symbols. In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, 2004. ICME ’04, vol 2, pp 1223–1226Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Zheng QF, Zeng W, Wen G, Wang WQ (2004) Shape-based adult images detection. In: Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on image and graphics, 2004, pp 150–153Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Augsburg UniversityAugsburgGermany

Personalised recommendations