FaceTracer: A Search Engine for Large Collections of Images with Faces

  • Neeraj Kumar
  • Peter Belhumeur
  • Shree Nayar
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5305)


We have created the first image search engine based entirely on faces. Using simple text queries such as “smiling men with blond hair and mustaches,” users can search through over 3.1 million faces which have been automatically labeled on the basis of several facial attributes. Faces in our database have been extracted and aligned from images downloaded from the internet using a commercial face detector, and the number of images and attributes continues to grow daily. Our classification approach uses a novel combination of Support Vector Machines and Adaboost which exploits the strong structure of faces to select and train on the optimal set of features for each attribute. We show state-of-the-art classification results compared to previous works, and demonstrate the power of our architecture through a functional, large-scale face search engine. Our framework is fully automatic, easy to scale, and computes all labels off-line, leading to fast on-line search performance. In addition, we describe how our system can be used for a number of applications, including law enforcement, social networks, and personal photo management. Our search engine will soon be made publicly available.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neeraj Kumar
    • 1
  • Peter Belhumeur
    • 1
  • Shree Nayar
    • 1
  1. 1.Columbia University 

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