Experiences with QbS:Challenges and Evaluation of Known Image Search based on User-Drawn Sketches

Michael Springmann, Ihab Al Kabary, Heiko Schuldt
Technical Report
Appears in
Technical Report CS-2010-001 Department of Computer Science
With the increasingly growing size of digital image collections, known image search is gaining more and more importance. Especially in collections where individual objects are not tagged with metadata describing their content, content-based image retrieval (CBIR) is a promising approach. However, the application of CBIR to known item search usually suffers from the unavailability of query images that are good enough to express the user’s information need. In this technical report, we present the QbS system that provides content-based search in large image collections based on user-drawn sketches. The QbS system combines angular radial partitioning for the extraction of features in the user-provided sketch, taking into account the spatial distribution of edges, and the image distortion model. This combination offers several highly relevant invariances that allow the query sketch to slightly deviate from the searched image in terms of rotation, translation, relative size, and/or unknown objects in the background. To illustrate the benefits of the QbS approach, we present search results from the evaluation of our system on the basis of the MIRFLICKR collection with 25,000 objects and compare the retrieval results of pure metadata-driven approaches, pure content-based retrieval using different sketches, and combinations thereof.