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Image annotation with semi-supervised clustering

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2009
Sayar, Ahmet
Image annotation is defined as generating a set of textual words for a given image, learning from the available training data consisting of visual image content and annotation words. Methods developed for image annotation usually make use of region clustering algorithms to quantize the visual information. Visual codebooks are generated from the region clusters of low level visual features. These codebooks are then, matched with the words of the text document related to the image, in various ways. In this thesis, we propose a new image annotation technique, which improves the representation and quantization of the visual information by employing the available but unused information, called side information, which is hidden in the system. This side information is used to semi-supervise the clustering process which creates the visterms. The selection of side information depends on the visual image content, the annotation words and the relationship between them. Although there may be many different ways of defining and selecting side information, in this thesis, three types of side information are proposed. The first one is the hidden topic probability information obtained automatically from the text document associated with the image. The second one is the orientation and the third one is the color information around interest points that correspond to critical locations in the image. The side information provides a set of constraints in a semi-supervised K-means region clustering algorithm. Consequently, in generation of the visual terms from the regions, not only low level features are clustered, but also side information is used to complement the visual information, called visterms. This complementary information is expected to close the semantic gap between the low level features extracted from each region and the high level textual information. Therefore, a better match between visual codebook and the annotation words is obtained. Moreover, a speedup is obtained in the modified K-means algorithm because of the constraints brought by the side information. The proposed algorithm is implemented in a high performance parallel computation environment.