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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Software, volume 8, numbers 3 and 4, 2015 // View article soft_v8_n34_2015_12


Query Interpretation – an Application of Semiotics in Image Retrieval

Authors:
Maaike H.T. de Boer
Paul Brandt
Maya Sappelli
Laura M. Daniele
Klamer Schutte
Wessel Kraaij

Keywords: query expansion; natural language queries; image retrieval; semantic reasoning; computational semiotics

Abstract:
One of the challenges in the field of content-based image retrieval is to bridge the semantic gap that exists between the information extracted from visual data using classifiers, and the interpretation of this data made by the end users. The semantic gap is a cascade of 1) the transformation of image pixels into labelled objects and 2) the semantic distance between the label used to name the classifier and that what it refers to for the end-user. In this paper, we focus on the second part and specifically on (semantically) scalable solutions that are independent from domain-specific vocabularies. To this end, we propose a generic semantic reasoning approach that applies semiotics in its query interpretation. Semiotics is about how humans interpret signs, and we use its text analysis structures to guide the query expansion that we apply. We evaluated our approach using a general-purpose image search engine. In our experiments, we compared several semiotic structures to determine to what extent semiotic structures contribute to the semantic interpretation of user queries. From the results of the experiments we conclude that semiotic structures can contribute to a significantly higher semantic interpretation of user queries and significantly higher image retrieval performance, measured in quality and effectiveness and compared to a baseline with only synonym expansions.

Pages: 435 to 449

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2015. Used with permission.

Publication date: December 30, 2015

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2628

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