Multi-Technique Fusion for Shape-Based Image Retrieval
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Content-based image retrieval (CBIR) is still in its early stages, although several attempts have been made to solve or minimize challenges associated with it. CBIR techniques use such visual contents as color, texture, and shape to represent and index images. Of these, shapes contain richer information than color or texture. However, retrieval based on shape contents remains more difficult than that based on color or texture due to the diversity of shapes and the natural occurrence of shape transformations such as deformation, scaling and orientation. This thesis presents an approach for fusing several shape-based image retrieval techniques for the purpose of achieving reliable and accurate retrieval performance. An extensive investigation of notable existing shape descriptors is reported. Two new shape descriptors have been proposed as means to overcome limitations of current shape descriptors. The first descriptor is based on a novel shape signature that includes corner information in order to enhance the performance of shape retrieval techniques that use Fourier descriptors. The second descriptor is based on the curvature of the shape contour. This invariant descriptor takes an unconventional view of the curvature-scale-space map of a contour by treating it as a 2-D binary image. The descriptor is then derived from the 2-D Fourier transform of the 2-D binary image. This technique allows the descriptor to capture the detailed dynamics of the curvature of the shape and enhances the efficiency of the shape-matching process. Several experiments have been conducted in order to compare the proposed descriptors with several notable descriptors. The new descriptors not only speed up the online matching process, but also lead to improved retrieval accuracy. The complexity and variety of the content of real images make it impossible for a particular choice of descriptor to be effective for all types of images. Therefore, a data- fusion formulation based on a team consensus approach is proposed as a means of achieving high accuracy performance. In this approach a select set of retrieval techniques form a team. Members of the team exchange information so as to complement each other’s assessment of a database image candidate as a match to query images. Several experiments have been conducted based on the MPEG-7 contour-shape databases; the results demonstrate that the performance of the proposed fusion scheme is superior to that achieved by any technique individually.