Efficient face retrieval using synecdoches

Brendan F. Klare, Austin Blanton, Benjamin Klein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The number of images and videos available for search on the Internet is in the order of a trillion images, making current brute force search techniques prohibitively inefficient on such large scales. As society continues to increase our desire and ability to search these vast collections of data, improving upon traditional face recognition search techniques becomes an important problem to address. Because face recognition (and other biometric) algorithms are only commercially available as black box systems, any indexing scheme developed to perform efficient search must operate without access to the underlying feature vectors used to measure facial similarity. To address this restriction, we propose a structured search that separates the facial feature space into clusters derived from sets of prototype subjects we refer to as 'synecdoches'. After an offline training step, our proposed method assigns each gallery image to a cluster in the face space based on its similarity to a set of synecdoche clusters. In turn, query images are compared to the target gallery images based on the closest synecdoche cluster in sequence. Our results show a minimal drop in accuracy when only considering half of the clusters, thus reducing the search space in half. Additional experiments demonstrate the viability of our proposed approach to improve search efficiency amidst the common restriction of a black box matcher.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIJCB 2014 - 2014 IEEE/IAPR International Joint Conference on Biometrics
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479935840
StatePublished - 23 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd IEEE/IAPR International Joint Conference on Biometrics, IJCB 2014 - Clearwater, United States
Duration: 29 Sep 20142 Oct 2014

Publication series

NameIJCB 2014 - 2014 IEEE/IAPR International Joint Conference on Biometrics


Conference2nd IEEE/IAPR International Joint Conference on Biometrics, IJCB 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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