Finding pictures of objects in large collections of images

David A. Forsyth, Jitendra Malik, Margaret M. Fleck, Hayit Greenspan, Thomas Leung, Serge Belongie, Chad Carson, Chris Bregler

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


Retrieving images from very large collections, using image content as a key, is becoming an important problem. Users prefer to ask for pictures using notions of content that are strongly oriented to the presence of abstractly defined objects. Computer programs that implement these queries automatically are desirable, but are hard to build because conventional object recognition techniques from computer vision cannot recognize very general objects in very general contexts. This paper describes our approach to object recognition, which is structured around a sequence of increasingly specialized grouping activities that assemble coherent regions of image that can be shown to satisfy increasingly stringent constraints. The constraints that are satisfied provide a form of object classification in quite general contexts. This view of recognition is distinguished by: far richer involvement of early visual primitives, including color and texture; hierarchical grouping and learning strategies in the classification process; the ability to deal with rather general objects in uncontrolled configurations and contexts. We illustrate these properties with four case-studies: one demonstrating the use of color and texture descriptors; one showing how trees can be described by fusing texture and geometric properties; one learning scenery concepts using grouped features; and one showing how this view of recognition yields a program that can tell, quite accurately, whether a picture contains naked people or not.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationObject Representation in Computer Vision II - ECCV 1996 International Workshop, Proceedings
EditorsJean Ponce, Jean Ponce, Jean Ponce, Andrew Zisserman, Andrew Zisserman, Andrew Zisserman, Martial Hebert, Martial Hebert, Martial Hebert
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)3540617507, 3540617507, 3540617507, 9783540617501, 9783540617501, 9783540617501
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Workshop on Object Representation in Computer Vision II, ECCV 1996 - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Apr 199614 Apr 1996

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Workshop on Object Representation in Computer Vision II, ECCV 1996
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


FundersFunder number
NSF Digital LibraryIRI-9411334, CDA-9121985
National Science FoundationIRI-9501493, IRI-9209728, IRI-9420716
National Sleep Foundation


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