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In this paper, a unified image retrieval framework based on both keyword annotations and visual features is proposed. In this framework, a set of statistical models are built based on visual features of a small set of manually labeled images to represent semantic concepts and used to propagate keywords to other unlabeled images. These models are updated periodically when more images implicitly labeled by users become available through relevance feedback. In this sense, the keyword models serve the function of accumulation and memorization of knowledge learned from user-provided relevance feedback. Furthermore, two sets of effective and efficient similarity measures and relevance feedback schemes are proposed for query by keyword scenario and query by image example scenario, respectively. Keyword models are combined with visual features in these schemes. In particular, a new, entropy-based active learning strategy is introduced to improve the efficiency of relevance feedback for query by keyword. Furthermore, a new algorithm is proposed to estimate the keyword features of the search concept for query by image example. It is shown to be more appropriate than two existing relevance feedback algorithms. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework.