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In content-based image retrieval, understanding the user's needs is a challenging task that requires integrating him in the process of retrieval. Relevance feedback (RF) has proven to be an effective tool for taking the user's judgement into account. In this paper, we present a new RF framework based on a feature selection algorithm that nicely combines the advantages of a probabilistic formulation with those of using both the positive example (PE) and the negative example (NE). Through interaction with the user, our algorithm learns the importance he assigns to image features, and then applies the results obtained to define similarity measures that correspond better to his judgement. The use of the NE allows images undesired by the user to be discarded, thereby improving retrieval accuracy. As for the probabilistic formulation of the problem, it presents a multitude of advantages and opens the door to more modeling possibilities that achieve a good feature selection. It makes it possible to cluster the query data into classes, choose the probability law that best models each class, model missing data, and support queries with multiple PE and/or NE classes. The basic principle of our algorithm is to assign more importance to features with a high likelihood and those which distinguish well between PE classes and NE classes. The proposed algorithm was validated separately and in image retrieval context, and the experiments show that it performs a good feature selection and contributes to improving retrieval effectiveness.