Skip to Main Content
Personal photographs are being captured in digital form at an accelerating rate, and our computational tools for searching, browsing, and sharing these photos are struggling to keep pace. One promising approach is automatic face recognition, which would allow photos to be organized by the identities of the individuals they contain. However, achieving accurate recognition at the scale of the Web requires discriminating among hundreds of millions of individuals and would seem to be a daunting task. This paper argues that social network context may be the key for large-scale face recognition to succeed. Many personal photographs are shared on the Web through online social network sites, and we can leverage the resources and structure of such social networks to improve face recognition rates on the images shared. Drawing upon real photo collections from volunteers who are members of a popular online social network, we asses the availability of resources to improve face recognition and discuss techniques for applying these resources.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2010