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Image re-ranking, as an effective way to improve the results of web-based image search, has been adopted by current commercial search engines. Given a query keyword, a pool of images are first retrieved by the search engine based on textual information. By asking the user to select a query image from the pool, the remaining images are re-ranked based on their visual similarities with the query image. A major challenge is that the similarities of visual features do not well correlate with images' semantic meanings which interpret users' search intention. On the other hand, learning a universal visual semantic space to characterize highly diverse images from the web is difficult and inefficient. In this paper, we propose a novel image re-ranking framework, which automatically offline learns different visual semantic spaces for different query keywords through keyword expansions. The visual features of images are projected into their related visual semantic spaces to get semantic signatures. At the online stage, images are re-ranked by comparing their semantic signatures obtained from the visual semantic space specified by the query keyword. The new approach significantly improves both the accuracy and efficiency of image re-ranking. The original visual features of thousands of dimensions can be projected to the semantic signatures as short as 25 dimensions. Experimental results show that 20% - 35% relative improvement has been achieved on re-ranking precisions compared with the state-of-the-art methods.
Date of Conference: 20-25 June 2011