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The fundamental ingredient of content-based image retrieval is the selection of appropriate features to describe the content of the image. Shape of an object, represented by its contour, is the most important visual feature that is thought to be used by humans to determine the similarity of objects. In this paper, we present an effective representation of shape, using its boundary information, that is robust to arbitrary distortions and affine transformation. The contour representation of shape is converted into time series and is modeled using orthogonal basis function representations. Encoding contour representation of shapes in this manner leads to efficiency gains over existing approaches such as structural shape representation and techniques that use discrete point-based flow vectors to represent the contour. Experimental evaluation demonstrates that the proposed shape representation and matching mechanism is effective, efficient and robust to different arbitrary and affine distortions.