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Publication numberUS20010056419 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/107,384
Publication dateDec 27, 2001
Filing dateJun 30, 1998
Priority dateJul 31, 1997
Also published asCN1207532A, US6345275
Publication number09107384, 107384, US 2001/0056419 A1, US 2001/056419 A1, US 20010056419 A1, US 20010056419A1, US 2001056419 A1, US 2001056419A1, US-A1-20010056419, US-A1-2001056419, US2001/0056419A1, US2001/056419A1, US20010056419 A1, US20010056419A1, US2001056419 A1, US2001056419A1
InventorsHee-Jong Lee
Original AssigneeHee-Jong Lee
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus and method for retrieving image information in computer
US 20010056419 A1
Abstract
An apparatus and method for retrieving image information in a computer. A controller receives a schematic image inputted by a user and normalizes the input image to an image of a constant size. A feature vector of each sub block of the normalized image is extracted, and the extracted feature vector is quantized to one of representative values of a determined number within feature vector space. An image profile indicating the frequency of occurrence of the feature vector of the input image is generated with respect to a quantizing level. A profile of the input image is compared with a profile of each image in an image data base part. An image corresponding to a profile whose similarity is within a reference value is displayed.
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Claims(2)
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for retrieving image information in a computer, comprising:
an image input unit for receiving an image input by a user;
an image size normalizer for normalizing the image to a constant size normalized image;
a feature vector extractor for extracting a feature vector of each sub block of the normalized image;
a vector quantizer for quantizing the feature vector to one of a fixed number of quantized levels;
a profile generator for generating an image profile indicating the frequency of occurrence of each quantizing level within the feature vector;
an image data base unit for storing various image information;
an image data base index unit for storing profiles of images stored in the image data base unit;
a similarity comparator for comparing a profile received from said profile generator with a profile of each image stored in the image data base index unit; and
a controller for reading an image corresponding to a profile whose similarity is within a reference value from said image data base unit and displaying the corresponding image through an image display unit.
2. A method for retrieving image information in a computer, comprising:
receiving an image input by a user;
normalizing the input image to an image of a constant size;
extracting a feature vector of each sub block of the normalized image;
quantizing the extracted feature vector to one of a fixed number of quantizing levels;
generating an image profile indicating the frequency of occurrence of each quantizing level within the feature vector;
comparing a profile of the input image with a profile of each image in an image data base unit; and
reading an image corresponding to a profile whose similarity is within a
reference value from said image data base unit and displaying the
corresponding image through an image display unit.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a data base retrieving method, and more particularly to an apparatus and method for retrieving image information.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] In most data base systems, a text-based keyword input method has been used to retrieve desired information, regardless of whether the information is text or image. However, in data base systems for still images, it is difficult to find appropriate keywords corresponding to still image information. Further, during retrieval, it is difficult to guess the exact keyword corresponding to a still image. Therefore, an easy method for retrieving still images from the data base is required.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] An object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and method for retrieving image information in a computer.

[0006] To achieve the above objects, a controller receives a schematic image input by a user and normalizes the input image to an image of a constant size. A feature vector of each sub block of the normalized image is extracted, and the extracted feature vector is quantized to one of a fixed number of quantizing levels within feature vector space. An image profile indicating the frequency of occurrence of a quantizing level in the feature vector of the input image. A profile of the input image is compared with a profile of each image in an image data base part. An image corresponding to a profile whose similarity is within a reference value is displayed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0008]FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing an image information retrieving apparatus according to the present invention; and

[0009]FIG. 2 is a flow chart showing an image information retrieving method according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0010] In the following description, numerous specific details such as a processing flow are set forth to provide a more thorough understanding of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well known functions and constructions have not been described so as not to obscure the present invention.

[0011] Referring to FIG. 1, an image input unit 100 inputs a schematic drawing of an image to be retrieved from an image data base unit 114. An image size normalizer 102 normalizes an image received from the image input unit 100 to an image of a preset constant size. A feature vector extractor 104 extracts a feature vector from the normalized input image. A vector quantizer 106 vector-quantizes the feature vector extracted from the feature vector extractor 104 to various quantizing levels according to an internal code book. A profile generator 108 generates a profile showing the feature of the input image in such a manner that the frequency of occurrence of each quantizing level within the feature vector is indicated. A similarity comparator 110 compares a profile of the input image with a profile of an image within the data base and supplies the image in the image data base that is within a similar range to an image display unit 116. An image data base index unit 112 stores the profiles of the image information contained in an image data base unit 114. The image data base unit 114 is a storage device in which the image information is stored. The image display unit 116 displays the image received from the similarity comparator 110. A controller 118 controls the image information retrieving apparatus.

[0012]FIG. 2 shows an image information retrieving method according to the present invention. A user schematically draws the image that is to be searched from the image data base unit 114 in the image input unit 100. The controller 118 senses, at step 200, the input image received from the user. At step 202, the input image is normalized to an image of a preset constant size. The normalized image is split into sub blocks of a preset number at step 204. At step 206, the feature vector of each sub block is extracted. The feature vector may be, for example, a DCT (Discrete Cosine Transform) coefficient of each sub block. At step 208, the extracted feature vector is quantized, and at step 210, the profile indicated as the frequency of occurrence of the quantizing level within the feature vector is generated. At step 212, the profile generated at step 210 is compared with the profile for each image in data base in the image data base index unit 112. It is checked at step 214 whether there is a profile whose similarity is within a reference value. If so, the corresponding image is read from the image data base unit 114 and displayed through the image display unit 116. If there is no profile whose similarity is within the reference value, the controller 118 completes the whole operation.

[0013] Therefore, if the user draws a desired image by lines and colors, the feature vector of the drawing is extracted and a still image having a similar feature vector is retrieved. Consequently, the desired image can be retrieved without inputting the key word by schematically inputting the feature part of the image.

[0014] While the invention has been shown and described with reference to a certain preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7236652Jul 24, 2002Jun 26, 2007Nec CorporationImage retrieval apparatus and image retrieving method
US7356604 *Apr 18, 2000Apr 8, 2008Claritech CorporationMethod and apparatus for comparing scores in a vector space retrieval process
US8027978Feb 28, 2008Sep 27, 2011Fujitsu LimitedImage search method, apparatus, and program
US8208731Apr 7, 2008Jun 26, 2012Microsoft CorporationImage descriptor quantization
US8712159 *Jun 2, 2012Apr 29, 2014Microsoft CorporationImage descriptor quantization
US20120237134 *Jun 2, 2012Sep 20, 2012Microsoft CorporationImage descriptor quantization
Classifications
U.S. Classification1/1, 707/E17.02, 382/190, 382/218, 707/999.006, 707/999.104
International ClassificationG06F17/30, G06T1/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S707/99936, G06F17/30247
European ClassificationG06F17/30M1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 30, 2010FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20100205
Feb 5, 2010LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Sep 14, 2009REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Jul 13, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Sep 9, 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LEE, HEE-JONG;REEL/FRAME:009450/0819
Effective date: 19980820