Eye-Tracker Based Part-Image Selection for Image Retrieval

Christian Schulze, Robby Frister, Faisal Shafait

In: Image Processing (ICIP), 2013 20th IEEE International Conference on. IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP-2013) September 15-18 Melbourne Victoria Australia IEEE 2013.


Given the growing amount of very large image databases, content based image retrieval (CBIR) is becoming more and more important. One of the major challenges in CBIR is the semantic gap – commonly used feature-based algorithms are not able to identify what really draws human attention in an image. This problem is more crucial for localized CBIR, where certain regions / parts of the image are what the user is really interested in. This paper explores how human gaze can be utilized to extract regions of interest (ROIs) of an image to perform attention based image retrieval. Using eye tracking data and knowledge about foveal and peripheral vision of humans, we present a foveal fixation clustering algorithm that automatically generates ROIs in an image while a person is viewing it. To objectively set different parameters of the algorithm, a small user study was conducted. The method was evaluated for use in a localized CBIR system. Image retrieval results using the publicly available SIVAL dataset were scored using mean average precision (MAP). Comparison to a saliency-based visual attention algorithm as well as to manually labeled regions showed that the retrieval results of the developed algorithm are nearly two times better than the saliency-based visual attention algorithm and very close to the results using hand-labeled regions.


German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz