Coarse-to-Fine Image Search Using Neural Networks

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 7 (NIPS 1994)

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Clay Spence, John Pearson, Jim Bergen


The efficiency of image search can be greatly improved by using a coarse-to-fine search strategy with a multi-resolution image representa(cid:173) tion. However, if the resolution is so low that the objects have few dis(cid:173) tinguishing features, search becomes difficult. We show that the performance of search at such low resolutions can be improved by using context information, i.e., objects visible at low-resolution which are not the objects of interest but are associated with them. The networks can be given explicit context information as inputs, or they can learn to detect the context objects, in which case the user does not have to be aware of their existence. We also use Integrated Feature Pyramids, which repre(cid:173) sent high-frequency information at low resolutions. The use of multi(cid:173) resolution search techniques allows us to combine information about the appearance of the objects on many scales in an efficient way. A natural fOlm of exemplar selection also arises from these techniques. We illus(cid:173) trate these ideas by training hierarchical systems of neural networks to find clusters of buildings in aerial photographs of farmland.