A knowledge-based approach for retrieving images by content

Chih Cheng Hsu, Wesley W. Chu, Ricky K. Taira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


A knowledge-based approach is introduced for retrieving images by content. It supports the answering of conceptual image queries involving similar-to predicates, spatial semantic operators, and references to conceptual terms. Interested objects in the images are represented by contours segmented from images. Image content such as shapes and spatial relationships are derived from object contours according to domain-specific image knowledge. A three-layered model is proposed for integrating image representations, extracted image features, and image semantics. With such a model, images can be retrieved based on the features and content specified in the queries. The knowledge-based query processing is based on a query relaxation technique. The image features are classified by an automatic clustering algorithm and represented by Type Abstraction Hierarchies (TAHs) for knowledge-based query processing. Since the features selected for TAH generation are based on context and user profile, and the TAHs can be generated automatically by a clustering algorithm from the feature database, our proposed image retrieval approach is scalable and context-sensitive. The performance of the proposed knowledge-based query processing is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-532
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • Cooperative query processing
  • Knowledge-based query processing
  • Knowledge-based spatial image model
  • Medical Image database
  • Retrieve image by feature and content
  • Shape model
  • Spatial query processing
  • Spatial relationship model


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