CLAIRE: A modular support vector image indexing and classification system

Chih Fong Tsai, Ken Mcgarry, John Tait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Many users of image retrieval systems would prefer to express initial queries using keywords. However, manual keyword indexing is very time-consuming. Therefore, a content-based image retrieval system which can automatically assign keywords to images would be very attractive. Unfortunately, it has proved very challenging to build such systems, except where either the image domain is restricted or the keywords relate only to low-level concepts such as color. This article presents a novel image indexing and classification system, called CLAIRE (CLAssifying Images for REtrieval), composed of one image processing module and three modules of support vector machines for color, texture, and high-level concept classification for keyword assignment. The experimental prototype system described here assigns up to five keywords selected from a controlled vocabulary of 60 terms to each image. The system is trained offline by 1639 examples from the Corel stock photo library. For evaluation, five judges reviewed a sample of 800 unknown images to identify which automatically assigned keywords were actually relevant to the image. The system proved to have an 80% probability to assign at least one relevant keyword to an image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-379
Number of pages27
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


  • Content-based image retrieval
  • Image classification
  • Image indexing
  • Multiple classifier systems
  • Support vector machines


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