Towards an All-Purpose Content-Based Multimedia Information Retrieval System

Ralph Gasser, Luca Rossetto, Heiko Schuldt

The growth of multimedia collections - in terms of size, heterogeneity, and variety of media types - necessitates systems that are able to conjointly deal with several forms of media, especially when it comes to searching for particular objects. However, existing retrieval systems are organized in silos and treat different media types separately. As a consequence, retrieval across media types is either not supported at all or subject to major limitations. In this paper, we present vitrivr, a content-based multimedia information retrieval stack. As opposed to the keyword search approach implemented by most media management systems, vitrivr makes direct use of the object's content to facilitate different types of similarity search, such as Query-by-Example or Query-by-Sketch, for and, most importantly, across different media types - namely, images, audio, videos, and 3D models. Furthermore, we introduce a new web-based user interface that enables easy-to-use, multimodal retrieval from and browsing in mixed media collections. The effectiveness of vitrivr is shown on the basis of a user study that involves different query and media types. To the best of our knowledge, the full vitrivr stack is unique in that it is the first multimedia retrieval system that seamlessly integrates support for four different types of media. As such, it paves the way towards an all-purpose, content-based multimedia information retrieval system.

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