A Sketch-based Approach for Multimedia Retrieval

Koustav Ghosal (homepage)


A hand-drawn sketch is a convenient way to search for an image or a video from a database where examples are unavailable or textual queries are too difficult to articulate. In this thesis, we have tried to propose solutions for some problems in sketch-based multimedia retrieval. In case of image search, the queries could be approximate binary outlines of the actual objects. In case of videos, we consider the case where the user can specify the motion trajectory using a sketch, which is provided as a query.

However there are multiple problems associated with this paradigm. Firstly, different users sketch the same query differently according to their own perception of reality. Secondly, sketches are sparse and abstract representations of images and the two modalities can not be compared directly. Thirdly, compared to images, datasets of sketches are rare. It is very difficult, if not impossible to train a system with sketches of every possible category. The features should be robust enough to retrieve classes that were not a part of training.

In this thesis, the work can be broadly divided into three parts. First, we develop a motion-trajectory based video retrieval strategy and propose a representation for sketches that aims to reduce the perceptual variability among different users. We also propose a novel retrieval strategy, which combines multiple feature representations for a final result using a cumulative scoring mechanism.

In order to tackle the problem of multiple modalities, we propose a sketch-based image retrieval strategy by mapping the two modalities into a lower dimensional sub-space where they are maximally correlated. We use Cluster Canonical Correlation Analysis (c-CCA), a modified version of standard CCA, for the mapping.

Finally, we investigate the use of semantic features derived from a Convolutional Neural Network, and extend the idea of sketch-based image retrieval to the task of zero-shot learning or unknown class retrieval. We define an objective function for the network such that, while training, a close miss is penalized less than a distant miss. Our training encodes semantic similarity among the different classes. We perform experiments to evaluate our algorithms on well known datasets and our results show that
our features perform reasonably well in challenging scenarios.


Year of completion:  December 2016
 Advisor : Prof. Anoop M Namboodiri

Related Publications

  • Koustav Ghosal, Ameya Prabhu, Riddhiman Dasgupta, Anoop M. Namboodiri - Learning Clustered Sub-spaces for Sketch-based Image Retrieval Proceedings of the 3rd IAPR Asian Conference on Pattern Recognition, 03-06 Nov 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. [PDF]

  • Koustav Ghosal, Anoop M. Namboodiri - A Sketch-Based Approach to Video Retrieval using Qualitative Features Proceedings of the Ninth Indian Conference on Computer Vision, Graphics and Image Processing, 14-17 Dec 2014, Bangalore, India. [PDF]