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Cross-modal domain adaptation for text-based regularization of image semantics in image retrieval systems

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In query-by-semantic-example image retrieval, images are ranked by similarity of semantic descriptors. These descriptors are obtained by classifying each image with respect to a pre-defined vocabulary of semantic concepts. In this work, we consider the problem of improving the accuracy of semantic descriptors through cross-modal regularization, based on auxiliary text. A cross-modal regularizer, composed of three steps, is proposed. Training images and text are first mapped to a common semantic space. A regularization operator is then learned for each concept in the semantic vocabulary. This is an operator which maps the semantic descriptors of images labeled with that concept to the descriptors of the associated texts. A convex formulation of the learning problem is introduced, enabling the efficient computation of concept-specific regularization operators. The third step is the selection of the most suitable operator for the image to regularize. This is implemented through a quantization of the semantic space, where a regularization operator is associated with each quantization cell. Overall, the proposed regularizer is a non-linear mapping, implemented as a piecewise linear transformation of the semantic image descriptors to regularize. This transformation is a form of cross-modal domain adaptation. It is shown to achieve better performance than recent proposals in the domain adaptation literature, while requiring much simpler optimization. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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