A learning-based similarity fusion and filtering approach for biomedical image retrieval using SVM classification and relevance feedback

IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed. 2011 Jul;15(4):640-6. doi: 10.1109/TITB.2011.2151258. Epub 2011 Jun 16.


This paper presents a classification-driven biomedical image retrieval framework based on image filtering and similarity fusion by employing supervised learning techniques. In this framework, the probabilistic outputs of a multiclass support vector machine (SVM) classifier as category prediction of query and database images are exploited at first to filter out irrelevant images, thereby reducing the search space for similarity matching. Images are classified at a global level according to their modalities based on different low-level, concept, and keypoint-based features. It is difficult to find a unique feature to compare images effectively for all types of queries. Hence, a query-specific adaptive linear combination of similarity matching approach is proposed by relying on the image classification and feedback information from users. Based on the prediction of a query image category, individual precomputed weights of different features are adjusted online. The prediction of the classifier may be inaccurate in some cases and a user might have a different semantic interpretation about retrieved images. Hence, the weights are finally determined by considering both precision and rank order information of each individual feature representation by considering top retrieved relevant images as judged by the users. As a result, the system can adapt itself to individual searches to produce query-specific results. Experiment is performed in a diverse collection of 5 000 biomedical images of different modalities, body parts, and orientations. It demonstrates the efficiency (about half computation time compared to search on entire collection) and effectiveness (about 10%-15% improvement in precision at each recall level) of the retrieval approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*