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Proceedings Paper

Content-based image retrieval by matching hierarchical attributed region adjacency graphs
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Paper Abstract

Content-based image retrieval requires a formal description of visual information. In medical applications, all relevant biological objects have to be represented by this description. Although color as the primary feature has proven successful in publicly available retrieval systems of general purpose, this description is not applicable to most medical images. Additionally, it has been shown that global features characterizing the whole image do not lead to acceptable results in the medical context or that they are only suitable for specific applications. For a general purpose content-based comparison of medical images, local, i.e. regional features that are collected on multiple scales must be used. A hierarchical attributed region adjacency graph (HARAG) provides such a representation and transfers image comparison to graph matching. However, building a HARAG from an image requires a restriction in size to be computationally feasible while at the same time all visually plausible information must be preserved. For this purpose, mechanisms for the reduction of the graph size are presented. Even with a reduced graph, the problem of graph matching remains NP-complete. In this paper, the Similarity Flooding approach and Hopfield-style neural networks are adapted from the graph matching community to the needs of HARAG comparison. Based on synthetic image material build from simple geometric objects, all visually similar regions were matched accordingly showing the framework's general applicability to content-based image retrieval of medical images.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5370, Medical Imaging 2004: Image Processing, (12 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.535294
Show Author Affiliations
Benedikt Fischer, RWTH-Aachen (Germany)
Christian J. Thies, RWTH-Aachen (Germany)
Mark Oliver Guld, RWTH-Aachen (Germany)
Thomas M. Lehmann, RWTH-Aachen (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5370:
Medical Imaging 2004: Image Processing
J. Michael Fitzpatrick; Milan Sonka, Editor(s)

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