Current research in content-based semantic image understanding is largely confined to exemplar-based approaches built on low-level feature extraction and classification. The ability to extract both low-level and semantic features and perform knowledge integration of different types of features is expected to raise semantic image understanding to a new level. Belief networks, or Bayesian networks (BN), have proven to be an effective knowledge representation and inference engine in artificial intelligence and expert systems research. Their effectiveness is due to the ability to explicitly integrate domain knowledge in the network structure and to reduce a joint probability distribution to conditional independence relationships. In this paper, we present a general-purpose knowledge integration framework that employs BN in integrating both low-level and semantic features. The efficacy of this framework is demonstrated via three applications involving semantic understanding of pictorial images. The first application aims at detecting main photographic subjects in an image, the second aims at selecting the most appealing image in an event, and the third aims at classifying images into indoor or outdoor scenes. With these diverse examples, we demonstrate that effective inference engines can be built within this powerful and flexible framework according to specific domain knowledge and available training data to solve inherently uncertain vision problems.

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Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

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Department, Program, or Center

Computer Engineering (KGCOE)


RIT – Main Campus