Efficient content-based indexing of large image databases

Essam A. El-Kwae, Mansur R. Kabuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Large image databases have emerged in various applications in recent years. A prime requisite of these databases is the means by which their contents can be indexed and retrieved. A multilevel signature file called the Two Signature Multi-Level Signature File (2SMLSF) is introduced as an efficient access structure for large image databases. The 2SMLSF encodes image information into binary signatures and creates a tree structure that can be efficiently searched to satisfy a user's query. Two types of signatures are generated. Type I signatures are used at all tree levels except the leaf level and are based only on the domain objects included in the image. Type II signatures, on the other hand, are stored at the leaf level and are based on the included domain objects and their spatial relationships. The 2SMLSF was compared analytically to existing signature file techniques. The 2SMLSF significantly reduces the storage requirements; the index structure can answer more queries; and the 2SMLSF performance significantly improves over current techniques. Both storage reduction and performance improvement increase with the number of objects per image and the number of images in the database. For an example large image databases, a storage reduction of 78% may be achieved while the performance improvement may reach 98%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-210
Number of pages40
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • Algorithms
  • Content analysis and indexing
  • Document managing
  • Documentation
  • H.3.3 [Information Storage and Retrieval]: Information Search and Retrieval - Query formulation
  • Image databases
  • Index generation
  • Multimedia databases
  • Query formulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems


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