A feature-word-topic model for image annotation and retrieval

Cam Tu Nguyen, Natsuda Kaothanthong, Takeshi Tokuyama, Xuan Hieu Phan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Image annotation is a process of finding appropriate semantic labels for images in order to obtain a more convenient way for indexing and searching images on the Web. This article proposes a novel method for image annotation based on combining feature-word distributions, which map from visual space to word space, and word-topic distributions, which form a structure to capture label relationships for annotation. We refer to this type of model as Feature-Word-Topic models. The introduction of topics allows us to efficiently take word associations, such as {ocean, fish, coral} or {desert, sand, cactus}, into account for image annotation. Unlike previous topic-based methods, we do not consider topics as joint distributions of words and visual features, but as distributions of words only. Feature-word distributions are utilized to define weights in computation of topic distributions for annotation. By doing so, topic models in text mining can be applied directly in our method. Our Feature-word-topic model, which exploits Gaussian Mixtures for feature-word distributions, and probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis (pLSA) for word-topic distributions, shows that our method is able to obtain promising results in image annotation and retrieval.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalACM Transactions on the Web
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Gaussian mixtures
  • Image annotation
  • Image retrieval
  • Multi-instance multilabel learning
  • Probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis (pLSA)
  • Topic models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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