A region-based fuzzy feature matching approach to content-based image retrieval

Yixin Chen, James Z. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

348 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a fuzzy logic approach, UFM (unified feature matching), for region-based image retrieval. In our retrieval system, an image is represented by a set of segmented regions, each of which is characterized by a fuzzy feature (fuzzy set) reflecting color, texture, and shape properties. As a result, an image is associated with a family of fuzzy features corresponding to regions. Fuzzy features naturally characterize the gradual transition between regions (blurry boundaries) within an image and incorporate the segmentation-related uncertainties into the retrieval algorithm. The resemblance of two images is then defined as the overall similarity between two families of fuzzy features and quantified by a similarity measure, UFM measure, which integrates properties of all the regions in the images. Compared with similarity measures based on individual regions and on all regions with crisp-valued feature representations, the UFM measure greatly reduces the influence of inaccurate segmentation and provides a very intuitive quantification. The UFM has been implemented as a part of our experimental SIMPLIcity image retrieval system. The performance of the system is illustrated using examples from an image database of about 60,000 general-purpose images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1267
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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