Content-based image indexing and searching using Daubechies' wavelets

James Ze Wang, Gio Wiederhold, Oscar Firschein, Sha Xin Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

297 Scopus citations


This paper describes WBIIS (Wavelet-Based Image Indexing and Searching), a new image indexing and retrieval algorithm with partial sketch image searching capability for large image databases. The algorithm characterizes the color variations over the spatial extent of the image in a manner that provides semantically meaningful image comparisons. The indexing algorithm applies a Daubechies' wavelet transform for each of the three opponent color components. The wavelet coefficients in the lowest few frequency bands, and their variances, are stored as feature vectors. To speed up retrieval, a two-step procedure is used that first does a crude selection based on the variances, and then refines the search by performing a feature vector match between the selected images and the query. For better accuracy in searching, two-level multiresolution matching may also be used. Masks are used for partial-sketch queries. This technique performs much better in capturing coherence of image, object granularity, local color/texture, and bias avoidance than traditional color layout algorithms. WBIIS is much faster and more accurate than traditional algorithms. When tested on a database of more than 10 000 general-purpose images, the best 100 matches were found in 3.3 seconds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-328
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal on Digital Libraries
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences


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