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Themesicon: navigation pathMapping and Texticon: navigation pathImage Search

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may help to preclassify paintings.

However, automated systems have real difficulties coping with the middle range of the problem, which is the automated characterization of painting form a given painter. Evidently, this tells how much such distinction relies on semantic and cultural background. A first derivative from the QBE paradigm is the concept of target search proposing to the user samples of the collection from which (s)he will chose directions to move to (as opposed to valid or invalid items). Here, decisions are made relative to each other and not as absolute relevance judgments. One may therefore expect that for example, at some point of the process, opponent color images will be proposed so as to disambiguate the question of the dominant image color. In a way, such as system successively poses to the user a number of questions whose answer help resolving the search problem. The underlying aim of the above target search is to locate a target image as quickly as possible, ideally at first glance. There is therefore no intention to purposely propose a visit of the complete collection to the user.


Collection Guiding

Yet, we advocate this may indeed be a useful tool for collection management. We oppose the above search context where the user acts as a customer to the system (i.e. requiring a search service) to a new context where the user acts as a manager of the system. We define the aim as collection-level operations (as opposed to the above document-level operations) such as collection sorting, filtering and summarization. The basic aim of the «Collection Guiding» [CGUIDE] development is to provide a tool that would allow a (naïve) user to grasp the content of an image collection as quickly as possible. Our developments are to be compared to straightforward approaches such as:


• Linear visit of the collection, the images are just shown one after the other in any order (as in the Visual Summary of the texts in «Media Art Net»;


• Random sampling, samples of the image collection of manageable size are extracted and successively shown to the user (as in the Start Page of «Media Art Net.»

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