SAC 1996
Conference paper

Recent applications of IBM's query by image content (QBIC)

View publication


The QBIC project at IBM's Almaden Research Center is studying methods to query large on-line image databases using the images' content as the basis of the queries. Examples of the content include color, color layout, texture, shape, size, orientation, and position of image objects and regions. We have developed an AIX prototype, WWW QBIC server with WWW demo, and a product called Ultimedia Manager (OS/2 and Windows). The key applications of this technology are in the areas where image patterns are the basis of the queries, and where keywords are not precise enough for satisfactory retrieval, such as in on-line stock photo, retail, art etc. In this paper we briefly outline several recent applications of QBIC. SEDONA Systems Corporation, PIP Printing and IBM announced an application where QBIC is used to help the user find images to be included in documents remotely printed in high resolution and quality; IBM in the UK is developing an "advisor" to textile designers; Prof. B. Holt (UC Davis) researches use of QBIC for retrieving art images based on examples of a motifs used across geography and time without having to use standard authority lists of text reference terms, especially when searching for visual elements that are difficult to describe in words; and Prof. J. Hethorn (UC Davis) uses Ultimedia Manager to study colors, styles and trends in fashion. In this paper we present a short overview of QBIC technology and products, and summarize the above applications.