This project will develop user-oriented image management of distribution technologies for digital libraries. An interdisciplinary team of computer and information scientists from US, China, and Taiwan will investigate efficient ways to search digital collections of images using an integrated approach. The US team of researchers consists of faculty members and students of Simmons College, University of Pennsylvania, and The Pennsylvania State University. Several technology areas will be studied: (1) ontology-based image retrieval, (2) machine learning based image retrieval including object-based partial image search, (3) automatic image annotation, and (4) intellectual property (IP) protection techniques. The team will use real-world digital library datasets to develop user-oriented technologies suitable for practical deployment. Notably, the research will utilize an existing collection consisting of a large quantity of images associated with the first Emperor of China of all types of resolution and with enormous cultural significance as well as the existing rich descriptive information.

This project will advance understanding of digital imagery management and distribution technologies. It is likely to result in more efficient and effective methods for retrieving images from large collections. It will provide means to decrease labor-intensive activities by providing automatic image annotations. It will enable more willing networking of quality image collections in distributed locations with the access model and IP techniques to be developed by the project. The project has significance for addressing the issue of user-oriented image-related technologies in a general way. The resulting techniques can be applied to other subject contents as well as technology-driven domains, such as computer vision.

Among the positive broader impacts will be enhancement of the international infrastructure for digital library research, providing larger-scale universal access to culture and heritages than what is possible now, and expanding the participation of the global digital library research community. This project will also address the national need for scientists by training interdisciplinary graduate students and by offering new interdisciplinary courses for undergraduate students. This international partnership will promote the involvement of small college and minority students in this type of advanced multidisciplinary research.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
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Maria Zemankova
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Simmons College
United States
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