Introduction to the Bag of Features Paradigm for Image Classification and Retrieval

by   Stephen O'Hara, et al.

The past decade has seen the growing popularity of Bag of Features (BoF) approaches to many computer vision tasks, including image classification, video search, robot localization, and texture recognition. Part of the appeal is simplicity. BoF methods are based on orderless collections of quantized local image descriptors; they discard spatial information and are therefore conceptually and computationally simpler than many alternative methods. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, BoF-based systems have set new performance standards on popular image classification benchmarks and have achieved scalability breakthroughs in image retrieval. This paper presents an introduction to BoF image representations, describes critical design choices, and surveys the BoF literature. Emphasis is placed on recent techniques that mitigate quantization errors, improve feature detection, and speed up image retrieval. At the same time, unresolved issues and fundamental challenges are raised. Among the unresolved issues are determining the best techniques for sampling images, describing local image features, and evaluating system performance. Among the more fundamental challenges are how and whether BoF methods can contribute to localizing objects in complex images, or to associating high-level semantics with natural images. This survey should be useful both for introducing new investigators to the field and for providing existing researchers with a consolidated reference to related work.


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