It is my pleasure to announce the overall winner of the 2009 ACM Multimedia Open Source Software Competition. This year, the honor falls on “Caliph & Emir: MPEG-7 photo annotation and retrieval”, an open-source project led by Mathias Lux at Klagenfurt University, Austria (http://sourceforge.net/projects/caliph-emir/).
Congratulations to Mathias and his co-contributors for producing a high-quality open-source implementation of a large part of the MPEG-7 standard, with significant potential impact.
I would also like to thank all of you for participating in this year’s open-source software competition, and for contributing to the research and open-source communities. We had 17 high-quality submissions this year (originating from 12 countries), of which 5 projects were selected by the review committee for presentation, demonstration and publication.
Thank you again for making this a high-quality competition.
Apostol (Paul) Natsev, Open Source Competition Chair
After being there last year with LIRe (find the paper here) I know that the open source software competition is a very high level and challenging track. I feel totally honored and I really appreciate this!
Lire 0.7 is a major release fixing a lot of bugs and introducing several new features including new descriptor, a simplified way to use descriptors by introducing new generic searchers and indexers as well as an generalized interface for image descriptors. There are also several improvements in indexing and search speed (especially in autocolorcorrelogram). Furthermore retrieval performance was optimized based on the Wang 1000 data set. If you use Lire 0.7 to update an existing version, please make sure that your indices are created newly from scratch. All new features have also found their way into LireDemo, which now also supports multi-threaded indexing.
Thanks for comments, code and general comments go again to Savvas Chatzichristofis, Rodrigo Carvalho Rezende, Marko Keuschnig, Christian Penz, Oge Marques, Anna-Maria Pasterk and Christoph Kofler.
Due to requests I took some time and built a Java 1.5 version instead of the 1.6 versions. A simple compile with 1.5 wouldn’t help as I use the swing layout classes of NetBeans (now integrated in Java 1.6), so imports have to be re-adjusted and the library has to be added. Furthermore I created an explicit build target in Caliph to create a 1.5 version of the cbir jar file. This snapshot works fine with MacOS (as far as I’ve heard) and on Windows.
Today I did something I should have done a long time ago: I switched (within sf.net) from cvs to subversion. Now login, update and commit are much faster and development gets easier. If you are interested you can browse the repository here: http://caliph-emir.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/caliph-emir/. If you want to check out and get the code, then you can find the documentation on sf.net.
Today I created a presentation on Caliph and Emir and I looked up how long these open source projects are now part of my (online & research) life. In July 2004 I put the first open source version of Caliph & Emir online and ~ 6.700 downloads happened from then till now. Furthermore the Java Web Start files of Caliph and Emir were accessed about 1.300 times. Lire was more successful: Going online in 2006 it was ~3.600 times download till now.
Taking a look around I have to say that Caliph is still the only MPEG-7 tool for semantic descriptions. Due to the fact that it is a prototype (with virtually no productive use) i assume that there is currently no need for such a tool. Reported use is focused on MPEG-7 development and research projects. Lire on the other hand has a more active user base: I know several projects where Lire is used. Seems like there actually is a need for an open source Java library for content based image retrieval.
In Lire 0.5.4 some bugs were fixed: The scalable color descriptor (color histogram) was not compliant to the MPEG-7 standard, which is now fixed. The color only search was changed to use the color layout descriptor and a bug in the edge histogram descriptor was hunted down.
Note that you have to re-index your files: Your old index cannot be used with the new version as 2 descriptors have changed. Furthermore all binary files have been compiled with Java 6.0. So if you need a Java 1.5 version you’ll need to recompile yourself (ant build file is included) and include the swing layout class library from NetBeans.
The LireDemo GUI application has also been updated: A new function for creating image mosaics has been introduced and the indexing of digital photos is now faster than ever as only the EXIF thumbnails – if available – are used instead of the whole image.
Go to the LIRe page for download links and further information.
Caliph & Emir 0.9.25 is mainly a maintainance release: There were some bugs in the content based image retrieval classes. Scalable Color descriptor extraction was fixed and yields now the same results as the MPEG-7 reference software. Furthermore ppm and bmp images are now supported. Note that Java 6.0 is required for the binary version and 1.5 for building it yourself.
The Scalable Color Descriptor was fixed: Now it matches the XM implementation (thanks to Fabrizio Falchi and Bastian Hoesch). EdgeHistogramImpl has also been updated according to a bug report & patch by Bastian Hoesch. Furthermore the DominantColor class was adapted based on suggestions by Janine Lachner. New feature is the support for ppm and bmp images.
The release of Lucene 2.1.0 has been announced recently. The new release includes bugfixes, performance improvements, new features and removed some deprecated things. You can find the whole list of changes in the CHANGES.txt file. Some new features of interest are:
A new “Match All Documents” query option in QueryParser
This release focuses on the visualization of repositories and search results in Emir. Alt + mouse wheel now changes size of thumbnails in the visualization and the movement within the visualization has been fixed. It further includes library updates and a new demo mode (endless loop of iterative arrangement in visualization) in Emir.
The demo session on the 77th MPEG Meeting was quite a success, many people were interested in the visualization. Many talks about standardisation, surveillance and other things where visual analysis could be needed took place at the demo desk. After the demo session I was asked to record a video of the visualization of Emir. Well that was easy. I’ve published the video here, optional download here. >> Watch the video