Learning Compact Visual Descriptors for Low Bit Rate Mobile Landmark Search


  • Ling-Yu Duan Peking University
  • Jie Chen Peking University
  • Rongrong Ji Peking University
  • Tiejun Huang Peking University
  • Wen Gao Peking University




Coming with the ever growing computational power of mobile devices, mobile visual search have undergone an evolution in techniques and applications. A significant trend is low bit rate visual search, where compact visual descriptors are extracted directly over a mobile and delivered as queries rather than raw images to reduce the query transmission latency. In this article, we introduce our work on low bit rate mobile landmark search, in which a compact yet discriminative landmark image descriptor is extracted by using location context such as GPS, crowd-sourced hotspot WLAN, and cell tower locations. The compactness originates from the bag-of-words image representation, with an offline learning from geotagged photos from online photo sharing websites including Flickr and Panoramio. The learning process involves segmenting the landmark photo collection by discrete geographical regions using Gaussian mixture model, and then boosting a ranking sensitive vocabulary within each region, with an “entropy” based descriptor compactness feedback to refine both phases iteratively. In online search, when entering a geographical region, the codebook in a mobile device are downstream adapted to generate extremely compact descriptors with promising discriminative ability. We have deployed landmark search apps to both HTC and iPhone mobile phones, working over the database of million scale images in typical areas like Beijing, New York, and Barcelona, and others. Our descriptor outperforms alternative compact descriptors (Chen et al. 2009; Chen et al., 2010; Chandrasekhar et al. 2009a; Chandrasekhar et al. 2009b) with significant margins. Beyond landmark search, this article will summarize the MPEG standarization progress of compact descriptor for visual search (CDVS) (Yuri et al. 2010; Yuri et al. 2011) towards application interoperability.

Author Biographies

Ling-Yu Duan, Peking University

Institute of Digital Media

Jie Chen, Peking University

Institute of Digital Media

Rongrong Ji, Peking University

Institute of Digital Media

Tiejun Huang, Peking University

Institute of Digital Media

Wen Gao, Peking University

Institute of Digital Media




How to Cite

Duan, L.-Y., Chen, J., Ji, R., Huang, T., & Gao, W. (2013). Learning Compact Visual Descriptors for Low Bit Rate Mobile Landmark Search. AI Magazine, 34(2), 67. https://doi.org/10.1609/aimag.v34i2.2469