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Image and Video Searching on the World Wide Web

The proliferation of multimedia on the World Wide Web has led to the introduction of Web search engines for images, video, and audio. On the Web, multimedia is typically embedded within documents that provide a wealth of indexing information. Harsh computational constraints imposed by the economics of advertising-supported searches restrict the complexity of analysis that can be performed at query time. And users may be unwilling to do much more than type a keyword or two to input a query. Therefore, the primary sources of information for indexing multimedia documents are text cues extracted from HTML pages and multimedia document headers. Off-line analysis of the content of multimedia documents can be successfully employed in Web search engines when combined with these other information sources. Content analysis can be used to categorize and summarize multimedia, in addition to providing cues for finding similar documents. This paper was delivered as a keynote address at the Challenge of Image Retrieval ’99. It represents a personal and purposefully selective review of image and video searching on the World Wide Web.

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