Sketch-Based Image Retrieval Using Novel Edge Detector and Feature Descriptor

Jianqiang Sheng, Fei Wang, Baoquan Zhao, Junkun Jiang, Yu Yang*, Tie Cai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


With the explosive increase of digital images, intelligent information retrieval systems have become an indispensable tool to facilitate users' information seeking process. Although various kinds of techniques like keyword-/content-based methods have been extensively investigated, how to effectively retrieve relevant images from a large-scale database remains a very challenging task. Recently, with the wide availability of touch screen devices and their associated human-computer interaction technology, sketch-based image retrieval (SBIR) methods have attracted more and more attention. In contrast to keyword-based methods, SBIR allows users to flexibly manifest their information needs into sketches by drawing abstract outlines of an object/scene. Despite its ease and intuitiveness, it is still a nontrivial task to accurately extract and interpret the semantic information from sketches, largely because of the diverse drawing styles of different users. As a consequence, the performance of existing SBIR systems is still far from being satisfactory. In this paper, we introduce a novel sketch image edge feature extraction algorithm to tackle the challenges. Firstly, we propose a Gaussian blur-based multiscale edge extraction (GBME) algorithm to capture more comprehensive and detailed features by continuously superimposing the edge filtering results after Gaussian blur processing. Secondly, we devise a hybrid barycentric feature descriptor (RSB-HOG) that extracts HOG features by randomly sampling points on the edges of a sketch. In addition, we integrate the directional distribution of the barycenters of all sampling points into the feature descriptor and thus improve its representational capability in capturing the semantic information of contours. To examine the efficiency of our method, we carry out extensive experiments on the public Flickr15K dataset. The experimental results indicate that the proposed method is superior to existing peer SBIR systems in terms of retrieval accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4554911
JournalWireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Information Systems
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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