The great success of visual features learned from deep neural networks has led to a significant effort to develop efficient and scalable technologies for image retrieval. Nevertheless, its usage in large-scale Web applications of content-based retrieval is still challenged by their high dimensionality. To overcome this issue, some image retrieval systems employ the product quantization method to learn a large-scale visual dictionary from a training set of global neural network features. These approaches are implemented in main memory, preventing their usage in big-data applications. The contribution of the work is mainly devoted to investigating some approaches to transform neural network features into text forms suitable for being indexed by a standard full-text retrieval engine such as Elasticsearch. The basic idea of our approaches relies on a transformation of neural network features with the twofold aim of promoting the sparsity without the need of unsupervised pre-training. We validate our approach on a recent convolutional neural network feature, namely Regional Maximum Activations of Convolutions (R-MAC), which is a state-of-art descriptor for image retrieval. Its effectiveness has been proved through several instance-level retrieval benchmarks. An extensive experimental evaluation conducted on the standard benchmarks shows the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed approach and how it compares to state-of-the-art main-memory indexes.
Amato, G., Carrara, F., Falchi, F., Gennaro, C., & Vadicamo, L. (2020). Large-scale instance-level image retrieval. Information Processing and Management, 57(6). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ipm.2019.102100