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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Attentional Mechanisms for Interactive Image Exploration

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:730172

  • Received: 31 December 2003
  • Published:


A lot of work has been devoted to content-based image retrieval from large image databases. The traditional approaches are based on the analysis of the whole image content both in terms of low-level and semantic characteristics. We investigate in this paper an approach based on attentional mechanisms and active vision. We describe a visual architecture that combines bottom-up and top-down approaches for identifying regions of interest according to a given goal. We show that a coarse description of the searched target combined with a bottom-up saliency map provides an efficient way to find specified targets on images. The proposed system is a first step towards the development of software agents able to search for image content in image databases.

Keywords and phrases

  • exploratory vision
  • bottom-up exploration
  • top-down exploration
  • attention
  • situated vision

Authors’ Affiliations

Situated Perception Group, Human-Machine Communication Department, LIMSI-CNRS, BP 133, Orsay, 91403, France
France Telecom Research & Development, 2 Pierre Marzin Avenue, BP 50702, Lannion Cedex, 22307, France
École Normale Supérieure, 45 rue d'Ulm, Paris Cedex 05, 75230, France


© J. Machrouh and P. Tarroux 2005

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.