Learning Automatic Concept Detectors from Online Video

Adrian Ulges; Christian Schulze; Markus Koch; Thomas Breuel
In: Computer Vision and Image Understanding, Vol. (online pre-print), Elsevier, 2009.


Concept detection is targeted at automatically labeling video content with semantic concepts appearing in it, like objects, locations, or activities. While concept detectors have become key components in many research prototypes for content-based video retrieval, their practical use is limited by the need for large-scale annotated training sets. To overcome this problem, we propose to train concept detectors on material downloaded from web-based video sharing portals like YouTube, such that training is based on tags given by users during upload, no manual annotation is required, and concept detection can scale up to thousands of concepts. On the downside, web video as training material is a complex domain, and the tags associated with it are weak and unreliable. Consequently, performance loss is to be expected when replacing high-quality state-of-the-art training sets with web video content. This paper presents a concept detection prototype named TubeTagger that utilizes YouTube content for an autonomous training. In quantitative experiments, we compare the performance when training on web video and on standard datasets from the literature. It is demonstrated that concept detection in web video is feasible, and that - when testing on YouTube videos - the YouTube-based detector outperforms the ones trained on standard training sets. By applying the YouTube-based prototype to datasets from the literature, we further demonstrate that: (1) If training annotations on the target domain are available, the resulting detectors significantly outperform the YouTube-based tagger. (2) If no annotations are available, the YouTube-based detector achieves comparable performance to the ones trained on standard datasets (moderate relative performance losses of 11.4% is measured) while offering the advantage of a fully automatic, scalable learning. (3) By enriching conventional training sets with online video material, performance improvements of 11.7% can be achieved when generalizing to domains unseen in training.



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