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The paper “Efficient clustering and quantisation of SIFT features: Exploiting characteristics of the SIFT descriptor and interest region detectors under image inversion” co-written by J. S. Hare, S. Samangooei and P. H. Lewis has been published in the First ACM International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval ICMR, in Trento, Italy, on April 17-20, 2011.
The SIFT keypoint descriptor is a powerful approach to encoding local image description using edge orientation histograms. Through codebook construction via k-means clustering and quantisation of SIFT features we can achieve
image retrieval treating images as bags-of-words. Intensity inversion of images results in distinct SIFT features for a single local image patch across the two images. Intensity inversions notwithstanding these two patches are structurally identical. Through careful reordering of the SIFT feature vectors, we can construct the SIFT feature that would have been generated from a non-inverted image patch starting with those extracted from an inverted image patch. Furthermore, through examination of the local feature detection stage, we can estimate whether a given SIFT feature belongs in the space of inverted features, or non-inverted features. Therefore we can consistently separate the space of SIFT features into two distinct subspaces. With this knowledge, we can demonstrate reduced time complexity of codebook construction via clustering by up to a factor of four and also reduce the memory consumption of the clustering algorithms while producing equivalent retrieval results.