One of the challenges in the development of an image retrieval system is to achieve an efficient indexing scheme since both developers and users, who are used to make requests in order to find a multimedia element in a large database, can be frustrated due to the long computational time of the search.

The traditional indexing schemes neither fulfil the dynamic indexing requirement, which allows to add or remove elements from the structure, nor fit well in high dimensional feature spaces due to the phenomenon so called “the curse of dimensionality.”

After analysing several indexing techniques from the literature, we have decided to implement an indexing scheme called Hierarchical Cellular Tree (HCT), which was designed to bring an effective solution especially for indexing large multimedia databases. The HCT has allowed to improve the performance of our implemented image retrieval system based on the MPEG-7 visual descriptors. We have also made some contributions by proposing some modifications to the original HCT which have resulted in an improvement of its performance. Thus, we have proposed a redefinition of the covering radius, which does not consider only the elements belonging to the cell, but also all the elements holding from that cell. Since this consideration implies a much more computationally costly algorithm, we have proposed an approximation by excess for the covering radius value. However, we have also implemented a method which allows to update the covering radius to its actual value whenever it is desired. In addition to this, the pre-emptive insertion method has been adapted as a searching technique in order to improve the performance given by the retrieval scheme called Progressive Query, which was originally proposed to be used over the HCT.

Furthermore, the HCT indexing scheme has been also adapted to a server/client architecture by using a messenger system called KSC, which allows to have the HCT loaded on a server waiting for the query requests which are launched for the several clients of the retrieval system. In addition to this, the tool used to request a search over the indexed database has been adapted to a graphic user interface, named GOS (Graphic Object Searcher), which allows the user to order the retrievals in a more friendly way.

[Thesis report in UPCommons]