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Issue No. 02 - April-June (2009 vol. 16)
ISSN: 1070-986X
pp: 16-17
Peter Stanchev , Kettering University
Farshad Fotouhi , Wayne State University
William I. Grosky , University of Michigan-Dearborn
Global information is increasingly becoming ubiquitous and pervasive, with the Web now serving as its primary repository. However, the rapid growth in the amount of information on the Web creates new challenges for information retrieval. Recently, there has been a growing interest in the investigation and development of the next-generation Web—the Semantic Web. The Semantic Web enables programs and agents to automatically parse what data is about, and therefore bridge the so-called semantic gap between the ways in which users request Web resources and the real needs of those users, ultimately improving the quality of Web information retrieval.
Multimedia information has always been part of the Semantic Web paradigm, but requires substantial effort to integrate both domain-dependent and media-dependent knowledge. The World Wide Web Consortium's incubator group on multimedia semantics (see published deliverables on this subject (see, including several use cases (see 2005/Incubator/mmsem/XGR-image-annotation/ #use_cases/).
We believe that, in addition to trying to express a media object's hidden meaning explicitly, one should formulate ways of managing media objects to help people make more intelligent use of them. We also believe that the relationship between users and media objects should be studied closely and that media objects should be interpreted relative to the particular goal or point of view of a particular user at a particular time. Content-based descriptors are necessary for doing so.
While major search engines are in the process of rolling out audiovisual search capabilities, such descriptions are definitely not sufficient. Context is important in these scenarios, and must be managed to make such searches truly useful. In light of these issues, research teams around the world have begun to work on multimedia semantics to study the measured interactions between users and media objects, with the ultimate goal of trying to satisfy the user community by providing them with the media objects they require, on the basis of their individual previous media interactions.
The arrival of Web 2.0 has added new paradigms to the media mix. Concepts such as a folksonomy, a form of emergent semantics, introduce a collaborative, dynamic approach to the generation of ontologies and media-object semantics. That such an approach results in a stable semantics, although surprising, was demonstrated at the First International Workshop on the Many Faces of Multimedia Semantics, held in conjunction with ACM Multimedia 2007 on September 28, 2007, in Augsburg, Germany. The workshop program consisted of a keynote talk and nine contributed papers in sessions entitled The Semantics of Semantics, Annotation, Semantics of Video, and Emerging Applications.
Expanded versions of four papers presented at the workshop were chosen as articles for publication in IEEE MultiMedia. The first article, An Ecosystem for Semantics, by Ansgar Scherp and Ramesh Jain, sets the stage by examining the different types of multimedia semantics and placing them all into a framework. The second article, Hybrid Tagging and Browsing Approaches for Efficient Manual Image Annotation, by Rong Yan, Apostol Natsev, and Murray Campbell, formalizes two approaches to manual annotation: tagging and browsing. The article's analysis offers some interesting insights into these approaches and leads to the formulation of several hybrid annotation algorithms. In the third article, Dynamic Pictorially Enriched Ontologies for Digital Video Libraries, by Marco Bertini, Alberto Del Bimbo, Giuseppe Serra, Carlo Torniai, Rita Cucchiara, Costantino Grana, and Roberto Vezzani, a standard linguistic-oriented ontology is enriched by visually-oriented constructs. In this approach, linguistic domain concepts correspond to various visual instances, which help in the overall annotation process. The final article, Interlinking Music-Related Data on the Web, by Yves Raimond, Christopher Sutton, and Mark Sandler, describes the construction of a set of tools for annotating musical data to integrate various data sources.
Farshad Fotouhi is a professor and chair of the department of the computer science department at Wayne State University. His research interests include XML databases, the Semantic Web, multimedia systems, bioinformatics, and query optimization. Fotouhi has a PhD in computer science from Michigan State University. He has published over 150 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings and served as program committee member of various database related conferences. He is on the editorial boards of the IEEE MultiMedia Magazine and the International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems and he has been invited to join the Steering Committee of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. His research is being supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Michigan Life Sciences Corridor, and the Ford Motor Company. Contact him at
William I. Grosky is a professor and chair of the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. His research interests include multimedia semantics, databases, information retrieval, and the Semantic Web. Grosky has a PhD from Yale University. He is an author of more than 190 peer-reviewed publications. He has given many short courses in the area of database management for local industries and has been invited to lecture on multimedia information systems worldwide. Serving also on many database and multimedia conference program committees, he was an Editor-in-Chief of IEEE MultiMedia, and is currently on the editorial boards of Advances in Multimedia, IEEE MultiMedia, International Journal on Advances in Internet Technology, International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, International Journal of Multimedia Data Engineering and Management, International Journal of Semantic Computing, International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems, Journal of Digital Information Management, Multimedia Tools and Applications, and Pattern Recognition. He has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Michigan Life Science Corridor, and Ford Motor Company. Contact him at
Peter Stanchev is a professor at Kettering University, Flint, Michigan; professor and chair at the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria; and works as a guest professor at the Institute of Information Science and Technologies, Italian National Research Council, Pisa, Italy. His research interests include multimedia systems, database systems, multimedia semantics, and medical systems. Stanchev has a PhD in mathematics and computer science from Sofia University. He has published two books, more than 150 chapters in monographs, and more than 150 conference papers and seminars. Serving on many database and multimedia conference program committees, he is currently on the editorial boards of several journals. Contact him at
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