A method for indexing and retrieving manufacturing-specific digital images based on image content comprises three steps. First, at least one feature vector can be extracted from a manufacturing-specific digital image stored in an image database. In particular, each extracted feature vector corresponds to a particular characteristic of the manufacturing-specific digital image, for instance, a digital image modality and overall characteristic, a substrate/background characteristic, and an anomaly/defect characteristic. Notably, the extracting step includes generating a defect mask using a detection process. Second, using an unsupervised clustering method, each extracted feature vector can be indexed in a hierarchical search tree. Third, a manufacturing-specific digital image associated with a feature vector stored in the hierarchicial search tree can be retrieved, wherein the manufacturing-specific digital image has image content comparably related to the image content of the query image. More particularly, can include two data reductions, the first performed based upon a query vector extracted from a query image. Subsequently, a user can select relevant images resulting from the first data reduction. From the selection, a prototype vector can be calculated, from which a second-level data reduction can be performed. The second-level data reduction can result in a subset of feature vectors comparable to the prototype vector, and further comparable to the query vector. An additional fourth step can include managing the hierarchical search tree by substituting a vector average for several redundant feature vectors encapsulated by nodes in the hierarchical search tree.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under contract DE-AC05-960R22464, awarded by the United States Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation. The United States government has certain rights in this invention.