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Method for indexing and retrieving manufacturing-specific digital imagery based on image content

United States Patent

June 15, 2004
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
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.
Ferrell; Regina K. (Knoxville, TN), Karnowski; Thomas P. (Knoxville, TN), Tobin, Jr.; Kenneth W. (Harriman, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
09/ 399,394
September 20, 1999
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.