Colloquium Speaker

Speaker: Marti Hearst
School of Information Management & Systems
University of California, Berkeley
Topic: Using Words to Search a Thousand Images:
Hierarchical Faceted Metadata in Search Interfaces
Date:Friday, November 22, 2002
Time:10:00 AM
Place:Gould-Simpson, Room 701

Refreshments will be served in the 7th-floor lobby of Gould-Simpson at 9:45 AM


Large image collections are rapidly coming online. The most popular image search interfaces are quite simple: users enter keywords, and matching images are shown in a table, ordered by some measure of relevance. These systems can be effective for very specific queries, but do not support browsing and exploratory tasks well. This is true despite the fact that ethnographic studies find that journalists, designers, art directors, and other professionals who use images heavily want to browse images in a flexible manner.

In this talk I will present an interface paradigm called Flamenco which allows users to navigate explicitly along conceptual dimensions that describe the collections' items. The interface makes use of hierarchical faceted metadata and dynamically generated query previews to seamlessly integrate category browsing with keyword searching. I will also present the results of a new usability study, conducted with art history students and fine arts images, that found strong preference results for the faceted category interface over that of the standard approach, suggesting this is a promising approach for image search interfaces.