Section: Research Program


Research activities in Linkmedia are organized along three major lines of research which build upon the scientific domains already mentioned.

Unsupervised motif discovery

As an alternative to supervised learning techniques, unsupervised approaches have emerged recently in multimedia with the goal of discovering directly patterns and events of interest from the data, in a totally unsupervised manner. In the absence of prior knowledge on what we are interested in, meaningfulness can be judged based on one of three main criteria: unexpectedness, saliency and recurrence. This last case posits that repeating patterns, known as motifs, are potentially meaningful, leading to recent work on the unsupervised discovery of motifs in multimedia data  [50], [48], [49].

Linkmedia seeks to develop unsupervised motif discovery approaches which are both accurate and scalable. In particular, we consider the discovery of repeating objects in image collections and the discovery of repeated sequences in video and audio streams. Research activities are organized along the following lines:

  • developing the scientific basis for scalable motif discovery: sparse histogram representations; efficient co-occurrence counting; geometry and time aware indexing schemes;

  • designing and evaluating accurate and scalable motif discovery algorithms applied to a variety of multimedia content: exploiting efficient geometry or time aware matching functions; fast approximate dynamic time warping; symbolic representations of multimedia data, in conjunction with existing symbolic data mining approaches;

  • developing methodology for the interpretation, exploitation and evaluation of motif discovery algorithms in various use-cases: image classification; video stream monitoring; transcript-free natural language processing (NLP) for spoken document.

Description and structuring

Content-based analysis has received a lot of attention from the early days of multimedia, with an extensive use of supervised machine learning for all modalities  [51], [45]. Progress in large scale entity and event recognition in multimedia content has made available general purpose approaches able to learn from very large data sets and performing fairly decently in a large number of cases. Current solutions are however limited to simple, homogeneous, information and can hardly handle structured information such as hierarchical descriptions, tree-structured or nested concepts.

Linkmedia aims at expanding techniques for multimedia content modeling, event detection and structure analysis. The main transverse research lines that Linkmedia will develop are as follows:

  • context-aware content description targeting (homogeneous) collections of multimedia data: latent variable discovery; deep feature learning; motif discovery;

  • secure description to enable privacy and security aware multimedia content processing: leveraging encryption and obfuscation; exploring adversarial machine learning in a multimedia context; privacy-oriented image processing;

  • multilevel modeling with a focus on probabilistic modeling of structured multimodal data: multiple kernels; structured machine learning; conditional random fields.

Linking and collection data model

Creating explicit links between media content items has been considered on different occasions, with the goal of seeking and discovering information by browsing, as opposed to information retrieval via ranked lists of relevant documents. Content-based link creation has been initially addressed in the hypertext community for well-structured texts  [44] and was recently extended to multimedia content  [52], [47], [46]. The problem of organizing collections with links remains mainly unsolved for large heterogeneous collections of unstructured documents, with many issues deserving attention: linking at a fine semantic grain; selecting relevant links; characterizing links; evaluating links; etc.

Linkmedia targets pioneering research on media linking by developing scientific ground, methodology and technology for content-based media linking directed to applications exploiting rich linked content such as navigation or recommendation. Contributions are concentrated along the following lines:

  • algorithmic of linked media for content-based link authoring in multimedia collections: time-aware graph construction; multimodal hypergraphs; large scale k-nn graphs;

  • link interpretation and characterization to provide links semantics for interpretability: text alignment; entity linking; intention vs. extension;

  • linked media usage and evaluation: information retrieval; summarization; data models for navigation; link prediction.