Multimedia Information Retrieval

MIRO - 6576

Work Area: Databases, Information Retrieval and Multimedia

Keywords multimedia information systems, human-computer interaction, logic and probability theory, multimedia information structures, storage hierarchies, evaluation of retrieval models

Start Date: 1 October 92 / Duration: 36 months / Status: running

[ participants / contact ]

Abstract MIRO is researching new methods and techniques for information storage and retrieval so that all types of media can be handled in an integrated manner through adaptive interaction with a user. Topics include human-computer interaction, logical and probabilistic models of information retrieval, run-time support for multimedia information retrieval and evaluation of retrieval effectiveness.


The Group is researching new methods and techniques for information storage and retrieval so that all types of media can be handled in an integrated manner through adaptive interaction with a user. The approach is multi-disciplinary, bringing together ideas from IR, DBMS, AI and HCI. A major aim is to develop example logics in the context of object-oriented approaches to data models, and storage structures within which new retrieval models can be described, implemented, and tested. The investigations of new retrieval models, based on formal logic and a theory of uncertainty, will address the claim that retrieval can be viewed as a form of inference. To produce convincing evidence of the practical viability of the work, the Group will study the scaleability and performance characteristics of models and designs for very large multimedia information bases. A major feature of the approach is that IR systems must be constructed to be adaptive to user interaction from the beginning. Such a process of adaptation will be useable only if thought is given to the design of appropriate user interfaces supporting the multimedia information-seeking and browsing activities of users. Hence the partners in their research will emphasise the relationship between user interfaces and the formal models.


Activities will be focused on four main themes: the modelling of retrieval, run-time support for information retrieval, human computer interaction and evaluation techniques. Meetings will be held on specific topics and a plenary workshop convened on the research activity of all the participants. Representatives from industry will be invited to attend the workshop and to evaluate the lines of research and the results produced. If specific topics are found to be of special interest or relevance, the Group will organise appropriate workshops. An e-m distribution list has been already set up for the fast dissemination of information among Group partners.

Progress and Results

The WG organised two workshops (Nov. 23-27, 1992, Siena and June 2-4, 1993, Viareggio). The first one concentrated, mainly, on the presentation and discussion of the research activities carried out by the single partners. The second focused on two themes: modelling and indexing multimedia information.

On-going research work was discussed in formal and informal presentations and round table discussions were organised. External researchers were invited to attend the workshop and participated actively in the discussions. Studies undertaken by the partners on: a logical approach to the modelling of multimedia information retrieval, probabilistic information retrieval, audio retrieval, store models for multimedia data, and multimodal interaction gave encouraging results (see publications).


The cooperation between the research groups involved in this project will promote or reinforce new research areas related to multimedia information retrieval. At first it will greatly facilitate the integration of the multiple aspects of the problem and the corresponding approaches within a common theoretical framework, so that results will initially have their main impact on existing research projects and prototypes on one hand, and improvement scientific collaboration IR community on the other hand. In the longer term, the potential for exploitation of these results by the IT industry is enormous, as the increasing use of wide-area networks and multimedia technologies is dramatically increasing the need for the new type of IR system that the Group is investigating.

Latest Publications

Information Dissemination Activies

The WG intends to publish the proceedings of the final MIRO workshop as a book in the "Workshops in Computing" series of Springel Verlag Contributions in terms of scientific papers are expected to be submitted to the main international conferences in the field of information retrieval and multimedia systems. A special issue on multimedia information retrieval in an international journal will be promoted. The WG has close links with the NoE IDOMENEUS and will use its academic and industrial liaisons to improve information dissemination.


Consiglio Nazionale delle Recerche - I
Instituto di Elaborazione dell'Informazione (CNR-IEI)
Via S. Maria 46
I - 56126 PISA


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ-INF) - CH
Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung (GMD-IPSI) - D
Université Joseph Fourier de Grenoble (UJF-LGI) - F
Technical University of Crete (TUC) - GR
University of Glasgow (GU) - UK


Dr. C. Thanos
tel +39/50 593492
fax +39/50 554342

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MIRO - 6576, August 1994

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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook