Application of Information Retrieval Techniques to Heterogeneous Databases in the Virtual Distributed Laboratory   [open pdf - 1MB]

The Department of Defense (DoD) maintains thousands of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Infrared (IR), Hyper-Spectral intelligence imagery and Electro-Optical (EO) target signature data. These images are essential to evaluating and testing individual algorithm methodologies and development techniques within the Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) community. The Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate (AFRL/SN) has proposed the Virtual Distributed Laboratory (VDL) to maintain a central collection of the associated imagery metadata and a query mechanism to retrieve the desired imagery. All imagery metadata is stored in relational database format for access from agencies throughout the federal government and large civilian universities. Each set of imagery is independently maintained at each agency's location along with a local copy of the associated metadata that is periodically updated and sent to the VDL. This research focuses on applying information retrieval techniques to the multiple heterogeneous imagery metadata databases to present users the most relevant images based on user defined search criteria. More specifically, it defines a hierarchical concept thesaurus development methodology to handle the complexities of heterogeneous databases and the application of two classic information retrieval models. The results indicate this type of thesaurus-based approach can significantly increase the precision and recall levels of retrieving relevant documents.

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