The explosion of computer use and internet communication has placed new emphasis on the ability to store, retrieve and search for all types of images, both still photo and video images. The success and the future of visual information retrieval depends on the cutting edge research and applications explored in this book. It combines the expertise from both computer vision and database research. Unlike text retrieval and text/numeric databases the challenges of image databases are enormous. How do you use "data mining" to search for an image if you do not have "key words" to search? Exploratory Image Databases introduces the idea that it is possible to solve this problem by merging database systems into a single search and browse activity called "exploration." Exploratory Image Databases is one of the first single-author books that unifies the critical emerging topic of image databases. A new approach to image databases, the work is divided into four central parts: introduction to the problems that image database research must solve; computer vision and information retrieval techniques; image database issues; and interface and engines for visual searches. Example: Imagine the difficulty of building and using a database for "face recognition," where an image of a face is used. In order to effectively use the image a huge number of characteristics would need to be entered in the database. The goal of future image databases is to use hardware and software to recognize and categorize images without typing in characteristics.