Components chosen to squeeze MPEG-7

Components chosen to squeeze MPEG-7
Steve Bush The technical components that will make up MPEG-7, the latest Moving Pictures Expert Group standard, have now been selected. Unlike current MPEGs which are compression standards, MPEG-7 is an indexing scheme designed to tackle the growing problem of managing and identifying multimedia content. The basic unit of indexing will be a ‘descriptor’. This can take several forms, for instance the predominant colour in a picture, a text field containing the name of a film’s producer, or shape information. For each indexing situation, a ‘description scheme’ will be generated. The description scheme will be a template of descriptors which apply to the type of material being indexed. It is the aim of MPEG to produce standard description schemes for such items as photographs, movies and audio-visual material. For users whose needs are not met by the standard description schemes, a ‘description definition language’ will be defined to enable custom description schemes to be generated. There will be a broad range of descriptors. Opinions are currently split as to whether there will be a need to allow custom descriptor creation. Any such feature will not appear in early implementations. MPEG-7 will not attempt to standardise search engines and information extraction mechanisms as found on the Internet. “We only standardise what is needed for inter-working. The rest should be left to competition in the market place,” said Dr Leonardo Chiariglione of CSELT in Italy, and convener of MPEG. The framework for MPEG-7 came out of the 132-person brain-storm held in Lancaster earlier this year where the technology going into MPEG-7 was cherry-picked from almost 400 proposals. The recent MPEG meeting in Seoul was the first time the results of the Lancaster work was presented publicly.


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