SIGMM Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis in Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications 2013

The SIGMM Ph.D. Thesis Award Committee is pleased to recommend this year's award for the outstanding Ph.D. thesis in multimedia computing, communications and applications to Dr. Xirong Li.

The committee considered Dr. Li's dissertation titled "Content-based visual search learned from social media" as worthy of the award as it substantially extends the boundaries for developing content-based multimedia indexing and retrieval solutions. In particular, it provides fresh new insights into the possibilities for realizing image retrieval solutions in the presence of vast information that can be drawn from the social media.

The committee considered the main innovation of Dr. Li's work to be in the development of the theory and algorithms providing answers to the following challenging research questions:  

(a) what determines the relevance of a social tag with respect to an image,
(b) how to fuse tag relevance estimators,
(c) which social images are the informative negative examples for concept learning,
(d) how to exploit socially tagged images for visual search and
(e) how to personalize automatic image tagging with respect to a user's preferences.

The significance of the developed theory and algorithms lies in their power to enable effective and efficient deployment of the information collected from the social media to enhance the datasets that can be used to learn automatic image indexing mechanisms (visual concept detection) and to make this learning more personalized for the user.

Bio of Awardee:


Dr. Xirong Li received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the Tsinghua University, China, in 2005 and 2007, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 2012, all in computer science. The title of his thesis is "Content-based visual search learned from social media". He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Key Lab of Data Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, Renmin University of China. His research interest is image search and multimedia content analysis. Dr. Li received the IEEE Transactions on Multimedia Prize Paper Award 2012, Best Paper Nominee of the ACM International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval 2012, Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad 2011, and the Best Paper Award of the ACM International Conference on Image and Video Retrieval 2010. He served as publicity co-chair for ICMR 2013.