Visual Similarity Search

In June 2011, Suzanne Little travelled to Ed-Media in Lisbon to present a paper I had co-authored. In this case, I must admit, my contribution was at most 0.01% of the effort involved in writing the paper.

Little, Suzanne; Ferguson, Rebecca and Rüger, Stefan (2011). Navigating and Discovering Educational Materials through Visual Similarity Search. In: Ed-Media 2011 – World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, June 27 – July 1 2011, Lisbon, Portugal.


We describe the development and implementation of visual multimedia similarity search within a platform for social exchange of educational experiences and material to provide services for finding related media. The SocialLearn project develops tools to support the building and exploration of personal learning networks. With the ever-increasing volumes of educational resources being made available, it is a challenge to find new material and forge appropriate learning pathways. Visual search can help when it is difficult to describe your interests in words (“search terms”) or when you want to browse for inspiration without a specific result in mind. In this paper we present the usage scenarios for visual search within education and describe the design and implementation of visual similarity search within the SocialLearn platform. The outcomes from this work are not only directly useful for the SocialLearn project but also for others who are interested in the challenges of using multimedia for education.

  1. #1 by r3becca on July 23, 2012 - 9:12 am

    See the final version of this paper at
    Little, Suzanne; Ferguson, Rebecca and Rüger, Stefan (2012). Finding and reusing learning materials with multimedia similarity search and social networks. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 21(2), pp. 255–271.

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