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Multimedia Information Retrieval


Admission requirements

The student should have taken a course in image processing and be fluent in C/C++ programming.


Extending beyond the borders of culture, art, and science, the search for digital information is one of the major challenges of our time. Digital libraries, bio-computing & medical science, the Internet, streaming video, databases, cultural heritage collections and peer-2-peer networks have created a worldwide need for new paradigms and techniques on how to browse, search, and summarize multimedia collections. Examples of multimedia would be X-Ray and MRI scans, general photos, and video. This course focuses on the area of searching and retrieving multimedia information from digital databases and collections.

Course objectives

At the end of the Multimedia Information Retrieval course, the student should be able to

  • understand the fundamental principles of information retrieval

  • analyze an information retrieval system with regard to strengths and weaknesses and potential areas for improvements

  • explain the differences between modern search engines and database systems.

  • have insight into traditional and state-of-the-art multimedia features

  • have insight into scientifically evaluating an information retrieval system

  • have insight into the integration of intelligent algorithms into the retrieval process

  • have insight into the limits and challenges of modern multimedia information retrieval systems

  • build a modern multimedia information retrieval system which addresses contextual requirements.


The most recent timetable can be found at the LIACS website

Mode of instruction

  • lectures

  • seminar

  • student discussions

  • presentations

  • homework and software assignments

Assessment method

The final grade is composed of
(1) Presentation (50%)
(2) Homework and software assignments (25%)
(3) Project (25%)

University Leiden students do a presentation and workshop/project for 6 ECTS.
TU Delft students only do the presentation for 3 ECTS.

Reading list

  • Mandatory: Principles of Visual Information Retrieval, Michael S. Lew, Springer-Verlag, London, January 2001, ISBN 1-852333-381-2

  • Research papers from recent ACM conferences and journals


You have to sign up for classes and examinations (including resits) in uSis. Check this link for more information and activity codes.

There is a limited capacity for students from outside the master Computer Science programme. Please contact the study-advisor.

Contact information

Study coordinator Computer Science, Riet Derogee