ImageNet is an image database developed for visual object recognition built with WordNet, a lexical database for the English language. It has more than 15 million high resolution images organized into 1000 classes.
The database was presented for the first time as a poster at the 2009 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) in Florida by researchers from the Computer Science department at Princeton University.
It uses convolutional neural networks (CNNs) in image recognition and classification. Each meaningful concept in WordNet, possibly described by multiple words or word phrases, is called a "synonym set" or "synset". ImageNet tries to sort and provide images that correspond each synset.
ImageNet is a resource to researchers in the academic world, as well as educators around the world.
Since 2010, the annual ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC) is a competition where research teams evaluate their algorithms on the given data set, and compete to achieve higher accuracy on several visual recognition tasks. It uses a "trimmed" list of only 1000 image categories or "classes", including 90 of the 120 dog breeds classified by the full ImageNet schema.
The 2010s saw dramatic progress in image processing. Around 2011, a good ILSVRC classification error rate was 25%. In 2012, a deep convolutional neural network achieved 16%. In the next couple of years, error rates fell to a few percent. By 2015, researchers reported that software exceeded human ability at the narrow ILSVRC tasks.
In 2017, 29 of 38 competing teams got less than 5% wrong. In 2017 ImageNet stated it would roll out a new, much more difficult, challenge in 2018 that involves classifying 3D objects using natural language. Because creating 3D data is more costly than annotating a pre-existing 2D image, the dataset is expected to be smaller. The applications of progress in this area would range from robotic navigation to augmented reality.
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