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Home arrow Software Inventory - ISIS
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ISIS – Interactive SImilarity Search


Contact Point:

Heiko Schuldt ( )

University of Basel, Switzerland

Technical Contact Points:

Paola Ranaldi ( )
Michael Springmann (
Gert Brettlecker (

Type of software:


Descriptive Keywords:

Content-Based Multimedia Retrieval, Image Retrieval, Audio Retrieval, Video Retrieval, P2P, High-dimensional index, VA-File, Relevance Feedback

Potential Use and Applications:

ISIS consists of a set of services, which can be used for content-based retrieval. The entire system or individual services can be used to build digital library applications. E.g. it provides the user interface and many of the core services for the DelosDLMS.

General Description:

ISIS stands for Interactice SImilarity Search and is a prototype application for information retrieval in multimedia collections originally built at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. The development has continued at UMIT, Hall i.T., Austria and now at the University of Basel, Switzerland. It supports content-based retrieval of images, audio and video content, and the combination of any of these media types with sophisticated text retrieval. An online demonstration is available at http://isisdemo.cs.unibas.ch (username / password upon request). One of the main considerations in designing ISIS was to ensure high scalability and flexibility. Therefore, instead of implementing one monolithic application, ISIS consists of a set of specialized application services for similarity search which are combined by the OSIRIS middleware. The ISIS services can be easily distributed among several nodes in a network. Detailed information about ISIS and OSIRIS is presented in “The OSIRIS Process Support Middleware and the ISIS Process-Based Digital Library Application”

Technical Description:

ISIS is a process-based digital library application, which is implemented as a set of services that act on top of OSIRIS, a distributed workflow execution engine (see OSIRIS in the Software Inventory for more details). Its main parts have been implemented in C++ and will run on Microsoft Windows Systems providing the OSIRIS middleware. A web service interface exists to ease communication with external services. Using O’GRAPE (OSIRIS GRAphical Process Editor), new workflows to combine services can easily be created. Documentation for each operation provided by ISIS exists; each can even be tested via online forms.

Required User Skills:

For using the online demonstration, no special skills are required. A web interface optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer is provided at above mentioned location. For using some services in other digital library applications, understanding the concept of SOA (Service-Oriented Architectures) is essential. For deploying ISIS in a new environment, the ability to setup and manage OSIRIS is required.

Pre-Requisites for Installation:

At least one PC with Microsoft Windows 2000 or newer, the OSIRIS platform, enough free disc space to hold all desired content of the digital library, indexes, and log files (rule of thumb: 1.5 times the size of the content should be sufficient).

Conditions of Use:

Please contact the authors.


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