Implementation of the Sparse Kernel Relevance Model (SKLCRM)
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A Sparse Kernel Relevance Model for Image Annotation

Current version: 0.1. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License:

This code is a memory efficient implementation of the Continous Relevance Image Annotation Model. The code is memory frugal but disk heavy, enabling very large image datasets to be processed on machines with a modicum of RAM e.g. your laptop.

Sean Moran and Victor Lavrenko. A Sparse Kernel Relevance Model for Image Annotation. International Journal of Multimedia Information Retrieval, 2014


  1. Yari MTX library: see the compiled version (mtx) included with this distribution, or check out:
  2. Korn Shell: sudo apt-get install ksh
  3. CSH: sudo apt-get install csh

If you use the SKL-CRM code for a publication, please cite the following papers:

@article{year={2014}, issn={2192-6611}, journal={International Journal of Multimedia Information Retrieval}, doi={10.1007/s13735-014-0063-y}, title={A sparse kernel relevance model for automatic image annotation}, url={}, publisher={Springer London}, keywords={Image annotation; Object recognition; Kernel density estimation}, author={Moran, Sean and Lavrenko, Victor}, pages={1-21}, language={English} }

@inproceedings{Moran:2014:SKL:2578726.2578734, author = {Moran, Sean and Lavrenko, Victor}, title = {Sparse Kernel Learning for Image Annotation}, booktitle = {Proceedings of International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval}, series = {ICMR '14}, year = {2014}, isbn = {978-1-4503-2782-4}, location = {Glasgow, United Kingdom}, pages = {113:113--113:120}, articleno = {113}, numpages = {8}, url = {}, doi = {10.1145/2578726.2578734}, acmid = {2578734}, publisher = {ACM}, address = {New York, NY, USA}, keywords = {Image Annotation, Statistical Models, Visual Features}, }


Obtain the pre-processed dataset files for Corel5K, IAPR-TC12 and ESPGame:

These are simply the Tagprop features available for download at INRIA here:

But formatted in ROW-COLUMN-VALUE (RCV) format appropriate for loading into MTX

  1. Change the environment variables in the set_env_vars function in run_crm.ksh to values appropriate to your system

  2. Run the model: ./run_crm.ksh

Results are in res.log and on standard output. You should get the following results on the Corel5k testing dataset:

Results computed on 260.000000 words:
MPR: 0.362088
MPP: 0.324235
F1: 0.3421
Words recall > 0: 161.000000

To replicate the SKL-CRM results change the kernels in to the optimal kernels specified in our journal paper. See the comments in for further guidance on how to do this.


Copyright (C) by Sean Moran, University of Edinburgh

Please send any bug reports to