I posted this question yesterday which leads to my current question.

When I use a collection of images, which are not my own creation, to generate classifiers that an object-detection algorithm uses, how do I need to cite them?

The images are never used directly in the final algorithm, but the features in the cascade classifier that have been extracted from them. There are likely hundred(s) of images necessary to achieve a well working object-detection.

The algorithm is part of larger software project and I will need to write a report and hold a presentation about my research.

1 Answer 1


Let's look at what some popular image databases say:

  • The website for the CIFAR image databases, which are widely used in machine learning, ask that you cite them.

    This tech report (Chapter 3) describes the dataset and the methodology followed when collecting it in much greater detail. Please cite it if you intend to use this dataset.

    Learning Multiple Layers of Features from Tiny Images, Alex Krizhevsky, 2009.

  • Another often used database, the MNIST handwritten digit database, does not contain citation information, but a search on Google Scholar shows over 450 papers citing them.

It sounds like these features are an important point of your work and are extracted from training on the images. You should definitely cite the database for in your work. You should also cite them in the future if you are just using these databases to evaluate a technique (like object or hand writing recognition).

There's little harm to be liberal with citations.

  • 1
    This is certainly true, but in your examples it is a database and basically one source. In my case all of them could be from different sources. That is why I was unsure how I would cite them. Writing hundreds of links in my report does not seem to be the right way as well.
    – John
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 23:53
  • @John I misunderstood. I didn't realize you compiled your own database. There's some ML work on systems that independently fetch images or videos from online to teach itself. I'm not too familiar with that area, but it might be similar enough that you can copy what they do.
    – Ric
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 23:59

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