A computerized annotation method achieves real-time operation and better optimization properties while preserving the architectural advantages of the generative modeling approach. A novel clustering algorithm for objects is represented by discrete distributions, or bags of weighted vectors, thereby minimizing the total within cluster distance, a criterion used by the k-means algorithm. A new mixture modeling method, the hypothetical local mapping (HLM) method, is used to efficiently build a probability measure on the space of discrete distributions. Thus, in accord with the invention every image is characterized by a statistical distribution. The profiling model specifies a probability law for distributions directly.