Doug Ramsey, email@example.com,
Federal Agency Awards $600,000 for UCSD Technology to Combat
Trivedi, CVRR director and UCSD professor of electrical
and computer engineering.
May 30, 2003 -- With funding from a federal interagency organization
for combating terrorism, scientists at the University of California,
San Diego (UCSD) are developing an automated system for detecting
and tracking faces in a crowd. The surveillance system links a network
of 360-degree cameras which interact "intelligently,"
thanks to sophisticated computer algorithms developed at UCSD's
Computer Vision and Robotics Research (CVRR) laboratory.
Support Working Group (TSWG) has awarded $600,000 to the 18-month
project led by CVRR director Mohan Trivedi, a professor of electrical
and computer engineering at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering.
"This award will allow us to build on some of the work we are
doing with other agencies such as SPAWAR," said Trivedi, who
is also a program leader in the California Institute for Telecommunications
and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)˛], a partnership of UCSD and
UC Irvine . "Our close relationships with corporations and
local agencies in San Diego, including 'first responders,' will
also allow us to test these new systems very quickly in the real
world once the technology is developed."
TSWG is a twenty-year
old interagency forum that identifies, prioritizes, and coordinates
interagency and international research and development (R&D)
requirements for combating terrorism. In response to a special Broad
Agency Announcement (a call for bids) post-9/11, TSWG received over
12,500 research proposals from industry, academic, government and
national labs. Of those, only roughly 60 have been awarded approximately
Trivedi talks about the project's research objectives
-- making the camera networks smart and robust.
Length: 1:17 [Video]
explains why the Jacobs School and his lab are uniquely
suited to do the research -- and test new systems in
the real world.
Length: 1:39 [Video]
The UCSD project
is one of nine winning proposals that deal with video for public
safety and surveillance. "Detecting and tracking a possible
terrorist is of paramount importance in combating terrorism,"
said TSWG program manager David Herrington. "UCSD's proposal
was consistent with our overall view that networks of 'smart' cameras
could be one of the principal solutions to this problem - and a
solution that could happen rather quickly with the appropriate level
The UCSD researchers
have already developed multi-camera systems for monitoring traffic.
Dubbed DIVAs (for 'distributed interactive video arrays'), they
link different types of cameras, including omnivision, 'panoramic'
cameras. "The TSWG project is a great recognition for UCSD
and it is clearly an important project for us," said Trivedi.
"It gives us an opportunity to contribute toward making our
communities safer. It also involves resolution of some challenging
research problems in multi-camera, system-based tracking and event
recognition. A few of the same challenges present themselves when
we switch from watching traffic on a highway, to scanning faces
in a crowd." One example Trivedi points out is illumination
- lighting: "These cameras need to be able to detect a face
or body whether it's a dark cloudy day, or a sunny one. So we are
developing computer algorithms that will allow the cameras to automatically
adjust for any lighting level." Another important feature of
the UCSD project is to incorporate automatic camera "handover"
capability, to make multiple cameras work cooperatively. Based upon
the tracking results performed by one set of cameras, other cameras
can capture higher resolution images for human and event recognition.
says another research goal in the future is to make the system reconfigurable.
"If a crisis happens in an area not currently covered by surveillance,
a mobile network could be dropped into the crisis area, and quickly
reconfigure itself to adapt to the new location," he explained.
"We need to find ways for optimizing power, bandwidth, quality
of service for networks of video and other sensor networks"
The effort will include development of wireless networking for the
outdoor cameras-tapping a key area of expertise at both the Jacobs
School and Cal-(IT)˛.
up in 1982, TSWG is a stand-alone interagency working group under
the oversight of the Department of State's Coordinator for Counterterrorism,
and is managed by the Department of Defense. TSWG's total funding
has risen from $8 million in fiscal 1992 to $111 million in FY 2002,
and roughly $200 million in the current fiscal year. Most of its
funding now comes from its 80 participating departments and agencies,
for which it acts as a clearinghouse for investments in technology
for combating terrorism, with a focus on shorter-term projects (typically
12-18 months) than are typical for other defense-related agencies
such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Working Group http://www.tswg.gov/tswg/home.htm
Computer Vision and Robotics Research Lab http://cvrr.ucsd.edu
Jacobs School of Engineering http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/