Govt plans surveillance of video streams to combat terror

  • IT Ministry developing automatic system in collaboration with UET Lahore at a cost of Rs 26.62m

ISLAMABAD: An automatic security and surveillance system for video streams is being developed to help provide great support to the law enforcement agencies in combating terrorism and capturing culprits.

The system will use surveillance cameras installed in security sensitive areas which will capture and store videos of daily life activities happening around in that area. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications is developing the system in collaboration with the Al-Khwarizmi Institute of Computer Science of the University of Engineering and Technology at a cost of Rs 26.62 million.

Officials said that the project, with Dr Muhammad Usman Ghani Khan as its investigator principal, was expected to be completed this year. As per details, the automatic understanding of the videos will be performed, using image processing methods which would result in the development of several useful applications.

In addition, textual description of the video sequence will be generated using natural language processing which will save huge storage requirement. A web-based utility for videos searching and summarization will also be provided to search most relevant videos in accordance with the security needs.

They said that technically this project mainly encompasses automatic understanding of the visual scenes based on individual contents/high level features (HLFs) present in videos and added by extracting high-level features, such as human’s face, age, gender, emotions, actions and objects, human-human interaction, human-object interaction, scene settings etc, the interpretation of a video stream can be easily obtained.

The peaceful purposes of this project are monitoring crowd, restricted access points and counting occurrence of specific persons. The project will also provide substitutes for human monitoring of surveillance cameras. Such human monitoring can be compromised with drowsiness or over work scenarios; therefore, an automated solution is highly desirable since it would run all days and nights and on virtually any number of cameras without human intervention.

Finally, this automatically generated language description is summarized to present the most important contents in the provided video sequence. Successful implementation of this project can lead to useful applications related to video searching, retrieval, mining and warehousing. Given a textual description or a keyword, user of the system can search a video. In this way, user can save his time while retrieving only desired events instead of watching the whole video.

In addition, proposed research work open new horizons for a statistical explanation of the video sequences, e.g. number of persons in a video sequence, unusual events occurring in a complete day, counting humans with different age, gender, emotions and actions, list of common objects occurring in most of the videos etc. These statistics will be helpful in taking precautionary measures for eradicating terror activities.