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UCF Researchers Perform World's First Automated Mass-Crowd Count (ucf.edu) 32

subh_arya writes: Automatic crowd counting has been an extremely challenging computer vision problem. However, researchers from UCF, seem to have found a reasonably accurate solution using sophisticated probabilistic models. Although there has been several previous efforts in this direction, this is the first time the technology has been put to use on a realistic scenario where around 550,000 protesters participated for Catalunyan Independence. A freely available technical paper published in IEEE Trans. on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 2015 is available here.
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UCF Researchers Perform World's First Automated Mass-Crowd Count

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  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday October 15, 2015 @11:52AM (#50736281) Homepage Journal
    We learned years ago that people from Florida don't know how to count.
  • ....find out how many people actually were at the million man march.
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      I haven't read the paper and I'm still (and will be for a long while to come) rather wrapped up in an NDA but the end result (perhaps the process) is not new by any means. It may be more accurate and I'm sure the process is different but there has been machine automated crowd counting (post event) for quite some time. It wasn't easy or fast but it's been done before. In fact, some of the methods used came from privately funded research from a school not that far away.

      I'll definitely give the paper a read bu

  • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Thursday October 15, 2015 @12:02PM (#50736387)
    "Food riot in progress. Approximately 1500 civilians. No weapons evident."
  • by PPH ( 736903 )

    Can't you just RFID tag their ears?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      RFID-tagged ears are for COWS!

      Oh, wait...

  • First application would seem to be hooking this up to a system to automatically dispatch a drone to monitor if not disperse any detected crowd. Somewhere someone's salivating...

    • The scoops are coming!

      Your protest for more Soylent Yellow means you'll be turned into Soylent Green!

      Soylent Green is People!!!

  • Writting "around 500,000" is quite controversial: the BBC article you link points to authorities' provided numbers.

    "Local police said 1.4 million people turned out but the Spanish government put the figure at no more than 550,000".

    So either you don't say anything or provided the number provided by the article.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      When there's no provable number involved, everybody uses the number that suits their own interests. How else can you explain estimates that vary by 3x?

      Police? If the issue isn't police malfeasance, they like the higher number. If there was a riot, the large number supports their "need" for more police officers, weapons and expanded powers (greater leniency on the use of violence, more intelligence gathering, etc). If the protest was non-violent, they get to claim the credit for successfully managing it

      • by moeinvt ( 851793 )

        "everybody uses the number that suits their own interests."

        Very true, and don't forget the media. They always exaggerate or underestimate numbers based on their particular biases.

        BLM protest++
        Gun rights rally--
        etc.

    • Writting "around 500,000" is quite controversial:

      I don't think I wrote "around 500,000". AFAIR, I quoted the number from BBC.

  • Great!

    Now all we need to do is get that mass facial recognition tech enabled, and dovetailed with the personal-info databases in the NSA, then we don't have to "worry" about "protesters" ever again!

  • It's easy! Just count arms, legs and heads, and divide by five.
    • These are sheeple, so no arms. But your math still works fine. Excellent algorithm

    • It's easy! Just count arms, legs and heads, and divide by five.

      News Item: "AP Next year's paralympics competition has been cancelled due to low numbers of participants and spectators. ... A quick survey of raised hands in the audience when asked 'would you attend next year' supports the declining numbers ..."

      On the actual topic, this is not a "count". It is a statistical measurement. You "count" the number of things your statistical operations identify as "person", but it's still statistics. That would make it an inappropriate way of conducting a census, for one thin

  • Opening line from UCF: "Human detection in dense crowds is an important problem..."

    I have never found difficulty detecting humans in a crowd. OK, nit picking, but I have a point.

    Skimming TFA I sense that much mathematical rigor went into this work, which is why I love science. But the opening sentence , above, is a dismal start in presenting the work. There is more convoluted verbiage following that, all of which suggests an eager young person hoping to impress and earn a Masters degree.

    Communication is ess

    • I have never found difficulty detecting humans in a crowd. OK, nit picking, but I have a point.

      He didn't write that it was a difficult problem for human beings, he wrote that it is an important problem in the context of computer vision. What you find difficult or easy can be exactly the opposite for computer vision, and whether a problem is important to solve or not has nothing to do with how easy it is for you to do it manually.

      For example, I have a current remote sensing problem that is important for us to solve. It is easy for a human being to look at the data and determine the answer. Unfortun

  • Before we had quotes such as "50000 persons according to protesters, and 30000 according to the police".

    Now we will have "50000 persons according to protesters, 30000 according to the police, and -1.045e18 according to the computer."

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