ICONS: Incident Recognition for Surveillance and Security


ICONS is a DTI/EPSRC LINK project. The ICONS project is a 3 year endeavour funded by DTI and EPSRC, and links QMW college with several industry partners, namely Safehouse technologies, BAA plc, BT and Heritage Protection Ltd. The aim of the project is to advance and exploit state-of-the-art research into:

Zero Motion Detection

The task is to distinguish background from foreground, even though the scene appearance is changing due to varying illumination and transitory movements, such as human activity or a swaying tree.

By learning pixel variations and adapting to slow changes over time, sudden changes in the scene can be detected. In the movie example below, a box is placed in the room. Temporary changes such as the person walking are ignored, but after the box has been present for a while it is detected as a foreground object.

MPEG demo (285 Kb)

Behaviour Recognition

In dynamic scenes, the task is to separate normal from abnormal behaviour. To do this, pixel phase variations are learned over time for "normal" behaviours. When a variation is observed that does not fit the model of allowable variations, it is flagged as an abnormal occurrence.

In the movie example below, the system has been trained on sequences of the subject entering the room and walking up and down. During testing, the same behaviour is ignored because it is "normal". However when the subject stops moving or jumps, that behaviour is detected as abnormal.

MPEG demo (1.3 Mb)

Current Work

A major component of the project is the detection of changes in the background of scenes in which there is a lot of activity.

Fig 1. Before processing

Fig 2. The result after processing

The first photo (Fig. 1) is a still shot from a video sequence taken by a CCTV camera looking at the forecourt of terminal 2 at Heathrow airport. The image in the camera is constantly changing due to the wind moving trees, clouds moving across the sun and camera shake as well as the constantly moving traffic. The second photo (Fig. 2) is the same shot after processing (in real time) using the algorithms being developed. We have detected that two vehicles have been parked in unexpected places. Notice that the standard background has been successfully eliminated.


The ICONS project is funded and managed by DTI and EPSRC, and involves the following academic and industrial collaborators: