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Bourns Teams up with Lockheed Martin in Video Search Project

DARPA Grant Awarded to UCR for Surveillance Video Research

Bourns College of Engineering is partnering with Lockheed Martin to develop a search mechanism for locating images that match as part of multi-million-dollar research project.

(January 28, 2009)

Amit Roy-Chowdhury, assistant professor, electrical engineering, Bourns College of Engineering.Enlarge

Amit Roy-Chowdhury, assistant professor, electrical engineering, Bourns College of Engineering.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – Partnering with Lockheed Martin, UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering is one of three research teams receiving a grant to develop video search capabilities for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The $230,000 grant ($180,000 from DARPA and $50,000 from Lockheed Martin) provides researchers one year to come up with a prototype and to find out which teams advance to the next phase.

The research teams are provided with a list of activities to be identified throughout the data base of surveillance video footage over a two-hour period. Activities to be identified include footage of a person or persons unloading a vehicle, going into a building or digging a hole.

The goal of the work is to develop tools to assist users to search through video archives or live video streams and to increase analyst productivity and efficiency overall.

“It will be like a ‘Google search’ video database,” said Amit Roy-Chowdhury, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Bourns, who is working on the “Activity Recognition Integrated with Event Search” project. “It will be instructed to find all other similar video clips of human activity in this footage which will be achieved through an abstract mathematical description of the activity.”

Roy-Chowdhury said that although the project relates to military surveillance, commercial applications would be possible for non-military videos such as news or sports videos. In fact, in a separate project, he has a graduate student working on similar image search methods in personal photo libraries and biological datasets.

“It’s a very prestigious project with Lockheed Martin and the awardees include some of the top research groups in video analysis in the country, “he said.

The Lockheed team also includes faculty from UC Santa Barbara, the University of Texas at Austin, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Central Florida.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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