Section: Overall Objectives
Pulsar is focused on cognitive vision systems for Activity Recognition. We are particularly interested in the real-time semantic interpretation of dynamic scenes observed by sensors. We thus study spatio-temporal activities performed by human beings, animals and/or vehicles in the physical world.
Our objective is to propose new techniques in the field of cognitive vision and cognitive systems for mobile object perception, behavior understanding, activity model learning, dependable activity recognition system design and evaluation . More precisely Pulsar proposes new computer vision techniques for mobile object perception with a focus on real-time algorithms and 4D analysis (e.g. 3D models and long-term tracking). Our research work includes knowledge representation and symbolic reasoning for behavior understanding. We also study how statistical techniques and machine learning in general can complement a priori knowledge models for activity model learning. Our research work on software engineering consists in designing and evaluating effective and efficient activity recognition systems. Pulsar takes advantage of a pragmatic approach working on concrete problems of activity recognition to propose new cognitive system techniques inspired by and validated on applications, in a virtuous cycle.
Within Pulsar we focus on two main applications domains: safety/security and healthcare. There is an increasing need to automate the recognition of activities observed by sensors (usually CCD cameras, omni directional cameras, infrared cameras), but also microphones and other sensors (e.g. optical cells, physiological sensors). Safety/security application domain is a strong basis which ensures both a precise view of the research topics to develop and a network of industrial partners ranging from end-users, integrators and software editors to provide data, problems and fundings. Pulsar is also interested in developing activity monitoring applications for healthcare (in particular assistance for the elderly).
International and Industrial Cooperation
Our work has been applied in the context of more than 7 European projects such as AVITRACK, SERKET, CARETAKER, COFRIEND. We have industrial collaborations in several domains: transportation (CCI Airport Toulouse Blagnac, SNCF, INRETS, ALSTOM, RATP, Rome ATAC Transport Agency (Italy), Turin GTT (Italy)), banking (Crédit Agricole Bank Corporation, Eurotelis and Ciel), security (THALES R&T FR, THALES Security Syst, INDRA (Spain), EADS, Sagem, Bertin, Alcatel, Keeneo, ACIC, BARCO, VUB-STRO and VUB-ETRO (Belgium)), multimedia (Multitel (Belgium), Thales Communications, IDIAP (Switzerland), SOLID software editor for multimedia data basis (Finland)), civil engineering sector (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB)), computer industry (BULL), software industry (SOLID software editor for multimedia data basis (Finland), AKKA) and hardware industry (ST-Microelectronics). We have international cooperations with research centers such as Reading University (UK), ARC Seibersdorf research GMBHf (Wien Austria), ENSI Tunis (Tunisia), National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan), National Taiwan University (Taiwan), MICA (Vietnam), IPAL (Singapore), I2R (Singapore), NUS (Singapore), University of Southern California (USC), University of South Florida (USF), University of Maryland.