U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) scientists say they have developed a user interface that facilitates the visualization, navigation, and manipulation of tens of thousands of images. Earlier this year, DARPA selected the research for its Visual Media Reasoning (VMR) program to help intelligence analysts search, filter, and explore visual media via advanced computer vision and reasoning techniques. "The goal of DARPA's VMR program is to extract mission-relevant information — such as the who, what, where, and when — from visual media captured from our adversaries and to turn unstructured, ad hoc photos and video into true visual intelligence," says DARPA's Jeff Hansberger.
DARPA researchers wanted the design to be completely driven by analysts, their task, and the information they interact with, so they initially ignored specific technology constraints and instead began to explore how users naturally interact with collections of physical photos and how computers have attempted to replicate or re-interpret the manipulation of collections of images.
The user interface provides improved speed and pattern-detection support and major benefits. In terms of speed, the interface has a very flat interaction hierarchy and uses the power of zoom to navigate. In terms of pattern-detection support, Hansberger says the researchers created visual diagrams made from the images themselves to highlight patterns and relationships across the attributes that analysts focus on.
From Army Research Laboratory
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