CAVIAR: Context Aware Vision using Image-based Active Recognition

CAVIAR is funded by the EC's Information Society Technology's programme project IST 2001 37540.


The main objective of CAVIAR is to address the scientific question: Can rich local image descriptions from foveal and other image sensors, selected by a hierarchal visual attention process and guided and processed using task, scene, function and object contextual knowledge improve image-based recognition processes? This is clearly addressing issues central to the cognitive vision approach.

The two applications that the project will address are:

  1. City centre surveillance: Many large cities have nighttime crime and antisocial behaviour problems, such as drunkenness, fights, vandalism, breaking and entering shop windows, etc. Often these cities have video cameras already installed, but what is lacking is a semi-automatic analysis of the video stream. Such analysis could detect unusual events, such as patterns of running people, converging people, or stationary people, and then alert human security staff.
  2. Marketers are interested in the behaviour of potential customers in a commercial setting, such as what sequence of locations do they visit, how long they stop at particular locations, what behavioural options do typical customers take, etc. Automatic analysis of customer behaviour could enable evaluation of shop layouts, changing displays and the effect of promotional materials.

A more detailed summary of the project objectives.

The project started on October 1, 2002 and continues until September 30, 2005.


To address the main scientific question, the project will research methods for: We will integrate the results in a complete closed-loop object and situation recognition system.

Project activities, achievements, and news.


PPT/PDF slides from the final project presentation/review:

  1. Overview, all workpackages except for WP1 and WP5, administrative details (PDF)
  2. WP1: Active image acquisition and description (PDF)
  3. WP4+5: Acquiring and using models for contexts, situations and control of perception (PDF)

You can also find some:

  1. Publically downloadable benchmark datasets
  2. Project publications
  3. Results examples
  4. Performance statistics



The CAVIAR team leaders are:

More information about the scientists working on the project.


At the moment, there are no open posts.


Robert Fisher
School of Informatics
Univ. of Edinburgh
Room 2107D, James Clerk Maxwell Building
The King's Buildings
Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, United Kingdom
Phone: (44)-131-651-3441 (direct line)
Phone: (44)-131-651-3443 (secretary)
Fax: (44)-131-651-3435