Many might have heard of the phrase ‘Big brother is watching you’. My research is all about making a computer the ‘Big brother’. Basically it is to develop algorithms for computer to understand the content, learn event modelsand interpret video streams. 

The video data available is only interpretable by humans and the amount of video data is increasing day by day because of cheap equipment available to everybody. In order to processthis huge data efficiently we need to use computers. This is where my work can be useful. 

My work is part of European Commission’s 7th Frame Work Programme project. The partners are University of Reading, University of Hamburg, INRIA andAKKA (industry).

How does your research apply to the real world?

The applications are everywhere: from surveillance in public places to content based video retrieval.

What facilities and special equipment do you use to carry out your research?

We use 7 static cameras and 3 PTZ cameras to collect videos. These are used to capture the same scene from different angles to get a 3D picture of what is going on in the scene. Right now our data comes from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. We capture the activities going on in the apron are and use these to analyse the events going on.

What do you enjoy about your research?

The interdisciplinary nature of the work makes it more challenging and interesting. It involves computer vision, machine learning, Knowledge representation and reasoning etc. Also the thought that my work has immediate application in real world keeps me more focused. 

Why did you choose to undertake a PhD at the University of Leeds?

PhD is working on ideas no one has ever touched, this makes it more challenging. Prior to this I worked in industry and the monotone nature of the work made me bored, so I came to do PhD. The School of Computing at Leeds has the world’s best research groups and the work is recognized internationally, so this encouraged me to apply to this university. 

What are your ambitions for the future?

Most probably I will stay in academics as I love teaching and research. Academic jobs guarantee both of them.