The German/Austrian bilateral project FLORIDA will support the development of a flexible, semi-automated video forensics system for public safety and law enforcement authorities, in particular the Austrian Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (BM.I.BVT), in the investigation, collection of evidence, and clearance of cases involving terrorist attacks. Through the application of advanced technologies developed within the project, the system will improve the efficiency and quality of work for investigators in this context because research, preparation, and analysis will be both simplified and accelerated for extremely large audio-visual data sets.
The key innovations of the project are the development of a scalable platform for video forensics, the definition of corresponding interfaces, the development of new analysis algorithms, and the evaluation of the project results against stakeholder requirements and a researched legal and ethical framework.
The FLORIDA platform will be based on a cloud-based architecture that is capable of processing data originating from different sources (uploads from witnesses, camera arrays, and video files supplied through third parties) at scale. Such a system can be dynamically instantiated to handle massive data payloads (e.g. thousands of video hours of audio-visual material gathered after a terrorist attack) in a time efficient manner by using large numbers of computer and/or cloud resources in parallel.
The interoperability approach of the project will enable investigators to use graphical applications that leverage results generated by the mass video processing platform. This will allow users to take advantage of generated pre-processing results for carrying out detailed investigations. The approach will be evaluated and demonstrated using a front-end based on the PKE AVASYS platform.
The project will explore how existing video analysis algorithms can be parallelized and/or be deployed on the scalable computational platform. New algorithms will also be developed, focusing on the areas of audio analysis (characterisation, event detection, and multi-video synchronization) and object tracking.
We will research legal and ethical requirements for the development of a video forensics platform and the use of eyewitness data by analysing EU and Austrian privacy and data protection legal frameworks. We will also carry out an internal evaluation of our compliance with this legal and ethical framework with respect to the developed technology and the proof-of-concept demonstrator. Duly addressing all relevant ethical and fundamental rights issues is an inherent aspect to be considered at all stages of the project.