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Ferda Ofli

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Fine-grained Population Mapping from Coarse Census Counts and Open Geodata

Nov 08, 2022
Nando Metzger, John E. Vargas-Muñoz, Rodrigo C. Daudt, Benjamin Kellenberger, Thao Ton-That Whelan, Ferda Ofli, Muhammad Imran, Konrad Schindler, Devis Tuia

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Fine-grained population maps are needed in several domains, like urban planning, environmental monitoring, public health, and humanitarian operations. Unfortunately, in many countries only aggregate census counts over large spatial units are collected, moreover, these are not always up-to-date. We present POMELO, a deep learning model that employs coarse census counts and open geodata to estimate fine-grained population maps with 100m ground sampling distance. Moreover, the model can also estimate population numbers when no census counts at all are available, by generalizing across countries. In a series of experiments for several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the maps produced with POMELOare in good agreement with the most detailed available reference counts: disaggregation of coarse census counts reaches R2 values of 85-89%; unconstrained prediction in the absence of any counts reaches 48-69%.

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A Survey on Computer Vision based Human Analysis in the COVID-19 Era

Nov 07, 2022
Fevziye Irem Eyiokur, Alperen Kantarcı, Mustafa Ekrem Erakın, Naser Damer, Ferda Ofli, Muhammad Imran, Janez Križaj, Albert Ali Salah, Alexander Waibel, Vitomir Štruc, Hazım Kemal Ekenel

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The emergence of COVID-19 has had a global and profound impact, not only on society as a whole, but also on the lives of individuals. Various prevention measures were introduced around the world to limit the transmission of the disease, including face masks, mandates for social distancing and regular disinfection in public spaces, and the use of screening applications. These developments also triggered the need for novel and improved computer vision techniques capable of (i) providing support to the prevention measures through an automated analysis of visual data, on the one hand, and (ii) facilitating normal operation of existing vision-based services, such as biometric authentication schemes, on the other. Especially important here, are computer vision techniques that focus on the analysis of people and faces in visual data and have been affected the most by the partial occlusions introduced by the mandates for facial masks. Such computer vision based human analysis techniques include face and face-mask detection approaches, face recognition techniques, crowd counting solutions, age and expression estimation procedures, models for detecting face-hand interactions and many others, and have seen considerable attention over recent years. The goal of this survey is to provide an introduction to the problems induced by COVID-19 into such research and to present a comprehensive review of the work done in the computer vision based human analysis field. Particular attention is paid to the impact of facial masks on the performance of various methods and recent solutions to mitigate this problem. Additionally, a detailed review of existing datasets useful for the development and evaluation of methods for COVID-19 related applications is also provided. Finally, to help advance the field further, a discussion on the main open challenges and future research direction is given.

* Submitted to Image and Vision Computing, 44 pages, 7 figures 
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Bias-Aware Face Mask Detection Dataset

Nov 02, 2022
Alperen Kantarcı, Ferda Ofli, Muhammad Imran, Hazım Kemal Ekenel

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In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread so quickly around the world that many countries had to set mandatory face mask rules in public areas to reduce the transmission of the virus. To monitor public adherence, researchers aimed to rapidly develop efficient systems that can detect faces with masks automatically. However, the lack of representative and novel datasets proved to be the biggest challenge. Early attempts to collect face mask datasets did not account for potential race, gender, and age biases. Therefore, the resulting models show inherent biases toward specific race groups, such as Asian or Caucasian. In this work, we present a novel face mask detection dataset that contains images posted on Twitter during the pandemic from around the world. Unlike previous datasets, the proposed Bias-Aware Face Mask Detection (BAFMD) dataset contains more images from underrepresented race and age groups to mitigate the problem for the face mask detection task. We perform experiments to investigate potential biases in widely used face mask detection datasets and illustrate that the BAFMD dataset yields models with better performance and generalization ability. The dataset is publicly available at https://github.com/Alpkant/BAFMD.

* submitted to Pattern Recognition Letters, 7 pages, 3 figures 
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Learning Program Representations for Food Images and Cooking Recipes

Mar 30, 2022
Dim P. Papadopoulos, Enrique Mora, Nadiia Chepurko, Kuan Wei Huang, Ferda Ofli, Antonio Torralba

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In this paper, we are interested in modeling a how-to instructional procedure, such as a cooking recipe, with a meaningful and rich high-level representation. Specifically, we propose to represent cooking recipes and food images as cooking programs. Programs provide a structured representation of the task, capturing cooking semantics and sequential relationships of actions in the form of a graph. This allows them to be easily manipulated by users and executed by agents. To this end, we build a model that is trained to learn a joint embedding between recipes and food images via self-supervision and jointly generate a program from this embedding as a sequence. To validate our idea, we crowdsource programs for cooking recipes and show that: (a) projecting the image-recipe embeddings into programs leads to better cross-modal retrieval results; (b) generating programs from images leads to better recognition results compared to predicting raw cooking instructions; and (c) we can generate food images by manipulating programs via optimizing the latent code of a GAN. Code, data, and models are available online.

* CVPR 2022 oral 
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A Real-time System for Detecting Landslide Reports on Social Media using Artificial Intelligence

Feb 14, 2022
Ferda Ofli, Umair Qazi, Muhammad Imran, Julien Roch, Catherine Pennington, Vanessa Banks, Remy Bossu

This paper presents an online system that leverages social media data in real time to identify landslide-related information automatically using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence techniques. The designed system can (i) reduce the information overload by eliminating duplicate and irrelevant content, (ii) identify landslide images, (iii) infer geolocation of the images, and (iv) categorize the user type (organization or person) of the account sharing the information. The system was deployed in February 2020 online at https://landslide-aidr.qcri.org/landslide_system.php to monitor live Twitter data stream and has been running continuously since then to provide time-critical information to partners such as British Geological Survey and European Mediterranean Seismological Centre. We trust this system can both contribute to harvesting of global landslide data for further research and support global landslide maps to facilitate emergency response and decision making.

* Landslide detection, Social media, Online system, Real time, Image classification, Computer vision, Artificial intelligence 
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Incidents1M: a large-scale dataset of images with natural disasters, damage, and incidents

Jan 11, 2022
Ethan Weber, Dim P. Papadopoulos, Agata Lapedriza, Ferda Ofli, Muhammad Imran, Antonio Torralba

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Natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes, or wildfires, are increasingly pervasive as the Earth undergoes global warming. It is difficult to predict when and where an incident will occur, so timely emergency response is critical to saving the lives of those endangered by destructive events. Fortunately, technology can play a role in these situations. Social media posts can be used as a low-latency data source to understand the progression and aftermath of a disaster, yet parsing this data is tedious without automated methods. Prior work has mostly focused on text-based filtering, yet image and video-based filtering remains largely unexplored. In this work, we present the Incidents1M Dataset, a large-scale multi-label dataset which contains 977,088 images, with 43 incident and 49 place categories. We provide details of the dataset construction, statistics and potential biases; introduce and train a model for incident detection; and perform image-filtering experiments on millions of images on Flickr and Twitter. We also present some applications on incident analysis to encourage and enable future work in computer vision for humanitarian aid. Code, data, and models are available at http://incidentsdataset.csail.mit.edu.

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Fight Detection from Still Images in the Wild

Nov 17, 2021
Şeymanur Aktı, Ferda Ofli, Muhammad Imran, Hazım Kemal Ekenel

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Detecting fights from still images shared on social media is an important task required to limit the distribution of violent scenes in order to prevent their negative effects. For this reason, in this study, we address the problem of fight detection from still images collected from the web and social media. We explore how well one can detect fights from just a single still image. We also propose a new dataset, named Social Media Fight Images (SMFI), comprising real-world images of fight actions. Results of the extensive experiments on the proposed dataset show that fight actions can be recognized successfully from still images. That is, even without exploiting the temporal information, it is possible to detect fights with high accuracy by utilizing appearance only. We also perform cross-dataset experiments to evaluate the representation capacity of the collected dataset. These experiments indicate that, as in the other computer vision problems, there exists a dataset bias for the fight recognition problem. Although the methods achieve close to 100% accuracy when trained and tested on the same fight dataset, the cross-dataset accuracies are significantly lower, i.e., around 70% when more representative datasets are used for training. SMFI dataset is found to be one of the two most representative datasets among the utilized five fight datasets.

* Accepted for publication at Winter Conference of Applications on Computer Vision Workshops (WACV-W 2022), Workshop on Real-World Surveillance: Applications and Challenges 
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TBCOV: Two Billion Multilingual COVID-19 Tweets with Sentiment, Entity, Geo, and Gender Labels

Oct 04, 2021
Muhammad Imran, Umair Qazi, Ferda Ofli

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The widespread usage of social networks during mass convergence events, such as health emergencies and disease outbreaks, provides instant access to citizen-generated data that carry rich information about public opinions, sentiments, urgent needs, and situational reports. Such information can help authorities understand the emergent situation and react accordingly. Moreover, social media plays a vital role in tackling misinformation and disinformation. This work presents TBCOV, a large-scale Twitter dataset comprising more than two billion multilingual tweets related to the COVID-19 pandemic collected worldwide over a continuous period of more than one year. More importantly, several state-of-the-art deep learning models are used to enrich the data with important attributes, including sentiment labels, named-entities (e.g., mentions of persons, organizations, locations), user types, and gender information. Last but not least, a geotagging method is proposed to assign country, state, county, and city information to tweets, enabling a myriad of data analysis tasks to understand real-world issues. Our sentiment and trend analyses reveal interesting insights and confirm TBCOV's broad coverage of important topics.

* 20 pages, 13 figures, 8 tables 
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Landslide Detection in Real-Time Social Media Image Streams

Oct 03, 2021
Ferda Ofli, Muhammad Imran, Umair Qazi, Julien Roch, Catherine Pennington, Vanessa J. Banks, Remy Bossu

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Lack of global data inventories obstructs scientific modeling of and response to landslide hazards which are oftentimes deadly and costly. To remedy this limitation, new approaches suggest solutions based on citizen science that requires active participation. However, as a non-traditional data source, social media has been increasingly used in many disaster response and management studies in recent years. Inspired by this trend, we propose to capitalize on social media data to mine landslide-related information automatically with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. Specifically, we develop a state-of-the-art computer vision model to detect landslides in social media image streams in real time. To that end, we create a large landslide image dataset labeled by experts and conduct extensive model training experiments. The experimental results indicate that the proposed model can be deployed in an online fashion to support global landslide susceptibility maps and emergency response.

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MEDIC: A Multi-Task Learning Dataset for Disaster Image Classification

Aug 29, 2021
Firoj Alam, Tanvirul Alam, Md. Arid Hasan, Abul Hasnat, Muhammad Imran, Ferda Ofli

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Recent research in disaster informatics demonstrates a practical and important use case of artificial intelligence to save human lives and sufferings during post-natural disasters based on social media contents (text and images). While notable progress has been made using texts, research on exploiting the images remains relatively under-explored. To advance the image-based approach, we propose MEDIC (available at: https://crisisnlp.qcri.org/medic/index.html), which is the largest social media image classification dataset for humanitarian response consisting of 71,198 images to address four different tasks in a multi-task learning setup. This is the first dataset of its kind: social media image, disaster response, and multi-task learning research. An important property of this dataset is its high potential to contribute research on multi-task learning, which recently receives much interest from the machine learning community and has shown remarkable results in terms of memory, inference speed, performance, and generalization capability. Therefore, the proposed dataset is an important resource for advancing image-based disaster management and multi-task machine learning research.

* Multi-task Learning, Social media images, Image Classification, Natural disasters, Crisis Informatics, Deep learning, Dataset 
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