The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has issued a broad agency announcement in its search for prospective vendors and partners for the forthcoming Janus project, which seeks to improve facial recognition systems.
IARPA is seeking to improve upon its unconstrained face recognition offerings by funding research that draws expertise from a variety of fields. IARPA is hoping to develop solutions to encode the shape, texture and dynamics of a face, as well as find new ways to implement these techniques to conduct faster and more accurate search and retrieval.
Intelligence analysts often rely on facial images when establishing the identity of an individual but the sheer volume of possibly relevant video and photographs can be as vast as it is daunting. While automated face recognition tools can assist analysts in this task, current tools perform best on well-posed, frontal facial photos taken for identification purposes.
Janus hopes to fill this gap by developing tools and techniques that will improve the performance of face recognition on unconstrained video and photos. Rather than rely on a “single best frame approach,” these tools and techniques should make use of all available imagery. According to IARPA, the program will conduct empirical testing of recognition performance across datasets. The program must also account for doubts and uncertainties that can often yield incomplete data and partial representations.
The Janus project is comprised of three phases to take place over four years. During the first 18-month phase, chosen participants should demonstrate that their representation encodes the shape, texture, and dynamics of a subject’s face, is discriminative over large subject bases, and can be created using multiple views of a subject. The second 18-month phase will see participants demonstrate how both the quality and quantity of subject media impacts the creation and recognition performance of Janus solutions. In the final 12-month phase, participants will demonstrate recognition performance over more diverse media and prove faster retrieval approaches when searching large media collections.
Any prospective presentations must address all three phases of Janus in order to be considered. Through all three phases, participants will be provided increasing quantities of imagery under progressively more challenging conditions.
For more, see the IARPA’s official Broad Agency Announcement here.