Call for Contributions: Challenge on Automatic Object Identification (AOI) and Tracking

1. Call for Challenge on Automatic Object Identification (AOI) and Tracking

as part of the 

SAGA 2013:
 - uniting academics and industry.

24-26 October 2013 Bielefeld University, Germany
Cognitive Interaction Technology Center of Excellence 

Workshop Website:


Important Dates:

August 15th, 2013:   Deadline for 2-page abstract sketching your
September 2nd, 2013: Notification of acceptance for challenge.
October 2nd, 2013:   Submission of the final abstracts and final 

October 24-26, 2013: Challenge results presentation takes place at the 
                     SAGA 2013 Workshop at Bielefeld University, 


We are very pleased to publish this call for challenge contributions
as part of the SAGA 2013 1st International Workshop on Solutions for
Automatic Gaze Data Analysis. The challenge will focus on software
solutions for automatic object recognition as a trailblazer for
vision-based object and person tracking algorithms. The automatic
object or person recognition and tracking in video sequences (in real-
time) is a key condition for many application fields, such as mobile
service robotics, Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Computer Vision,
Digital Image Processing, autonomous assistance and surveillance
systems (e.g., driver assistance systems) and Eye Tracking.
Applications vary from tracking of objects (e.g., manipulating or
recognition of objects in dynamic scenes), body parts (e.g., head or
hand tracking for mimic and gesture classification), and persons
(e.g., person reidentification or visual following).

Although, many efficient tracking methods have been introduced for
different tasks over the last years, they are mostly restricted
towards particular environmental settings and therefore cannot be
applied to general application fields. This is due to a range of
factors: 1.) Often, underlying assumptions about the environment
cannot be met, including static background, no changes in lighting and
inhomogeneous or invariant appearances. These idealized conditions are
usually missing for object tracking in high dynamic environments, as
they are common, for example in mobile scenarios. 2.) Object models
cannot be applied because of the high variance in the appearance of
tracked persons or objects. 3.) Most algorithms are computationally
quite expensive (large systems demand often hard computational
restrictions for the used algorithms).


Details on the SAGA 2013 
CHALLENGE on Automatic Object Identification (AOI) and Tracking:

In order to drive research on software solutions for the automatic
annotation of videos we offer a special challenge on this topic.
The purpose of the challenge is to encourage the community to work on a
set of specific software solutions and research questions and to
continuously improve on earlier results obtained for these problems over
the years. This will hopefully not only push the field as a whole and
increase the impact of work published in it, but also contribute open
source hardware, methods and data analysis software back to the

For the challenge we adress this topic on the basis of eye-tracking
data. Therefore, we are providing a set of test videos (duration 2-3
minutes) and separate text files with the corresponding gaze data on
the workshop website for which solutions should be written. These gaze
videos, recorded by a scene camera attached to an eye-tracking system,
show people when they look at objects or interact with them in mobile
applications. The gaze data contains a time-stamped list of x- and y-
positions of the gaze points (in the coordinate system of the scene
video). For selected videos, frame counter information will be also
available to assist with synchronization of the video and the gaze

For the challenge we are looking for semi- and fully-automatic
software solutions for the recognition and tracking of objects over
the whole video sequence. The software should provide the coordinates
for the tracked objects and use this information to automatically
calculate object specific gaze data, such as number of fixations and
cumulative fixation durations, by using the time-stamped list of 2D
gaze coordinates in the eye-tracking file. There are no restrictions
on the way in which the relevant objects are marked and on which kind
of techniques can be used to track the objects. The only constraint is
that your software solution can read and process the provided videos
and reports gaze specific data for the selected objects either as a
text file (which can serve as input for a statistical program such as
SPSS, Matlab, R oder MS Excel) or by providing some kind of

All submissions will be evaluated by an independent jury according to
the evaluation criteria (see below). Additionally, there is a live
session scheduled for the third day in which all selected solutions
can be demonstrated to the interested workshop participants. The three
best solutions will receive an award.

Prize money:

1. Price: 1.000,- €
2. Price:   500,- €
3. Price:   250,- €

We would like to thank our premium sponsor SensoMotoric Instruments
(SMI) for the contribution of the prize money.

The SAGA challenge features test videos recorded with different devices
- SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) [SMI EyeTracking Glasses]
- Tobii Technologies [Tobii Glasses]
- Applied Science Laboratories (ASL)
  / Engineering Systems Technologies (EST) [ASL Mobile Eye-XG]



In order to allow for more time for the implementation process for the
challenge a two-step submission procedure has been devised. The decision
for acceptance to the challenge will be on a preliminary submitted
abstract. The final evaluation and ranking of the software solutions
will be based on the final abstract and the final results for a test-set
of videos, including such similar to those on the website:

a) Preliminary submissions should consist of a 2 page abstract
describing the implementation details of your proposed software solution
including the following:

- description of the underlying techniques and implementations
- description of object selection and tracking processes

b) Finals submissions shall extend the preliminary submission to a 3
page paper by adding the following details:

- number of fixations and cumulative fixation duration details for the
  specified objects
- performance data (such as computation time, number of selected
  objects, parallel tracking of several objects in the scene)
- snapshot of the results

We will use results based on manual annotation to evaluate the submitted
results. The following evaluation criteria will be applied:

- quality of the automated benchmark results (region and pixel based)
  compared to the results given by manual annotation
- conceptual innovation
- performance (such as computation time, number of selected objects,
  parallel tracking of several objects in the scene)
- robustness (such as such as tracking performance, general scope of
  the application)
- usability

The test videos and a corresponding description of them can be found on
the workshop website. Additionally, you can find a detailed description
of how we perform the manual annotation. The exact description for the
challenge, including the evaluation criteria and the required format for
the results, will appear on the workshop website within the next 3
weeks. Please check the website regularly for updates.

Abstracts will be peer-viewed by at least two members of an
international program committee. We will provide templates on the
workshop website. We are currently pursuing possible options for
publication of a special issue in a journal or as an edited volume.

Please Note: All challenge participants must register separately for
access to the challenge material and the video download.


We would like to thank our commercial sponsors:

Premium Sponsors
- SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) [challenge]
  / SMI Eye Tracking Glasses (

- Tobii Technologies [live demo workshop session]
  / Tobii Glasses (
  research/global/products/hardware/tobii- glasses-eye-tracker/)


Challenge Organising Committee:

Workshop Organisers:
- Kai Essig
- Thies Pfeiffer
- Pia Knoeferle
- Helge Ritter
- Thomas Schack
- Werner Schneider

All from the
Cognitive Interaction Technology Center of Excellence
at Bielefeld University

Scientific Board:
- Thomas Schack
- Helge Ritter
- Werner Schneider

Jury of the Challenge:
- Kai Essig
- Thies Pfeiffer
- Pia Knoeferle
- Denis Williams (Sensomotoric Instruments, SMI)

Please visit the website periodically for updates:

For additional question, please contact:

We look forward to receiving your submissions and to welcoming you to
Bielefeld in October, 2013!

On behalf of the organisers

Thies Pfeiffer

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