Caesar: cross-camera complex activity recognition


Detecting activities from video taken with a single camera is an active research area for ML-based machine vision. In this paper, we examine the next research frontier: near real-time detection of complex activities spanning multiple (possibly wireless) cameras, a capability applicable to surveillance tasks. We argue that a system for such complex activity detection must employ a hybrid design: one in which rule-based activity detection must complement neural network based detection. Moreover, to be practical, such a system must scale well to multiple cameras and have low end-to-end latency. Caesar, our edge computing based system for complex activity detection, provides an extensible vocabulary of activities to allow users to specify complex actions in terms of spatial and temporal relationships between actors, objects, and activities. Caesar converts these specifications to graphs, efficiently monitors camera feeds, partitions processing between cameras and the edge cluster, retrieves minimal information from cameras, carefully schedules neural network invocation, and efficiently matches specification graphs to the underlying data in order to detect complex activities. Our evaluations show that Caesar can reduce wireless bandwidth, on-board camera memory, and detection latency by an order of magnitude while achieving good precision and recall for all complex activities on a public multi-camera dataset

Proceedings of the 17th Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (Sensys)