10th IEEE Workshop on Perception Beyond the Visible Spectrum (PBVS)
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Keynote Speakers

Invited Talk 1: Computer Vision Augmented with High-Level Information Fusion


Erik Blasch
Air Force Research Lab, Information Directorate
Distinguished Lecturer - IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society

Abstract: Computer vision (CV) techniques traditionally include object recognition and tracking which are designated as key components in information fusion. With data registration, these methods are defined as low-level information fusion (LLIF). High-Level Information Fusion (HLIF) includes situation and threat assessment as well as sensor, user, and mission (SUM) refinement. This presentation describes the developments the trends, concepts and grand challenges for practical information-fusion system designs for perception beyond the visible spectrum (PVBS).

Building on single-mode fusion (e.g., multiple looks), complementary multimode fusion (e.g., EO/IR, THz) and coordinated sensor fusion (e.g., text and imagery); we discuss the future opportunities of CV with other data types for simultaneous tracking and identification (STID). Examples of HLIF theories (operational, functional, formal, and cognitive) are mapped to representations (semantics, ontologies, axiomatics, and agents). Contemporary issues of multi-intelligence modeling, evaluation, and human-machine interfaces. The attendee will gain an appreciation of HLIF issues from the perspectives of numerous authors, practitioners, and developers of information fusion systems. The talk will highlight: (1) HLIF theories (2) advances to extend STID, and (3) pragmatic issues of human system interaction, scenario-based design, and evaluation for perception beyond the visible spectrum.

Bio: ERIK BLASCH (S'98-M'99-SM'05) is a principal scientist at the the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in the Information Directorate at Rome, NY. From 2009-2012, he was an exchange scientist to Defence R&D Canada (DRDC) at Valcartier, Quebec. From 2000-2009, Dr. Blasch was the Information Fusion Evaluation Tech Lead for the AFRL Sensors Directorate - COMprehensive Performance Assessment of Sensor Exploitation (COMPASE) Center supporting AF and DARPA evaluations. Dr. Blasch was previously an Adjunct Electrical Engineering Professor at Wright State University and the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio teaching signal processing, target tracking, and information fusion (2000-2010). He is also a reserve Lt. Col. with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) in Washington, DC supporting physics, electronics, and nanotechnology developments. Dr. Blasch currently serves as an AESS BoG member (2011-2016), the AESS International Chapters Chair, AIAA/AESS representative (2013-2014), and an AESS Distinguished lecturer (2013-2014). Dr. Blasch was a founding member of the International Society of Information Fusion (www.isif.org) in 1998, held various leadership roles in the Fusion conferences, and was the 2007 ISIF President. He has focused on robotics, automatic target recognition, targeting tracking, and information fusion research compiling 450+ scientific papers, tutorials, and book chapters. His recent book is High-Level Information Fusion Management and Systems Design (Artech House, 2012).

Dr. Blasch received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 and Master's Degrees in Mechanical ('94), Health Science ('95), and Industrial Engineering (Human Factors) ('95) from Georgia Tech and attended the University of Wisconsin for a MD/PHD in Neurosciences/Mech. Eng until being called to Active Duty in 1996 to the United States Air Force. He completed an MBA ('98), MSEE ('98), MS Econ('99), and a PhD ('99) in Electrical Engineering from Wright State University and is a graduate of Air War College ('08). He is a Fellow of SPIE, Associate Fellow of AIAA, and a senior member of IEEE.

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