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Camera Networks: The Acquisition and Analysis of Videos over Wide Areas (Synthesis Lectures on Computer Vision)

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Camera networks is a highly interdisciplinary area of research that has been very active over the last few years. In this book, we focus specifically on the topic of video understanding in camera networks and touch upon the other related areas (e.g., communication resources, machine learning, cooperative control of multi-agent systems) as they pertain to this main focus.Our goal is to provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art in one single document. Researchers interested in the broad area or a particular sub-topic can start out with this book and then move on to specific papers that provide more details.

We divide the area of video analysis in camera networks along the lines of traditional computer vision – tracking, recognition, geometric calibration, 3D estimation, active vision. In each of these, we specifically focus on issues that are relevant to camera networks. For example, in tracking this entails analysis of handoff between non-overlapping cameras, while in active sensing, cooperative control of the camera network is addressed.An issue that is specific to camera networks is distributed processing and we dedicate a chapter to this aspect.

In writing this book, we build upon our experience in working on various research projects related to camera networks.We would like to thank the different funding agencies that made this possible: National Science Foundation through grants ECS-0622176 and CNS-0551741, Office of Naval Research through N00014-09-1-0666 and N00014-09-C-0388, Army Research Office through W911NF-07-1-0485, and CISCO Inc. The first author would like to thank his students and collaborators in this area who have contributed immensely to his understanding of the subject – his former student and co-author Dr. B. Song, without whom this book would never have been possible, his current students Mr. C. Ding and Mr. A. T. Kamal, and his colleagues Prof. B. Bhanu and Prof. J. A. Farrell, with whom he has shared some of the research projects. He is indebted to his advisor Prof. R. Chellappa (Univ. of Maryland, College Park) for initiating him into the world of academic research and to Prof. B. S. Manjunath (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) for all the help and support in the initial years of his academic career.

Both of us are immensely grateful for the continuous support from our families – the joy they bring makes the whole effort worthwhile. We thank our parents for all that they have done and dedicate this book to them.
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