Cops tracking gang activity frequently need to decipher graffiti, decoding messages, identifying gangs and even monitoring individual people by looking at their bubbly letters and spray-painted scrawls. New software can help speed the process by automatically checking graffiti against a library of street art.
The system works by filtering existing images, which are currently captured and labeled by hand. Given a specific graffiti query, the system finds a list of similar images based on visual and content similarity, and then returns the gang names associated with those similar images. Michigan State University computer scientists led by Anil Jain have been working on the software for a couple years now and plan to present their findings at the ACM Multimedia conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., later this month.
Like other image-recognition programs, the graffiti matching system searches for matches based on commonalities, according to Jain and his colleagues. This helps filter different graffiti that depicts the same logo or tag, but may look dramatically different based on the person or gang who created it. First, the system extracts visual features from a new image, and then letters, numbers and symbols are manually annotated. Then, the system finds candidate images that share similarities with this new image.
It would be nice to have a system that automatically recognizes numbers and letters, but this is too difficult with existing technology because graffiti is so variable, Jain and his colleagues say. Instead, Jain uses crowdsourcing to identify words, using Amazon's Mechanical Turk service, according to New Scientist.
When using both image and text similarity, the system is able to pinpoint a gang or individual with about 65 percent accuracy, New Scientist says.
The system still needs some tweaking so it can be applied to vast graffiti image databases, Jain and colleagues explain. "In the future, we plan to explore additional information about graffiti other than the textual features, such as the time stamp and location of graffiti," the authors write.
Who knew, with good software, your art style is incriminating evidence against you.
I suppose it is the same as when the Riddler would leave funny little puzzle comments to Batman, confessing to his crime. Then Batman would put the riddle into his Bat computer in the Bat cave. lol
now if only it could help READ it...
why learn from your own mistakes, when you could learn from the mistakes of others?
“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” -Albert Ein
It spells " CHAS " I believe. It’s probably the artist own name.
its called being in a gang is ignorant plain and simple. Oh and the BS "its just the way it is" or even "its hard to get out of the gangs" is also stupid...even if you grow up in an area with heavy gang activity the only reason it got that way is because the people that live there are to lazy to do anything about it.