Surveillance systems: From the laboratory to the commercial world

Ioannis Pavlidis, Vassilios Morellas, Panagiotis Tsiamyrtzis, Steve Harp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Research in the surveillance domain was confined for years in the military domain. Recently, as military spending for this kind of research was reduced and the technology matured, the attention of the research and development community turned to commercial applications of surveillance. In this paper we describe a state-of-the-art monitoring system developed by a corporate R&D lab in cooperation with the corresponding security business units. It represents a sizable effort to transfer some of the best results produced by computer vision research into a viable commercial product. Our description spans both practical and technical issues. From the practical point of view we analyze the state of the commercial security market, typical cultural differences between the research team and the business team and the perspective of the potential users of the technology. These are important issues that have to be dealt with or the surveillance technology will remain in the lab for a long time. From the technical point of view we analyze our algorithmic and implementation choices. We describe the improvements we introduced to the original algorithms reported in the literature in response to some problems that arose during field testing. We also provide extensive experimental results that highlight the strong points and some weaknesses of the prototype system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1478-1496
Number of pages19
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001


  • Multicamera fusion
  • Object tracking
  • Security market
  • Security system
  • Surveillance system
  • Threat assessment


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