Tattoo Recognition Technology – Challenge (Tatt-C)
July 13, 2015: Tatt-C dataset now available to researchers on an ongoing basis
June 17, 2015: Tatt-C workshop proceedings posted
The Tattoo Recognition Technology – Challenge (Tatt-C) is being conducted to challenge the commercial and academic community in advancing research and development into automated image-based tattoo matching technology. The activity will assess the capability of image-based tattoo recognition algorithms to perform detection and retrieval of tattoos, with the goals to determine which algorithms are most effective and whether any are viable for the following operational use-cases: 1. Tattoo Similarity – matching visually similar or related tattoos from different subjects; 2. Tattoo Identification - matching different instances of the same tattoo image from the same subject over time; 3. Region of Interest - matching a small region of interest that is contained in a larger image; 4. Mixed Media - matching visually similar or related tattoos using different types of images (e.g. sketches, scanned print, computer graphics, or natural images); 5. Tattoo Detection - detecting whether an image contains a tattoo or not.
Please contact NIST if:
a) You are a developer of tattoo matching algorithms or have an interest in developing such a capability.
b) You represent an organization possessing suitable tattoo datasets that might be valuable to our effort.
c) You have an operational interest or need for image-based matching of tattoo images.
Tattoos have been used for many years to assist law enforcement in the identification of criminals and victims and for investigative research purposes. Tattoos provide valuable information on an individual’s affiliations or beliefs and can support identity verification of an individual. Historically, law enforcement agencies have followed the ANSI-NIST-ITL 1-2011 standard to collect and assign keyword labels to tattoos. This keyword labeling approach comes with drawbacks, which include the limitation of ANSI-NIST standard class labels to describe the increasing variety of new tattoo designs, the need for multiple keywords to sufficiently describe some tattoos, and subjectivity in human annotation as the same tattoo can be labeled differently between examiners. As such, the shortcomings of keyword-based tattoo image retrieval have driven the need for automated image-based tattoo recognition capabilities.
Structure of Tatt-C
Tatt-C is structured around problems that are designed to challenge the commercial and academic community in advancing research and development into automated image-based tattoo recognition technology. While some research and commercial capability is available, tattoo recognition is not a mature industry. There is no common test data and use cases to evaluate and develop systems for next generation government applications. To address this shortcoming, the Tatt-C dataset was developed as an initial tattoo test corpus that addresses use cases derived from operational scenarios provided by the FBI’s Biometric Center of Excellence (BCOE).
The Tatt-C dataset consists of still images of tattoos captured operationally by law enforcement agencies. The operational nature of this corpus imposes challenges on traditional image retrieval methodologies given the large variation in capture environment/process and tattoo content/quality. The following are examples of such challenges represented in the Tatt-C dataset:
The Tatt-C dataset provides a basis for objectively measuring and comparing tattoo recognition capabilities, with partitions focused on but not limited to the following use cases:
The Tatt-C submission period has closed, however, researchers can still obtain the Tatt-C dataset for research purposes. Organizations interested in obtaining the Tatt-C dataset should follow the steps below:
September 23, 2014 – February 6, 2015: Phase 1 participation window
February 7 – May 4, 2015: Phase 2 participation window
June 1, 2015: Registration deadline to attend Tatt-C workshop
June 8, 2015: Tatt-C workshop at NIST, Gaithersburg, MD
For more information regarding Tatt-C, please email tattoo AT nist DOT gov.