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The performance of dynamic scene algorithms often suffers because of the inability to effectively acquire features on the targets, particularly when they are distributed over a wide field of view. In this paper, we propose an integrated analysis and control framework for a pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) camera network in order to maximize various scene understanding performance criteria (e.g., tracking accuracy, best shot, and image resolution) through dynamic camera-to-target assignment and efficient feature acquisition. Moreover, we consider the situation where processing is distributed across the network since it is often unrealistic to have all the image data at a central location. In such situations, the cameras, although autonomous, must collaborate among themselves because each camera's PTZ parameter entails constraints on the others. Motivated by recent work in cooperative control of sensor networks, we propose a distributed optimization strategy, which can be modeled as a game involving the cameras and targets. The cameras gain by reducing the error covariance of the tracked targets or through higher resolution feature acquisition, which, however, comes at the risk of losing the dynamic target. Through the optimization of this reward-versus-risk tradeoff, we are able to control the PTZ parameters of the cameras and assign them to targets dynamically. The tracks, upon which the control algorithm is dependent, are obtained through a consensus estimation algorithm whereby cameras can arrive at a consensus on the state of each target through a negotiation strategy. We analyze the performance of this collaborative sensing strategy in active camera networks in a simulation environment, as well as a real-life camera network.
Date of Publication: July 2012