CROWDSOURCING FOR SEARCH OF DISASTER VICTIMS: A PRELIMINARY STUDY FOR SEARCH SYSTEM DESIGN

DS 80-10 Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 15) Vol 10: Design Information and Knowledge Management Milan, Italy, 27-30.07.15

Year: 2015
Editor: Christian Weber, Stephan Husung, Marco CantaMESsa, Gaetano Cascini, Dorian Marjanovic, Srinivasan Venkataraman
Author: Burnap, Alex; Barto, Charlie; Johnson-Roberson, Matthew; Ren, Max Yi; Gonzalez, Richard; Papalambros, Panos Y.
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: University of Michigan, United States of America; 2: Arizona State University, United States of America
Section: Design Information and Knowledge Management
Page(s): 103-114
ISBN: 978-1-904670-73-5
ISSN: 2220-4334

Abstract

Teams of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have been suggested as sensor platforms for disaster victim search systems used shortly after natural disasters such as an earthquake or tsunami. Previous efforts have used UAVs equipped with video cameras for the disaster information gathering stage, with the information processing stage performed by either a single human searcher or a victim detection computer vision algorithm. We propose extending these efforts by investigating how a large and distributed  crowd of volunteers may augment the information processing stage by helping search video feeds for disaster victims. An experiment is conducted comparing the victim detection accuracy between a single human searcher, a crowd of searchers, and a victim detection algorithm. Our preliminary results show that while victim search accuracy is sensitive to both UAV altitude and crowd size per video feed, crowdsourcing the search process can be more accurate than a single human or victim detection algorithm alone. These findings are a first step towards optimizing search system design with respect to both information collection and information processing augmented with crowdsourcing.

Keywords: Crowdsourcing And Funding, Disaster Victim Search, Humanitarian Design, Systems Engineering (SE)

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