In cooperation with NOAA’s Automated Image Analysis Strategic Initiative (AIASI), Kitware and its partners developed this open source system that analyzes video and imagery for fisheries stock assessment and a variety of other applications. This computer vision application is designed for DIY AI and allows a user to perform object detection, object tracking, image/video annotation, image/video search, image mosaicing, stereo measurement, rapid model generation, and provides tools for the evaluation of different algorithms.
Although it was originally designed to target marine species analytics, it now contains many common algorithms and libraries, and is also useful as a generic computer vision library. Built upon an established open source video analytics toolkit, Kitware Image and Video Exploitation and Retrieval (KWIVER), VIAME enables the rapid integration of new visual analytics, and includes user interfaces, databases and evaluation/scoring capabilities. Algorithms from multiple NOAA Fisheries Science Centers (FSCs) are integrated, such as length measurement from the Alaska FSC.
More significantly, VIAME includes the capability for scientists to create new analytics, specific to their problems, through user interfaces without any programming or knowledge of deep learning. Through image search and interactive query refinement, users can quickly build a complete detection and classification capability for a novel problem by providing only positive/negative feedback on examples suggested by the system, and then run it on any amount of imagery or video. For more challenging problems, users can manually annotate images and then train a deep learning detection and classification capability.
VIAME has been successfully applied to many problems within the maritime and airborne domains including: scallop detection, plankton classification, fish classification, seal detection, sea lion detection, and image registration. Both a desktop and web version of VIAME exist for ease-of-use and convenience in different types of environments.
In 2019, the US Department of Commerce presented members of the AIASI Steering Committee with a Gold Medal Award for “Scientific or Technical Achievement” for the development of VIAME and CoralNet, another open source software toolkit. This is the highest technical award within the DOC.