In complex crisis situations involving military situation awareness, homeland security and other time-sensitive scenarios, teams of experts must often make difficult decisions within a narrow time frame. Faculty collaborators at two Penn State campuses and a doctoral degree alumnus from the University have devised and patented a system that merges and finds the "sweet spot" between human and computer intelligence to support timely decision-making.
Jia Li, associate professor of statistics at Penn State, and James Z. Wang, professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State, have been awarded the United States patent titled "Real-Time Computerized Annotation of Pictures." Li and Wang developed a unique computer system called ALIPR (Automatic Linguistic Indexing of Pictures in Real-Time) that can suggest, in real time, several words describing the content of any general-purpose photograph using the pixel information alone. The automatic image-tagging system uses novel methods in statistical learning and data mining to link pictorial characteristics with English words.