Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA)
The research team at the Department of Primatology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology studies apes in their natural habitat and conducts research related to the evolution of social systems and behavior, cognition, culture, infectious diseases and conservation. With its broad spectrum of research topics this world-renowned department is unique in the field of primatology. At the institute, about 100 senior scientists, postdocs, Ph.D. students and assistants are engaged in studies of western chimpanzees in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire, central chimpanzees and western lowland gorillas in Loango National Park, Gabon, bonobos in Lui Kotale, Democratic Republic of Congo, and mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. At all four sites, the apes have been habituated to human presence, or are currently in the process of being habituated. Habituation is a long and costly process, requiring a minimum of five years before data on individual apes can be collected. Therefore, the number of ape communities that can be studied simultaneously is limited, leaving us with small sample sizes to work with. Consequently, any inferences made about the causality of observed population differences, such as demographics, social grouping patterns, behavioral diversity, cultural trait transmission or prevalence of infectious diseases is extremely difficult and often impossible. Innovative research approaches for accelerated data collection are therefore urgently needed in order to advance the field.
For this reason, the Department of Primatology is relying increasingly on non-invasive sampling techniques, such as remote photo and video traps and autonomous audio devices, for the collection of data on non-habituated ape individuals within communities. Although, the use of these techniques has already proven extremely valuable for data collection, the rapid accumulation of hundreds of hours of video footage and terabytes of audio recordings precludes manual analysis of the data. Currently, dozens of hours of footage are collected each week. Similar problems exist in the field of conservation monitoring, in which individual-based population monitoring techniques play an important role. There is clearly a need for the development of automated and semi-automated techniques for processing individual data from video and audio recordings, a need which we intend to fulfill.
Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT)
The Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT was founded in January 2004 as the 58th Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Fraunhofer IDMT focuses on the development of new media technologies for professional markets as well as for the home entertainment sector. The different business areas handled by the company comprise extraction and handling of metadata, virtual acoustics and solutions for the distribution of virtual goods. About 50 full-time employees and 50 students are working on a variety of research projects at the institute. Fraunhofer IDMT is headed by Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg, who received the German Future Award in 2000 for his work supervising the development and commercialization of the MP3 audio compression format together with his colleagues. The Metadata Department of Fraunhofer IDMT provides expertise within the following areas: audio signal processing, metadata formats, audio and video feature extraction and recognition, automatic music transcription, cross-medial search and retrieval in high dimensions and data authentication. In 2006, the Fraunhofer IDMT developed the face-recognition core technology for the first consumer photo software utilizing face-recognition for photo management. The Fraunhofer IDMT has participated in the following EU projects: Semantic Hifi (2003–2006), MetaStoRe (2005–2006), DIVAS (since 2007), PHAROS (since 2007), and in the following national projects: (since 2008) Global Music, (since 2007) THESEUS. Two Fraunhofer IDMT research groups are participants in the current project: Semantic Music Technologies, which is responsible for the audio processing and machine-learning tasks, and Semantic Audio-Visual Systems, which is responsible for the video and face analysis as well as the integration and user interface tasks.
Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS)
Founded in 1985, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany, ranks first among the Fraunhofer Institutes concerning headcount and revenues. With the development of the audio coding method MPEG Layer-3, short MP3, Fraunhofer IIS has achieved worldwide recognition. In close cooperation with its partners and clients, the institute provides research and development services in the following areas: Digital radio broadcasting systems, audio and multimedia technology, digital cinema systems, design automation and integrated circuits, wired, wireless and optical networks, localization and navigation, high-speed camera systems, imaging systems and nanofocus X-ray technology, medical sensor solutions and communications technology in transport and logistics. The research group “intelligent systems” has an impressive long-term track record in video and sensor-based methods for real-time face and object detection and analysis systems. This work has resulted in several commercial applications and is widely used in industry.