Automated Filtering Big Visual Data from Drones for Enhanced Visual Analytics in Construction Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). All rights reserved. Nowadays, to assess and document construction and building performance, large amount of visual data are captured and stored through camera equipped platforms such as wearable cameras, unmanned aerial/ground vehicles, and smart phones. However, due to the nonstop fashion in recording such visual data, not all of the frames in captured consecutive footages are intentionally taken, and thus not every frame is worthy of being processed for construction and building performance analysis. Since many frames will simply have non-construction related contents, before processing the visual data, the content of each recorded frame should be manually investigated depending on the association with the goal of the visual assessment. To address such challenges, this paper aims to automatically filter construction big visual data that requires no human annotations. To overcome challenges in pure discriminative approach using manually labeled images, we construct a generative model with unlabeled visual dataset, and use it to find construction-related frames in big visual dataset from jobsites. First, through composition-based snap point detection together with domain adaptation, we filter and remove most of accidently recorded frames in the footage. Then, we create discriminative classifier trained with visual data from jobsites to eliminate non-construction related images. To evaluate the reliability of the proposed method, we have obtained the ground truth based on human judgment for each photo in our testing dataset. Despite learning without any explicit labels, the proposed method shows a reasonable practical range of accuracy, which generally outperforms prior snap point detection. Through the case studies, the fidelity of the algorithm is discussed in detail. By being able to focus on selective visual data, practitioners will spend less time on browsing large amounts of visual data; rather spend more time on looking at how to leverage the visual data to facilitate decision-makings in built environments.

name of conference

  • Construction Research Congress 2018

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Kamari, M., & Ham, Y.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Kamari, MirSalar||Ham, Youngjib

publication date

  • March 2018