• EU H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015 "enhAnced Mobile BiomEtRics" (AMBER), 2017-2020

    (Ph.D. positions available!!!)
    In recent years the ubiquity of mobile computing platforms such as smartphones and tablet devices has rapidly increased. These devices provide a range of interaction in an untethered environment unimaginable a decade previously. With this ability to interact with services and individuals, comes the need to accurately authenticate the identity of the person requesting the transaction, many of which may carry financial or legally-binding instruction. The growth of biometrics on mobile devices however raises a number of current and unresolved issues which require a constructive and coherent set of interrelated research projects, across multiple Computing/ICT sub-disciplines, alongside the development of expertise, to identify solutions. The specific objectives of the AMBER are to:
    • Address a range of current issues facing biometric solutions on mobile devices requiring timely research and development that broadly fit into key areas of usability and reliability, novel interactions and privacy security and confidence. Each area is dependent on the other two, hence the fully integrated nature of the AMBER network.
    • Collate Europe-wide complementary academic and industrial expertise to investigate these issues and provide a structure and environment to effectively facilitate training.
    • Recognising the potential permanency of mobile biometric solutions, the ITN will train and equip the next generation of researchers to define, investigate and implement solutions within this technology area, and provide transferable skills to enable effective planning, management and communication of research ideas and outcomes.
    • Develop solutions and theory to ensure secure, ubiquitous and efficient authentication whilst protecting privacy of citizens.

  • COntactlesS Multibiometric mObile System in the wild: COSMOS (PRIN 2015)

    The evergrowing number of travelers and migrants crossing the EU borders poses a serious challenge to the border control authorities in terms of a reduced amount of time for carrying out border checks. Consequently, efforts are being undertaken to facilitate the travel of bonafide and genuine passengers and, at the same time, to safeguard a high level of security. In this kind of context, the use of multimodal biometrics might provide the key for increasing the level of security while reducing the failures inevitably associated with the use of a single identifier in a typically uncontrolled environment. As a further element to consider, practical experiences lead to privilege a most fluent and nonintrusive control process for noncritical travelers (EU, bonafide etc.). Therefore the use of contactless capturing techniques and their implementation on consumerlevel mobile devices is likely to be preferred over contactbased technologies and dedicated devices. Overall, COSMOS (COntactlesS Multibiometric mObile System in the wild) aims at delivering a comprehensive approach to multibiometric person verification and recognition, including most contactless biometrics, flexibly integrated through a contextadaptive acquisition/matching strategy based on their complementarity and exploiting the agile and ubiquitous hardware platforms represented by last generation smartphones and tablets. More in practice, the project will exploit the specific knowledge of each of the participants to provide an unprecedented unified biometric platform for contactless person verification/recognition by means of both hard biometrics like face (both in 2D and 3D), iris, ear, fingerprint/palmprint and soft biometrics like gait and gaze. Moreover, multitracking methods will be also developed to enabling screeningfromdistance capabilities to allow the proposed system to detect subjects of interest or potential threats to be checked in detail by the other biometric modalities. COSMOS is expected to fostering the research and application of new ideas in the field of biometry by providing three major contributions to the field: the effective and efficient implementation of the single modalities on mobile architectures in the challenging "inthewild" scenario; the complimentary integration of these biometrics by innovative data fusion strategies to maximize the discriminating potential of the different identifiers considered according to a wide range of operative conditions and the novel smart management of the crucial privacy issues related to a multibiometric system. Finally, since in Italy as well in other EU and extraEU countries, strict data protection prescriptions regulate the use of biometrics, COSMOS will devote a specific emphasis to data protection, social, medical and ethical issues.

  • EU H2020-MSCA-RISE-2015 "ENhancing seCurity and privAcy in the Social wEb: a user-centered approach for the protection of minors" (ENCASE), 2016-2019

    ENCASE will leverage the latest advances in usable security and privacy to design and implement a browser-based architecture for the protection of minors from malicious actors in online social networks. The ENCASE user-centric architecture will consist of three distinct services, which can be combined to form an effective protective net against cyberbullying and sexually abusive acts: a) a browser add-on with its corresponding scalable back-end software stack that collects the user's online actions to unveil incidents of aggressive or distressed behavior; b) a browser add-on with its associated scalable software stack that analyses social web data to detect fraudulent and fake activity and alert the user; and c) a browser add-on that detects when a user is about to share sensitive content (e.g., photos or address information) with an inappropriate audience and warns the user or his parents of the imminent privacy threat. The third add-on has usable controls that enable users to protect their content by suggesting suitable access lists, by watermarking, and by securing the content via cryptography or steganography. The three browser add-ons and the back-end social web data analytics software stack will be assessed with user studies and piloting activities and will be released to the public. The foundation of the research and innovation activities will be a diligently planned inter-sectorial and interdisciplinary secondment program for Experienced and Early Stage Researchers that fosters knowledge exchange. The academic partners will contribute know-how on user experience assessment, large scale data processing, machine learning and data-mining algorithm design, and content confidentiality techniques. The industrial partners will primarily offer expertise in production-grade software development, access to real-world online social network data, and access to numerous end-users through widely deployed products.

  • COST Action IC1206 "De-identification for privacy protection in multimedia content", 2013-2017.

    De-identification in multimedia content can be defined as the process of concealing the identities of individuals captured in a given set of data (images, video, audio, text), for the purpose of protecting their privacy. This will provide an effective means for supporting the EU's Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), which is concerned with the introduction of appropriate measures for the protection of personal data. The fact that a person can be identified by such features as face, voice, silhouette and gait, indicates the de-identification process as an interdisciplinary challenge, involving such scientific areas as image processing, speech analysis, video tracking and biometrics. This Action aims to facilitate coordinated interdisciplinary efforts (related to scientific, legal, ethical and societal aspects) in the introduction of person de-identification and reversible de-identification in multimedia content by networking relevant European experts and organisations.

  • COST Action IC1106 "Integrating Biometrics and Forensics for the Digital Age", 2012-2016.

    "Forensics is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to a legal system. This may be in relation to a crime or a civil action" [Wikipedia]. Since many such questions boil down to identifying, or verifying the identity, of people allegedly involved in some action, a clear relationship exists between forensics and biometrics. Biometrics developed a number of techniques which can clearly facilitate the identification of people involved in criminal actions or civil incidents. Thus, although the two communities have traditionally often operated in relative isolation, there are many scenarios where the synergic cooperation of multimodal biometrics and forensics can be successfully applied. To address such multifaceted areas it is important to develop an interdisciplinary network with complementary competences, to foster the birth of a new community which can develop novel technological solutions to crucial issues and new challenges in forensic science. This Action will promote new partnerships, will provide education and training, will contribute to develop new standards and best practices, will produce awareness of the potential benefits of advanced technologies for evidence analysis in forensic cases and will stimulate improved mutual understanding of collaborative working models linking the academic and industrial sectors.

  • EU FP7 The people programme, Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP): "Digital Image and Video Forensics", 2010-2014.

    This project is about transferring knowledge of image and video forensics between the academia and industry. Building on the complementary expertise of the participants, the consortium aims to pursue two major lines of investigations: Device fingerprint based forensics and hidden data based forensics. The first line of investigation requires the formulation of a set of "fingerprint" left in the images/video by the hardware components or in-built signal processing algorithms of the imaging device and involves the study of its forensic applications. The applications we are aiming for include device identification, technology/licensing infringement detection, device linking, automatic media classification, tampering detection. To guarantee the value of these techniques, anti-anti-forensics measures will also be devised to detect/prevent removal or substitution of the fingerprint set. The second line of investigation is about the use and analysis of hidden data in the host image/video for authentication, content integrity verification, copyright protection (including ownership identification, proof of ownership, copy control, traitor tracing), and the use and detection of covert communications. Although data hiding is a relatively mature research area, their applicability in the real world is yet to be fully explored due to the fact that the security issues are often interleaved with multimedia processing issues and requires addressing. Therefore this line of research requires the formulation of specific security requirements and attack modelling for specific applications. Overall, both lines of research require a wide variety of expertise such as multimedia signal processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, and optimisation theory. Therefore it is expected that this project will also take the soundness and applicability of these theories to a new level and lay a solid foundation for wider lasting collaborations in the related areas.

  • COST Action IC1005 "HDRi: The digital capture, storage, transmission, and display of real world lighting", 2010-2014.

    This project is about transferring knowledge of image and video forensics between the academia and industry. Building on the complementary expertise of the partiThe natural world presents our eyes with a wide range of colours and intensities from moonlight to bright sunshine. We can see detail in regions that vary significantly in luminance. Current imaging techniques are incapable of accurately capturing or displaying such a range of lighting. Some areas are under-exposed and others over-exposed. High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging can capture, store, transmit and deliver real-world lighting. This gives a step change in viewing experience, for example the ability to clearly see the football when it is kicked from the shadow of the stadium into sunshine. Widespread uptake of HDR requires common interface standards. Currently they do not exist. There are isolated pockets of high-quality HDR endeavour across Europe, but not a co-ordinated approach. 2009 saw the appearance of the first commercial HDR display and the world's first HDR video camera. These European-led developments reinforce the timeliness of developing HDR standards and the special position Europe is in to lead the rapid acceleration of future HDR developments and market penetration. This COST Action (HDRi) assembles leading academic and industrial researchers and practitioners to propose a set of standards for the complete HDR pipeline and establish Europe firmly as the world leader in HDR.

  • EU-FP7 thematic network BEST Thematic Network, Biometrics European Stakeholders Network (Oct. 2009-Oct.2011).

    BEST NETWORK (Biometric European STakeholders NETWORK) is a European Thematic Network on Trusted information infrastructures and biometric technologies, based on four pillars: 1) technical, scientific, and industrial excellence; 2) legal analysis and compliance; 3) ethical awareness and sensitivity; 4) public and democratic transparency and scrutiny. BEST NETWORK will draw together key stakeholders including the finest experts from across the EU to determine how biometrics can most appropriately be applied in the context of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

  • COST Action 2101 "Biometrics for Identity documents and smart cards", 2006-2010.

    With an increase in identity fraud and the emphasis on security, there is a growing and urgent need to efficiently identify humans both locally and remotely on a routine basis. The Action addresses the issues of the global breakthrough by biometrics in identity verification technology that is imminent in terms of its use in identity documents and corresponding applications. The appearance of biometric identity documents such as passports, visas, national identity cards, drivers' licences and health insurance cards, have triggered a real need for reliable, user-friendly and widely acceptable automated reference mechanisms for checking the identity of an individual. The main objective of the Action is to investigate novel technologies for unsupervised multimodal biometric authentication systems using a new generation of biometrics-enabled identity documents and smart cards, while exploring the added-value of these technologies for large-scale applications with respect to the European requirements in relation to storage, transmission and protection of personal data. The Action also aims to address challenges in the deployment of the most promising biometric media such as identity document chips and smart cards in their various formats. This will involve considerable study of the application areas and efforts on the development of standards.