Funfilled and Rich Experience @ Precog

When I started my journey with Precog, I did not had an idea about the fun-filled work culture, cool and real world implicated projects and work done here will motivate me so much.

It was just a year back when we came up with this idea of exploring how images that can create law and order situations spread on social media. I was highly moved that how a single image can spread so easily, gets viral exponentially, reaching new set of people minute by minute, instigating anger resentment, and fanning violence eventually. WOW! All Happened Without Even a Word!!!

And then I said to myself here is a problem that I intend to solve, it was something new to me and perhaps not of much work has been done in this regard…But as a Precog-ger I intend to take it up.

We picked up the problem of quantifying image virality on Twitter by computing the frequency of similar images posted on Twitter. The overall work was divided in multiple phases. Starting with data collection, we collected around 5,000 images from Twitter for pot-boiling incidences. Next step was to compare image features using different methodologies like 3D colour Histogram, DAISY features, ORB and then we came up with Improved ORB technique which gave us the accuracy of around 90%. In the next phase we built a system which is being used by government security agencies. The input to the system is an image and a related keyword and the system quantises the virality based on the frequency of similar images shared. Further to assist security analysts take some proactive preventive measures and understand the spread of an image we also predicted the spread of an image based on its contextual, structural and visual characteristics. Below is a screen shot of the system that I built during my Masters thesis work. You can get the thesis from here, my slides from the thesis here, and a picture (with my evaluators Dr. A V Subramanyam, and PK) that we took when my defense was done!

I would like to owe sincere gratitude to PK for his inputs and giving me the chance to work on such a burning issue, Niharika Sachdeva (Ph. D, IIIT-Delhi), and Dr. Samarth Bharadwaj (IBM-IRL) for guiding me throughout the project.

Apart from work environment I would like to mention about the regular leisure activities that we enjoy. Recently we went to Sariska reserve; the trip was very soothing and relaxing (some pics below). The scenic beauty of the reserve was captivating. I enjoyed observing vivid plants, birds and animals, watching them eating food, making noises… And in all, this trip was one of the few beautiful memories with Precog. Also to mention small celebrations on every success that any member in Precog family gets!

While concluding I admit that I have got insight to the research work and its ethics, gained from vast pool of knowledge and experience that people here possess, firsthand experience of new technologies and real world problem solving ability. I have had amazing time in last one year at Precog! Looking forward for exponential growth here in years to come…