Inspiration

Our project’s inspiration came from a common issue that we noticed in the ticketing system, specifically the ticket checking process, in Indian railway and bus systems. Currently, the process of checking tickets is being done manually by a person, leading to more wait time for the passengers and less efficiency. We wanted to find a way to automate the ticket checking process, by simply having a user check-in at a metro/bus by having his/her picture taken, making the process quick and efficient.

What it does

The underlying machine learning model analyzes the picture taken by the user at the check-in at a train or a bus, matches it with the user-submitted picture at the time of user registration, and recognizes the correct user. At this point, further back-end ticket checking processes can occur. Since the pictures at the check-in are taken from slightly different angles, in different light conditions, and perhaps even different orientations, our model should be able to work through those situations and predict the correct individual.

How we built it

We are using a pre-trained Inception Resnet (V1) models in PyTorch, pre-trained on VGGFace2 for this purpose from [link]https://github.com/timesler/facenet-pytorch. For each user that can be recognized, a class is set up with an image or images of the individual. Further, another testing class in a separate folder should be set up, where an image or images that need to be recognized against the existing classes are placed. For each image, a matching "class/label" will be outputted for which a matching class is found, otherwise, the unknown category will be printed. Further, for a detailed explanation, a result table will follow that will calculate the distance and in turn, recognize which individual’s image is there.

A second Python program to capture user image is also included, so the user can easily have their images taken and stored at the folder of the user's choice.

Further, we used the following Head Pose Image Database (at [link] http://www-prima.inrialpes.fr/perso/Gourier/Faces/HPDatabase.html) to test our model for various face angles:

N. Gourier, D. Hall, J. L. Crowley Estimating Face Orientation from Robust Detection of Salient Facial Features Proceedings of Pointing 2004, ICPR, International Workshop on Visual Observation of Deictic Gestures, Cambridge, UK

We used the following technologies:

  • Python
  • PyTorch
  • TorchVision
  • facenet_pytorch
  • numpy
  • pandas
  • tkinter
  • cv2 (OpenCV)
  • Google Collaboratory
  • Github

Challenges we ran into

All of our team members do not have extensive experience in this area, and some of us are completely new to machine learning. The challenge was to familiarize ourselves quickly with machine learning concepts, PyTorch, image processing, deep learning, etc. Second, finding an appropriate dataset to test was difficult since we needed to account for items such as different face angles, train data balancing in terms of gender, lighting, orientation, etc. and finding high-quality images or database was quite difficult to test the model. Third, picking an appropriate model was also quite a challenge and required us to do a lot of research.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Having no background in machine learning/image processing and having built this project, we feel proud of how much progress we have made and how much we have learned along the way. This project can have quite a few different applications and future uses besides only the one use case that we have found so far. We are excited to help others using this image processing technology!

What we learned

We learned an abundance of things from where we started. A few of the highlights are as follows: Machine learning/CNN basic terminology, Image processing in machine learning, How neural networks work, Importance of a balanced dataset, How images get processed in machine learning, Types of machine learning models, How to use pre-trained machine learning models, Testing an existing model,

What's next for our project

We would like to build a better front-end for this project, allowing easier access for others to utilize it. Currently, the process of adding new classes is done manually and we would like a front-end framework to handle that. Further, we see that the algorithm can be optimized for training and find a way to only periodically re-train the model using the newly added user class to save memory and computational power. Further, instead of storing each individual’s image, some other form of labels should be stored in a light-weight text file to enable quick processing and less memory usage. Adding non-human face images in the test images results in errors, which I believe we would like to fix in the future.

We would love to see this technology being implemented in the Indian railway as well as bus systems and people reaping benefits in terms of speed and efficiency.

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