Previously, we investigated the use of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) to detect so-called Small Metallic Threats (SMTs) hidden amongst legitimate goods inside a cargo container. We trained a CNN from scratch on data produced by a Threat Image Projection (TIP) framework that generates images with realistic variation to robustify performance. The system achieved 90% detection of containers that contained a single SMT, while raising 6% false positives on benign containers. The best CNN architecture used the raw high energy image (single-energy) and its logarithm as input channels. Use of the logarithm improved performance, thus echoing studies on human operator performance. However, it is an unexpected result with CNNs. In this work, we (i) investigate methods to exploit material information captured in dual-energy images, and (ii) introduce a new CNN training scheme that generates ‘spot-the-difference’ benign and threat pairs on-the-fly. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that CNNs have been applied directly to raw dual-energy X-ray imagery, in any field. To exploit dual-energy, we experiment with adapting several physics-derived approaches to material discrimination from the cargo literature, and introduce three novel variants. We hypothesise that CNNs can implicitly learn about the material characteristics of objects from the raw dual-energy images, and use this to suppress false positives. The best performing method is able to detect 95% of containers containing a single SMT, while raising 0.4% false positives on benign containers. This is a step change improvement in performance over our prior work
Existing approaches to automated security image analysis focus on the detection of particular classes of threat. However, this mode of inspection is ineffectual when dealing with mature classes of threat, for which adversaries have refined effective concealment techniques. Furthermore, these methods may be unable to detect potential threats that have never been seen before. Therefore, in this paper, we investigate an anomaly detection framework, at X-ray image patch-level, based on: (i) image representations, and (ii) the detection of anomalies relative to those representations. We present encouraging preliminary results, using representations learnt using convolutional neural networks, as well as several contributions to a general-purpose anomaly detection algorithm based on decision-tree learning.
The current infrastructure for non-intrusive inspection of cargo containers cannot accommodate exploding com-merce volumes and increasingly stringent regulations. There is a pressing need to develop methods to automate parts of the inspection workﬂow, enabling expert operators to focus on a manageable number of high-risk images. To tackle this challenge, we developed a modular framework for automated X-ray cargo image inspection. Employing state-of-the-art machine learning approaches, including deep learning, we demonstrate high performance for empty container veriﬁcation and speciﬁc threat detection. This work constitutes a signiﬁcant step towards the partial automation of X-ray cargo image inspection.