SBIR Phase II: Video Mining for Customer Behavior in Retail Enterprises

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0548734
Agency Tracking Number: 0441652
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: IT
Solicitation Number: NSF 04-551
Small Business Information
403 South Allen Street, Suite 101, State College, PA, 16801
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Satish Mummareddy
 (814) 867-8977
Business Contact
 Priya Sharma
Title: Ms
Phone: (814) 867-8977
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project aims at developing video mining techniques for automatically generating statistics about in-store shopping behavior to help retail enterprises. These statistics can provide valuable insights for supporting critical decisions in store layout design, merchandising, marketing, and customer service. Further, since it is automated, video mining can become a tool for monitoring the impact of all customer-facing elements in a store. The Phase II research will continue in cooperation with the proposing company's partners and customers, while addressing the remaining challenges for video mining. The proposed tasks include robust person detection, tracking people across multiple cameras, modeling and recognizing complex shopping behavior involving shopping groups and sales associates. The approach will be to use a variety of computer vision and statistical learning techniques under the constraints of a typical retail environment. Retail enterprises today operate in a hyper-competitive environment characterized by blurring categories, eroding market shares and fickle, but more demanding customers. These challenges have prompted retailers to adopt customer-centered strategies focused on uncovering and matching the needs of customers to gain (retain) market share. These strategies rely heavily on obtaining deeper insights into shopper behavior. Current methods (human observation and manual video indexing) for analyzing shopper behavior are limited in their scope while being expensive and time-consuming. On the contrary, the shopper insights gained from the proposed video mining platform will enable more informed decision-making leading to improvements in retail productivity and business process optimization. The proposing company has plans to immediately incorporate the outcome of the SBIR research into its retail product line.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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