Automated Stream Analysis for Public Safety Challenge - Part 1

Automated Stream Analysis for Public Safety Challenge - Part 1

Develop tools and capabilities to detect and analyze emergency events from live streaming multimodal public safety data.
Open to Submissions

Challenge Overview

Join our upcoming webinar on July 15, 1 pm EDT - Data: Fuel for Innovation. Register here.


The Public Safety Big Emergency Data Conundrum

Literally every second counts in public safety response to emergency situations. Data-informed tools to alert public safety officials to emergencies, improve their situational awareness, and assist them in making fast and effective deployment decisions that save lives, property, and infrastructure are critically needed.   Public safety operations have an ever-increasing amount of live streaming data available to them from public safety communications, sensors, social media, and other publicly available sources of information. Information contained within these data can help public safety make faster and more informed decisions in responding to emergencies. However, identifying and leveraging the nuggets of critically important information in the tremendous mass of ever-expanding data in time to make effective use of it in response decisions is both an opportunity and a challenge to public safety operations. 

Currently, analyzing all of this data is tedious, time-consuming, and requires significant human resources.  As these streaming data resources grow, public safety is reaching a point of diminishing returns in its ability to manually monitor and analyze these data streams during emergencies since such analyses require increased time and coordination as the number and nature of data resources expand. Since time is of the essence in responding to emergencies, there is an urgent need for advanced real-time analytic tools to support public safety in wading through this mountain of data in detecting, understanding, and responding to emergencies so that precious time isn’t lost in comprehending the data.   

Creating the technologies to concurrently digest the many forms and streams of data flowing into public safety operations and support the development of comprehensive, effective, and efficient real-time public safety emergency situation analysis solutions is an unprecedented challenge.  This challenge requires innovations that combine the state-of-the-art in artificial intelligence, real-time computing, and high-speed communications, multimodal information analysis and visualization, decision management, advanced information visualization, and user interfaces, and beyond.


The ASAPS Challenge

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR) is launching the Automated Streams Analysis for Public Safety (ASAPS) Challenge to address this need by fostering ground-breaking multidisciplinary research and innovation in real-time emergency data analytics.  The overall vision of this program is to provide public safety with advanced real-time emergency detection, situational awareness, and decision-making capabilities from many live unstructured data streams. 

The overall goal of the ASAPS Challenge program is to stimulate R&D in critical technologies that will lead to future products providing public safety with advanced real-time emergency detection, situational awareness, and decision-making capabilities based on input from many live, unstructured data streams.  The program is designed to stimulate research in critically important technologies such as AI-based streaming data analysis, evolving emergency event understanding, highly actionable analytic information visualizations, and highly intuitive analytics-driven response-support interfaces that maximize situation awareness while minimizing response time.  Additionally, we seek to leverage cross-participant knowledge and expertise, inspire the spirit of competition, and garner potential wins at all levels – from low-level data stream analysis to information fusion to real-time information delivery and interaction.

The ASAPS challenge will play a critical role in improving public safety readiness by accelerating innovation and advancements in:

  • Agile multimodal analytics and fusion models for streaming data from video, audio, text, social media, and sensor data.
  • Reusable R&D and test and evaluation frameworks.
  • Open source analytics development tools and analytic solutions.
  • Highly actionable analytic information visualization, intuitive information interaction, and decision-support interfaces for emergency situation awareness and response.
  • Scalable, deployable event detection and analysis tools and methodologies.
  • Critical mass in R&D related to scalable real-time analytics for public safety.
  • Research for future analytics interoperability standards.


The ASAPS contests

This ASAPS contest 1 is now open for submissions!  This contest is the first in a series of four and is designed to jumpstart the ASAPS Challenge by assessing today’s state-of-the-art and envisioning new ideas to better leverage multi-modal data streams and real-time data processing in the public safety emergency response environment.  This first contest anticipates awarding up to a total of $150,000 for the most compelling ideas. 

The second contest, ASAPS Contest 2, is scheduled to launch in the summer of  2020. In this contest, which is open to everyone, contestants’ algorithms will be tested for their ability to perform live, automated emergency event analysis across many streams of data flowing from a variety of sources and modalities.  Potential contestants of this first contest may view their participation as preparation for the second contest.


What is public safety?

Public safety is broadly defined as the welfare and protection of the general public.  Public safety departments operating at different levels of government (municipal, county, state) ensure the protection of citizens.  This protection is afforded through a wide portfolio of services, including law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, and 911.  NIST PSCR works collaboratively with the public safety community to identify technology requirements that are critical to advancing communications capabilities that will enable first responders to more effectively carry out their mission.


Who can participate?

All stakeholders are welcome to join our growing community of interest. Successful outcomes will require collaboration among contestants with skill sets from across many academic disciplines, sectors, organizations, and technical communities, including:

Computer Vision, Human Language Technology, Automatic Speech Recognition, Information Filtering and Retrieval, Information Extraction, Sensor Data Processing, Geographic Information Systems, Knowledge Engineering and Management/Expert Systems, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Predictive Modeling, Data Science, High-Performance Computing, Distributed Processing, Cloud Computing, Information Visualization, Augmented/Virtual Reality, Operations Research, Public Safety Communications, and Operations.

Contestants may join as individuals or under their affiliation with R&D centers, laboratories, academia, large or small business, industry, and other organizations.  There is no requirement for affiliation for contestants, but there are some exclusions detailed in the Terms and Conditions. Please ensure you are eligible to participate and comply with your affiliated organization’s rules of conduct, ethics, and other restrictions specific to your organization.

Contestants from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences,  and disciplines (not necessarily all captured above) are welcome to participate in the challenge.  The Official Representative submitting (individual or team lead, in the case of a team submission) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its territories. International contestants can collaborate on a team with a team captain who meets the U.S. requirements. In the case of submissions from a business or other organization, it must be incorporated in and maintain a place of business in the United States or its territories.  


To register for the challenge, click the orange button below.

Updates 17
Forum 13
Community 371
Webinar Series

Webinar Series

ASAPS Summer Webinar Series


Automated Streams Analysis for Public Safety (ASAPS) is excited to announce the Summer Webinar Series to support contestants in developing the most innovative solutions to advance public safety. Below is the schedule and focus of each webinar. New speakers and content will be announced as we get closer to each webinar. All dates are in Eastern Time (New York).


June 23, 3 pm ET - Contestant Crowdsourcing Townhall (WATCH RECORDING)

Bring your thoughts, ideas, and questions and participate in this interactive webinar with other contestants and the Challenge organizers. By collaborating and sharing our collective knowledge, we can drive towards better solutions to increase public safety. This webinar will include live feedback tools and open mic segments to gain a greater understanding of the contestant perspective. Some questions we can consider together:

  • What are you excited about in the Contest?
  • What are you concerned about in the Contest?
  • What questions do you have about the Contest or ASAPS Challenge?
  • What clarifications are needed?
  • What support do you need to build a winning team?


July 15, 1pm ET - Data: Fuel for Innovation - REGISTER HERE

ASAPS is creating a unique and unprecedented dataset. Get a preview into the development of the data streams and their attributions. This webinar will also feature a technical deep dive into how the data is curated and what to expect when the data is released later this fall. Join us for this unique opportunity to think about how your own concepts can be built around the data and how the data will be accessible and usable. Make sure to attend the August 3 webinar to hear how the hear stories from the staging events and learn additional details about the data collected.


August 3, 1pm ET - Final Countdown to Submission Deadline

T minus four days! Submissions are due August 7! Make sure you get all your questions answered about the final logistics to submit your solutions. Participants will get an inside look into the detailed reviewer assessment and judge evaluation process. There will also be excitement building for the impending release of the following:

  • Co-sponsor and partner announcements from corporate, public safety, and non-profit communities (the group that will be signing up to help support and provide incentives to contestants)
  • Data – Part 2: Share some of the perspectives from the team that participated in the data collection staging events in July.
  • Wrap-Up Workshop (tentatively scheduled for late September as a collaborative event between contestants and industry and public safety leaders)


September 15, 1pm ET: TBD


Late September: Wrap-Up Workshop (dates and location to be determined)