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IAPR Technical Committees (TCs)











Karl Tombre—IAPR 1st VP and General Chair of TCs

A major part of the scientific life of our association takes place in our technical committees, which cover a broad spectrum of scientific topics. A large number of our TCs have either been newly created or revitalized, or have redefined their scope, goals and activities. Many have a mailing list or internal forum for their members to easily share information and to foster discussion.  This is a good testimony to the vitality of this scientific life, and we encourage the membership at large to continue being involved in these activities.  There is probably still room for new TCs on specific topics, provided a representative number of scientists from different member societies decide to work together on animating the community of their specific field.

But with this vitality, we also regularly receive questions about general guidelines for activities. The ExCo does not want to dictate or to inhibit  groups from taking new initiatives.  But for the sake of quality and visibility of our scientific activities, we have discussed some basic guidelines which we have communicated to all our technical committees. Here is a summary of these guidelines. 


Workshops and conferences

One of the most visible and sensible actions for a TC is to “sponsor” or “support” one or several scientific events.  We are happy about the number and variety of events supported in that way.  However, we wish to stress a few basic rules and guidelines:

¨ It is not enough to claim that a TC sponsors an event; it should be submitted to the IAPR Conferences and Meetings Committee for official approval and sponsorship, as specified in the IAPR guidelines.

¨ The purpose of sponsorship of an event by an IAPR TC is to foster scientific exchanges in the area of expertise of that TC. We have a number of TC chairs or members who are dynamic personalities within the pattern recognition community; and as such, they are also often involved in the organization of general purpose conferences and workshops.  It is not because a TC chair or member is strongly involved in organizing such an event that the TC should necessarily “sponsor” the event.  In many cases, the event may directly apply for IAPR sponsorship, without going through the TC.  It is important to maintain a clear visibility of our TCs’ work independently of the personalities or other duties of the TC chairs or members.

¨ In any case, IAPR-sponsored events in general, and TC workshops in particular, should not “compete” with each other but rather have complementary roles.  This is especially true for workshops organized in close connection with our main events, first and foremost ICPR, but also ICDAR.  Any satellite workshops should not be perceived as alternatives or competitors to the main conference but should give some additional and complementary benefit to people attending both.

¨ All our TCs are general IAPR committees and, as such, are broadly international.  This should be reflected by an international program committee and by moving the venue from one country, and ideally from one continent, to another. The fact that TC events remain for long periods in the same area of the world may reflect a lack of international involvement within the TC.


Web presence and educational material

Most of our TCs have web sites and many of them are working on improvements of these web sites. This is a very good initiative. The ExCo very much wants to support this.  We are pleased to announce that as we are working on improving the professional web services provided to our membership and to our technical committees, we can provide a web name under the umbrella and even web hosting space.  Thus, the TCs do not need to reserve their own domain names and work on their own hosting solutions.  Interested TCs can contact Prof. Srihari, head of the Publications and Publicity Committee, who is leading the work in setting up professional web services and has plans to provide a template for describing each TC homogeneously.


Under the chairmanship of Dr. Antonacopoulos, the Education Committee currently has a very ambitious plan to put together educational material on various pattern recognition topics, and they are looking for experts to write on various subjects.  As the expertise is very often to be found in the TCs, we strongly encourage TCs to synchronize their work with that of the Education Committee.  We feel that everybody will win if we work on this together and not each TC on its own. We therefore see the Education Committee as some sort of moderator or assembler, with contributions coming (among others) from the TCs.


Performance evaluation and datasets

A number of TCs work on performance evaluation and reference datasets.  This is also a very interesting and appropriate action.  We just want to point out that IAPR TC5 is devoted to the general methodology of benchmarking and software, so we invite all TCs to keep communication lines open with TC5, to let this TC know about your ongoing efforts and to share with TC5 and thus with the IAPR community at large the methodological tools you may use.  We are of course aware of the fact that a number of details are very specific to each field and thus more appropriate for work at the TC level, but it is our common interest to share as much as possible, and we would like to keep a good awareness within the association on these activities in general, and TC5 is a good vector for these purposes.

Joining a TC is simple:  no application forms to fill out.


Simply contact the TC through its web site or by sending mail to the TC chair.

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