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Transactions of the Symposium on Photo Interpretation

control and disarmament plan. It is highly significant that during the Arms
Control discussions in Geneva in 1958, the representatives of the United
States of America and the representatives of the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics both proposed that aerial reconnaissance of one sort or another
should be an important tool in support of an arms inspection plan [4]. Table 2
suggests the scope of aerial observation in support of such programs. It is
difficult to estimate how much actual photography would result from such
an activity, but an estimate of 100,000 prints per week seems at the same time
possible and almost unbelievable [5, 6].
Table 2. Anticipated scope of aerial observation in support of arms control * I
Long range aircraft
Tactical aircraft
Ground forces
Missile-launching submarines
Other naval forces
Other to include:
T ranspor tation
R & D Centers
1. Thousands of individual observation sites.
2. Tens or hundreds of thousands of photos generated
on each complete “look”.
3. Frequency of looks undetermined but probably, to
include “continuous sampling”.
With respect to both weather and arms control reconnaissance, it appears
that we can well collect photography required to do these jobs, but the ques
tion remains as to how we can process and efficiently use all of the resultant
At the System Development Corporation, we are conducting research
programs which bear on the specific areas I have pointed out. They are areas
in which computers can do a specific, significant, and unique job of system
support. We have tackled the job of automatic photo screening, and are also
involved in a look at the nature and function of the photo data base, more
specifically, at the problems of man-machine communication in free text.
I would like, now, to give you a rapid summary of our research in each of
these areas.
S.D.C. research on computer applications in photo interpretation
Pattern recognition
The concept of automatic pattern recognition is, of course, not new. It has
been studied extensively with respect to machine recognition of printed type
and hand written material [7]. To a much more limited extent efforts have
been made in the direction of a system to read, i.e., screen, photographs [8, 9,
10, 11]. Table 3 summarizes the problems and the prospects with respect to
such devices.