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Proceedings Paper

Is airport baggage inspection just another medical image?
Author(s): Alastair G. Gale; Mark D. Mugglestone; Kevin J. Purdy; A. McClumpha
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Paper Abstract

A similar inspection situation to medical imaging appears to be that of the airport security screener who examines X-ray images of passenger baggage. There is, however, little research overlap between the two areas. Studies of observer performance in examining medical images have led to a conceptual model which has been used successfully to understand diagnostic errors and develop appropriate training strategies. The model stresses three processes of; visual search, detection of potential targets, and interpretation of these areas; with most errors being due to the latter two factors. An initial study is reported on baggage inspection, using several brief image presentations, to examine the applicability of such a medical model to this domain. The task selected was the identification of potential Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Specifically investigated was the visual search behavior of inspectors. It was found that IEDs could be identified in a very brief image presentation, with increased presentation time this performance improved. Participants fixated on IEDs very early on and sometimes concentrated wholly on this part of the baggage display. When IEDs were missed this was mainly due to interpretative factors rather than visual search or IED detection. It is argued that the observer model can be applied successfully to this scenario.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 April 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3981, Medical Imaging 2000: Image Perception and Performance, (14 April 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.383105
Show Author Affiliations
Alastair G. Gale, Univ. of Derby (United Kingdom)
Mark D. Mugglestone, Univ. of Derby (United Kingdom)
Kevin J. Purdy, Univ. of Derby (United Kingdom)
A. McClumpha, Defense Evaluation and Research Agency Farnborough (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3981:
Medical Imaging 2000: Image Perception and Performance
Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Editor(s)

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