Date of Award

Winter 12-2016

Author's Department

Computer Science & Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Type



Images are key to fighting sex trafficking. They are: (a) used to advertise for sex services,(b) shared among criminal networks, and (c) connect a person in an image to the place where the image was taken. This work explores the ability to link images to indoor places in order to support the investigation and prosecution of sex trafficking. We propose and develop a framework that includes a database of open-source information available on the Internet, a crowd-sourcing approach to gathering additional images, and explore a variety of matching approaches based both on hand-tuned features such as SIFT and learned features using state of the art deep learning approaches. We concentrate on spatio-temporal indexing of hotel rooms, and to date have an index of more than 1.5 million geo-coded images. Our smart-phone app collects contextual information and metadata alongside images.


English (en)


Robert Pless

Committee Members

Yasutaka Furukawa Sanmay Das


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