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AGT International wins prestigious IEEE-GRSS Data Fusion Contest prize

August 27, 2013

The IEEE-GRSS Data Fusion Contest awards AGT International with Best Classification prize

AGT International, one of the fastest growing safety and security solutions organizations in the world, has been awarded the Best Classification Award at the 2013 IEEE-GRSS Data Fusion Contest. It was selected as the winner of the prize from over 50 submissions from universities, national labs, and research institutes around the world.

The IEEE-GRSS Data Fusion Contest was established in 2006, by the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, to evaluate methodologies in the realm of multi-sensor data fusion. Data fusion is the combination of information from multiple sources and is used in many applications to increase system reliability, improve performance or obtain a more complete situational awareness picture.

This year’s Contest focused on exploiting airborne imagery of urban areas using hyperspectral and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data. Hyperspectral images are optical images that cover the visual and near-infrared spectral range. As opposed to images taken by a CCD (charge coupled device) camera which show just three color channels, hyperspectral images acquire more than 100 bands.

Contestants were provided with hyperspectral and LiDAR-derived data acquired over the University of Houston, USA, and the surrounding area. The scene covered an area of 4.2km2 and had a spatial resolution of 2.5 meters. The aim of the Contest was to label the data into 15 land cover and land use classes, going from healthy grass, stressed grass, synthetic grass, trees, road, highway, railway, commercial building, residential building, soil, water, tennis court, running track to parking lots.

The winning AGT International research team from the data analytics group in Darmstadt consisted of Dr. Christian Debes, Dr. Andreas Merentitis, Dr. Roel Heremans, Dr. Nikolaos Frangiadakis and Dr. Tim van Kasteren, as well as Jürgen Hahn, a PhD student at the Signal Processing Group at Technische Universität Darmstadt.

Joachim Schaper, Vice President of Research AGT International said: “AGT International’s innovative approach was illustrated in this contest by our team’s use of specific techniques that are not commonly used in this field.  This included the application of advanced machine learning algorithms and also looking at the entire spatial context when analyzing sensor readings.  This unique approach was central to the team’s success and we are pleased to see them recognized with this award.”

Mati Kochavi, Founder and CEO of AGT International, said “We are delighted to win this award especially as the team had to fend off challengers from some of the world’s brightest minds. This further demonstrates our first-class expertise in data fusion, which we use in a variety of ways across the business including face recognition performance and combining sensor data for water management solutions.”

Fabio Pacifici, Chair of the IEEE-GRSS Data Fusion Technical Committee, commented “In its seventh issue, the IEEE-GRSS Data Fusion Contest has become world renowned. We receive entries from around the world and their quality is extremely high. AGT International has beaten off fierce competition to take the Best Classification prize.”

In addition to winning the Best Classification award, a team from AGT International came second in the Best Paper Award, which is also part of the IEEE-GRSS Data Fusion Contest. More than 900 researchers from universities, national labs, space agencies, and corporations from across the globe entered the Contest, which is designed to promote novel synergetic use of hyperspectral and LiDAR data. A team from Ghent University, Belgium, won the first prize.


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About AGT International

Founded in 2007, AGT International’s technology solutions safeguard people, assets and infrastructure for public safety authorities, governments and corporations.  Our core intellectual property collects, correlates, analyzes and prioritizes data from available sources to present immediately actionable intelligence that helps our customers better predict, manage and resolve an ever-expanding spectrum of threats to life and livelihood. By proactively delivering the right information to the right decision makers in real time, we enable them to plan and prepare better, and to react faster and more effectively.  Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the organization employs 2,400 people globally. AGT International is privately held and led by Founder and CEO, Mati Kochavi. For more information, please visit

AGT Group GmbH
Lintheschergasse 7
8001 Zurich, Switzerland
T +41 44 828 4997
F +41 43 497 2862


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