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  1. Today, face editing is widely used to refine/alter photos in both professional and recreational settings. Yet it is also used to modify (and repost) existing online photos for cyberbullying. Our work considers an important open question: 'How can we support the collaborative use of face editing on social platforms while protecting against unacceptable edits and reposts by others?' This is challenging because, as our user study shows, users vary widely in their definition of what edits are (un)acceptable. Any global filter policy deployed by social platforms is unlikely to address the needs of all users, but hinders social interactions enabled by photo editing. Instead, we argue that face edit protection policies should be implemented by social platforms based on individual user preferences. When posting an original photo online, a user can choose to specify the types of face edits (dis)allowed on the photo. Social platforms use these per-photo edit policies to moderate future photo uploads, i.e., edited photos containing modifications that violate the original photo's policy are either blocked or shelved for user approval. Realizing this personalized protection, however, faces two immediate challenges: (1) how to accurately recognize specific modifications, if any, contained in a photo; and (2) how to associate an edited photo with its original photo (and thus the edit policy). We show that these challenges can be addressed by combining highly efficient hashing based image search and scalable semantic image comparison, and build a prototype protector (Alethia) covering nine edit types. Evaluations using IRB-approved user studies and data-driven experiments (on 839K face photos) show that Alethia accurately recognizes edited photos that violate user policies and induces a feeling of protection to study participants. This demonstrates the initial feasibility of personalized face edit protection. We also discuss current limitations and future directions to push the concept forward.

     
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  2. Vehicle tracking, a core application to smart city video analytics, is becoming more widely deployed than ever before thanks to the increasing number of traffic cameras and recent advances in computer vision and machine-learning. Due to the constraints of bandwidth, latency, and privacy concerns, tracking tasks are more preferable to run on edge devices sitting close to the cameras. However, edge devices are provisioned with a fixed amount of computing budget, making them incompetent to adapt to time-varying and imbalanced tracking workloads caused by traffic dynamics. In coping with this challenge, we propose WatchDog, a real-time vehicle tracking system that fully utilizes edge nodes across the road network. WatchDog leverages computer vision tasks with different resource-accuracy tradeoffs, and decomposes and schedules tracking tasks judiciously across edge devices based on the current workload to maximize the number of tasks while ensuring a provable response time-bound at each edge device. Extensive evaluations have been conducted using real-world city-wide vehicle trajectory datasets, achieving exceptional tracking performance with a real-time guarantee. 
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