Minimising the Human-in-the-Loop

The Crucial Equation of High Probability of Detection (PD) – Low False Alarm Ratio (FAR) in Surveillance Sensor Data.


In the defence sector, where rapid threat detection and response are critical, minimising the human factor in the loop is paramount. Surveillance systems rely heavily on sensor data‘s accuracy and reliability to detect potential threats promptly and make informed decisions. However, human operators involved in the monitoring process can introduce inconsistencies and errors, which may lead to missed detections or false alarms. To address this challenge, security stakeholders strive to maintain a simple equation in which the Probability of Detection (PD) is high, and the False Alarm Ratio (FAR) is low. 

The defence sector faces unique challenges when it comes to minimizing the human factor in the loop and optimizing the Probability of Detection (PD) and False Alarm Ratio (FAR) equation. With various surveillance sensors at their disposal, security stakeholders rely on accurate data collection and analysis to effectively detect and mitigate threats. The quality and reliability of sensor data directly impact the overall effectiveness of threat detection systems.

Each surveillance sensor has its limitations and detection thresholds. For example, an EO (Electro-Optical) sensor’s effectiveness diminishes in low light conditions or complete darkness. IR (Infrared) sensors suffer from relatively low resolution and struggle in challenging environmental conditions like fog or smog. Radars can detect targets but lack the ability to identify or specify them accurately.

To overcome the limitations of individual sensors and increase the system’s Probability of Detection (PD), data from multiple sources must be collected and fused. Sensor fusion technology combines data from different sensor types to provide a comprehensive and accurate situational picture. By combining inputs from multiple sources, security stakeholders gain better tracking and identification capabilities while computing the certainty of their findings.

 Mitigating Human Error and Cognitive Biases

 While minimizing the human factor is crucial, complete automation may not always be feasible or desirable in defence contexts. Human operators bring valuable domain expertise and contextual understanding that automated systems may lack. Integrating human-in-the-loop decision-making processes allows defence organizations to leverage both the strengths of automation and human judgment. By combining surveillance sensor data analysis with human oversight and intervention, a balance between PD and FAR can be struck, enhancing the overall effectiveness of threat detection and response systems.

The False Alarm Ratio (FAR) is a crucial filter that determines the number of false alarms with the total number of warnings or notices. Maintaining a low FAR ensures that only relevant information is passed on to decision-makers, minimising unnecessary disruptions.

FAR, or False Alarm Ratio, is the filter that is set by the number of false alarms per the total number of warnings or notices in a given target detection or situation. Maintaining a low FAR is crucial so that only the relevant information is passed on to the decision-makers. 

Human errors and cognitive biases can significantly impact threat detection accuracy. Factors like fatigue, stress, and information overload can impair human operators’ ability to identify genuine threats and distinguish them from false alarms. Organisations are implementing advanced AI technologies, clear communication channels, well-defined security policies, and data handling protocols to minimise these challenges. These measures help mitigate human error risks and enhance defence-related surveillance systems’ PD and FAR equation. Techniques such as defining masking areas, setting thresholds for accurate site scanning, implementing Video Motion Detection (VMD) algorithms for visual sensor data analysis, and utilising A.I. algorithms for radar and visual data analysis improve information analysis according to defined protocols and modules.

Minimising the Human-in-the-Loop

In conclusion, balancing a high Probability of Detection (PD) and low False Alarm Ratio (FAR) is immensely significant in the defence sector. Security stakeholders rely on accurate surveillance sensor data to minimize the human factor in threat detection, enhance system reliability, and ensure a prompt and precise response to potential threats. By leveraging advanced sensor technologies, human-in-the-loop decision-making processes, and mitigation strategies for human error, the defence sector can optimize the equation and bolster its security capabilities. Additionally, aggregating and analyzing filtered data into a centralized command and control platform reduces reliance on human factors for incident monitoring and management, leading to cost and manpower savings. The defence sector continues to push the boundaries of technology and innovation to strengthen its threat detection capabilities and protect national security.



to learn more about our multi-sensor systems