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Shape recognition for ships: World War I naval camouflage under the magnifying glass

Willem Bekers (UGent) , Ronald De Meyer (UGent) and Tiemen Strobbe (UGent)
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Abstract
Much of the experiments that led to the development of World War I ship camouflage were conducted on an intuitive basis or based upon pseudo-scientific work. As a result of this rather empirical approach, possible effects of the naval camouflage schemes that were developed against the background of submarine warfare on the Atlantic still remain unclear. So-called dazzle paint schemes were conceived to break up target contours and disclose the ship’s number, direction, speed and distance—thus complicating targeting through primitive stereoscopic range finders and periscopes used at the time. Digital image analysis provides helpful tools to assess the effects of dazzle painting techniques. By applying dazzle map textures to digital three dimensional models, different paint schemes can be examined and evaluated under variable atmospheric conditions. Shape recognition algorithms are implemented in an attempt to draw some conclusions about different dazzle designs. This paper provides a brief overview of the origins and methodology of dazzle camouflage. It proposes an experimental framework for ship classification purpose, thus exploring the possibilities of quantitative analysis of rendered computer images to evaluate possible effects of dazzle painting. The test results indicate some possible effects of the World War I paint schemes.
Keywords
camouflage, naval history, dazzle painting, image analysis, shape recognition, World War I

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Citation

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Chicago
Bekers, Willem, Ronald De Meyer, and Tiemen Strobbe. 2016. “Shape Recognition for Ships: World War I Naval Camouflage Under the Magnifying Glass.” In WIT Transactions on the Built Environment, ed. Carlos A. Brebbia, Victor E. Iribarren, Celia Clark, and Angel González Avilés. Vol. 158. Southampton: WIT Press.
APA
Bekers, W., De Meyer, R., & Strobbe, T. (2016). Shape recognition for ships: World War I naval camouflage under the magnifying glass. In C. A. Brebbia, V. E. Iribarren, C. Clark, & A. González Avilés (Eds.), WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (Vol. 158). Presented at the Defence Heritage 2016, Southampton: WIT Press.
Vancouver
1.
Bekers W, De Meyer R, Strobbe T. Shape recognition for ships: World War I naval camouflage under the magnifying glass. In: Brebbia CA, Iribarren VE, Clark C, González Avilés A, editors. WIT Transactions on the Built Environment. Southampton: WIT Press; 2016.
MLA
Bekers, Willem, Ronald De Meyer, and Tiemen Strobbe. “Shape Recognition for Ships: World War I Naval Camouflage Under the Magnifying Glass.” WIT Transactions on the Built Environment. Ed. Carlos A. Brebbia et al. Vol. 158. Southampton: WIT Press, 2016. Print.
@inproceedings{7205838,
  abstract     = {Much of the experiments that led to the development of World War I ship camouflage were conducted on an intuitive basis or based upon pseudo-scientific work. As a result of this rather empirical approach, possible effects of the naval camouflage schemes that were developed against the background of submarine warfare on the Atlantic still remain unclear. So-called dazzle paint schemes were conceived to break up target contours and disclose the ship’s number, direction, speed and distance—thus complicating targeting through primitive stereoscopic range finders and periscopes used at the time. Digital image analysis provides helpful tools to assess the effects of dazzle painting techniques. By applying dazzle map textures to digital three dimensional models, different paint schemes can be examined and evaluated under variable atmospheric conditions. Shape recognition algorithms are implemented in an attempt to draw some conclusions about different dazzle designs. This paper provides a brief overview of the origins and methodology of dazzle camouflage. It proposes an experimental framework for ship classification purpose, thus exploring the possibilities of quantitative analysis of rendered computer images to evaluate possible effects of dazzle painting. The test results indicate some possible effects of the World War I paint schemes.},
  articleno    = {35441},
  author       = {Bekers, Willem and De Meyer, Ronald and Strobbe, Tiemen},
  booktitle    = {WIT Transactions on the Built Environment},
  editor       = {Brebbia, Carlos A. and Iribarren, Victor E. and Clark, Celia and González Avilés, Angel},
  isbn         = {978-1-78466-081-9},
  issn         = {1743-3509},
  keywords     = {camouflage,naval history,dazzle painting,image analysis,shape recognition,World War I},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Alicante},
  pages        = {12},
  publisher    = {WIT Press},
  title        = {Shape recognition for ships: World War I naval camouflage under the magnifying glass},
  volume       = {158},
  year         = {2016},
}