Towards Secure Edge-assisted Image Sharing for Timely Disaster Situation Awareness

Jing Yao, Yifeng Zheng, Cong Wang, Surya Nepal


To save human lives and reduce injury and property loss in disasters, it is important to collect real-time situation awareness information such as the surroundings, road conditions, resource information, and more. Among others, images carry rich information and can easily provide a comprehensive view of the disaster situations. This is nowadays greatly facilitated with the prevalence of camera-embedded smartphones. However, high redundancy typically exists among the images gathered from different users during disasters. Given that bandwidth is dearer in disaster situations, it would be valuable to detect the image redundancy during transmission so that bandwidth allocation can be prioritized for unique images, enabling the timely delivery of useful information. In light of the above, in this position paper, we propose the design of an image sharing system architecture for timely disaster situation awareness. Our system architecture takes advantage of the emerging edge computing paradigm to perform image redundancy detection and prioritize the transmission of unique images, optimizing the amount of useful information delivered within a certain period of time. Meanwhile, to prevent images from being exposed to the intermediate edge infrastructure, our protocol is devised in a manner that the edge infrastructure can perform image redundancy detection without seeing the images in the clear.


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