WIT Press

Using Threat Image Projection Data For Assessing Individual Screener Performance


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F. Hofer & A. Schwaninger


Threat image projection (TIP) is a technology of current x-ray machines that allows exposing screeners to artificial but realistic x-ray images during the routine baggage x-ray screening operation. If a screener does not detect a TIP within a specified amount of time, a feedback message appears indicating that a projected image was missed. Feedback messages are also shown when a TIP image is detected or in the case of a non-TIP alarm, i.e. when the screener indicated that there was a threat but in fact no TIP was shown. TIP data is an interesting source for quality control, risk analysis and the assessment of individual screener performance. In two studies we examined the conditions for using TIP data for the latter purpose. Our results strongly suggest using aggregated data in order to have a large enough data sample as the basis for statistical analysis. Second, an appropriate TIP library containing a large number of threat items, which are representative for the prohibited items to be detected, is recommended. Furthermore, consideration should be given to image-based factors such as general threat item difficulty, viewpoint difficulty, superposition and bag complexity. Different methods to cope with these issues are discussed in order to achieve reliable, valid and standardized measurements of individual screener performance using TIP. Keywords: airport security, human factors, threat image projection, detection performance, reliability analysis, hit rate, false alarm rate. 1 Introduction The task of an airport security screener is to visually inspect passenger bags for forbidden or dangerous objects. In order to perform this task effectively, a screener needs to know which items are prohibited and what they look like in xray images of passenger bags. As pointed out by Schwaninger [1], some threat


airport security, human factors, threat image projection, detectionperformance, reliability analysis, hit rate, false alarm rate.