Call for Papers


Cats vs. Dogs Classification Challenge




Computational resources are often protected with a challenge that's supposed to be easy for people to solve, but difficult for computers. Such a challenge is often called a Human Interactive Proof (HIP). HIPs are frequently used to prevent bots from signing up for free email accounts and to prevent automatic posts in chat forums. In 2007 Microsoft has developed Asirra (Animal Species Image Recognition for Restricting Access) a HIP that works by asking users to identify photographs of cats and dogs. This task is difficult for computers, but people can accomplish it quickly and accurately.

Some researchers reported to solve Asirra HIP problem with high accuracy of 83% ( Still, the problem of cats and dogs images separation with near human level accuracy remains open and interesting computer vision problem. Because of the public interest in security provided by HIPs we believe that a large scale evaluation exercise is warranted to determine general validity of Asirra like HIPs. We have therefore organized a challenge for ICMLA'09, the aim of which is to determine the best fully automated approach to cat/dog classification. The winner of the challenge will receive a free registration to ICMLA'09.


Further details and background information regarding the Asirra project including large data set, are available from the Microsoft website, If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the challenge organizers ( The results of the challenge will be presented at a special session at ICMLA'09.  Researchers are invited to submit a technical paper describing their technique. Submissions should be made electronically in PDF format using the central ICMLA'09 website.  The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2009.  All accepted papers must be presented by one of the authors in order to be published in the conference proceeding.


Important Dates

Paper submission due                                      August 15, 2009    

Notification of acceptance                              September 7, 2009 

Camera-ready papers & pre-registration         October 1, 2009

ICMLA'09 conference                                   December 13-15, 2009


ICMLA’09 Challenge Session Chair

Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy, University of Louisville, USA