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Due to great challenges such as tremendous intra-class variations and low image resolution, context information has been playing a more and more important role for accurate and robust event recognition in surveillance videos. The context information can generally be divided into the feature level context, the semantic level context, and the prior level context. These three levels of context provide crucial bottom-up, middle level, and top down information that can benefit the recognition task itself. Unlike existing researches that generally integrate the context information at one of the three levels, we propose a hierarchical context model that simultaneously exploits contexts at all three levels and systematically incorporate them into event recognition. To tackle the learning and inference challenges brought in by the model hierarchy, we develop complete learning and inference algorithms for the proposed hierarchical context model based on variational Bayes method. Experiments on VIRAT 1.0 and 2.0 Ground Datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed hierarchical context model for improving the event recognition performance even under great challenges like large intra-class variations and low image resolution.

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