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Problem Overview | Vesuvius Problem

Problem Overview | Vesuvius Problem

2023-03-26 23:20:05

The target of the Vesuvius Problem is to make historical past by studying an unopened Herculaneum scroll for the very first time. We consider that an open competitors will speed up progress and allow us to attain this purpose in 2023.

We’re offering all contestants with the next sources:

  • Prizes: $1,000,000+ in prizes, together with a $700,000 Grand Prize and the remaining in Progress Prizes. The primary progress prize is a $100,000 ink detection competitors on Kaggle. We even have some smaller Open Source Prizes.
  • Data: 3D X-ray scans of two unopened scrolls from Herculaneum, and scans and pictures of three papyrus fragments
  • Tutorials and tools: the present finest instruments and methods for nearly unwrapping papyrus scrolls
  • Community: a Discord server the place you possibly can join with different contestants and the Vesuvius Problem workforce
  • Be a part of our Discord server to ask questions, find out about what’s going on, hang around with fellow contestants and onlookers, and maybe discover teammates.
  • Obtain updates each 1-2 weeks from our mailing list on Substack.
  • Observe @scrollprize on Twitter.

Our workforce is accessible for any questions and suggestions on Discord. You may as well electronic mail us at [email protected].

Grand Prize ($700,000)

The Grand Prize will go to the primary workforce to learn 4 passages of textual content from the within of the 2 intact scrolls. Extra particulars on the qualifying standards can be found here.

Listed here are the scrolls in query:

Scroll 1
Scroll 2

We now have supplied you with 8µm 3D X-ray scans of every of those scrolls, which you will discover here. Your job is to extract the textual content from these scans.

You’ll be able to strategy this problem by way of any means obligatory: machine studying, laptop imaginative and prescient, or machine-assisted instruments operated by people.

3D X-ray scan of a scroll (source)

Why is that this tough?

As you’ll learn within the tutorials, superior instruments and methods exist for nearly unwrapping papyrus scrolls. This was demonstrated in 2015 when Dr. Seales’s workforce unwrapped the En-Gedi scroll, and of their latest outcome identifying ink from 3D X-ray scans in the Herculaneum scrolls.

However the Herculaneum scrolls have proved tougher. The remaining challenges embody:

  • Segmenting the scrolls. The Herculaneum scrolls are particularly lengthy, tightly wrapped, broken, and distorted. So far, nobody has efficiently finished a large-scale segmentation of those scrolls to determine the surfaces of all of the rolled layers.
  • Discovering the ink. The ink used within the Herculaneum scrolls is radiolucent, making it tough to see within the scans. Not too long ago, Dr. Seales’s workforce has skilled a machine studying mannequin which might detect the ink from delicate patterns within the 3D X-rays. This works within the fragments, however these fashions aren’t but good and can in all probability must be improved to work on the scale of a whole scroll.
  • Placing all of it collectively. Making use of the ink detection fashions to the segmented scroll has not but been efficiently demonstrated.

Primarily based on the landmark results that Dr. Seales and his workforce have lately produced, we consider that it’s potential to learn the Herculaneum scrolls utilizing the scans that we have already got and the instruments and tecniques that they’ve developed. And that’s the Vesuvius Problem!

The Grand Prize deadline is 11:59pm Pacific, December thirty first, 2023.

Progress prizes

The aim of progress prizes is to encourage contestants to unravel necessary subproblems and launch their work. We additionally hope that they appeal to extra individuals who’re excited by beginning with a narrower process, after which go on to attempt to win the Grand Prize.

Progress prizes are non-obligatory! You’ll be able to select to skip them and work instantly on the Grand Prize.

See Also

Ink Detection on Kaggle ($100,000 whole)

As you’ll study within the tutorials, one of many huge challenges of studying the Herculaneum Papyri is detecting the ink within the 3D X-ray scans.

For this necessary subproblem, we’re providing a $100,000 Ink Detection Progress Prize. This progress prize is hosted on Kaggle, and the ultimate submission deadline is June 14th, 2023.

Open Supply Prizes (3x $2,000)

All of us organizing the Vesuvius Problem are huge believers in open supply and incremental progress. We wish to encourage constructing within the open and benefiting the entire group — one thing that’s sometimes disincentivized in a contest format.

That’s why we’re introducing “open supply prizes”. These are small prizes that could be awarded for any open supply or publicly obtainable contributions: software program, documentation, analysis notes, Kaggle notebooks, something goes.

  • Something that you just launch in public can qualify for an open supply prize. That you must publicly launch your work earlier than you possibly can win an open supply prize.
  • It must be accessible and usable by different contestants (e.g. licensed below MIT, Apache, GPL, Inventive Commons, and many others).
  • It’s possible you’ll make a number of submissions. Please edit the shape when doing so. We might award a single prize to a set of a number of submissions by one individual or workforce.
  • Your submission might be judged subjectively: the Technical Crew (Dr. Brent Seales, Nat Friedman, Stephen Parsons, Seth Parker, JP Posma, and Daniel Havíř) will resolve what they suppose are the very best open supply contributions.
  • The primary batch of prizes might be 3 prizes of $2,000 every (plus a enjoyable shock!), which you should submit for by April eleventh 11:59pm PT.
  • If you’re submitting as a workforce, the workforce chief ought to make the submission, and is liable for distributing the prize cash (and enjoyable shock) among the many workforce.
  • Make your submissions here.

Future Progress Prizes

We now have some concepts of what future progress prizes may finest speed up total progress on the Vesuvius Problem, however we’re additionally holding an open thoughts. When you’ve got strategies, please tell us!

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