The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

A New Algorithm to Attack Art Fraud

Sparse-coding technique spots fakes

3 min read

Every few years, we're wowed by news of some jaw-dropping sum paid for a previously unknown painting or drawing by a famous artist. But how can a buyer truly be sure that a piece is a legitimate creation of, say, Leonardo or Gauguin? Mathematicians at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H., may have the answer. They recently presented a computer-based statistical analysis technique which they say will help art historians and conservators discover even the most skilled forgery.

Their method, called sparse coding, learns what characterizes the artist's style at a level of detail that is practically imperceptible to the eye of even the most experienced appraiser. It works by examining small patches of a picture and breaking them down to a set of essential elements.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
Vertical
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
DarkBlue1

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":["31996907"]}