A Virtual Reality Framework for Training Incident First Responders and Digital Forensic Investigators

  • Umit KarabiyikEmail author
  • Christos Mousas
  • Daniel Sirota
  • Takahide Iwai
  • Mesut Akdere
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11845)


This paper presents the basic functionalities of a virtual reality framework developed for training first responders and digital forensic investigators. The framework is divided into two modules: training and evaluation. The framework provides a variety of functionalities and behaviors that can be assigned to virtual objects and allows training and evaluation of crime scenes to be easily customized. During the training module, an individual can be trained to perform various procedures, pipelines, and task execution sequences. After the training is completed, the individual can then be immersed in and interact with a virtual reality crime scene by collecting as much evidence as possible. This process allows the system to evaluate the trainee’s performance and the training process in general. In the evaluation process, the developed framework captures several types of information regarding the individual’s performance, including missing evidence, the task execution sequence, and the task completion time. The collected data can then be provided to the trainee or supervisor for evaluation. A simple customizable scoring method was also developed and incorporated into the developed framework to provide immediate performance feedback to the trainee.


Virtual reality Training Digital forensics First responders Task evaluation 


  1. 1.
    Backlund, P., Engstrom, H., Hammar, C., Johannesson, M., Lebram, M.: Sidh-a game based firefighter training simulation. In: 2007 11th International Conference Information Visualization (IV 2007), pp. 899–907. IEEE (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Backlund, P., Engstrom, H., Johannesson, M., Lebram, M.: Games and traffic safety-an experimental study in a game-based simulation environment. In: 2007 11th International Conference Information Visualization (IV 2007), pp. 908–916. IEEE (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Basdogan, C., De, S., Kim, J., Muniyandi, M., Kim, H., Srinivasan, M.A.: Haptics in minimally invasive surgical simulation and training. IEEE Comput. Graph. Appl. 24(2), 56–64 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baxter, B., Scheib, V., Lin, M.C., Manocha, D.: DAB: interactive haptic painting with 3D virtual brushes. In: Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, pp. 461–468. ACM (2001)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bayarri, S., Fernandez, M., Perez, M.: Virtual reality for driving simulation. Commun. ACM 39(5), 72–76 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Buck, U., Naether, S., Räss, B., Jackowski, C., Thali, M.J.: Accident or homicide-virtual crime scene reconstruction using 3D methods. Forensic Sci. Int. 225(1–3), 75–84 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cai, Z.F., Liu, D.J., Zhang, A.Y.: Scheme study of automobile driving training simulator based on virtual reality. Acta Simulata Systematica Sinica 6 (2002) Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cha, M., Han, S., Lee, J., Choi, B.: A virtual reality based fire training simulator integrated with fire dynamics data. Fire Saf. J. 50, 12–24 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chan, J.C., Leung, H., Tang, J.K., Komura, T.: A virtual reality dance training system using motion capture technology. IEEE Trans. Learn. Technol. 4(2), 187–195 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chittaro, L., Buttussi, F.: Assessing knowledge retention of an immersive serious game vs. a traditional education method in aviation safety. IEEE Trans. Vis. Comput. Graph. 21(4), 529–538 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cho, B.H., et al.: The effect of virtual reality cognitive training for attention enhancement. CyberPsychology Behav. 5(2), 129–137 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Colt, H.G., Crawford, S.W., Galbraith III, O.: Virtual reality bronchoscopy simulation: a revolution in procedural training. Chest 120(4), 1333–1339 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Derossis, A., Bothwell, J., Sigman, H., Fried, G.: The effect of practice on performance in a laparoscopic simulator. Surg. Endosc. 12(9), 1117–1120 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Filigenzi, M.T., Orr, T.J., Ruff, T.M.: Virtual reality for mine safety training. Appl. Occup. Environ. Hyg. 15(6), 465–469 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gallagher, A.G., Cates, C.U.: Virtual reality training for the operating room and cardiac catheterisation laboratory. Lancet 364(9444), 1538–1540 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gavish, N., et al.: Evaluating virtual reality and augmented reality training for industrial maintenance and assembly tasks. Interact. Learn. Environ. 23(6), 778–798 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gee, A.P., Escamilla-Ambrosio, P.J., Webb, M., Mayol-Cuevas, W., Calway, A.: Augmented crime scenes: virtual annotation of physical environments for forensic investigation. In: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM Workshop on Multimedia in Forensics, Security and Intelligence, pp. 105–110. ACM (2010)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gosselin, F., Ferlay, F., Bouchigny, S., Mégard, C., Taha, F.: Design of a multimodal VR platform for the training of surgery skills. In: Kappers, A.M.L., van Erp, J.B.F., Bergmann Tiest, W.M., van der Helm, F.C.T. (eds.) EuroHaptics 2010. LNCS, vol. 6192, pp. 109–116. Springer, Heidelberg (2010). Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hibshi, H., Vidas, T., Cranor, L.: Usability of forensics tools: a user study. In: 2011 Sixth International Conference on IT Security Incident Management and IT Forensics, pp. 81–91. IEEE (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ktena, S.I., Abbott, W., Faisal, A.A.: A virtual reality platform for safe evaluation and training of natural gaze-based wheelchair driving. In: 2015 7th International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER), pp. 236–239. IEEE (2015)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kyan, M., et al.: An approach to ballet dance training through ms kinect and visualization in a cave virtual reality environment. ACM Trans. Intell. Syst. Technol. (TIST) 6(2), 23 (2015)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lang, Y., Wei, L., Xu, F., Zhao, Y., Yu, L.F.: Synthesizing personalized training programs for improving driving habits via virtual reality. In: 2018 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR), pp. 297–304. IEEE (2018)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lee, G.A., et al.: Virtual reality content-based training for spray painting tasks in the shipbuilding industry. ETRI J. 32(5), 695–703 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lothridge, K., Ftzpatrick, F.: Crime scene investigation: a guide for law enfocement (2013).
  25. 25.
    Ma, M., Zheng, H., Lallie, H.: Virtual reality and 3D animation in forensic visualization. J. Forensic Sci. 55(5), 1227–1231 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    McComas, J., MacKay, M., Pivik, J.: Effectiveness of virtual reality for teaching pedestrian safety. CyberPsychology Behav. 5(3), 185–190 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mirelman, A., Maidan, I., Herman, T., Deutsch, J.E., Giladi, N., Hausdorff, J.M.: Virtual reality for gait training: can it induce motor learning to enhance complex walking and reduce fall risk in patients with Parkinson’s disease? J. Gerontol. Ser. A 66(2), 234–240 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mól, A.C.A., Jorge, C.A.F., Couto, P.M.: Using a game engine for VR simulations in evacuation planning. IEEE Comput. Graph. Appl. 28(3), 6–12 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Nishino, H., Murayama, K., Kagawa, T., Utsumiya, K.: A Japanese calligraphy trainer based on skill acquisition through haptization. In: 2010 24th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications, pp. 1225–1232. IEEE (2010)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Padgett, L.S., Strickland, D., Coles, C.D.: Case study: using a virtual reality computer game to teach fire safety skills to children diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. J. Pediatr. Psychol. 31(1), 65–70 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rizzo, A.A., et al.: The virtual classroom: a virtual reality environment for the assessment and rehabilitation of attention deficits. CyberPsychology Behav. 3(3), 483–499 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sacks, R., Perlman, A., Barak, R.: Construction safety training using immersive virtual reality. Constr. Manag. Econ. 31(9), 1005–1017 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    dos Santos Mendes, F.A., et al.: Motor learning, retention and transfer after virtual-reality-based training in Parkinson’s disease-effect of motor and cognitive demands of games: a longitudinal, controlled clinical study. Physiotherapy 98(3), 217–223 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Schwebel, D.C., Gaines, J., Severson, J.: Validation of virtual reality as a tool to understand and prevent child pedestrian injury. Accid. Anal. Prev. 40(4), 1394–1400 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Tate, D.L., Sibert, L., King, T.: Virtual environments for shipboard firefighting training. In: Proceedings of IEEE 1997 Annual International Symposium on Virtual Reality, pp. 61–68. IEEE (1997)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    U.S. Secret Service: Best practices for seizing electronic evidence (2015).
  37. 37.
    Xi, M., Smith, S.P.: Simulating cooperative fire evacuation training in a virtual environment using gaming technology. In: 2014 IEEE Virtual Reality (VR), pp. 139–140. IEEE (2014)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Yang, U., Lee, G.A., Shin, S., Hwang, S., Son, W.: Virtual reality based paint spray training system. In: 2007 IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, pp. 289–290. IEEE (2007)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ziegler, R., Mueller, W., Fischer, G., Goebel, M.: A virtual reality medical training system. In: Ayache, N. (ed.) CVRMed 1995. LNCS, vol. 905, pp. 282–286. Springer, Heidelberg (1995). Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umit Karabiyik
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christos Mousas
    • 1
  • Daniel Sirota
    • 1
  • Takahide Iwai
    • 1
  • Mesut Akdere
    • 1
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations