Stereo DIC Challenge Kicks Off with a Variety of New Datasets

The International Digital Image Correlation Society (iDICs) is always looking for new ways to advance DIC usage and optimize the standardization of best practices. Through collaboration with the Society for Experimental Mechanics, our DIC Challenge board members Will LePage, Ph.D., and Benoît Blaysat, Ph.D., have created several DIC challenges for users! Keep reading to learn more about how Will and Benoît are working to enhance DIC through this innovative program.

What is the goal of the challenge?

The purpose of the DIC Challenge is to advance the practice of digital image correlation (DIC) through collective efforts that point to optimum methodologies. The DIC Challenge also proposes benchmarks for assessing the metrological performances of full-field measurement techniques. The DIC Challenge is conducted under the auspices of the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM) and the International DIC Society under the direction of the DIC Challenge board.

Are there start and end dates, or do the challenges run through the year?

The DIC Challenge is a continuous, year-round effort, with Challenge-wide meetings for all participants held twice per year: in June at the Society for Experimental Mechanics annual conference and in October/November at the iDICs annual conference.

Is the DIC Challenge geared for students, or is it open to professionals as well?

The DIC Challenge is geared towards the whole DIC community—students, researchers, academics, and professionals alike.

What are the different types of challenges?

The DIC Challenge consists of specific challenges, each with a focus on advancing an aspect or type of DIC. The current challenges (with links to their various data sets) are below. 2D-DIC Challenge Stereo DIC Challenge Digital Volume Correlation (DVC) Round Robin (links coming soon) Scanning Electron Microscope DIC (SEM-DIC) Round Robin

What type of assistance or support is there for new DIC users?

While the DIC Challenge seeks to advance the state-of-the-art for DIC, there are many educational opportunities available through iDICs and the Education committee. Furthermore, the Standards committee produces the Good Practices Guide for DIC, which is an outstanding resource for new DIC users.

How many people have participated in the challenge?

The DIC Challenge has grown to dozens of active participants, each contributing to at least one of the various challenges. We typically have 30 or more attendees at our twice-annual meeting. Furthermore, there are more than 140 subscribers to our DIC Challenge mailing list.

What do you do with the challenge results and data? Are the results publicly available?

A key part of the DIC Challenge is making the results widely available. We do so through journal articles that serve as the major flag posts for each challenge. With each journal article, the supplementary data set is also made available. Something that we’ve seen benefit the community is the public availability of the images for various challenges. These images are now frequently referenced by new journal articles, and they are also used in the peer-reviewing process to provide a uniform set of images with which various DIC techniques and codes can be compared.

How does one get involved and start participating?

Getting involved is as easy as emailing us—Benoît ( and Will (—and we will be happy to help you connect to a specific challenge or start a new challenge. Also, newcomers are always welcome to show up to our DIC Challenge meetings that happen twice each year. Virtual attendance options will likely be possible for all meetings moving forward.

Where do you see the future of the DIC Challenge going?

I think the DIC Challenge will continue to advance the practice of DIC through collective efforts from each challenge, with new challenges and better understanding always around the corner. Importantly, we are “better together” — our collective efforts will advance the field much faster than if each lab group, vendor, developer, etc., attempted to do so independently. This collective teamwork of the DIC Challenge is so important and will be the key to its future achievements, as well. For the practice of DIC overall, we will also see performance gains come from the efforts of the DIC Challenge. From the specific challenges, practitioners and developers are recognizing key opportunities to better their methodologies. For example, the 2D Challenge and the Stereo Challenge provide a concrete way for developers of DIC codes to see how their codes stack up against others. In the coming years, we will see these changes rolled into software updates, both for open- and closed-source platforms, and it will be exciting to see these performance gains made widely available for the DIC community.

Anything else you think is important to add?

Volunteers are the backbone of the DIC Challenge, so if you think you can contribute, please do let us know. The DIC Challenge has grown through the contributions of many scientists and especially through the pivotal leadership and tireless efforts of Phillip Reu. You can be next in making a big impact in the community. Even if you can contribute just a little, such as a measurement set for a round-robin challenge, it will still go a long way towards our efforts.