Lazy Detection


Thumbor performs pipeline detection of focal points for a given image. What this means is that it tries to determine one detection at a time, only skipping to the next if the current one fails.

We could configure it to run frontal face detection, then if it fails, try profile face detection and if it fails, best features detection.

As you can imagine, this is a cumbersome process and can take up precious cpu time from your server(s), eventually leading it to starvation of CPU. This is why we’ve implemented what we call Queued Detection.

Queued Detection

Configuring thumbor for lazy detecting is as simple as specifying a detector that supports queued detection.

Thumbor ships with three such detectors, called:

  • thumbor.detectors.queued_detector.queued_complete_detector
  • thumbor.detectors.queued_detector.queued_face_detector
  • thumbor.detectors.queued_detector.queued_feature_detector

These are responsible, respectively, for pipeline detection of face and feature, only face or only feature.

You can check what additional configuration you need to add to your configuration file (thumbor.conf) in order to have the bundled detectors working.

How thumbor deals with queued detection?

When an image request arrives with a flag of “smart” detection, a call is made to the queued detector and it tells thumbor to skip smart detection and to serve the image with non-smart cropping (much faster).

The call to the queued detector places a message in a Redis Queue that will later be processed in order to detect focal points in the image.

The next time a request arrive for the same image and with a flag of “smart” detection, if information on detection is already available (if the message in the queue has already been processed), thumbor uses that info to do smart cropping and serves the result.

If the image still hasn’t been processed, the same process from before applies, except thumbor won’t place another message in the queue. This is intended as a way not to flood the queue with requests for the same image.