The C# Behavioral Annotation System (C-BAS) is a behavioral annotation computer application developed to aid researchers in coding events on video or audio tracks. Although the system was specifically developed to aid in the coding of the behaviors of humans engaged in deception, it can easily be modified for use in many other areas of research. The base XML annotation set that C-BAS uses can be customized to facilitate annotation of any type of behavior, human or non-human, through audio or visual media. C-BAS was designed to provide a balance between flexibility, usability and a low overhead for users.
While the primary use of C-BAS has been the annotation of human subjects during CMI’s research into deception detection, it is certainly not limited to that function. By utilizing the customizability of XML researchers are able to quickly create annotation sets that can pertain to any area of human behavioral research. The coding template subset creator (CTSC) feature of C-BAS give researchers the ability to create any number of refined annotation schemes from a single annotation set, thus allowing C-BAS to meet the needs of individual researchers (Fig. 1). Before the decision was made to produce our own coding system we evaluated, and in some cases financially committed to several open source, freeware and commercial applications. Through our evaluation we concluded that these systems were either too limited by the types and formats of media that they could present, too complex for the novice user, or just not compliant with the data post processing that we required. We needed an application that could accept an array of media as inputs while not locking into proprietary output file formats.