Publications

FXPAL publishes in top scientific conferences and journals.

2014
Publication Details
  • International Journal of Multimedia Information Retrieval Special Issue on Cross-Media Analysis
  • Sep 4, 2014

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Media Embedded Target, or MET, is an iconic mark printed in a blank margin of a page that indicates a media link is associated with a nearby region of the page. It guides the user to capture the region and thus retrieve the associated link through visual search within indexed content. The target also serves to separate page regions with media links from other regions of the page. The capture application on the cell phone displays a sight having the same shape as the target near the edge of a camera-view display. The user moves the phone to align the sight with the target printed on the page. Once the system detects correct sight-target alignment, the region in the camera view is captured and sent to the recognition engine which identifies the image and causes the associated media to be displayed on the phone. Since target and sight alignment defines a capture region, this approach saves storage by only indexing visual features in the predefined capture region, rather than indexing the entire page. Target-sight alignment assures that the indexed region is fully captured. We compare the use of MET for guiding capture with two standard methods: one that uses a logo to indicate that media content is available and text to define the capture region and another that explicitly indicates the capture region using a visible boundary mark.
Publication Details
  • SPIE optics + photonics (SPIE)
  • Aug 17, 2014

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Live 3D reconstruction of a human as a 3D mesh with commodity electronics is becoming a reality. Immersive applications (i.e. cloud gaming, tele-presence) benefit from effective transmission of such content over a bandwidth limited link. In this paper we outline different approaches for compressing live reconstructed mesh geometry based on distributing mesh reconstruction functions between sender and receiver. We evaluate rate-performance-complexity of different configurations. First, we investigate 3D mesh compression methods (i.e. dynamic/static) from MPEG-4. Second, we evaluate the option of using octree based point cloud compression and receiver side surface reconstruction.
Publication Details
  • ICME 2014, Best Demo Award
  • Jul 14, 2014

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In this paper, we describe Gesture Viewport, a projector-camera system that enables finger gesture interactions with media content on any surface. We propose a novel and computationally very efficient finger localization method based on the detection of occlusion patterns inside a virtual sensor grid rendered in a layer on top of a viewport widget. We develop several robust interaction techniques to prevent unintentional gestures to occur, to provide visual feedback to a user, and to minimize the interference of the sensor grid with the media content. We show the effectiveness of the system through three scenarios: viewing photos, navigating Google Maps, and controlling Google Street View.
Publication Details
  • ACM SIGIR International Workshop on Social Media Retrieval and Analysis
  • Jul 11, 2014

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We examine the use of clustering to identify selfies in a social media user's photos for use in estimating demographic information such as age, gender, and race. Faces are first detected within a user's photos followed by clustering using visual similarity. We define a cluster scoring scheme that uses a combination of within-cluster visual similarity and average face size in a cluster to rank potential selfie-clusters. Finally, we evaluate this ranking approach over a collection of Twitter users and discuss methods that can be used for improving performance in the future.

SearchPanel: Framing Complex Search Needs

Publication Details
  • SIGIR 2014
  • Jul 6, 2014
  • pp. pp.495-504

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People often use more than one query when searching for information. They revisit search results to re-find information and build an understanding of their search need through iterative explorations of query formulation. These tasks are not well-supported by search interfaces and web browsers. We designed and built SearchPanel, a Chrome browser extension that helps people manage their ongoing information seeking. This extension combines document and process metadata into an interactive representation of the retrieved documents that can be used for sense-making, navigation, and re-finding documents. In a real-world deployment spanning over two months, results show that SearchPanel appears to have been primarily used for complex information needs, in search sessions with long durations and high numbers of queries. The process metadata features in SearchPanel seem to be of particular importance when working on complex information needs.

Supporting media bricoleurs

Publication Details
  • ACM interactions
  • Jul 1, 2014

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Online video is incredibly rich. A 15-minute home improvement YouTube tutorial might include 1500 words of narration, 100 or more significant keyframes showing a visual change from multiple perspectives, several animated objects, references to other examples, a tool list, comments from viewers and a host of other metadata. Furthermore, video accounts for 90% of worldwide Internet traffic. However, it is our observation that video is not widely seen as a full-fledged document; dismissed as a media that, at worst, gilds over substance and, at best, simply augments text-based communications. In this piece, we suggest that negative attitudes toward multimedia documents that include audio and video are largely unfounded and arise mostly because we lack the necessary tools to treat video content as first-order media or to support seamlessly mixing media.
Publication Details
  • ACM TVX 2014
  • Jun 25, 2014

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Creating compelling multimedia content is a difficult task. It involves not only the creative process of developing a compelling media-based story, but it also requires significant technical support for content editing, management and distribution. This has been true for printed, audio and visual presentations for centuries. It is certainly true for broadcast media such as radio and television. The talk will survey several approaches to describe and manage media interactions. We will focus on the temporal modeling of context-sensitive personalized interactions of complex collections of independent media objects. Using the concepts of ‘togetherness’ being employed in the EU’s FP-7 project TA2: Together Anywhere, Together Anytime, we will follow the process of media capture, profiling, composition, sharing and end-user manipulation. We will consider the promise of using automated tools and contrast this with the reality of letting real users manipulation presentation semantics in real time. The talk will not present a closed form solution, but will present a series of topics and problems that can stimulate the development of a new generation of systems to stimulate social media interaction.
Publication Details
  • IEEE Transactions on Multimedia
  • Jun 18, 2014

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3D Tele-immersion enables participants in remote locations to share, in real-time, an activity. It offers users interactive and immersive experiences, but it challenges current media streaming solutions. Work in the past has mainly focused on the efficient delivery of image-based 3D videos and on realistic rendering and reconstruction of geometry-based 3D objects. The contribution of this paper is a real-time streaming component for 3D Tele-Immersion with dynamic reconstructed geometry. This component includes both a novel fast compression method and a rateless packet protection scheme specifically designed towards the requirements imposed by real time transmission of live-reconstructed mesh geometry. Tests on a large dataset show an encoding speed-up upto 10 times at comparable compression ratio and quality, when compared to the high-end MPEG-4 SC3DMC mesh encoders. The implemented rateless code ensures complete packet loss protection of the triangle mesh object and a delivery delay within interactive bounds. Contrary to most linear fountain codes, the designed codec enables real time progressive decoding allowing partial decoding each time a packet is received. This approach is compared to transmission over TCP in packet loss rates and latencies, typical in managed WAN and MAN networks, and heavily outperforms it in terms of end-to-end delay. The streaming component has been integrated into a larger 3D Tele-Immersive environment that includes state of the art 3D reconstruction and rendering modules. This resulted in a prototype that can capture, compress transmit and render triangle mesh geometry in real-time in realistic internet conditions as shown in experiments. Compared to alternative methods, lower interactive end-to-end delay and frame rates over 3 times higher are achieved.
Publication Details
  • ICWSM (The 8th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media)
  • Jun 1, 2014

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A topic-independent sentiment model is commonly used to estimate sentiment in microblogs. But for movie and product reviews, domain adaptation has been shown to improve sentiment estimation performance. We investigated the utility of topic-dependent polarity estimation models for microblogs. We examined both a model trained on Twitter tweets containing a target keyword and a model trained on an enlarged set of tweets containing terms related to a topic. Comparing the performance of the topic-dependent models to a topic-independent model trained on a general sample of tweets, we noted that for some topics, topic-dependent models performed better. We then propose a method for predicting which topics are likely to have better sentiment estimation performance when a topic-dependent sentiment model is used.
Publication Details
  • IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP)
  • May 3, 2014

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Geometry based 3D Tele-Immersion is a novel emerging media application that involves on the fly reconstructed 3D mesh geometry. To enable real-time communication of such live reconstructed mesh geometry over a bandwidth limited link, fast dynamic geometry compression is needed. However, most tools and methods have been developed for compressing synthetically generated graphics content. These methods achieve good compression rates by exploiting topological and geometric properties that typically do not hold for reconstructed mesh geometry. The live reconstructed dynamic geometry is causal and often non-manifold, open, non-oriented and time-inconsistent. Based on our experience developing a prototype for 3D Teleimmersion based on live reconstructed geometry, we discuss currently available tools. We then present our approach for dynamic compression that better exploits the fact that the 3D geometry is reconstructed and achieve a state of art rate-distortion under stringent real-time constraints. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6854788&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6854788
Publication Details
  • CHI 2014 (Interactivity)
  • Apr 26, 2014

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AirAuth is a biometric authentication technique that uses in-air hand gestures to authenticate users tracked through a short-range depth sensor. Our method tracks multiple distinct points on the user's hand simultaneously that act as a biometric to further enhance security. We describe the details of our mobile demonstrator that will give Interactivity attendees an opportunity to enroll and verify our system's authentication method. We also wish to encourage users to design their own gestures for use with the system. Apart from engaging with the CHI community, a demonstration of AirAuth would also yield useful gesture data input by the attendees which we intend to use to further improve the prototype and, more importantly, make available publicly as a resource for further research into gesture-based user interfaces.
Publication Details
  • CHI Extended Abstracts 2014
  • Apr 26, 2014

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AirAuth is a biometric, gesture-based authentication system based on in-air gesture input. We describe the operations necessary to sample enrollment gestures and to perform matching for authentication, using data from a short range depth sensor. We present the results of two initial user studies. A first study was conducted to crowd source a simple gesture set for use in further evaluations. The results of our second study indicate that AirAuth achieves a very high Equal Error Rate (EER-)based accuracy of 96.6 % for simple gesture set and 100 % for user-specific gestures. Future work will encompass the evaluation of possible attack scenarios and obtaining qualitative user feedback on usability advantages of gesture-based authentication.
Publication Details
  • ACM ICMR 2014
  • Apr 1, 2014

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Motivated by scalable partial-duplicate visual search, there has been growing interest on a wealth of compact and efficient binary feature descriptors (e.g. ORB, FREAK, BRISK). Typically, binary descriptors are clustered into codewords and quantized with Hamming distance, which follows conventional bag-of-words strategy. However, such codewords formulated in Hamming space did not present obvious indexing and search performance improvement as compared to the Euclidean ones. In this paper, without explicit codeword construction, we explore to utilize binary descriptors as direct codebook indices (addresses). We propose a novel approach to build multiple index tables which parallelly check the collision of same hash values. The evaluation is performed on two public image datasets: DupImage and Holidays. The experimental results demonstrate the index efficiency and retrieval accuracy of our approach.

The Optimiser: monitoring and improving switching delays in video conferencing

Publication Details
  • ACM Workshop on Mobile Video (ACM MoVid)
  • Mar 18, 2014

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With the growing popularity of video communication systems, more people are using group video chat, rather than only one-to-one video calls. In such multi-party sessions, remote participants compete for the available screen space and bandwidth. A common solution is showing the current speaker prominently. Bandwidth limitations may not allow all streams to be sent at a high resolution at all times, especially with many participants in a call. This can be mitigated by only switching on higher resolutions when they are required. This switching encounters delays due to latency and the properties of encoded video streams. In this paper, we analyse and improve the switching delay of our video conferencing system. Our server-centric system offers a next-generation video chat solution, providing end-to-end video encoding. To evaluate our system we use a testbed that allows us to emulate different network conditions. We measure the video switching delay between three clients, each connected via different network profiles. Our results show that missing Intra-Frames in the transmission has a strong influence on the switching delay. Based on this, we provide an optimization mechanism that improves those delays by resending Intra-Frames.
http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2579472

Multimedia Authoring and Annotation

Publication Details
  • International Journal on Multimedia Tools and Applications
  • Feb 28, 2014

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With the massive amount of captured multimedia, authoring is more relevant than ever. Multimedia content is available in many settings including the web, mobile devices, desktop applications, as well as games and interactive TV. The authoring and production of multimedia documents demands attention to many issues related to the structure and to the synchronization of the media components, to the specification of the document and of the interaction, to the roles of authors and end users, as well as issues concerning reuse and digital rights management. Several complementary approaches to support the authoring of multimedia documents have been reported in the literature, and in many cases they have been studied via authoring tools and applications. One aim of this special issue is to assess current approaches, tools and applications, discussing how they tackle the main issues relative to the process of authoring, as well as their limitations.
Publication Details
  • HotMobile 2014
  • Feb 26, 2014

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In this paper, we propose HiFi system which enables users to interact with surrounding physical objects. It uses coded light to encode position in an environment. By attaching a tiny light sensor on a user’s mobile device, the user can attach digital info to arbitrary static physical objects or retrieve/modify them anchored to these objects. With this system, a family member may attach a digital maintenance schedule to a fish tank or indoor plants, etc. In a store, a store manager may use such system to attach price tag, discount info and multimedia contents to any products and customers can get the attached info by moving their phone close to the focused product. Similarly, a museum can use this system to provide extra info of displayed items to visitors. Different from computer vision based systems, HiFi does not have requests on texture, bright illumination, etc. Different from regular barcode approaches, HiFi does not require extra physical attachments that may change an object’s native appearance. HiFi has much higher spatial resolution for distinguishing close objects or attached parts of the same object. As HiFi system can track a mobile device at 80 positions per second, it also has much faster response than any above listed system.
Publication Details
  • Fuji Xerox Technical Report, No. 23, 2014, pp. 34-42
  • Feb 20, 2014

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Video content creators invest enormous effort creating work that is in turn typically viewed passively. However, learning tasks using video requires users not only to consume the content but also to engage, interact with, and repurpose it. Furthermore, to promote learning with video in domains where content creators are not necessarily videographers, it is important that capture tools facilitate creation of interactive content. In this paper, we describe some early experiments toward this goal. A literature review coupled with formative field studies led to a system design that can incorporate a broad set of video-creation and interaction styles.
2013
Publication Details
  • IEEE ISM 2013
  • Dec 9, 2013

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Real-time tele-immersion requires low latency, synchronized multi-camera capture. Prior high definition (HD) capture systems were bulky. We in vestigate the suitability of using flocks of smartphone cameras for tele-immersion. Smartphones can potentially integrate HD capture and streaming into a single portable package. However, they are designed for archiving the captured video into a movie. Hence, we create a sequence of H.264 movies and stream them. We lower the capture delay by reducing the number of frames in each movie segment. Increasing the number of movie segments adds compression overhead. Smartphone video encoders do not sacrifice video quality to lower the compression latency or the stream size. On an iPhone 4S, our application that uses published APIs streams 1920x1080 videos at 16.5 fps with a delay of 712 msec between a real-life event and displaying an uncompressed bitmap of this event on a local laptop. For comparison, the bulky Cisco Tandberg required 300 msec delay. Stereoscopic video from two unsynchronized smartphones showed minimal visual artifacts in an indoor teleconference setting.
Publication Details
  • Education and Information Technologies journal
  • Oct 11, 2013

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Video tends to be imbalanced as a medium. Typically, content creators invest enormous effort creating work that is then watched passively. However, learning tasks require that users not only consume video but also engage, interact with, and repurpose content. Furthermore, to promote learning across domains where content creators are not necessarily videographers, it is important that capture tools facilitate creation of interactive content. In this paper, we describe some early experiments toward this goal. Specifically, we describe a needfinding study involving interviews with amateur video creators as well as our experience with an early prototype to support expository capture and access. Our findings led to a system redesign that can incorporate a broad set of video-creation and interaction styles.
Publication Details
  • Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ITS) 2013
  • Oct 6, 2013

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The expressiveness of touch input can be increased by detecting additional finger pose information at the point of touch such as finger rotation and tilt. PointPose is a prototype that performs finger pose estimation at the location of touch using a short-range depth sensor viewing the touch screen of a mobile device. We present an algorithm that extracts finger rotation and tilt from a point cloud generated by a depth sensor oriented towards the device's touchscreen. The results of two user studies we conducted show that finger pose information can be extracted reliably using our proposed method. We show this for controlling rotation and tilt axes separately and also for combined input tasks using both axes. With the exception of the depth sensor, which is mounted directly on the mobile device, our approach does not require complex external tracking hardware, and, furthermore, external computation is unnecessary as the finger pose extraction algorithm can run directly on the mobile device. This makes PointPose ideal for prototyping and developing novel mobile user interfaces that use finger pose estimation.
Publication Details
  • ACM Trans. On Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications (TOMCCAP)
  • Oct 1, 2013

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A panel at ACM Multimedia 2012 addressed research successes in the past 20 years. While the panel focused on the past, this article discusses successes since the ACM SIGMM 2003 Retreat and suggests research directions in the next ten years. While significant progress has been made, more research is required to allow multimedia to impact our everyday computing environment. The importance of hardware changes on future research directions is discussed. We believe ubiquitous computing—meaning abundant computation and network bandwidth—should be applied in novel ways to solve multimedia grand challenges and continue the IT revolution of the past century.
Publication Details
  • DocEng 2013
  • Sep 10, 2013

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Unlike text, copying and pasting parts of video documents is challenging. Yet, the huge amount of video documents now available in the form of how-to tutorials begs for simpler techniques that allow users to easily copy and paste fragments of video materials into new documents. We describe new direct video manipulation techniques that allow users to quickly copy and paste content from video documents such as how-to tutorials into a new document. While the video plays, users interact with the video canvas to select text regions, scrollable regions, slide sequences built up across many frames, or semantically meaningful regions such as dialog boxes. Instead of relying on the timeline to accurately select sub-parts of the video document, users navigate using familiar selection techniques such as mouse-wheel to scroll back and forward over a video region where content scrolls, double-clicks over rectangular regions to select them, or clicks and drags over textual regions of the video canvas to select them. We describe the video processing techniques that run in real-time in modern web browsers using HTML5 and JavaScript; and show how they help users quickly copy and paste video fragments into new documents, allowing them to efficiently reuse video documents for authoring or note-taking.
Publication Details
  • CBDAR 2013
  • Aug 23, 2013

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Capturing book images is more convenient with a mobile phone camera than with more specialized flat-bed scanners or 3D capture devices. We built an application for the iPhone 4S that captures a sequence of hi-res (8 MP) images of a page spread as the user sweeps the device across the book. To do the 3D dewarping, we implemented two algorithms: optical flow (OF) and structure from motion (SfM). Making further use of the image sequence, we examined the potential of multi-frame OCR. Preliminary evaluation on a small set of data shows that OF and SfM had comparable OCR performance for both single-frame and multi-frame techniques, and that multi-frame was substantially better than single-frame. The computation time was much less for OF than for SfM.

SearchPanel: A browser extension for managing search activity

Publication Details
  • EuroHCIR 2013
  • Aug 1, 2013

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People often use more than one query when searching for information; they also revisit search results to re-find information. These tasks are not well-supported by search interfaces and web browsers. We designed and built a Chrome browser extension that helps people manage their ongoing information seeking. The extension combines document and process metadata into an interactive representation of the retrieved documents that can be used for sense-making, for navigation, and for re-finding documents.

Looking Ahead: Query Preview in Exploratory Search

Publication Details
  • SIGIR 2013
  • Jul 28, 2013

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Exploratory search is a complex, iterative information seeking activity that involves running multiple queries, finding and examining many documents. We introduced a query preview interface that visualizes the distribution of newly-retrieved and re-retrieved documents prior to showing the detailed query results. When evaluating the preview control with a control condition, we found effects on both people’s information seeking behavior and improved retrieval performance. People spent more time formulating a query and were more likely to explore search results more deeply, retrieved a more diverse set of documents, and found more different relevant documents when using the preview. With more time spent on query formulation, higher quality queries were produced and as consequence the retrieval results improved; both average residual precision and recall was higher with the query preview present.
Publication Details
  • The International Symposium on Pervasive Displays
  • Jun 4, 2013

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Existing user interfaces for the configuration of large shared displays with multiple inputs and outputs usually do not allow users easy and direct configuration of the display's properties such as window arrangement or scaling. To address this problem, we are exploring a gesture-based technique for manipulating display windows on shared display systems. To aid target selection under noisy tracking conditions, we propose VoroPoint, a modified Voronoi tessellation approach that increases the selectable target area of the display windows. By maximizing the available target area, users can select and interact with display windows with greater ease and precision.

Private Aggregation for Presence Streams

Publication Details
  • Future Generation Computer Systems
  • May 28, 2013

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Collaboration technologies must support information sharing between collaborators, but must also take care not to share too much information or share information too widely. Systems that share information without requiring an explicit action by a user to initiate the sharing must be particularly cautious in this respect. Presence systems are an emerging class of applications that support collaboration. Through the use of pervasive sensors, these systems estimate user location, activities, and available communication channels. Because such presence data are sensitive, to achieve wide-spread adoption, sharing models must reflect the privacy and sharing preferences of their users. This paper looks at the role that privacy-preserving aggregation can play in addressing certain user sharing and privacy concerns with respect to presence data. We define conditions to achieve CollaPSE (Collaboration Presence Sharing Encryption) security, in which (i) an individual has full access to her own data, (ii) a third party performs computation on the data without learning anything about the data values, and (iii) people with special privileges called “analysts” can learn statistical information about groups of individuals, but nothing about the individual values contributing to the statistic other than what can be deduced from the statistic. More specifically, analysts can decrypt aggregates without being able to decrypt the individual values contributing to the aggregate. Based in part on studies we carried out that illustrate the need for the conditions encapsulated by CollaPSE security, we designed and implemented a family of CollaPSE protocols. We analyze their security, discuss efficiency tradeoffs, describe extensions, and review more recent privacy-preserving aggregation work.

Leading People to Longer Queries

Publication Details
  • CHI 2013
  • Apr 27, 2013

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Although longer queries can produce better results for information seeking tasks, people tend to type short queries. We created an interface designed to encourage people to type longer queries, and evaluated it in two Mechanical Turk experiments. Results suggest that our interface manipulation may be effective for eliciting longer queries.
Publication Details
  • IUI 2013
  • Mar 19, 2013

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People frequently capture photos with their smartphones, and some are starting to capture images of documents. However, the quality of captured document images is often lower than expected, even when applications that perform post-processing to improve the image are used. To improve the quality of captured images before post-processing, we developed a Smart Document Capture (SmartDCap) application that provides real-time feedback to users about the likely quality of a captured image. The quality measures capture the sharpness and framing of a page or regions on a page, such as a set of one or more columns, a part of a column, a figure, or a table. Using our approach, while users adjust the camera position, the application automatically determines when to take a picture of a document to produce a good quality result. We performed a subjective evaluation comparing SmartDCap and the Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) camera application; we also used raters to evaluate the quality of the captured images. Our results indicate that users find SmartDCap to be as easy to use as the standard ICS camera application. Additionally, images captured using SmartDCap are sharper and better framed on average than images using the ICS camera application.

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Motivated by the addition of gyroscopes to a large number of new smart phones, we study the effects of combining accelerometer and gyroscope data on the recognition rate of motion gesture recognizers with dimensionality constraints. Using a large data set of motion gestures we analyze results for the following algorithms: Protractor3D, Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) and Regularized Logistic Regression (LR). We chose to study these algorithms because they are relatively easy to implement, thus well suited for rapid prototyping or early deployment during prototyping stages. For use in our analysis, we contribute a method to extend Protractor3D to work with the 6D data obtained by combining accelerometer and gyroscope data. Our results show that combining accelerometer and gyroscope data is beneficial also for algorithms with dimensionality constraints and improves the gesture recognition rate on our data set by up to 4%.
Publication Details
  • IUI 2013
  • Mar 19, 2013

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We describe direct video manipulation interactions applied to screen-based tutorials. In addition to using the video timeline, users of our system can quickly navigate into the video by mouse-wheel, double click over a rectangular region to zoom in and out, or drag a box over the video canvas to select text and scrub the video until the end of a text line even if not shown in the current frame. We describe the video processing techniques developed to implement these direct video manipulation techniques, and show how there are implemented to run in most modern web browsers using HTML5's CANVAS and Javascript.
Publication Details
  • SPIE Electronic Imaging 2013
  • Feb 3, 2013

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Video is becoming a prevalent medium for e-learning. Lecture videos contain useful information in both the visual and aural channels: the presentation slides and lecturer's speech respectively. To extract the visual information, we apply video content analysis to detect slides and optical character recognition (OCR) to obtain their text. Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is used similarly to extract spoken text from the recorded audio. These two text sources have distinct characteristics and relative strengths for video retrieval. We perform controlled experiments with manually created ground truth for both the slide and spoken text from more than 60 hours of lecture video. We compare the automatically extracted slide and spoken text in terms of accuracy relative to ground truth, overlap with one another, and utility for video retrieval. Experiments reveal that automatically recovered slide text and spoken text contain different content with varying error profiles. Additional experiments demonstrate higher precision video retrieval using automatically extracted slide text.  
2012
Publication Details
  • IPIN2012
  • Nov 13, 2012

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We describe Explorer, a system utilizing mirror worlds - dynamic 3D virtual models of physical spaces that reflect the structure and activities of those spaces to help support navigation, context awareness and tasks such as planning and recollection of events. A rich sensor network dynamically updates the models, determining the position of people, status of rooms, or updating textures to reflect displays or bulletin boards. Through views on web pages, portable devices, or on 'magic window' displays located in the physical space, remote people may 'Clook in' to the space, while people within the space are provided with augmented views showing information not physically apparent. For example, by looking at a mirror display, people can learn how long others have been present, or where they have been. People in one part of a building can get a sense of activities in the rest of the building, know who is present in their office, and look in to presentations in other rooms. A spatial graph is derived from the 3D models which is used both to navigational paths and for fusion of acoustic, WiFi, motion and image sensors used for positioning. We describe usage scenarios for the system as deployed in two research labs, and a conference venue.
Publication Details
  • IPIN2012
  • Nov 13, 2012

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Audio-based receiver localization in indoor environ-ments has multiple applications including indoor navigation, loca-tion tagging, and tracking. Public places like shopping malls and consumer stores often have loudspeakers installed to play music for public entertainment. Similarly, office spaces may have sound conditioning speakers installed to soften other environmental noises. We discuss an approach to leverage this infrastructure to perform audio-based localization of devices requesting local-ization in such environments, by playing barely audible controlled sounds from multiple speakers at known positions. Our approach can be used to localize devices such as smart-phones, tablets and laptops to sub-meter accuracy. The user does not need to carry any specialized hardware. Unlike acoustic approaches which use high-energy ultrasound waves, the use of barely audible (low energy) signals in our approach poses very different challenges. We discuss these challenges, how we addressed those, and experimental results on two prototypical implementations: a request-play-record localizer, and a continuous tracker. We evaluated our approach in a real world meeting room and report promising initial results with localization accuracy within half a meter 94% of the time. The system has been deployed in multiple zones of our office building and is now part of a location service in constant operation in our lab.
Publication Details
  • ICPR 2012
  • Nov 11, 2012

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Images of document pages have different characteristics than images of natural scenes, and so the sharpness measures developed for natural scene images do not necessarily extend to document images primarily composed of text. We present an efficient and simple method for effectively estimating the sharpness/ blurriness of document images that also performs well on natural scenes. Our method can be used to predict the sharpness in scenarios where images are blurred due to camera-motion (or hand-shake), defocus, or inherent properties of the imaging system. The proposed method outperforms the perceptually-based, no-reference sharpness work of [1] and [4], which was shown to perform better than 14 other no-reference sharpness measures on the LIVE dataset.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia 2012
  • Oct 29, 2012

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Paper and Computers have complementary advantages and are used side by side in many scenarios. Interactive paper systems aim to combine the two media. However, most such systems only allow fingers and pens to interact with content on paper. This finger-pen-only input suffers from low precision, lag, instability and occlusion. Moreover, it incurs frequent device switch (e.g. pen vs. mouse) in users' hand during cross-media interactions, yielding inefficiency and interruptions of a document workspace continuum. To address these limitations, we propose MixPad, a novel interactive paper system which incorporates mice and keyboards to enhance the conventional pen-finger-based paper interaction. Similar to many other systems, MixPad adopts a mobile camera-projector unit to recognize paper documents, detect pen and finger gestures and provide visual feedback. Unlike these systems, MixPad supports users to use mice and keyboards to select fine-grained content and create annotation on paper, and to facilitate bimanual operations for more efficient and smoother cross-media interaction. This novel interaction style combines the advantages of mice, keyboards, pens and fingers, enabling richer digital functions on paper.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia 2012
  • Oct 29, 2012

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Faithful sharing of screen contents is an important collaboration feature. Prior systems were designed to operate over constrained networks. They performed poorly even without such bottlenecks. To build a high performance screen sharing system, we empirically analyzed screen contents for a variety of scenarios. We showed that screen updates were sporadic with long periods of inactivity. When active, screens were updated at far higher rates than was supported by earlier systems. The mismatch was pronounced for interactive scenarios. Even during active screen updates, the number of updated pixels were frequently small. We showed that crucial information can be lost if individual updates were merged. When the available system resources could not support high capture rates, we showed ways in which updates can be effectively collapsed. We showed that Zlib lossless compression performed poorly for screen updates. By analyzing the screen pixels, we developed a practical transformation that significantly improved compression rates. Our system captured 240 updates per second while only using 4.6 Mbps for interactive scenarios. Still, while playing movies in fullscreen mode, our approach could not achieve higher capture rates than prior systems; the CPU remains the bottleneck. A system that incorporates our findings is deployed within the lab.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia '12
  • Oct 29, 2012

Abstract

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DisplayCast is a many to many screen sharing system that is targeted towards Intranet scenarios. The capture software runs on all computers whose screens need to be shared. It uses an application agnostic screen capture mechanism that creates a sequence of pixmap images of the screen updates. It transforms these pixmaps to vastly improve the lossless Zlib compression performance. These algorithms were developed after an extensive analysis of typical screen contents. DisplayCast shares the processor and network resources required for screen capture, compression and transmission with host applications whose output needs to be shared. It balances the need for high performance screen capture with reducing its resource interference with user applications. DisplayCast uses Zeroconf for naming and asynchronous location. It provides support for Cisco WiFi and Bluetooth based localization. It also includes a HTTP/REST based controller for remote session initiation and control. DisplayCast supports screen capture and playback in computers running Windows 7 and Mac OS X operating systems. Remote screens can be archived into a H.264 encoded movie on a Mac. They can also be played back in real time on Apple iPhones and iPads. The software is released under a New BSD license.
Publication Details
  • CIKM 2012 Books Online Workshop Keynote Address
  • Oct 29, 2012

Abstract

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Reading is part of how we understand the world, how we share knowledge, how we play, and even how we think. Although reading text is the dominant form of reading, most of the text we read— letters, numbers, words, and sentences—is surrounded by illustrations, photographs, and other kinds of symbols that we include as we read. As dynamic displays migrate into the real world at many scales, whether personal devices, handhelds, or large screens in both interior and exterior spaces, opportunities for reading migrate as well. As has happened continually throughout the history of reading, new technologies, physical forms and social patterns create new genres, which themselves may then combine or collide to morph into something new. At PARC, the RED (Research in Experimental Design) group examined emerging technologies for impact on media and the human relationship to information, especially reading. We explored new ways of experiencing text: new genres, new styles of interaction, and unusual media. Among the questions we considered: how might “the book” change? More particularly, how does the experience of reading change with the introduction of new technologies…and how does it remain the same? In this talk, we'll discuss the ideas behind the design and research process that led to creating eleven different experiences of new forms of reading. We’ll also consider how our technological context for reading has changed in recent years, and what influence the lessons from XFR may have on our ever-developing online reading experiences.

Through the Looking-Glass: Mirror Worlds for Augmented Awareness & Capability

Publication Details
  • ACM MM 2012
  • Oct 29, 2012

Abstract

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We describe a system for supporting mirror worlds - 3D virtual models of physical spaces that reflect the structure and activities of those spaces to help support context awareness and tasks such as planning and recollection of events. Through views on web pages, portable devices, or on 'magic window' displays located in the physical space, remote people may 'look in' to the space, while people within the space are provided information not apparent through unaided perception. For example, by looking at a mirror display, people can learn how long others have been present, or where they have been. People in one part of a building can get a sense of activities in the rest of the building, know who is present in their office, and look in to presentations in other rooms. The system can be used to bridge across sites and help provide different parts of an organization with a shared awareness of each other's space and activities. We describe deployments of our mirror world system at several locations.
Publication Details
  • Mobile HCI 2012 demo track
  • Sep 21, 2012

Abstract

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In this demonstration we will show a mobile remote control and monitoring application for a recipe development laboratory at a local chocolate production company. In collaboration with TCHO, a chocolate maker in San Francisco, we built a mobile Web app designed to allow chocolate makers to control their laboratory's machines. Sensor data is imported into the app from each machine in the lab. The mobile Web app is used for control, monitoring, and collaboration. We have tested and deployed this system at the real-world factory and it is now in daily use. This project is designed as part of a research exploration into enhanced collaboration in industrial settings between physically remote people and places, e.g. factories in China with clients in the US.
Publication Details
  • Workshop on Social Mobile Video and Panoramic Video
  • Sep 20, 2012

Abstract

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The ways in which we come to know and share what we know with others are deeply entwined with the technologies that enable us to capture and share information. As face-to-face communication has been supplemented with ever-richer media––textual books, illustrations and photographs, audio, film and video, and more––the possibilities for knowledge transfer have only expanded. One of the latest trends to emerge amidst the growth of Internet sharing and pervasive mobile devices is the mass creation of online instructional videos. We are interested in exploring how smart phones shape this sort of mobile, rich media documentation and sharing.
Publication Details
  • USENIX/ACM/IFIP Middleware
  • Sep 19, 2012

Abstract

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Faunus addresses the challenge of specifying and managing complex collaboration sessions. Many entities from various administrative domains orchestrate such sessions. Faunus decouples the entities that specify the session from entities that activate and manage them. It restricts the operations to specific agents using capabilities. It unifies the specification and management operations through its naming system. Each Faunus name is persistent and globally unique. A collection of attributes are attached to each name. Together, they represent a collection of services that form a collaboration session. Anyone can create a name; the creator has full read and write privileges that can be delegated to others. With the proper capability, anyone can modify session attributes between an active and inactive state. Though the system is designed for Internet scale deployments, the security model for providing and revoking capabilities currently assumes an Intranet style deployment. We have incorporated Faunus into a DisplayCast system that originally used Zeroconf. We are incorporating Faunus into another project that will fully exercise the power of Faunus.
Publication Details
  • International Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition (IJDAR): Volume 15, Issue 3 (2012), pp. 167-182.
  • Sep 1, 2012

Abstract

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When searching or browsing documents, the genre of a document is an important consideration that complements topical characterization. We examine design considerations for automatic tagging of office document pages with genre membership. These include selecting features that characterize genre-related information in office documents, examining the utility of text-based features and image-based features, and proposing a simple ensemble method to improve genre identification performance. In the open-set identification of four office document genres, our experiments show that when combined with image-based features, text-based features do not significantly influence performance. These results provide support for a topic-independent approach to genre identification of office documents. Experiments also show that our simple ensemble method significantly improves performance relative to using a support vector machine (SVM) classifier alone. We demonstrate the utility of our approach by integrating our automatic genre tags in a faceted search and browsing application for office document collections.
Publication Details
  • IIiX 2012
  • Aug 21, 2012

Abstract

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Exploratory search activities tend to span multiple sessions and involve finding, analyzing and evaluating information and collab-orating with others. Typical search systems, on the other hand, are designed to support a single searcher, precision-oriented search tasks. We describe a search interface and system design of a multi-session exploratory search system, discuss design challenges en-countered, and chronicle the evolution of our design. Our design describes novel displays for visualizing retrieval history infor-mation, and introduces ambient displays and persuasive elements to interactive information retrieval.
Publication Details
  • DIS (Designing Interactive Systems) 2012 Demos track
  • Jun 11, 2012

Abstract

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We will demonstrate successive and final stages in the iterative design of a complex mixed reality system in a real-world factory setting. In collaboration with TCHO, a chocolate maker in San Francisco, we built a virtual “mirror” world of a real-world chocolate factory and its processes. Sensor data is imported into the multi-user 3D environment from hundreds of sensors and a number of cameras on the factory floor. The resulting virtual factory is used for simulation, visualization, and collaboration, using a set of interlinked, real-time layers of information. It can be a stand-alone or a web-based application, and also works on iOS and Android cell phones and tablet computers. A unique aspect of our system is that it is designed to enable the incorporation of lightweight social media-style interactions with co-workers along with factory data. Through this mixture of mobile, social, mixed and virtual technologies, we hope to create systems for enhanced collaboration in industrial settings between physically remote people and places, such as factories in China with managers in the US.
Publication Details
  • CHI 2012
  • May 7, 2012

Abstract

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Affect influences workplace collaboration and thereby impacts a workplace's productivity. Participants in face-toface interactions have many cues to each other's affect, but work is increasingly carried out via computer-mediated channels that lack many of these cues. Current presence systems enable users to estimate the availability of other users, but not their affect states or communication preferences. This work investigates relationships between affect state and communication preferences and demonstrates the feasibility of estimating affect state and communication preferences from a presence state stream.
Publication Details
  • CHI 2012
  • May 5, 2012

Abstract

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Abstract: Pico projectors have lately been investigated as mobile display and interaction devices. We propose to use them as ‘light beams’: Everyday objects sojourning in a beam are turned into dedicated projection surfaces and tangible interaction devices. While this has been explored for large projectors, the affordances of pico projectors are fundamentally different: they have a very small and strictly limited projection ray and can be carried around in a nomadic way during the day. Thus it is unclear how this could be actually leveraged for tangible interaction with physical, real world objects. We have investigated this in an exploratory field study and contribute the results. Based upon these, we present exemplary interaction techniques and early user feedback.

Designing a tool for exploratory information seeking

Publication Details
  • CHI 2012
  • May 5, 2012

Abstract

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In this paper we describe our on-going design process in building a search system designed to support people's multi-session exploratory search tasks. The system, called Querium, allows people to run queries and to examine results as do conventional search engines, but it also integrates a sophisticated search history that helps people make sense of their search activity over time. Information seeking is a cognitively demanding process that can benefit from many kinds of information, if that information is presented appropriately. Our design process has been focusing on creating displays that facilitate on-going sense-making while keeping the interaction efficient, fluid, and enjoyable.

Querium: A Session-Based Collaborative Search System

Publication Details
  • European Conference on Information Retrieval 2012
  • Apr 1, 2012

Abstract

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People's information-seeking can span multiple sessions, and can be collaborative in nature. Existing commercial offerings do not effectively support searchers to share, save, collaborate or revisit their information. In this demo paper we present Querium: a novel session-based collaborative search system that lets users search, share, resume and collaborate with other users. Querium provides a number of novel search features in a collaborative setting, including relevance feedback, query fusion, faceted search, and search histories
Publication Details
  • DAS 2012
  • Mar 27, 2012

Abstract

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This paper describes a system for capturing images of a book with a 3D stereo camera which performs dewarping to produce output images that are flattened. A Fujifilm consumer grade 3D camera (FinePix W3) provides a highly mobile and low cost 3D capture device. Applying standard computer vision algorithms, the camera is calibrated and the captured images are stereo rectified. Due to technical limitations, the resulting point cloud has defects such as splotches and noise, which make it hard to recover the precise 3D locations of the points on the book pages. We address this problem by computing curve profiles of the depth map and using them to build a cylinder model of the pages. We then generate a mesh M1 on the source image and project this into a mesh M2 on the cylinder model in virtual space. Finally, the mesh M2 is flattened and the pixels in M1 are interpolated and rendered via M2 onto the output image. We have implemented a prototype of the system and report on some preliminary evaluation results.
Publication Details
  • ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction
  • Mar 1, 2012

Abstract

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To combine the affordances of paper and computers, prior research has proposed numerous interactive paper systems that link specific paper document content to digital operations such as multimedia playback and proofreading. Yet, it remains unclear to what degree these systems bridge the inherent gap between paper and computers when compared to existing paper-only and computer-only interfaces. In particular, given the special properties of paper, such as limited dynamic feedback, how well does an average new user learn to master the interactive paper system? What factors affect the user performance? And how does the paper interface work in a typical use scenario? To answer these questions, we conducted two empirical experiments on a generic pen gesture based command system, called PapierCraft [Liao, et al., 2008], for paper-based interfaces. With it, people can select sections of printed document and issue commands such as copy and paste, linking and in-text search. The first experiment focused on the user performance of drawing pen gestures on paper. It proves that users can learn the command system in about 30 minutes and achieve a performance comparable to a Table PC-based interface supporting the same gestures. The second experiment examined the application of the command system in Active Reading tasks. The results show promise for seamless integration of paper and computers in Active Reading for their combined affordances. In addition, our study identifies some key design issues, such as the pen form factor and feedback of gestures. This paper contributes to better understanding on pros and cons of paper and computers, and sheds light on the design of future interfaces for document interaction.

TalkMiner: A Lecture Video Search Engine

Publication Details
  • Fuji Xerox Technical Report, No. 21, 2012, pp. 118-128
  • Feb 3, 2012

Abstract

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The design and implementation of a search engine for lecture webcasts is described. A searchable text index is created allowing users to locate material within lecture videos found on a variety of websites such as YouTube and Berkeley webcasts. The searchable index is built from the text of presentation slides appearing in the video along with other associated metadata such as the title and abstract when available. The automatic identification of distinct slides within the video stream presents several challenges. For example, picture-in-picture compositing of a speaker and a presentation slide, switching cameras, and slide builds confuse basic algorithms for extracting keyframe slide images. Enhanced algorithms are described that improve slide identification. A public system was deployed to test the algorithms and the utility of the search engine at www.talkminer.com. To date, over 17,000 lecture videos have been indexed from a variety of public sources.
Publication Details
  • Fuji Xerox Technical Report No.21 2012
  • Feb 2, 2012

Abstract

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Modern office work practices increasingly breach traditional boundaries of time and place, making it difficult to interact with colleagues. To address these problems, we developed myUnity, a software and sensor platform that enables rich workplace awareness and coordination. myUnity is an integrated platform that collects information from a set of independent sensors and external data aggregators to report user location, availability, tasks, and communication channels. myUnity's sensing architecture is component-based, allowing channels of awareness information to be added, updated, or removed at any time. Multiple channels of input are combined and composited into a single, high-level presence state. Early studies of a myUnity deployment have demonstrated that the platform allows quick access to core awareness information and show that it has become a useful tool for supporting communication and collaboration in the modern workplace.
Publication Details
  • Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (PUC)
  • Feb 1, 2012

Abstract

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Presence systems are valuable in supporting workplace communication and collaboration. These systems are only effective if widely adopted and used. User perceptions of the utility of the information being shared and their comfort sharing such information strongly impact adoption and use. This paper describes the results of a survey of user preferences regarding comfort with and utility of workplace presence systems; the effects of sampling frequency, fidelity, and aggregation; and design implications of these results. We present new results that extend some past findings while challenging others. We contribute new design insights that inform the design of presence technologies to increase both utility and adoption.
2011
Publication Details
  • The 10th International Conference on Virtual Reality Continuum and Its Applications in Industry
  • Dec 11, 2011

Abstract

Close
Augmented Paper (AP) is an important area of Augmented Reality (AR). Many AP systems rely on visual features for paper doc-ument identification. Although promising, these systems can hardly support large sets of documents (i.e. one million documents) because of the high memory and time cost in handling high-dimensional features. On the other hand, general large-scale image identification techniques are not well customized to AP, costing unnecessarily more resource to achieve the identification accuracy required by AP. To address this mismatching between AP and image identification techniques, we propose a novel large-scale image identification technique well geared to AP. At its core is a geometric verification scheme based on Minimum visual-word Correspondence Set (MICSs). MICS is a set of visual word (i.e. quantized visual fea-ture) correspondences, each of which contains a minimum number of correspondences that are sufficient for deriving a transformation hypothesis between a captured document image and an indexed image. Our method selects appropriate MICSs to vote in a Hough space of transformation parameters, and uses a robust dense region detection algorithm to locate the possible transformation models in the space. The models are then utilized to verify all the visual word correspondence to precisely identify the matching indexed image. By taking advantage of unique geometric constraints in AP, our method can significantly reduce the time and memory cost while achieving high accuracy. As showed in evaluation with two AP systems called FACT and EMM, over a dataset with 1M+ images, our method achieves 100% identification accuracy and 0.67% registration error for FACT; For EMM, our method outperforms the state-of-the-art image identification approach by achieving 4% improvements in detection rate and almost perfect precision, while saving 40% and 70% memory and time cost.

PaperUI

Publication Details
  • Springer LNCS
  • Dec 1, 2011

Abstract

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PaperUI is a human-information interface concept that advocates using paper as displays and using mobile devices, such as camera phones or camera pens, as traditional computer-mice. When emphasizing technical efforts, some researchers like to refer the PaperUI related underlying work as interactive paper system. We prefer the term PaperUI for emphasizing the final goal, narrowing the discussion focus, and avoiding terminology confusion between interactive paper system and interactive paper computer [40]. PaperUI combines the merits of paper and the mobile devices, in that users can comfortably read and flexibly arrange document content on paper, and access digital functions related to the document via the mobile computing devices. This concept aims at novel interface technology to seamlessly bridge the gap between paper and computers for better user experience in handling documents. Compared with traditional laptops and tablet PCs, devices involved in the PaperUI concept are more light-weight, compact, energy efficient, and widely adopted. Therefore, we believe this interface vision can make computation more convenient to access for general public.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia 2011
  • Nov 28, 2011

Abstract

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This paper describes methods for clustering photos that include both time stamps and location coordinates. We present versions of a two part method that first detects clusters using time and location information independently. These candidate clusters partition the set of time-ordered photos. A subset of the candidate clusters is selected by an efficient dynamic programming procedure to optimize a cost function. We propose several cost functions to design clusterings that are coherent in space, time, or both. One set of cost functions minimizes inter-photo distances directly. A second set maximizes an information measure to select clusterings for consistency in both time and space across scale.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia 2011
  • Nov 28, 2011

Abstract

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Embedded Media Markers (EMMs) are nearly transparent icons printed on paper documents that link to associated digital media. By using the document content for retrieval, EMMs are less visually intrusive than barcodes and other glyphs while still providing an indication for the presence of links. An initial implementation demonstrated good overall performance but exposed difficulties in guaranteeing the creation of unambiguous EMMs. We developed an EMM authoring tool that supports the interactive authoring of EMMs via visualizations that show the user which areas on a page may cause recognition errors and automatic feedback that moves the authored EMM away from those areas. The authoring tool and the techniques it relies on have been applied to corpora with different visual characteristics to explore the generality of our approach.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia Industrial Exhibit
  • Nov 28, 2011

Abstract

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The Active Reading Application (ARA) brings the familiar experience of writing on paper to the tablet. The application augments paper-based practices with audio, the ability to review annotations, and sharing. It is designed to make it easier to review, annotate, and comment on documents by individuals and groups. ARA incorporates several patented technologies and draws on several years of research and experimentation.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia Industrial Exhibits
  • Nov 28, 2011

Abstract

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Modern office work practices increasingly breach traditional boundaries of time and place, making it difficult to interact with colleagues. To address these problems, we developed myUnity, a software and sensor platform that enables rich workplace awareness and coordination. myUnity is an integrated platform that collects information from a set of independent sensors and external data aggregators to report user location, availability, tasks, and communication channels. myUnity's sensing architecture is component-based, allowing channels of awareness information to be added, updated, or removed at any time. Our current system includes a variety of sensor and data input, including camera-based activity classification, wireless location trilateration, and network activity monitoring. These and other input channels are combined and composited into a single, high-level presence state. Early studies of a myUnity deployment have demonstrated that use of the platform allows quick access to core awareness information and show it has become a useful tool supporting communication and collaboration in the modern workplace.

Session-based search with Querium

Publication Details
  • HCIR 2011
  • Oct 20, 2011

Abstract

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We illustrate the use of Querium, a novel search system designed to support people's collaborative and multi-session search tasks, in the context of the HCIR 2011 Search Challenge. This report demonstrates how a Querium's interface and search engine can be used to search for documents in an open-ended, exploratory task. We illustrate the use of relevance feedback, faceted search, query fusion, and the search history, as well as commenting and overview functions.

Designing for Collaboration in Information Seeking

Publication Details
  • HCIR 2011
  • Oct 19, 2011

Abstract

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Information seeking is often a collaborative activity that can take can take many forms; in this paper we focus on explicit, intentional collaboration of small and explore a range of design decisions that should be considered when building Human-Computer Information Retrieval (HCIR) tools that support collaboration. In particular, we are interested in exploring the interplay between algorithmic mediation of collaboration and the mediated communication among team members. We argue that certain characteristics of the group's information need call for different design decisions.
Publication Details
  • Oct 3, 2011

Abstract

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Documents created, stored, and retrieved digitally are often printed on paper to be read for the purposes of producing new documents. The cycle of electronic document "consumption" and production is often broken in the middle by printing. Our research in XLibris has examined these transitions between the digital and paper worlds. Starting with interfaces for analytic reading, we have focused on annotation, on retrieval and re-retrieval, and on shared annotation. In this talk, I will describe the interfaces and the empirical evaluations we have conducted, and will discuss the potential of this technology in digital--and in physical--libraries.

PaperUI

Publication Details
  • CBDAR 2011
  • Sep 18, 2011

Abstract

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PaperUI is a human-computer interface concept that treats paper as displays that users can interact with via mobile devices such as mobile phones and projectors. It combines the merits of paper and the mobile devices. Compared with traditional laptops and tablet PCs, devices involved in this concept are more light-weight, compact, energy efficient, and widely adopted. Therefore, we believe this interface vision can make computation more convenient to access for general public. With our implemented prototype, pilot users can read documents easily and comfortably on paper, and access many digital functions related to the document via a camera phone or a mobile projector Invited Talk. http://imlab.jp/cbdar2011/#keynote

Abstract

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This demo shows an interactive paper system called MixPad, which features using mice and keyboards to enhance the conventional pen-finger-gesture based interaction with paper documents. Similar to many interactive paper systems, MixPad adopts a mobile camera-projector unit to recognize paper documents, detect pen and finger gestures and provide visual feedback. Unlike these systems, MixPad allows using mice and keyboards to help users interact with fine-grained document content on paper (e.g. individual words and user-defined arbitrary regions), and to facilitate cross-media operations. For instance, to copy a document segment from paper to a laptop, one first points a finger of her non-dominant hand to the segment roughly, and then uses a mouse in her dominant hand to refine the selection and drag it to the laptop; she can also type text as a detailed comment on a paper document. This novel interaction paradigm combines the advantages of mice, keyboards, pens and fingers, and therefore enables rich digital functions on paper.
Publication Details
  • MobileHCI
  • Aug 30, 2011

Abstract

Close
Modern office work practices increasingly breach traditional boundaries of time and place, increasing breakdowns workers encounter when coordinating interaction with colleagues. We conducted interviews with 12 workers and identified key problems introduced by these practices. To address these problems we developed myUnity, a fully functional platform enabling rich workplace awareness and coordination. myUnity is one of the first integrated platforms to span mobile and desktop environments, both in terms of access and sensing. It uses multiple sources to report user location, availability, tasks, and communication channels. A pilot field study of myUnity demonstrated the significant value of pervasive access to workplace awareness and communication facilities, as well as positive behavioral change in day-to-day communication practices for most users. We present resulting insights about the utility of awareness technology in flexible work environments.
Publication Details
  • International Journal of Arts and Technology
  • Jul 25, 2011

Abstract

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Mobile media applications need to balance user and group goals, attentional constraints, and limited screen real estate. In this paper, we describe the iterative development and testing of an application that explores these tradeo ffs. We developed early prototypes of a retrospective, time-based system as well as a prospective and space-based system. Our experiences with the prototypes led us to focus on the prospective system. We argue that attentional demands dominate and mobile media applications should be lightweight and hands-free as much as possible.

Estimation Methods for Ranking Recent Information

Publication Details
  • SIGIR2011
  • Jul 24, 2011

Abstract

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Temporal aspects of documents can impact relevance for certain kinds of queries. In this paper, we build on earlier work of modeling temporal information. We propose an extension to the Query Likelihood Model that incorporates query-specific information to estimate rate parameters, and we introduce a temporal factor into language model smoothing and query expansion using pseudo-relevance feedback. We evaluate these extensions using a Twitter corpus and two newspaper article collections. Results suggest that, compared to prior approaches, our models are more effective at capturing the temporal variability of relevance associated with some topics.

Secured histories for presence systems

Publication Details
  • SECOTS 2011
  • May 23, 2011

Abstract

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As sensors become ever more prevalent, more and more information will be collected about each of us. A longterm research question is how best to support beneficial uses while preserving individual privacy. Presence systems are an emerging class of applications that support collaboration. These systems leverage pervasive sensors to estimate end-user location, activities, and available communication channels. Because such presence data are sensitive, to achieve wide-spread adoption, sharing models must reflect the privacy and sharing preferences of the users. To reflect users' collaborative relationships and sharing desires, we introduce CollaPSE security in which an individual has full access to her own data, a third party processes the data without learning anything about the data values, and users higher up in the hierarchy learn only statistical information about the employees under them. We describe simple schemes that efficiently realize CollaPSE security for time series data. We implemented these protocols using readily available cryptographic functions, and integrated the protocols with FXPAL's MyUnity presence system.
Publication Details
  • CHI 2011 Workshop on Mobile and Personal Projection (MP2)
  • May 8, 2011

Abstract

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The field of personal mobile projection is advancing quickly and a variety of work focuses on enhancing physical objects in the real world with dynamically projected digital artifacts. Due to technological restrictions, none of them has yet investigated, what we feel is the most promising research direction: the (bi-manual) interaction with mobile projections on non-planar surfaces. To elicit the challenges of this field of research, we contribute (1) a technology-centered design space for mobile projector-based interfaces and discus related work in light thereof, (2) a discussion on lessons learnt from two of our research projects, which aim at improving both usability and user experience and (3) an outline of open research challenges within this field.
Publication Details
  • CHI 2011
  • May 7, 2011

Abstract

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For document visualization, folding techniques provide a focus-plus-context approach with fairly high legibility on flat sections. To enable richer interaction, we explore the design space of multi-touch document folding. We discuss several design considerations for simple modeless gesturing and compatibility with standard Drag and Pinch gestures, and categorize gesture models along the characteristics of Symmetric/Asymmetric and Sequential/Parallel, which yields three gesture models. We built a prototype document workspace application that integrates folding and standard gestures, and a prototype for experimenting with the gesture models. A user study was conducted to compare the three models and to analyze the factors of fold direction, target symmetry, and target tolerance in user performance of folding a document to a specific shape. Our results indicate that all three factors were significant for task times, and parallelism was greater for symmetric targets.
Publication Details
  • CHI 2011 workshop on Video interaction - Making broadcasting a successful social media
  • May 7, 2011

Abstract

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A variety of applications are emerging to support streaming video from mobile devices. However, many tasks can benefit from streaming specific content rather than the full video feed which may include irrelevant, private, or distracting content. We describe a system that allows users to capture and stream targeted video content captured with a mobile device. The application incorporates a variety of automatic and interactive techniques to identify and segment desired content, allowing the user to publish a more focused video stream.
Publication Details
  • ACM International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval (ICMR)
  • Apr 17, 2011

Abstract

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User-generated video from mobile phones, digital cameras, and other devices is increasing, yet people rarely want to watch all the captured video. More commonly, users want a single still image for printing or a short clip from the video for creating a panorama or for sharing. Our interface aims to help users search through video for these images or clips in a more efficient fashion than fast-forwarding or "scrubbing" through a video by dragging through locations on a slider. It is based on a hierarchical structure of keyframes in the video, and combines a novel user interface design for browsing a video segment tree with new algorithms for keyframe selection, segment identification, and clustering. These algorithms take into account the need for quality keyframes and balance the desire for short navigation paths and similarity-based clusters. Our user interface presents keyframe hierarchies and displays visual cues for keeping the user oriented while browsing the video. The system adapts to the task by using a non-temporal clustering algorithm when a the user wants a single image. When the user wants a video clip, the system selects one of two temporal clustering algorithm based on a measure of the repetitiveness of the video. User feedback provided us with valuable suggestions for improvements to our system.
Publication Details
  • ACM International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval (ICMR) 2011
  • Apr 17, 2011

Abstract

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Embedded Media Marker (EMM) identification system allows users to retrieve relevant dynamic media associated with a static paper document via camera phones. The user supplies a query image by capturing an EMM-signified patch of a paper document through a camera phone; the system recognizes the query and in turn retrieves and plays the corresponding media on the phone. Accurate image matching is crucial for positive user experience in this application. To address the challenges posed by large datasets and variations in camera-phone-captured query images, we introduce a novel image matching scheme based on geometrically consistent correspondences. Two matching constraints - "injection" and "approximate global geometric consistency" (AGGC), which are unique in EMM identification, are presented. A hierarchical scheme, combined with two constraining functions, is designed to detect the "injective-AGGC" correspondences between images. A spatial neighborhood search approach is further proposed to address challenging cases with large translational shift. Experimental results on a 100k+ dataset show that our solution achieves high accuracy with low memory and time complexity and outperforms the standard bag-of-words approach.

Quantum Computing: A Gentle Introduction

Publication Details
  • MIT Press
  • Mar 18, 2011

Abstract

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The combination of two of the twentieth century's most influential and revolutionary scientific theories, information theory and quantum mechanics, gave rise to a radically new view of computing and information. Quantum information processing explores the implications of using quantum mechanics instead of classical mechanics to model information and its processing. Quantum computing is not about changing the physical substrate on which computation is done from classical to quantum but about changing the notion of computation itself, at the most basic level. The fundamental unit of computation is no longer the bit but the quantum bit or qubit. This comprehensive introduction to the field offers a thorough exposition of quantum computing and the underlying concepts of quantum physics, explaining all the relevant mathematics and offering numerous examples. With its careful development of concepts and thorough explanations, the book makes quantum computing accessible to students and professionals in mathematics, computer science, and engineering. A reader with no prior knowledge of quantum physics (but with sufficient knowledge of linear algebra) will be able to gain a fluent understanding by working through the book. The text covers the basic building blocks of quantum information processing, quantum bits and quantum gates, showing their relationship to the key quantum concepts of quantum measurement, quantum state transformation, and entanglement between quantum subsystems; it treats quantum algorithms, discussing notions of complexity and describing a number of simple algorithms as well as the most significant algorithms to date; and it explores entanglement and robust quantum computation, investigating such topics as quantifying entanglement, decoherence, quantum error correction, and fault tolerance.

Augmented Perception through Mirror Worlds

Publication Details
  • Augmented Human 2011
  • Mar 12, 2011

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We describe a system that mirrors a public physical space into cyberspace to provide people with augmented awareness of that space. Through views on web pages, portable devices, or on `Magic Window' displays located in the physical space, remote people may `look in' to the space, while people within the space are provided information not apparent through unaided perception. For example, by looking at a mirror display, people can learn how long others have been present, where they have been, etc. People in one part of a building can get a sense of the activities in the rest of the building, who is present in their office, look in to a talk in another room, etc. We describe a prototype for such a system developed in our research lab and office space.

DiG: A task-based approach to product search

Publication Details
  • IUI 2011
  • Feb 13, 2011

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While there are many commercial systems designed to help people browse and compare products, these interfaces are typically product centric. To help users more efficiently identify products that match their needs, we instead focus on building a task centric interface and system. With this approach, users initially answer questions about the types of situations in which they expect to use the product. The interface reveals the types of products that match their needs and exposes high-level product features related to the kinds of tasks in which they have expressed an interest. As users explore the interface, they can reveal how those high-level features are linked to actual product data, including customer reviews and product specifications. We developed semi-automatic methods to extract the high-level features used by the system from online product data. These methods identify and group product features, mine and summarize opinions about those features, and identify product uses. User studies verified our focus on high-level features for browsing and low-level features and specifications for comparison.  

Privacy-Preserving Aggregation of Time-Series Data

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  • NDSS 2011
  • Feb 6, 2011

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We consider how an untrusted data aggregator can learn desired statistics over multiple participants' data, without compromising each individual's privacy. We propose a construction that allows a group of participants to periodically upload encrypted values to a data aggregator, such that the aggregator is able to compute the sum of all participants' values in every time period, but is unable to learn anything else. We achieve strong privacy guarantees using two main techniques. First, we show how to utilize applied cryptographic techniques to allow the aggregator to decrypt the sum from multiple ciphertexts encrypted under different user keys. Second, we describe a distributed data randomization procedure that guarantees the differential privacy of the outcome statistic, even when a subset of participants might be compromised.
Publication Details
  • IS&T and SPIE International Conference on Multimedia Content Access: Algorithms and Systems
  • Jan 23, 2011

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This paper describes research activities at FX Palo Alto Laboratory (FXPAL) in the area of multimedia browsing, search, and retrieval. We first consider interfaces for organization and management of personal photo collections. We then survey our work on interactive video search and retrieval. Throughout we discuss the evolution of both the research challenges in these areas and our proposed solutions.
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  • Fuji Xerox Technical Report
  • Jan 1, 2011

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Embedded Media Markers, or simply EMMs, are nearly transparent iconic marks printed on paper documents that signify the existence of media associated with that part of the document. EMMs also guide users' camera operations for media retrieval. Users take a picture of an EMM-signified document patch using a cell phone, and the media associated with the EMM-signified document location is displayed on the phone. Unlike bar codes, EMMs are nearly transparent and thus do not interfere with the document appearance. Retrieval of media associated with an EMM is based on image local features of the captured EMM-signified document patch. This paper describes a technique for semi-automatically placing an EMM at a location in a document, in such a way that it encompasses sufficient identification features with minimal disturbance to the original document.
Publication Details
  • Encyclopledia of the Sciences of Learning
  • Jan 1, 2011

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Supervised Learning is a machine learning paradigm for acquiring the input-output relationship information of a system based on a given set of paired input-output training samples. As the output is regarded as the label of the input data or the supervision, an input-output training sample is also called labelled training data, or supervised data. Occasionally, it is also referred to as Learning with a Teacher (Haykin 1998), Learning from Labelled Data, or Inductive Machine Learning (Kotsiantis, 2007). The goal of supervised learning is to build an artificial system that can learn the mapping between the input and the output, and can predict the output of the system given new inputs. If the output takes a finite set of discrete values that indicate the class labels of the input, the learned mapping leads to the classification of the input data. If the output takes continuous values, it leads to a regression of the input. The input-output relationship information is frequently represented with learning-model parameters. When these parameters are not directly available from training samples, a learning system needs to go through an estimation process to obtain these parameters. Different form Unsupervised Learning, the training data for Supervised Learning need supervised or labelled information, while the training data for unsupervised learning are unsupervised as they are not labelled (i.e., merely the inputs). If an algorithm uses both supervised and unsupervised training data, it is called a Semi-supervised Learning algorithm. If an algorithm actively queries a user/teacher for labels in the training process, the iterative supervised learning is called Active Learning.
2010
Publication Details
  • ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces
  • Nov 8, 2010

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Embedded Media Barcode Links, or simply EMBLs, are optimally blended iconic barcode marks, printed on paper documents, that signify the existence of multimedia associated with that part of the document content (Figure 1). EMBLs are used for multimedia retrieval with a camera phone. Users take a picture of an EMBL-signified document patch using a cell phone, and the multimedia associated with the EMBL-signified document location is displayed on the phone. Unlike a traditional barcode which requires an exclusive space, the EMBL construction algorithm acts as an agent to negotiate with a barcode reader for maximum user and document benefits. Because of this negotiation, EMBLs are optimally blended with content and thus have less interference with the original document layout and can be moved closer to a media associated location. Retrieval of media associated with an EMBL is based on the barcode identification of a captured EMBL. Therefore, EMBL retains nearly all barcode identification advantages, such as accuracy, speed, and scalability. Moreover, EMBL takes advantage of users' knowledge of a traditional barcode. Unlike Embedded Media Maker (EMM) which requires underlying document features for marker identification, EMBL has no requirement for the underlying features. This paper will discuss the procedures for EMBL construction and optimization. It will also give experimental results that strongly support the EMBL construction and optimization ideas.
Publication Details
  • Information Processing & Management, 46 (6), pp. 629-631
  • Nov 1, 2010

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This special issue brings together papers that describe some of the many ways that collaborative information seeking manifests itself. Some papers report on collaborative practices in a range of domains, including medical (Hertzum), legal (Attfield et al.), and online Q&A (Gazan). Others propose and evaluate models of collaborative activity (Evans and Chi; Evans et al.; Wilson and schraefel; Foley and Smeaton), and others describe systems and algorithms that support collaboration in various ways (Boydell and Smyth; Fernandez-Luna et al., Halvey et al., Morris et al.; Shah et al.).

Role-based results redistribution for collaborative information retrieval

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  • Information Processing & Management, 46 (6), pp. 773-781
  • Nov 1, 2010

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We describe a new approach for algorithmic mediation of a collaborative search process. Unlike most approaches to collaborative IR, we are designing systems that mediate explicitly-defined synchronous collaboration among small groups of searchers with a shared information need. Such functionality is provided by first obtaining different rank-lists based on searchers' queries, fusing these rank-lists, and then splitting the combined list to distribute documents among collaborators according to their roles. For the work reported here, we consider the case of two people collaborating on a search. We assign them roles of Gatherer and Surveyor: the Gatherer is tasked with exploring highly promising information on a given topic, and the Surveyor is tasked with digging further to explore more diverse information. We demonstrate how our technique provides the Gatherer with high-precision results, and the Surveyor with information that is high in entropy.

Reverted Indexing for Feedback and Expansion

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  • ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2010)
  • Oct 26, 2010

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Traditional interactive information retrieval systems function by creating inverted lists, or term indexes. For every term in the vocabulary, a list is created that contains the documents in which that term occurs and its relative frequency within each document. Retrieval algorithms then use these term frequencies alongside other collection statistics to identify the matching documents for a query. In this paper, we turn the process around: instead of indexing documents, we index query result sets. First, queries are run through a chosen retrieval system. For each query, the resulting document IDs are treated as terms and the score or rank of the document is used as the frequency statistic. An index of documents retrieved by basis queries is created. We call this index a reverted index. Finally, with reverted indexes, standard retrieval algorithms can retrieve the matching queries (as results) for a set of documents (used as queries). These recovered queries can then be used to identify additional documents, or to aid the user in query formulation, selection, and feedback.

TalkMiner: A Search Engine for Online Lecture Video

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  • ACM Multimedia 2010 - Industrial Exhibits
  • Oct 25, 2010

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TalkMiner is a search engine for lecture webcasts. Lecture videos are processed to recover a set of distinct slide images and OCR is used to generate a list of indexable terms from the slides. On our prototype system, users can search and browse lists of lectures, slides in a specific lecture, and play the lecture video. Over 10,000 lecture videos have been indexed from a variety of sources. A public website now allows users to experiment with the search engine.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia 2010
  • Oct 25, 2010

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NudgeCam is a mobile application that can help users capture more relevant, higher quality media. To guide users to capture media more relevant to a particular project, third-party template creators can show users media that demonstrates relevant content and can tell users what content should be present in each captured media using tags and other meta-data such as location and camera orientation. To encourage higher quality media capture, NudgeCam provides real time feedback based on standard media capture heuristics, including face positioning, pan speed, audio quality, and many others. We describe an implementation of NudgeCam on the Android platform as well as fi eld deployments of the application.

The Virtual Chocolate Factory:Mixed Reality Industrial Collaboration and Control

Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia 2010 - Industrial Exhibits
  • Oct 25, 2010

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We will exhibit several aspects of a complex mixed reality system that we have built and deployed in a real-world factory setting. In our system, virtual worlds, augmented realities, and mobile applications are all fed from the same infrastructure. In collaboration with TCHO, a chocolate maker in San Francisco, we built a virtual “mirror” world of a real-world chocolate factory and its processes. Sensor data is imported into the multi-user 3D environment from hundreds of sensors on the factory floor. The resulting virtual factory is used for simulation, visualization, and collaboration, using a set of interlinked, real-time layers of information. Another part of our infrastructure is designed to support appropriate industrial uses for mobile devices such as cell phones and tablet computers. We deployed this system at the real-world factory in 2009, and it is now is daily use there. By simultaneously developing mobile, virtual, and web-based display and collaboration environments, we aimed to create an infrastructure that did not skew toward one type of application but that could serve many at once, interchangeably. Through this mixture of mobile, social, mixed and virtual technologies, we hope to create systems for enhanced collaboration in industrial settings between physically remote people and places, such as factories in China with managers in the US.

TalkMiner: A Lecture Webcast Search Engine

Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia 2010
  • Oct 25, 2010

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The design and implementation of a search engine for lecture webcasts is described. A searchable text index is created allowing users to locate material within lecture videos found on a variety of websites such as YouTube and Berkeley webcasts. The index is created from words on the presentation slides appearing in the video along with any associated metadata such as the title and abstract when available. The video is analyzed to identify a set of distinct slide images, to which OCR and lexical processes are applied which in turn generate a list of indexable terms. Several problems were discovered when trying to identify distinct slides in the video stream. For example, picture-in-picture compositing of a speaker and a presentation slide, switching cameras, and slide builds confuse basic frame-differencing algorithms for extracting keyframe slide images. Algorithms are described that improve slide identification. A prototype system was built to test the algorithms and the utility of the search engine. Users can browse lists of lectures, slides in a specific lecture, or play the lecture video. Over 10,000 lecture videos have been indexed from a variety of sources. A public website will be published in mid 2010 that allows users to experiment with the search engine.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia 2010
  • Oct 25, 2010

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An Embedded Media Marker (EMM) is a transparent mark printed on a paper document that signifies the availability of additional media associated with that part of the document. Users take a picture of the EMM using a camera phone, and the media associated with that part of the document is displayed on the phone. Unlike bar codes, EMMs are nearly transparent and thus do not interfere with the document appearance. Retrieval of media associated with an EMM is based on image features of the document within the EMM boundary. Unlike other feature-based retrieval methods, the EMM clearly indicates to the user the existence and type of media associated with the document location. A semi-automatic authoring tool is used to place an EMM at a location in a document, in such a way that it encompasses sufficient identification features with minimal disturbance to the original document. We will demonstrate how to create an EMM-enhanced document, and how the EMM enables access to the associated media on a cell phone.
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia
  • Oct 25, 2010

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FACT is an interactive paper system for fine-grained interaction with documents across the boundary between paper and computers. It consists of a small camera-projector unit, a laptop, and ordinary paper documents. With the camera-projector unit pointing to a paper document, the system allows a user to issue pen gestures on the paper document for selecting fine-grained content and applying various digital functions. For example, the user can choose individual words, symbols, figures, and arbitrary regions for keyword search, copy and paste, web search, and remote sharing. FACT thus enables a computer-like user experience on paper. This paper interaction can be integrated with laptop interaction for cross-media manipulations on multiple documents and views. We present the infrastructure, supporting techniques and interaction design, and demonstrate the feasibility via a quantitative experiment. We also propose applications such as document manipulation, map navigation and remote collaboration.
Publication Details
  • NPUC2010
  • Oct 22, 2010

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The massive amounts of information that are being collected about each of us will only increase as sensors become ever cheaper and more powerful. Analysis of this wealth of data supports advances in medicine and public health, improved software and services through user pattern analysis, and more efficient economic mechanisms. At the same time, the potential for misuse of such data is significant. A long-term research question is how best to support beneficial uses while inhibiting misuse. One approach is to enable individuals to maintain tighter control of their own data while still supporting the computation of group statistics. Currently, analysts are usually given access to all data in order to compute statistics, and often use a third party service provider to store, or even process, such data. Either the third party has access to all data or the data are encrypted, in which case the third party does no processing. An interesting research question is how to provide mechanisms to support "need to know" security in which an individual has full access to her own data, the third party learns nothing about the data but can nevertheless contribute to the processing, and the analyst learns only the desired statistics. We have explored "need to know" security in connection with MyUnity, a prototype awareness system. MyUnity collects data from a variety of sources and displays summary presence states, such as ``in office'' or ``with visitor,'' computed from the received data. MyUnity was deployed in a small research lab and has been in use by over 30 people for more than a year. To avoid concerns about misuse, the system did not store any data initially. The researchers developing the system were interested, however, in analyzing usage patterns, and users expressed interest in seeing personal trends, activity patterns of coworkers, and long-term data pooled across groups of users, all requiring data to be stored. At the same time, users continued to be concerned about misuse of stored data. We looked at ``need to know'' security for cases in which, at each time step, each member of a group of users has a value (i.e., a presence state) to contribute, and the group would like to provide only an aggregate view of those values to people outside their group. We designed and implemented an efficient protocol that enables each user to encrypt under her own key in such a way that a third party can compute an encryption of a sum across values encrypted under different keys without the need for further interactions with the individuals. The protocol provides means for an analyst to decrypt the encrypted sum. We designed key structures and extensions to provide a family of efficient non-interactive ``need to know'' protocols for time series data in which the analyst learns only the statistics, not the individual data values, and the third party learns nothing about the values.

Camera Pose Navigation using Augmented Reality

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  • ISMAR 2010
  • Oct 13, 2010

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We propose an Augmented Reality (AR) system that helps users take a picture from a designated pose, such as the position and camera angle of an earlier photo. Repeat photography is frequently used to observe and document changes in an object. Our system uses AR technology to estimate camera poses in real time. When a user takes a photo, the camera pose is saved as a 'view bookmark.' To support a user in taking a repeat photo, two simple graphics are rendered in an AR viewer on the camera's screen to guide the user to this bookmarked view. The system then uses image adjustment techniques to create an image based on the user's repeat photo that is even closer to the original.
Publication Details
  • ACM DocEng 2010
  • Sep 21, 2010

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We present a method for picture detection in document page images, which can come from scanned or camera images, or rendered from electronic file formats. Our method uses OCR to separate out the text and applies the Normalized Cuts algorithm to cluster the non-text pixels into picture regions. A refinement step uses the captions found in the OCR text to deduce how many pictures are in a picture region, thereby correcting for under- and over-segmentation. A performance evaluation scheme is applied which takes into account the detection quality and fragmentation quality. We benchmark our method against the ABBYY application on page images from conference papers.
Publication Details
  • IIiX 2010
  • Aug 18, 2010

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Exploratory search is a difficult activity that requires iterative interaction. This iterative process helps the searcher to understand and to refine the information need. It also generates a rich set of data that can be used effectively to reflect on what has been found (and found useful). In this paper, we describe a framework for unifying transitions among various stages of exploratory search, and show how context from one stage can be applied to the next. The framework can be used both to describe existing information-seeking interactions, and as a means of generating novel ones. We illustrate the framework with examples from a session-based exploratory search system prototype that we have built.
Publication Details
  • ICME 2010, Singapore, July 19-23 2010
  • Jul 19, 2010

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Virtual, mobile, and mixed reality systems have diverse uses for data visualization and remote collaboration in industrial settings, especially factories. We report our experiences in designing complex mixed-reality collaboration, control, and display systems for a real-world factory, for delivering real-time factory information to multiple users. In collaboration with (blank for review), a chocolate maker in San Francisco, our research group is building a virtual “mirror” world of a real-world chocolate factory and its processes. Real-world sensor data (such as temperature and machine state) is imported into the 3D environment from hundreds of sensors on the factory floor. Multi-camera imagery from the factory is also available in the multi-user 3D factory environment. The resulting "virtual factory" is designed for simulation, visualization, and collaboration, using a set of interlinked, real-time 3D and 2D layers of information about the factory and its processes. We are also looking at appropriate industrial uses for mobile devices such as cell phones and tablet computers, and how they intersect with virtual worlds and mixed realities. For example, an experimental iPhone web app provides mobile laboratory monitoring and control. The app allows a real-time view into the lab via steerable camera and remote control of lab machines. The mobile system is integrated with the database underlying the virtual factory world. These systems were deployed at the real-world factory and lab in 2009, and are now in beta development. Through this mashup of mobile, social, mixed and virtual technologies, we hope to create industrial systems for enhanced collaboration between physically remote people and places – for example, factories in China with managers in Japan or the US.
Publication Details
  • ACM SIGACT News, Vol 41, No. 3, 2010
  • Jul 12, 2010

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Over the years I have enjoyed Mermin's colorful, idiosyncratic, and insightful papers. His interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics has led him to discover alternative explanations for various quantum mechanical puzzles and protocols. These explanations are often superior to previous explanations in both simplicity and insight, and even when they are not outright better, they provide a valuable alternative point of view. His book is filled with such explanations, and with strong, sometimes controversial, opinions on the right way of seeing something, which make his book both valuable and entertaining.