Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Paper: Process visualization techniques for multi-perspective process comparisons

Have just had the paper "Process visualization techniques for multi-perspective process comparisons" accepted for AP-BPM, written with Azzurra Pini (Politecnico Milano), and Moe Wynn (QUT).  This is an outcome of Azzurra's work as an intern with us at QUT in 2014.  the paper is stored here, please contact me if you want a copy.

Abstract - Organizations executing similar business processes need to understand the differences and similarities in activities performed across work environments. Presently, research interest is directed towards the potential of visualization for the display of process models, to support users in their analysis tasks. Although recent literature in process mining and comparison provide several methods and algorithms to perform process and log comparison, few contributions explore novel visualization techniques. This paper analyzes process comparison from a design perspective, providing some practical visualization techniques as analysis solutions. In order to support the needs of business analysts the design of the visual comparison has been tackled via three different points of view: the general model, the superimposed model and the side-by-side comparison. A case study is presented showing a preliminary evaluation of the application of process mining and visualization techniques to patient treatment across two Australian hospitals.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Paper Review: A Quantum Information Retrieval Approach to Memory

A Quantum Information Retrieval Approach to Memory

Kirsty Kitto, Peter Bruza, Liane Gabora

Neural Networks (IJCNN), The 2012 International Joint Conference on

DOI: 10.1109/IJCNN.2012.6252492

Abstract—As computers approach the physical limits of in- formation storable in memory, new methods will be needed to further improve information storage and retrieval. We propose a quantum inspired vector based approach, which offers a contextually dependent mapping from the subsymbolic to the symbolic representations of information. If implemented computationally, this approach would provide exceptionally high density of information storage, without the traditionally required physical increase in storage capacity. The approach is inspired by the structure of human memory and incorporates elements of Gaerdenfors’ Conceptual Space approach and Humphreys et al.’s matrix model of memory.

This paper detail's Bruza, Kitto and Gabora's matrix model of memory.  Peter Bruza is also a colleague of mine at QUT. :-)

The key components I find interesting are the relationship between symbolic and subsymbolic levels, and its movement towards a distributed overlaid model of memory, that causes excitations in related symbolic entities/terms.  The matrix notation allows for a representation of context as a matrix of features, which via tensor product formalism,  allows for memory to be a distributed process, with activations of related terms.

This is of interest to me, as we can start to utilise visual features in a computational model of subsymbolic components contributing to memory recall via similar inputs of features.

While this is strongly related to an NN associated matrix approach, it makes the relationships between the components explicit, and is thus a candidate as a cognitive model of priming in expert elicitation sessions.  This approach can then be used to modulate user interfaces in virtual world elicitation systems.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Videos/Code: Free Unity Shader Demos from my Rendering Course @ QUT

I've made videos and Unity project files from my teaching at QUT available on my Youtube channel  The playlist is here.  Enjoy and feel free to pass onto interested people.

NB: If you want to know about the theory, come and do my course INB382 Real-time Rendering Techniques at QUT. ;-)


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Review: Imagination Inflation: Imagining a Childhood Event Inflates Confidence that it Occurred

Imagination Inflation: Imagining a Childhood Event Inflates Confidence that it Occurred

Maryanne Garry, Charles G. Manning, Elizabeth F. Loftus

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
3 (2), 208-214


Counterfactual imaginings are known to have far reaching implications. In the present experiment, we ask if imagining events from one's past can affect memory for childhood events. We draw on the social psychology literature showing that imagining a future event increases the subjective likelihood that the event will occur. The concepts of cognitive availability and the source monitoring framework provide reasons to expect that imagination may inflate confidence that a childhood event occurred. However, people routinely produce myriad counterfactual imaginings (i.e., daydreams and fantasies) but usually do not confuse them with past experiences. To determine the effects of imagining a childhood event, we pretested subjects on how confident they were that a number of childhood events had happened, asked them to imagine some of those events, and then gathered new confidence measures. For each of the target items, imagination inflated confidence that the event had occurred in childhood. We discuss implications for situations in which imagination is used as an aid in searching for presumably lost memories.

Am strongly interested in the effect of false memories on the process of expert elicitation.  In particular, the stimulus used in the process of extracting the information from experts.

So, in this paper, I am interested in the quality of the inputs into a session.  Could one plant false memories of the work or knowledge using such systems.  Could it be that using a virtual world to perform the elicitation, if incorrectly configured, will introduce more errors, due to the creation of powerful false memories from the visuals created.  Hmmmm.

Interesting to note that the effect is easier with early childhood memories - attributed to vagueness of distant memory.  This is also possibly related to the credulity of young children; do you become a little childlike by remembering your childhood?  If the effect is consistent, this opens up all sorts of possibilities for creation of beneficial false memories, or to reduce the effects of bad environments (GTA 5 comes to mind) by making sure the rules in such environments make moral sense, removing the effect of such false memories induced by gameplay.

So what is War Thunder doing to me?  Do I know have false memories of driving a Tiger I?

The weird part would be the eerie familiarity of driving the Tiger in real life, the eerie familiarity is my false memory of driving in a game, but I experience familiarity in real life.  Would I discern the difference, can I, as the familiarity is beyond my control to an extent.

Interestingly enough, this experimental method almost reads like an elicitation session.  The experiment manager states to the participant: "What are you likely to do next" while imagining the false event.  They are, in concept, creating a false sequence of events or episodes in the memory.

Note, the early estimate of past memory was repeated after the experimenter has faked losing their results - might be dodgy, could people see through this.  I wonder if they controlled for insight into the ruse; it is not noted in the description of results.

So, the data showed a consistent increase in confidence of remembering the fake event, especially after imagining the event (personal VR :-) ).  They controlled for big jumps, conjectured to be actual priming of actual lost memories; this is important in elicitation.  They also note that the number of big jumps is small.  Also note, that people who did not imagine between tests still went up, but not as much.  Another effect in play, maybe regression to the mean, or just a familiarity effect.  These effects are important in any elicitation test; just repeating questions may bring about a false memory - this is what cops and psychologists do.

They also bring up the issue of self being in the imagination session.  Brings up the idea that an avatar should represent the person who is doing the elicitation, to bring the participant a sense of performing the task in world; might increase the concept of presence.


Paper: Model as you do : engaging an S-BPM vendor on process modelling in 3D virtual worlds

Have recently had a book chapter "Model as you do : engaging an S-BPM vendor on process modelling in 3D virtual worlds," accepted.  The paper was written with Joel Harman, my Honours student from QUT, and Udo Kannengiesser, Nils Meyer and Thomas Rothschaedl from Metasonic GmbH.  It describes the processes Joel and I went through to implement a virtual world process elicitation tool in conjunction with Metasonic in Germany.  The chapter will be published in "In S-BPM in the Wild – Value Creating Practice in the Field," Springer, Berlin Heidelberg.

QUT eprints entry is here, email me on if you want a copy.

Abstract: Accurate process model elicitation continues to be a time consuming task, requiring skill on the part of the interviewer to extract explicit and tacit process information from the interviewee. Many errors occur in this elicitation stage that would be avoided by better activity recall, more consistent specification methods and greater engagement in the elicitation process by interviewees. Metasonic GmbH has developed a process elicitation tool for their process suite. As part of a research engagement with Metasonic, staff from QUT, Australia have developed a 3D virtual world approach to the same problem, viz. eliciting process models from stakeholders in an intuitive manner. This book chapter tells the story of how QUT staff developed a 3D Virtual World tool for process elicitation, took the outcomes of their research project to Metasonic for evaluation, and finally, Metasonic’s response to the initial proof of concept.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Paper: Evidence that virtual worlds improve business process elicitation

Our paper "Virtual Business Role-play: Leveraging Familiar Environments to Prime Stakeholder Memory during Process Elicitation," has been accepted for CaISE 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden.  This paper is a product of an Honours thesis by my student Joel Harman, in collaboration with Stefanie Rinderle-Ma (Uni. Vienna), Daniel Johnson (QUT) and Udo Kannengiesser (Metasonic GmbH).  

The paper is stored here at QUT eprints, contact me on if you want a pdf copy.

Abstract. Business process models have traditionally been an effective way of examining business practices to identify areas for improvement. While common information gathering approaches are generally efficacious, they can be quite time consuming and have the risk of developing inaccuracies when information is forgotten or incorrectly interpreted by analysts. In this study, the potential of a role-playing approach for process elicitation and specification has been examined. This method allows stakeholders to enter a virtual world and role-play actions as they would in reality. As actions are completed, a model is automatically developed, removing the need for stakeholders to learn and understand a modelling grammar. Empirical data obtained in this study suggests that this approach may not only improve both the number of individual process task steps remembered and the correctness of task ordering, but also provide a reduction in the time required for stakeholders to model a process view.

Not only is this is a great achievement by Joel, CaISE is a very competitive conference, but the preliminary evidence is very encouraging.  Virtual worlds do indeed work well as a process elicitation tool, especially, we believe, for naive stakeholders.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

CFP: VINCI 2015 : The 8th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction

VINCI 2015 : The 8th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction

<< Call For Papers >>

The 8th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction (VINCI15) will be held during August 24-26 in Tokyo, Japan. VINCI15 aims to provide an international forum for researchers and industrial practitioners to discuss the state of the art in visual communication theories, designs, and applications. Papers can be submitted as long papers, short papers and posters.
All accepted papers will be published by ACM Press and made available in the ACM Digital Library. Selected papers will be published in special issues of appropriate journals including Journal of Visualization (JoV).

1. Papers and Posters
Authors are invited to submit original and unpublished research and practical applications in all areas of visual communication and interaction. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

Area 1: Visualization methodologies
Information visualization, Graph drawing and visualization, Cognitive aspects of visual information comprehension, Visual metaphors and symbols, Usability or empirical study of new visual metaphors, Design theory in the digital age, Aesthetics in visual communication and digital media, Interaction methods (touch-based, haptic, vision-based, multi-modality, Big Data, Visual languages, Diagrams, Art + Science

Area 2: Visualization applications
Visual Analytics, Sketching, Graphical user interface design, Software visualization, Visual approaches to knowledge discovery, Visualization on mobile devices, Animation, Game design, Biological visualizations

Area 3: Visual design and art
Interaction design, Interactive art, Infographie and data-driven art, Visual perception and cognition, Multimedia, Virtual actors, Interactive storytelling, Augmented reality and its applications, Virtual reality and its applications, Computational (or digital) aesthetics, Wearable computers, Ubiquitous / responsive environments, Entertainment technology

2. Workshops and Tutorials
VINCI15 is also soliciting proposals for full-day and half-day workshops and tutorials on topics that address areas of interest to the community. Proposals should be a maximum of 2 pages. In particular, workshop proposals should include:

* A brief description of the specific issues that the workshop will address, the reasons why the workshop is of interest in these times, the main research areas involved.
* Contact information of the workshop chairs, their competence in the proposed topic(s) and previous experience in chairing scientific events.
* A tentative list of Program Committee members.
* A draft of the Call for Papers  It is possible to extend the symposium one day if many workshops or tutorials are proposed.

while tutorial proposals should include a CV of the proposer, a dradt of the tutorial content and evidence of the possibility of attracting audience to the tutorial.

<< Important dates >>
Submission of workshop/tutorial proposals: April 1, 2015
Notification of proposal acceptance: April 5, 2015
Submission of long/short papers: April 10, 2015
Notification of paper acceptance: June 10, 2015
Submission of posters: June 5, 2015
Notification of poster acceptance: June 15, 2015
Camera-ready copy due: June 25, 2015

<< Committees >>

General Chair
 Takayuki Itoh, Ochanomizu University, JAPAN
Program Chairs
 Paolo Bottoni, Sapienza University of Rome, ITALY
 Shigeo Takahashi, University of Tokyo, JAPAN
Local Arrangement Chairs
 Kazuo Misue, University of Tsukuba, JAPAN
 Yuriko Takeshima, Tohoku University, JAPAN
Publicity Chair
 Tomoko Kajiyama, Aoyama Gakuin University, JAPAN

Program Committee
 Tomasz Bednarz, CSIRO
 Robert P. Biuk-Aghai, University of Macau
 Paul Bourke, The University of Western Australia
 Stephen Brooks, Dalhousie University
 Ross Brown, Queensland University of Technology
 Michael Burch, University of Stuttgart
 Antonio Camurri, University of Genoa
 Li Chen, Tsinghua Unversity
 Gennaro Costagliola, Universita di Salerno
 Phil Cox, Dalhousie University
 Alberto Del Bimbo, Universita degli Studi di Firenze
 Kate Dunn, University of Sydney
 Liang Gou, IBM Research - Almaden
 Masahito Hirakawa, Shimane University
 Xavier Ho, University of Sydney / CSIRO
 Seok-Hee Hong, University of Sydney
 Hiroshi Hosobe, Hosei University
 Weidong Huang, University of Tasmania
 Xiaodi Huang, Charles Sturt University
 Masahiko Itoh, The University of Tokyo
 Andreas Kerren, Linnaeus University
 Karsten Klein, Monash University
 Jun Kong, North Dakota State University
 Yina Li, Nankai University
 Chun-Cheng Lin, National Chiao Tung University
 Zhanping Liu, Kentucky State University
 Aidong Lu, UNC Charlotte
 John Mcghee, The University of New South Wales
 Kazuo Misue,  University of Tsukuba
 Chris Muelder, University of California at Davis
 Quang Vinh Nguyen, University of Western Sydney
 Yoshihiro Okada, Kyushu University
 Marc Olano, University of Maryland
 Semi Ryu, Virginia Commonwealth University
 Raimondo Schettini, Universita degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
 Kamran Sedig, University of Western Ontario
 Guanglei Song, Twitter
 Arcot Sowmya, University of New South Wales
 Changming Sun, CSIRO
 Guodao Sun, Zhejiang University of Techonology
 Gualtiero Volpe, InfoMus-DIST-University of Genoa
 Zhiyong Wang, The University of Sydney
 Sai-Keung Wong, The National Chiao Tung University
 Hsiang-Yun Wu, The University of Tokyo
 Yu-Bin Yang, Nanjing University
 Kang Zhang, University of Texas at Dallas
 Ye Zhao, Kent State University
 Hong Zhou, Shenzhen University
 Jianlong Zhou, National ICT Australia