Sunday, August 9, 2015

CFP: 11th International Symposium on Visual Computing (ISVC'15)

11th International Symposium on Visual Computing (ISVC'15)

December 14-16, 2015
Monte Carlo Resort & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

ISVC provides a common forum for researchers, scientists, engineers and practitioners to present their latest research findings, ideas, developments and applications in visual computing. We seek papers contributing to the state of the art and practice in any of the four central areas of visual computing: (1) computer vision, (2) computer graphics, (3) virtual reality, and (4) visualization.  Of particular interest are papers that combine technologies from two or more areas. For a list of topics, see

ISVC'15 will consist of invited and contributed presentations dealing with all aspects of visual computing. In addition to the main program, the symposium will include several keynote presentations, special tracks, and a poster session. Significantly extended and revised versions of selected papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of the International Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools (IJAIT) (ISI/SCIE indexed). Also, a "best paper" award ($500) will be sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL). The symposium's proceedings will be published by Springer-Verlag in Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

***Important Dates***

Paper submissions August 21, 2015
Notification of acceptance September 23, 2015
Final camera ready paper October 20, 2015
Advance Registration October 20, 2015
ISVC'15 Symposium December 14-16, 2015

***Keynote Speakers***

Fei-Fei Li, Stanford University, USA
Ravi Ramamoorthy, UCSD, USA
Claudio Silva, New York University, USA
Oncel Tuzel, MERL, USA
Evan Suma, USC, USA
Luc Vincent, Google, USA

(Area 1) Computer Vision Chairs:
Pavlidis Ioannis, University of Houston, USA
Feris Rogerio, IBM, USA

(Area 2) Computer Graphics Chairs:
McGraw Tim, Purdue University, USA
Elendt Mark, Side Effects Software Inc., USA

(Area 3) Virtual Reality Chairs:
Kopper Regis, Duke University, USA
Ragan Eric, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA

(Area 4) Visualization Chairs:
Yang Jing, University of North Carolina, USA
Weber Gunther, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA

*** Submission Procedure ***

Papers submitted to ISVC'15 must not have been previously published and must not be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. A complete paper should be submitted in camera-ready format. The length should match that intended for final publication. The page limit is 12 pages. In submitting a paper the author(s) agree that, upon acceptance, they will prepare the final manuscript in time for inclusion into the proceedings and will present the paper at the symposium.

***Special Tracks***

Papers submitted to a special track must not have been previously published, and must not be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

ST1: Computational Bioimaging
       Tavares João Manuel R. S., University of Porto, Portugal
       Natal Jorge Renato, University of Porto, Portugal

ST2: 3D Surface Reconstruction, Mapping, and Visualization
       Nefian Ara, Carnegie Mellon University/NASA Ames Research Center, USA
       Edwards Laurence, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
       Huertas Andres, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, USA

ST3: Observing Humans
       Savakis Andreas, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA
       Argyros Antonis, University of Crete, Greece
       Asari Vijay, University of Dayton, USA

ST4: Advancing Autonomy for Aerial Robotics
       Alexis Kostas, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
       Chli Margarita,, University of Edinburgh, UK
       Achtelik Marcus, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
       Kottas Dimitrios, University of Minnesota, USA
       Bebis George, University of Nevada, Reno, USA

ST5: Spectral Imaging Processing and Analysis for Environmental, Engineering and Industrial Applications
       Doulamis Anastasions (Tasos) , National Technical University of Athens, Greece
      Loupos Konstantinos, Institute of Communications and Computer Systems, Greece

ST6: Big Data Visualization and Analytics
       Yang Lei, University of Nevada, Reno, USA
       Chen Xu, University of Goettingen, Germany
       Lin Fuhong, University of Science and Technology Beijing, China
       Zhang Rui, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

ST7: Unconstrained Biometrics: Challenges and Applications (tentative)
       Proença Hugo, University of Beira Interior, Portugal
       Ross Arun, Michigan State University, USA

ST8: Intelligent Transportation Systems
       Ambardekar, Amol, Microsoft, USA
       Morris, Brendan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA

ST9: Visual Perception and Robotic Systems
       La Hung, University of Nevada, Reno, USA
       Sheng Weihua, Oklahoma State University, USA
       Fan Guoliang, Oklahoma State University, USA
       Kuno Yoshinori, Saitama University, Japan
       Ha Quang, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
       Tran Anthony (Tri), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

       Dinh Kien, Rutgers University, USA

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Paper Review: A Parallel Coordinates Style Interface for Exploratory Volume Visualization

A Parallel Coordinates Style Interface for Exploratory Volume Visualization

Melanie Tory, Simeon Potts and Torsten Moeller



We present a user interface, based on parallel coordinates, that facilitates exploration of volume data. By explicitly representing the visualization parameter space, the interface provides an overview of rendering options and enables users to easily explore different parameters. Rendered images are stored in an integrated history bar that facilitates backtracking to previous visualization options. Initial usability testing showed clear agreement between users and experts of various backgrounds (usability, graphic design, volume visualization, and medical physics) that the proposed user interface is a valuable data exploration tool.

Useful paper, due to its use of heuristic evaluations as a assessment tool for visualisations, published in one of the top journals in the field.

Makes interesting comments on the need for tools to be from the scientist's point of view, and not a graphical point of view.

In essence it uses parallel coordinates to represent volumetric parameters for analysis and modification in volumetric medical visualisation.

Their technique is about reducing the overhead in exploring a transfer function parameter space, thus the use of parallel coordinates (a nice high dimensionality visualisation space).  They use this application structure to drive their selection of heuristics to evaluate on page 72 - sensible approach. 

Does this mean it is a "usefulness" evaluation due to the mapping to key tasks?!?  Strikes me that usability and usefulness overlap maybe too much, and needs to be carefully teased out in any validation.

They apply the Shneiderman Mantra.  They test with 5 people, no information about who the experts were; this is obfuscating.  Assume they are visualisation experts as they also tested with one "end-user".  Postgrads co-opted?!?!?!?  They have had no interaction with a previous parallel coordinates project; important to note.

They set up the data sets ahead of time with default values for parameters.  Tasks were to explore, then look for an identifiable object (key).  The experts were not end users with their "own goals" - Note this!  Thus they can use the tool, but are not trained to think in a domain manner.

Researchers used contextual inquiry techniques to form discussions.  11 heuristics were evaluated using 7 point scales.  Experts provided a written report on ads/disads - page 76.  Their work is based on a Nielson heuristic derivative HCI assessment approach (Chin 1988).  There is no mapping from heuristics to numerical measures; specifically no example questionnaire questions.

They use the five experts to rate, across 11 heuristics, tables vs. normal viz vs. parallel coordinates for parameters.  They used Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to detect sig. diff. between the three viz. types.  I have to question this; n = 5 is simply not significance in size.  A larger sample is required, they do not note effect sizes, which adds to my doubts to statistical power.  But the Wilcoxon is okay for non parametric distributions not assuming normality, so possibly valid.

They then quote comments from the experts during the evaluation process, but with no evidence of encoding, just collecting comments.  They then list a series of improvements the experts suggested.


J.P. Chin, V.A. Diehl, and K.L. Norman, “Development of an Instrument Measuring User Satisfaction of the Human-Computer Interface,” Proc. Conf. Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), pp. 213-218, 1988.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Paper Review: Situating Cognition within the Virtual World

Situating Cognition within the Virtual World

Paul R. Smart and Katia Sycara

6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2015) and the 
Affiliated Conferences, AHFE 2015


Cognitive architectures and virtual environments have a long history of use within the cognitive science community. Few studies, however, have sought to combine the use of these technologies to support computational studies into embodied, extended, situated and distributed (EESD) cognition. Here, we explore the extent to which the ACT-R cognitive architecture and the Unity game engine can be used for these purposes. A range of issues are discussed including the respective responsibilities that the cognitive architecture and game engine have for the implementation of specific processes, the extent to which the representational and computational capabilities of cognitive architectures are suited to the modeling of EESD cognitive systems, and the extent to which the kind of embodiment seen in the case of so-called ‘embodied virtual agents’ resembles that seen in the case of real-world bio-cognitive systems. These issues are likely to inform the focus of future research efforts concerning the integrative use of virtual environments and cognitive architectures for the computational modeling and simulation of EESD cognitive processes. 

An interesting little paper covering some issues around integrating Unity with present situated cognition systems such as ACT-R and THESEUS - their own simulation framework.

Not much theory here, but worth noting regarding the utility of processing visual features in the environment into abstract representations suitable for ACT-R to process.

Interesting observation, they quote Clark "Clark [1] thus distinguishes between ‘mere embodiment’, ‘basic embodiment’ and ‘profound embodiment’. He suggests that profound embodiment is primarily a feature of bio-cognitive systems, and that this form of embodiment is unlike that seen in the case of synthetic agents."

My point here is that, this applies to humans in the space.  Using certain interfaces should increase this level of embodiment.  A good idea would be to create a scale for this, so that researchers can assess the experience of embodiment, to maybe predict responses in humans.

They note the difficulty of integrating EESD forms of situated cognition into games systems.  Which I find interesting.  Why don't they form embodied scripts in the environments which are trained to interact with each other in a similar way to models of situated cognition, regarding our bodily movements?  Sounds like PhD project to me.  Surely these have been used in robotics, so should translate to a computational architecture easily, and, with Unity's nice scripting setup, should be able to be executed relatively easily, but only on a powerful machine. :-)


1. Clark, A. Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, USA, 2008

2. Smart, P. R., Scutt, T., Sycara, K., Shadbolt, N. R. in: Turner, J. O., Nixon, M., Bernardet, U., DiPaola, S. (Eds.) Integrating Cognitive Architectures into Virtual Character Design, IGI Global, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, in press.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

2nd CFP: TAProViz 2015 : 4th International Workshop on Theory and Application of Visualizations and Human-centric Aspects in Processes

TAProViz’15 4th International Workshop on Theory and Application of Visualizations and Human-centric Aspects in Processes, Innsbruck, Austria - 31 August 2015

In conjunction with the 12th International Conference on Business Process Management BPM2015 - at Innsbruck, Austria.

Call for Papers

Visualizations can make the structure and dependencies between elements in processes accessible in order to support users who need to analyze process models and their instances.

However, effectively visualizing processes in a user-friendly way is often a big challenge, especially for complex process models which can consist of hundreds of process components (e.g., process activities, data flows, and resources) and thousands of running process instances in different execution states.

Many challenges remain to be addressed within the broad area of process visualization, human interaction and user led design such as: scalability, human-computer interaction, cognitive aspects, applicability of different approaches, collaboration, process evolution, run-time requirements of process instances and applications, user-engagement etc.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
* Visual Metaphors in Processes
* Visual Design and Aesthetics for Processes
* Visualization of Dynamic Data in Processes
* Change Visualization for Processes
* Interface and Interaction Techniques for Process Visualization
* Visualization Techniques for Collaboration and Distributed Processes
* Visualization of Large-scale Processes
* Cognition and Perception in Process Visualization
* Evaluation and User Studies of Process Visualization
* Evaluation Methods for Human Aspects in PAIS
* Visual Modeling Languages
* Analysis Techniques and Visualization for Processes
* Process Visualization of Large Screens
* Mobile Process Visualization
* Visualization Tools and Systems for Processes
* Visualization Techniques for Processes
* Process Visualization and Sonification
* Virtual World Process Visualization
* Immersive Process Modeling Approaches
* Human Computer Interaction Design Applied to Process Systems
* 3D Process Visualization Approaches
* Human-centric aspects in business process management
* User-centered design for BPM
* User Interface design for Processes

Format of the Workshop

The half day workshop will comprise accepted papers and tool evaluations. Papers should be submitted in advance and will be reviewed by at least three members of the program committee.

This year will also include a new innovation in the programme. Part of the workshop time (depending on the number of prototype submissions) will be set aside for focus group assessments of tools. We will be requesting tool report authors, successful workshop paper authors and panel members attending BPM, to assist in the assessment of demonstration visualization techniques and software. This evaluation process will be a service to attendees, as these heuristic assessments can be written up later as separate papers, or by the workshop chairs as an aggregated workshop outcome. Such evaluations will be an exciting addition to the workshop, as people experienced in Information Visualization, BPM, HCI and related fields, will provide detailed feedback on your prototypes. The evaluation approach is largely in the hands of the tool report writers, but at a minimum, should involve direct interaction with your software and some form of validation via a questionnaire.

All accepted papers will appear in the workshop proceedings published by Springer in the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP) series. There will be a single LNBIP volume dedicated to the proceedings of all BPM workshops. As this volume will appear after the conference, there will be informal proceedings during the workshop. At least one author for each accepted paper should register for the workshop and present the paper.

Important Dates

* Deadline for workshop paper submissions: 29 May 2015
* Notification of Acceptance: 29 June 2015
* Camera-ready version: 20 July 2015
* TAProViz Workshop: 31 August 2015

Paper Submission

Prospective authors are invited to submit papers for presentation in any of the areas listed above.

Three types of submissions are possible:

* (1) full papers (12 pages long) reporting mature research results
* (2) position papers reporting research that may be in preliminary stage that has not yet been evaluated
* (3) tool reports, to be evaluated at the workshop

Position papers and tool reports should be no longer than 6 pages. Tool reports should include a brief evaluation plan as an appendix, for the evaluation session at the workshop on the day.

Papers must be in English and must present original research contributions not concurrently submitted elsewhere. Papers should be submitted in the LNBIP format. The title page must contain a short abstract, a classification of the topics covered, preferably using the list of topics above, and an indication of the submission category (regular paper/position paper/tool report).

All accepted workshop papers will be published by Springer as a post-workshop proceedings volume in the series Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP). Hard copies of these proceedings will be shipped to all registered participants approximately four months after the workshops, while preliminary proceedings will be distributed during the workshop.

Submitted papers will be evaluated, in a double blind manner, on the basis of significance, originality, technical quality, and exposition. Papers should clearly establish their research contribution and the relation to the theory and application of process visualization.


Accepted papers imply that at least one of the authors will register for BPM2015 and present the paper at the TAProViz workshop.

Further workshop information is available from the website:

Hope to see you at TAProViz'15!

Thanks and best regards,

Ross Brown
Simone Kriglstein
Stefanie Rinderle-Ma

TAProViz Organising Committee

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. ;-)