Introduction

The institute of Visual Informtics (IVI) was established through the approval of Senate and the Board of Directors of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) on 22nd November 2011 respectively as an ICT centre of excellence for research in the field of Visual Informatics. IVI was established with objectives to integrate multidisciplinary areas encompassing areas such as virtual reality, haptic computation, graphics computing, computer vision, visualisation and simulation, mathematical visualisation, and real image processing. In line with these objectives, IVI has embarked into four core research fields: Social Informatics, Computer Vision and Simulation, Real Time Virtual Image Processing and Visual Computing. IVI offers masters program by research and doctor of philosophy program in the field of these four core research fields.

Core research areas:

Social Informatics

Social Informatics refers to the research and study that examines social aspects of computerization including the roles of information technology in social and organizational change and the ways the social organization of ICT are influenced by social forces and social practices. It is an interdisciplinary field of study, of various disciplines: sociology, library and information science, education, human factors, computer science, economics, usability, information systems and communications. Research and application practice may be structured into three directions: 1) ICT’s interaction with society, 2) ICT applications in the social sciences, and 3) ICT as a tool in social research. The research areas include:

  • Weblogs and social media
  • Collaborative learning
  • Social network analysis
  • Creative information design
  • User interaction and visualization
  • Human-centered computing
  • Information system
  • Social computing theories and models
  • Wireless communication and mobile computing
  • Digital society
  • Computer Supported Collaborative Work

Computer Vision and Simulation

Computer Vision is a research field of computer science that intends to model and capture the real world. This research field encompasses both fundamental theory and techniques to recognise and identify objects from digital images and video using a variety of techniques. These digital images and video acquired from cameras, camcorders, radars and specialised sensors can be in colour or black and white and maybe in 3D. The various techniques used in computer vision are typically formulated from mathematical models and solved using robust and non-conventional techniques that include intelligent algorithms, neural networks and fuzzy logic. High performance computing that supports parallel and distributed processing is also used for real-time computer vision problems. The research in computer vision has the potential to be applied in areas such as automated industrial inspection, surveillance, search and rescue, landscape mapping, quality control and many more. The research areas of computer vision include:

  • Edge detection
  • Image segmentation
  • Image reconstruction
  • Object identification
  • Object recognition
  • Visual tracking
  • Remote collaboration

Simulation involves the creation and the implementation of a computer model to represent some real-world phenomenon or systems. Such real world phenomenon or systems include weather, road traffic, chemical reactions, biological systems, manufacturing processes, supply chain, social, economy, education and entertainment. In general, simulation systems are typically built upon mathematical models and sciences to predict and visualise the behaviour of the simulated systems. Programming skills and knowledge in using various intelligent and robust techniques are usually needed to optimise these computer simulations. In some cases, high performance computers and special equipments are used to meet the demand of a complex simulation model. The research in simulation has the potential to contribute to areas such as:

  • Navigation training
  • Robot simulator
  • Disaster prediction
  • Weather forecasting
  • Fault analysis
  • Injury prevention
  • Production scheduling
  • Visual Simulation

Real Time Virtual Image Processing

Real-time is very much associated with response time. Response time is the time between the presentation of a set of inputs, and the appearance of all the associated outputs. Real-time image processing differs from ordinary image processing in that the correctness of the image is not only ‘correct’ but also in timely output. A Virtual Image, on the other hand, occurs when light from an image is reflected or bend on the way to the detector. Thus, Real-time Virtual Image processing covers three major fields namely, the Real-time Processing, Virtual Images and Virtual Image Processing. These fields include research in the following areas:

  • Raster to vector conversion and vice versa
  • Image conversion
  • Image processing
  • Virtual Image Techniques
  • Visual data management
  • Response time
  • Virtual reconstruction
  • Virtual Image recognition
  • Virtual Image Inspection Technique
  • Embedded system
  • Visual simulation
  • Virtual reality

Visual Computing

Visual Computing is a multidiscipline research field that is based on three thrust components; Visual computing, visual design and usability.Visual Computing refers to interacting with and control work by manipulating visual images either as direct work objects or as objects representing other objects. Meanwhile, Visual Design refers to interacting with an interface. Visual design is used to communicate key concepts to users. It is about communication. The better at communicating is, the easier it is for the users to use and appreciate the interface that being designed. Usability is aquality attribute that evaluates how easy the visual user interfaces are to be used. The word “usability” also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process. The research that can contribute to these three thrust components are as following:

  • 3D Mapping and Modeling
  • Interactive Visualization
  • Behavior, Motion and eye tracking
  • Image/Video Encoding/Compression
  • Computational Photography
  • Visual Interaction and design
  • Visual Cognition and Learning
  • Visual multimedia
  • Cross-Cultural Design
  • Gaming
  • User Interface
  • Usability and Evaluation
  • Accessibility