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Section: Research Program

Research approaches

We will address these research problems through three interconnected research approaches:

Picture Impact

Our first research axis deals with the impact pictures have on the viewer, and how we can improve this impact. Our research here will target:

  • evaluating user response: we need to evaluate how the viewers respond to the pictures and animations generated by our algorithms, through user studies, either asking the viewer about what he perceives in a picture or measuring how his body reacts (eye tracking, position tracking).

  • removing artefacts and discontinuities: temporal and spatial discontinuities perturb viewer attention, distracting the viewer from the main message. These discontinuities occur during the picture creation process; finding and removing them is a difficult process.

Data Representation

The data we receive as input for picture generation is often unsuitable for interactive high-quality rendering: too many details, no spatial organisation... Similarly the pictures we produce or get as input for other algorithms can contain superfluous details.

One of our goals is to develop new data representations, adapted to our requirements for rendering. This includes fast access to the relevant information, but also access to the specific hierarchical level of information needed: we want to organize the data in hierarchical levels, pre-filter it so that sampling at a given level also gives information about the underlying levels. Our research for this axis include filtering, data abstraction, simplification and stylization.

The input data can be of any kind: geometric data, such as the model of an object, scientific data before visualization, pictures and photographs. It can be time-dependent or not; time-dependent data bring an additional level of challenge on the algorithm for fast updates.

Prediction and simulation

Our algorithms for generating pictures require computations: sampling, integration, simulation... These computations can be optimized if we already know the characteristics of the final picture. Our recent research has shown that it is possible to predict the local characteristics of a picture by studying the phenomena involved: the local complexity, the spatial variations, their direction...

Our goal is to develop new techniques for predicting the properties of a picture, and to adapt our image-generation algorithms to these properties, for example by sampling less in areas of low variation.

Our research problems and approaches are all cross-connected. Research on the impact of pictures is of interest in three different research problems: Computer Visualization, Expressive rendering and Illumination Simulation. Similarly, our research on Illumination simulation will use all three research approaches: impact, representations and prediction.