Monday, February 28, 2011

Cancer Diagnosis by Smart Phone.

Reported by Jocelyn Kaiser, in Science, on 23 February 2011

Want to know whether you have cancer? There may soon be an app for that. Cancer researchers have come up with a small device that—with the aid of a smart phone—could allow physicians to find out within 60 minutes whether a suspicious lump in a patient is cancerous or benign.

Instead of immediately cutting out masses that they suspect are tumors, oncologists often use a thick needle to remove a few cells from a lump for an analysis at a pathology lab. But the tests used there, such as examining the shape of cells and staining for various proteins, are sometimes inconclusive. The lab tests also take several days.

As an alternative, physician-scientist Ralph Weissleder’s team at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston developed a miniature version of a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machine—the workhorse tool that allows researchers to identify chemical compounds by the way their nuclei react in magnetic fields. The researchers also found a way to attach magnetic nanoparticles to proteins so that the machine can pick these specific proteins out from a gemisch of chemicals, like those found in a tumor cell sample. A standard chemistry lab’s NMR machine approaches the size of a file cabinet, but the new device is only about as big as a coffee cup.

To see how this might be utilized in the cancer clinic, the MGH researchers used the standard needle procedure to collect suspicious cells from patients’ abdomens. They then labeled the cells with various magnetic nanoparticles designed to attach to known cancer-associated proteins and injected the cells into their miniature NMR machine. The device, whose data can be read with a smart phone application instead of a computer, detected levels of nine protein markers for cancer cells.

By combining results for four of these proteins, the MGH team accurately diagnosed biopsies for 48 of 50 patients in less than an hour per patient. The micro-NMR diagnosis was correct 100% of the time in another set of 20 patients, the MGH team reports today inScience Translational Medicine. By contrast, standard pathology tests on similar samples were correct only 74% to 84% of the time.

Weissleder hopes the device would allow a doctor to test a needle biopsy sample within minutes of collecting it and tell the patient the results as soon as he or she awakes from the procedure. Right now, patients come in for a biopsy, go home, and wait several days for the results. “Our patients hate that week of not knowing if they have cancer,” he says. The strategy should also cut down on repeat biopsies, which typically cost thousands of dollars, he says.

Eventually, the researchers hope to use their mini-NMR device to track the course of cancer and determine whether patients are responding to drugs by detecting levels of specific proteins in blood samples.

Tumor immunologist John Greenman of the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, who also works on so-called lab-on-a-chip devices, calls the study “extremely interesting” as an early example of this technology. What’s key, he says, is that the MGH group has compared its test with standard tests, which “is essential to gain the support of the medical community.” Such devices might have applications far beyond cancer, such as monitoring the environment and detecting biological weapons, he says.

Article from:


The 6th International Conference on Embedded and Multimedia Computing (EMC-11), technically co-sponsored by FTRA, will be held in Enshi, China on August 11-13, 2011.
EMC-11 will be the most comprehensive conference focused on the various aspects of advances in Embedded and Multimedia (EM) Computing.
EMC-11 will provide an opportunity for academic and industry professionals to discuss the latest issues and progress in the area of EM. In addition, the conference will publish high quality papers which are closely related to the various theories and practical applications in EM.

In addition, the conference will publish high quality papers which are closely related to the various theories and practical applications in human-centric computing. Furthermore, we expect that the conference and its publications will be a trigger for further related research and technology improvements in this important subject.

The EMC-11 is the next event, in a series of highly successful International Conference on Embedded and Multimedia Computing, previously held as EMC-10 (Cebu, Philippines, Aug. 2010), EM-Com 2009 (Korea, Dec. 2009), UMC-08 (Australia, Oct. 2008), ESO-08(China, Dec. 2008), UMS-08 (Korea, April, 2008), UMS-07(Singapore, Jan. 2007), ESO-07(Taiwan, Dec. 2007), ESO-06(Korea, Aug. 2006).
Furthermore, we expect that the conference and its publications will be a trigger for further related research and technology improvements in this important subject. Each paper will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. The conference proceedings will be published by IEEE Press (IEEE eXpress Conference Publishing group) and all papers of the proceedings will be included in the IEEE Xplorer.

Special Issues (more will be added)

- International Journal of Information Technology, Communications and Convergence (IJITCC) - Inderscience
- Journal of Convergence (JoC) - FTRA Publishing
- Journal of Information Processing Systems (JIPS) – KIPS

MUE 2011 Call for Papers

The 5th IEEE/FTRA International Conference on Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering (MUE2011)

Crete, Greece, June 28-30, 2011

Co-sponsored by IEEE Tainan Section, Published by IEEE

** Important Notices **

1. Submission due: March 6, 2011

2. Proceedings published by IEEE Press and will be included in the IEEE Xplorer.

3. All accepted and presented papers in MUE 2011, after further revisions, will be published in the special issues of the following international journals:

- JoS, Springer (SCI),

- IJAHUC, Inderscience (SCIE),

- MTAP, Springer (SCIE),

- IJITCC, InderScience,

- JoC, FTRA Publishing,

- JIPS, KIPS (KCI-E index)

MUE 2011's submission web site :

Track 1:

Track 2:

Track 3:

Track 4:

Track 5:

Track 6:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

JPEG for the Mind: How the Brain Compresses Visual Information

ScienceDaily (Feb. 10, 2011) — Most of us are familiar with the idea of image compression in computers. File extensions like ." jpg" or ." png"

signify that millions of pixel values have been compressed into a more efficient format, reducing file size by a factor of 10 or more with little or no apparent change in image quality. The full set of original pixel values would occupy too much space in computer memory and take too long to transmit across networks.

The brain is faced with a similar problem. The images captured by light-sensitive cells in the retina are on the order of a megapixel. The brain does not have the transmission or memory capacity to deal with a lifetime of megapixel images. Instead, the brain must select out only the most vital information for understanding the visual world.

In the February 10 online issue of Current Biology, a Johns Hopkins team led by neuroscientists Ed Connor and Kechen Zhang describes what appears to be the next step in understanding how the brain compresses visual information down to the essentials.

They found that cells in area "V4," a midlevel stage in the primate brain's object vision pathway, are highly selective for image regions containing acute curvature. Experiments by doctoral student Eric Carlson showed that V4 cells are very responsive to sharply curved or angled edges, and much less responsive to flat edges or shallow curves.

To understand how selectivity for acute curvature might help with compression of visual information, co-author Russell Rasquinha (now at University of Toronto) created a computer model of hundreds of V4-like cells, training them on thousands of natural object images. After training, each image evoked responses from a large proportion of the virtual V4 cells -- the opposite of a compressed format. And, somewhat surprisingly, these virtual V4 cells responded mostly to flat edges and shallow curvatures, just the opposite of what was observed for real V4 cells.

The results were quite different when the model was trained to limit the number of virtual V4 cells responding to each image. As this limit on responsive cells was tightened, the selectivity of the cells shifted from shallow to acute curvature. The tightest limit produced an eight-fold decrease in the number of cells responding to each image, comparable to the file size reduction achieved by compressing photographs into the .jpeg format. At this level, the computer model produced the same strong bias toward high curvature observed in the real V4 cells.

Why would focusing on acute curvature regions produce such savings?

Because, as the group's analyses showed, high-curvature regions are relatively rare in natural objects, compared to flat and shallow curvature. Responding to rare features rather than common features is automatically economical.

Despite the fact that they are relatively rare, high-curvature regions are very useful for distinguishing and recognizing objects, said Connor, a professor in the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine, and director of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute.

"Psychological experiments have shown that subjects can still recognize line drawings of objects when flat edges are erased. But erasing angles and other regions of high curvature makes recognition difficult," he explained

Brain mechanisms such as the V4 coding scheme described by Connor and colleagues help explain why we are all visual geniuses.

"Computers can beat us at math and chess," said Connor, "but they can't match our ability to distinguish, recognize, understand, remember, and manipulate the objects that make up our world." This core human ability depends in part on condensing visual information to a tractable level.

For now, at least, the .brain format seems to be the best compression algorithm around.

Journal Reference:

1.Eric T. Carlson, Russell J. Rasquinha, Kechen Zhang and Charles E.

Connor. A Sparse Object Coding Scheme in Area V4. Current Biology, (in

press) DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.01.013

Very Special Thanks to Dr. G. Sirakoulis

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ACM Multimedia 2011

ACM Multimedia 2011 is the worldwide premier multimedia conference and a key event to display scientific achievements and innovative industrial products. The conference offers to scientists and practitioners in the area of multimedia plenary, scientific and technical sessions, tutorials, competitions, panels and discussion meetings on relevant and challenging research questions. ACM Multimedia 2011 will also provide the opportunity of interaction between artists and engineers with the aim of reflecting on the impact of multimedia technologies on contemporary digital culture.

ACM Multimedia 2011 solicits submissions for the programs listed below:

- Full papers and Short papers

- Technical Demos

- Interactive Art Exhibits

- Open Source Software Competition

- Multimedia Grand Challenge Competition

- Tutorials

- Workshops

- Panels

- Industrial Exhibit

- Doctoral Symposium

A key innovation for ACM Multimedia 2011 is the transition from tracks to areas, which represent broad, cross-cutting themes of interest to the multimedia community. Authors will identify a primary area and a secondary area for their submitted paper. ACM Multimedia 2011 seeks contributions in 10 broad areas, including:

1/ multi-modal integration and understanding in the imperfect world,

2/ media analysis and search,

3/ scalability in media processing, analysis, and applications,

4/ multimedia systems and middleware,

5/ media transport and sharing,

6/ multimedia security,

7/ media authoring and production,

8/ location-based and mobile multimedia,

9/ human, social, and educational aspects of multimedia,

10/ arts and contemporary digital culture.

Details of each area can be found on the ACM Multimedia 2011 website.

Proposals for accompanying workshops are also solicited on topics pertinent to the main conference that demand a dedicated coverage due to their relevance to the current multimedia research and development.

Awards will be given to the best paper and best student paper as well as best demo, SIGMM Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis in Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications. We shall give awards to best art program paper and exhibition.

Important Dates:

Mar 14, 2011: Workshops proposals due

Apr 11, 2011: Full paper submission

Apr 11, 2011: Short paper submission

Apr 11, 2011: Panels, Tutorials

May 09, 2011: Technical demos, Open source software Jun 06, 2011: Multimedia grand challenge Nov 28, 2011: Conference starting date

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

TRECFiles Evaluator (for Windows)

TRECFiles Evaluator (ver 0.1 BETA) calculates the efficiency of the MAP, ANMRR, P10, P20 and the MNRO in TREC Files (Trec Format), giving also to the user the ability to execute significance tests (ST). STs tell us whether an observed effect, such as a difference between two means or a correlation between two variables, could reasonably occur just by chance in selecting a random sample. This application uses a bootstrap test, one-tailed, at significance levels 0.05, 0.01, and 0.001, against a baseline run.


The results of the developed application correlate with the results of TrecEval. TrecEval is the standard tool used by the TREC community for evaluating an ad hoc retrieval run, given the results and a standard set of judged results


1. Save your retrieval results in TREC format (i.e., just title, description, and narrative fields).

Example File

<query number> <1> <Rank> <Distance from the query image> <Label>

1 1 ucid00001 1 100 Rummager
1 1 ucid00226 2 80.4361997505131 Rummager
1 1 ucid00225 3 79.5920616609967 Rummager
1 1 ucid00490 4 77.8364116094987 Rummager
1 1 ucid00417 5 76.446932268008 Rummager
1 1 ucid00720 6 76.4177476124166 Rummager
1 1 ucid00202 7 76.1363636363636 Rummager
1 1 ucid01259 8 76.1179860840849 Rummager
1 1 ucid01266 9 75.2976605591834 Rummager


Download Example File [CEDD performance on WANG database] [FCTH performance on WANG database]

2. Create the relevance assessments (qrels) file

<query number> <0> <Image from the Ground Truth> <1 (if is relevant)>

1 0 ucid00001 1
1 0 ucid00015 1
1 0 ucid00038 1
1 0 ucid00240 1
2 0 ucid00009 1
2 0 ucid00010 1
3 0 ucid00013 1
3 0 ucid00014 1
4 0 ucid00029 1


Download the qrels for the [UCID database], and the [WANG database]

How to perform significance test?

Select a run as a baseline run. For example, you want to compare the performance of CEDD descriptor against the performance of FCTH descriptor.

1. Load the Qrels file
2. Load the CEDD’s Trec file
3. Load the FCTH’s Trec file as baseline
4. Press the Significance test button

For the latest version, visit

Questions and Suggestions:,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The 17th International Conference on Distributed Multimedia Systems

(URL: )

Convitto della Calza ( ) Florence, Italy August 18 to 20, 2011

With today's proliferation of multimedia data (e.g., images, animations, video, and sound), comes the challenge of using such information to facilitate data analysis, modeling, presentation, interaction and programming, particularly for end-users who are domain experts, but not IT professionals. The main theme of the 17th International Conference on Distributed Multimedia Systems (DMS'2011) is multimedia inspired computing. The conference organizers seek contributions of high quality papers, panels or tutorials, addressing any novel aspect of computing (e.g., programming language or environment, data analysis, scientific visualization, etc.) that significantly benefits from the incorporation/integration of multimedia data (e.g., visual, audio, pen, voice, image, etc.), for presentation at the conference and publication in the proceedings.

Both research and case study papers or demonstrations describing results in research area as well as industrial development cases and experiences are solicited. The use of prototypes and demonstration video for presentations is encouraged.

The DMS conference is closely coordinated with the International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing and the International Journal of Distance Education Technologies. Usually the best ranked papers from the conference, after rigorous reviews, extensive revisions and further enhancements, will appear in one or more special issues of the above journals. Papers suggested for the special issue(s) will be reviewed by external reviewers following the standard procedure of review stipulated by the respective journal.

Eric Schmidt at DLD

Eric Schmidt speaks at DLD in Munich on January 25, 2011.