Monday, May 19, 2014



New Accepted Article:

A. Amanatiadis and S. A. Chatzichristofis, “HOW SMART ARE THE SMARTPHONES? BRIDGING THE MARKETING AND IT GAP”, «IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine», IEEE, Accepted for Publication, 2014.

The term ``smart'' has become widespread in consumer electronics in recent years reflecting the need of consumers for devices that assist them in their daily activities. The term has a long history of usage in the marketing science as one of the most appealing ways of promoting or advertising a product, brand or service.  However, even today, there is much controversy in the definition of this term and even more ambiguities for the right use in consumer electronic devices. Furthermore, it is not possible to carry out any quantitative or qualitative analysis of how smart a device is, without having some adequate conception of what a smart or intelligent application means. This article can be viewed as an attempt to explore the smart and intelligent capabilities of the current and next generation consumer devices by investigating certain propositions and arguments along with the current trends and future directions in information technology.

(I’ll add some more details about the article in few days)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pacific-Rim Conference on Multimedia (PCM) 2014

Dec. 1-4, 2014, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

The Pacific-Rim Conference on Multimedia (PCM) is the major annual international conference in Asia organized as a forum for the dissemination of state-of-the-art technological advances and research results in the fields of theoretical, experimental, and applied multimedia analysis and processing. The conference calls for research papers reporting original investigation results and industrial-track papers reporting real-world multimedia applications and system development experiences. The conference also solicits proposals for tutorials on enabling multimedia technologies, and calls for dedicated special session proposals focusing on emerging challenges in the multimedia arena.

PCM 2014 will be held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Sarawak, also known as the "Land of the Hornbills", offers an unforgettable mix of culture- and nature-based travel experiences. Tourists can indulge themselves in a wide range of attractions including enjoying the charms of historic Kuching, a beautiful waterfront city; exploring the massive cave systems of Mulu National Park; jungle trekking and wildlife watching at Bako National Park; traveling upriver to visit the Iban and experience longhouse life.

PCM 2014 is seeking high quality submissions in the broad field of multimedia.
The topics of interests include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Multimedia analysis, indexing, and retrieval
- Multimedia security and rights management
- Multimedia coding, compression, and processing
- Multimedia communication and networking
- Multimedia systems, tools, services, and applications

We welcome submissions on the above topics in the following context:

- Social networks and social media
- Cloud computing
- Big data analytics
- Crowdsourcing
- Mobile and wearable computing
- Multimedia sensing
- 3D and multi-view computing

PCM Workshop Co-Chairs are seeking for organizers of workshops at PCM 2014 and invite active members of the community to submit proposals. The selected workshops should address specialized topics which are relevant for researchers and practitioners working in the field of multimedia. Emerging research themes that attract interest of the community are preferred.
Workshop proposals that include ideas to initiate lively discussions and interactions are also welcome.

Submissions should be mailed to the Workshop Co-Chairs, including the
following details:
- Title
- Abstract
- Relevance and significance of this workshop to the main conference
- Length - Full day or half day
- A draft workshop call for papers
- The names, affiliations, email addresses and short bio of the
  workshop organizers
- A list of potential Program Committee members and their affiliations
  (submission should not exceed 4 pages, including CFP)

Workshop proposals will be reviewed by PCM 2014 Workshop Co-Chairs based on these criteria: a) the likely interest of the workshop to PCM attendees, b) originality, breadth and depth of the topic, c) the expertise and credential of the organizer(s)

Proposal Submission Deadline: 31 May 2014
Proposal Acceptance: 20 June 2014
Workshop Paper Submission Deadline: to be announced
Workshop Camera Ready: to be announced
Workshop Day: 1st of December 2014

Workshop Co-chairs:
Liang-Tien Chia, Clement (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), E-Mail: asltchia <AT>
Ralph Ewerth (Jena University of Applied Sciences, Germany), E-Mail: Ralph.Ewerth <AT>

Special sessions supplement the regular program for PCM 2014. They are intended to cover new and emerging topics in the fields of multimedia. Each special session should provide an overview of the state of the arts and highlight important research directions in a field of special interest to PCM participants. It should be a focused effort rather than defined broadly.

Each special session should consist of at least 5 oral papers. It is encouraged that the session begins with an overview paper on the topic being addressed and that the remaining papers follow up with technical contributions on the topic.

The following information should be included in the proposal:
- Title of the proposed special session
- Names and affiliations of the organizers (including bios and contact info)
- Session abstract
- List of authors committed to submit paper (including a tentative title
  and a 300-word abstract for each paper)

The session abstract should answer the following three questions:
- Motivation: why is this topic important for organizing a special session
  in PCM14?
- Objective: who will be interested to submit papers?
- Target audience and key message: what can the attendees learn from this
  special session?

This is a competitive call. Proposals will be evaluated based on the timeliness  of the topic and relevance to PCM, as well as the qualification of the  organizers and quality of papers in the proposed session.

Special Session Proposal Due:  31 May 2014
Notification of Proposal Acceptance:  10 June 2014
Special Session Paper Submission:   10 July 2014
Notification of Paper Acceptance:  10 August 2014
Camera-Ready Paper Due:  31 August 2014

Please email proposal to Lexing Xie (lexing.xie{at} and Jianfei Cai (asjfcai{at}

The conference also solicits proposals for tutorials on enabling multimedia technologies including the topics of the conference (details on the website):

- Multimedia Content Analysis
- Multimedia Signal Processing and Communications
- Multimedia Applications and Services
- Emerging Topics

Please directly submit your tutorial proposal to:
    Winston Hsu (whsu [AT]
    Roger Zimmermann (rogerz [AT]

Tutorial Proposal Submission: 31 May 2014
Acceptance notification: 20 June 2014

PCM 2014 accepts both full, short and demo papers. Full papers will be presented in the format of either oral or poster, while short papers will be presented in the format of poster. There will be awards for full, short and demo papers. We will not accept any paper which, at the time of submission, is under review or has already been published or accepted for publication in a journal or another conference. Papers should be formatted according to the Lecture Notes in Computer Science template available at the PCM2014 website. A full paper should be 9-10 pages in length; short papers should be exactly 6 pages, and demo paper should be exactly 4 pages. The Proceedings of PCM2014 will be published in a book series of Lecture Notes in Computer Science by Springer. Papers should be submitted electronically in PDF via EasyChair:

31 May 2014:  Regular paper submission
15 June 2014: Demo paper submission
10 Aug 2014:  Notification of acceptance
31 Aug 2014:  Camera ready submission


New Datasets

The Fish4Knowledge project ( is pleased to announce the availability of 2 subsets of our tropical coral reef fish video and extracted fish data. See below for 3 other
Fish4Knowledge project datasets.

Dataset #1: a 10 minute video clip from all working cameras taken at 08:00 every day in the project Oct 1, 2010 - July 10, 2013, giving 5824 video clips (of 7-30 Mb). Note, some dates are missing. This data allows analysis of fish patterns over annual cycles and comparison between sites. About 2.5 M fish were detected.

Dataset #2: 690 10 minute video clips from the 9 cameras taken from 06:00 - 19:00 on April 22, 2011 (out of 702 possible). This data allows analysis of fish patterns over a full day period and comparison between sites. About 16 M fish were detected.

For each 10 minute video clip, there is also a CSV file that describes all fish ( of a sufficient size) that were detected in the video, including a boundary and a species identification.

There were up to 24 species recognized.

You might find the datasets useful for target detection in a tough undersea environment, multi-class recognition (where there are many false detections and mis-classifications), or even a bit of ecological analysis.

You can find the data at:

Use of the data should include this citation:

Bastiaan J. Boom, Jiyin He, Simone Palazzo, Phoenix X. Huang, Hsiu-Mei Chou, Fang-Pang Lin, Concetto Spampinato, Robert B. Fisher; A research tool for long-term and continuous analysis of fish assemblage in coral-reefs using underwater camera footage Ecological Informatics, 2014, DOI:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Making Video Interaction on Touch Devices Consistent

Article from

screenshot1The video players on smartphones and tablets typically use seeker-bars for temporal navigation in videos. In order to jump to different positions in the video you simply have to drag the seeker-bar. However, we argue that this interaction concept is inconsistent to usual interaction with other media on touch devices. For example, in a photo collection you perform horizontal wipe (i.e., drag) gestures in order to browse through all photos of the collection. Similarly, when scrolling through documents or presentation slides, you perform horizontal (or vertical) wipe gestures. Hence, we propose to use such wipe gestures also for navigation in video. Our work combines the ideas proposed earlier by Huber et al. and Hürst et al. in order to allow flexible navigation within a single video but also in a video collection. More details can be found in the preprint of our paperVideo Navigation on Tablets with Multi-Touch Gestures”, to be presented at the 3rd International Workshop on Emerging Multimedia Systems and Applications (EMSA) at the IEEE International Conference on Multimedia & Expo (ICME) in July 2014 in Chengdu, China. Ourprototype is also available on the App Store on iTunes for the Apple iPad (many thanks to Kevin Chromik for the implementation and evaluation)!

Article from

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Avidbots Wants to Automate Commercial Cleaning With Robots

Vacuuming is one of the few markets where robots have proven that they can be consistently commercially successful. There's a good reason for this: vacuuming is a repetitive, time-intensive task that has to be performed over and over again in environments that are relatively constrained. Despite the success of several companies in the home robot vacuum space, we haven't seen many low cost platforms designed for commercial areas, but a startup called Avidbots is tackling this idea, and they've got operational prototypes.

The problem that these robots are really going to have to solve is the same problem that the Roomba struggles with: cleaning robots are not a substitute for a cleaning human. A Roomba (to use a recognizable example) is amaintenance tool, designed to keep your floors cleaner, longer. But, no matter how often you use your Roomba, you'll still need to occasionally bust out the upright vacuum yourself. It'll be far lass often than you would without a Roomba, but it'll still need to happen, because humans can visually identify dirt and manually maneuver cleaning equipment into places that robots can't reach.

In the case of the Avidbots, you can see in the demo that despite their care with edging, they still miss some areas in corners, close to walls, near complex obstacles, underneath objects that should be temporarily moved, and so forth. Over time, those areas are going to get super dirty, and you'll need to bring in a human to clean them. You'll also have to have humans around to maintain the robots, cleaning them out, replacing fluids, and charging them if they don't auto dock. You'll certainly spend way less human time and labor on cleaning (which is the point, of course), but we're not yet at the point where we can just leave robots completely on their own to perform tasks in human environments.

Read more: