MSc in Multimedia Technology

University of Bath

Department of Computer Science

Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering

 

MSc Multimedia Technology Summer Projects 2002

 

The projects are listed by supervisor. At this stage you are recommended to discuss possible projects with the supervisor, to see which ones interest you. Aim to find around three possibilities, in case demand is too high for particular projects. You will find the Electronic & Electrical Engineering supervisors in 2East and the Computer Science supervisors in 1West. To make initial contact, email is recommended. Here is where you can track down email addresses:

 

http://www.bath.ac.uk/contact

 

 

Title: Intranet software for document sharing

Supervisor: Dr Robert Watson

Description:

The electronic and electrical engineering department currently uses a shared network drive to distribute documents such as the minutes of meetings, examination paper templates, student lists and other types of document. At present it is just an ad-hoc collection of files with no manifest or table-of-contents. The objective of this project to develop a system for on-line submission, search and retrieval of documents from a database accessed using a standard web browser and/or email client. In addition to document sharing with appropriate security, other functionality could be added, document revision control, notice board, calendar

- see http://www.intranets.com for an example of what can be

done. Knowledge of a web-aware languages such as Java, Perl and

CGI would be advantageous, but not essential.

 

Title: Layout and 3-D Visualisation Tools for Photonic Devices and Integrated Circuits
Supervisor: Dr Duncan Allsopp
Description: The growing technological importance of photonic devices and systems, particularly in the area of telecommunications, has led to a demand for component integration, to achieve simultaneous reductions in costs and increases in reliability. Software packages are needed for computer assisted design of photonic circuits comprising active devices like devices optical amplifiers, switches and photodetectors and optical waveguides (which have the same function a metal inter-connect in an electronic I.C.) and mirrors. The properties of optical waveguides are critically dependent on geometry, the materials used in their fabrication and on the polarisation state of the light. As a consequence, software for photonic circuit layout needs to take into account these factors. The objectives of this project include some, or all, of the following (i) To develop design tools for optical waveguides for interconnects in photonic integrated circuits, possibly from existing software; (ii) To develop a reliable user interface for data entry, possibly including establishing a database of frequently used parameters and structures, integrated with the waveguide design procedures; (iii) To develop 2-D and 3-D data presentation formats, for data entry and checking as well as for presenting results; (iv) To develop a package for 2-D layout of photonic circuits, to include error checking for breaches of layout rules. These rules will be applications-based in that device and component dimensions and spacing will depend on the design and performance criteria set for the circuit.


In all the above objectives the need for users to visualise data (input as well as output) is important. Existing, commercially available packages may be utilised where appropriate. In addition users will need reliable rapid methods for data entry, for checking its validity and, ideally, inter-active methods of correcting or updating the input data (by picking-up and dragging features?). This project will unavoidably involve a degree of numerical computation.


Title: Coding object boundaries for video compression
Supervisor: Dr Adrian N. Evans
Description: In MPEG-4 and other advanced video compression schemes, each frame is decomposed into a number of objects. To send the information in the image two components are required: the partition which describes how the frame is divided into the objects and the texture (intensity information) for each object. This project will investigate efficient coding techniques for the partition coding and evaluate their effectiveness. Techniques to be studied could include chain coding and morphological skeletons or any other methods form the literature. The benefit of sending the objects in an optimal order, giving an embedded description, may also be studied.


Title: Motion Compensation by Granule Matching

Supervisor: Dr Adrian N. Evans
Description:
Most video coding schemes use block-based motion estimation to reduce the temporal redundancy. Alternatively, a morphological scale-space sieve can be used to transform the image pairto the granule domain and the matching be performed in the granule domain using binary cross-correlation.

Some sieve code for performing the transform is available, this project

will concentrate on developing the binary matching strategy.




Title: Development of a Speech synthesis engine
Supervisor: Dr P.J.Leonard
Description:A parameterised computer model of human voice system will constructed using the STK physical modelling toolkit(C++). This will attempt to produce a real time voice production system that can be controlled using a number of parameters that should correspond to articulatory controls. Many of the software components required for this task exist in the STK toolkit e.g. waveguide models, filters etc. The initial investigation will see how well these can be used to produce human type sounds. 

 

Title: Investigation into the "cocktail party" effect
Supervisor: Dr P.J.Leonard
Description:

Humans have the ability to understand human speech even when there is considerable background noise (far better than any automatic speech recognition system). This project is to research and experimentally investigate the factors which influence our ability to do this. Example factors are:

  • spatial location of the voices.
  • pitch of the voice.
  • gender of the voices.
  • type of background noise (speech, white/pink noise, periodic noise).
  • familiarity with the context.
  • physical state of the observer.

The project will require the construction of samples of speech mixed with various types of noise. This will involve recording different speakers and noises and editing the samples on a computer. These samples will then be used to evaluate people’s ability to focus on a speaker.

 

I would expect the student to research and gain a qualitative understanding of the mathematical models of the human perception of sound and attempt to relate experimental results to such models. Related work which would take to project to a more advanced level would be the use of the results to suggest signal processing strategies that could be used to enhance speech recognition systems in noisy environments or hearing aids.

 

 

Title: Psychoacoustic Testing of Audio Compression

Supervisor: Professor D M Monro

Description: Set up a PC-based utility to enable the comparison of the quality of compressed audio.

 

(i) Collect test samples

 

(ii) Create framework for testing

 

(iii) Compare available and prototype audio codecs. This

may include carrying out tests in collaboration with project 2 if it is done.

 

 

Title: Filterbanks for Audio Compression

Supervisor: Professor D M Monro

Description:

Obtain source code for a standard audio compressor and

investigate alternative forms of filterbank.

 

Requires programming skills.

 

 

Title: Psychovisual Masking and Wavelet Video Compression

Supervisor: Professor D M Monro

Description:

Tackle one aspect of human visual sensitivity to compression

damage in video which might give improved wavelet video compression.

This might be visibility of quantization noise within sub-bands,

inter band masking, adjacency masking or temporal concealment.

 

(i) Prepare data

 

(ii) Carry out psychovisual tests

 

(iii) Propose a masking model for use in video

 

(iv) If possible demonstrate improvement to visual quality

in a real codec.

 

 

Title: Matching Pursuits Image Coding

Supervisor: Professor D M Monro

Description:

Matching Pursuits are a computationally expensive transform

proposed for image compression. Test a hypothesis for reducing

the complexity of this process.

 

Difficult but potentially rewarding project involving

good analytical and programming skills.


Title: XML-based Project Management
Supervisor: Professor Phil Willis
Description: Summer projects require a web page – this one - to be built from a project specification. These are typically collected by email and then edited into an HTML document. XML could be used to help automate this. Students prepare a time planner. XML could be used to help automate this. Students are expected to write up in a particular format. XML could be used to help standardise this and to produce alternative versions of the document: in Word or in HTML, for example. Lectures have to mark using a pro-forma …

The project will be to investigate what XML can do to help both students and lecturers manage the project.



Title: Image Compositor for Movies
Supervisor: Professor Phil Willis
Description: The film industry produces special effects, often using software which composites two separate image sequencess together. This is quite tricky to do well and requires a range of tools for isolating picture elements, adjusting the colour to match the lighting, blending them etc. The project is to produce a user-interface which allows you to wire together icons representing different software modules, in order to produce the required effect. You will also write some of the modules, to demonstrate picture composition. The project could be in Java, though other languages are also possible (provided they support graphical user interfaces).
Title: An XML-based Retrieval and Design System
Supervisor: Professor Phil Willis
Description: XML provides a generic way to mark-up information. In this project you will write software to access a collection of text and images, movies and sounds, using an XML mark-up of your own design. The interface to the search engine will be web-based and the retrieved information will be presented in a web page. The project should then investigate an extension whereby users can design their web pages by placing references such that your software assembles the pages automatically.

 

Title: Flash Laboratory

Supervisor:  Professor Phil Willis

Description: Produce a web-based tutorial for Flash, suitable for next year’s MSc students. Then use the understanding gained to generate some Flash examples to support the Multimedia unit: for example, illustrating how a CD player works, how Fourier analysis works, how LZW works etc. Finally write a critique of Flash, giving the reader an insight into its strengths and weaknesses. Note: this project will only be available if I can get a fully-licensed copy of Flash in time. It is important to understand that the written critique is a major component of this project.

 

Title: Visualisation of Population Dynamics in a Learning Classifier System

Supervisor: Dr Alwyn Barry

Description:

A Learning Classifier System is a relatively new Machine Learning approach which uses Genetic Algorithms to develop populations of co-operative production rules [If-Then statements!] that provide the optimal most general solution to a given problem. I have a publicly available LCS version that provides a Java-based GUI. I wish to add new visualisations to this toolset so that the development of optimal solutions within the population can be identified. I need a student who has knowledge of Java (or is keen to learn) and is interested in identifying appropriate visualisation techniques.

 

Title: Lego

Supervisor: Dr Russell J Bradford

Description:

(Students will need to be familiar with a graphics system.) Build a Lego emulator. Using a standard graphics package build a system to display Lego bricks, and allow the user to manipulate them and build models.

 

Title: HTML to LaTeX converter

Supervisor: Dr Russell J Bradford

Description:

There is much useful documentation on the Internet, often spread out in a usefully linked set of pages.  However, reading from the screen is not always comfortable or convenient, so the aim of this project is to develop a system that takes a set of interlinked HTML pages and produces a neatly formatted LaTeX document that preserves as much of the original document structure as possible.

 

Title: Graphical front end to IPCHAINS/IPTABLES

Supervisor: Dr Russell J Bradford

Description:

(Background needed: networking.) IPCHAINS and IPTABLES are techniques used in Linux to control a network firewall.  However, they are quite tricky to program effectively.  This project is to develop a GUI front end to programming either that allows visualisation of the firewall rules.  Perhaps this would include animations of the packets flowing through the firewall.

 

 

Title: HTTPstats

Supervisor: Dr Marina De Vos

Description :

The aim of this project is to design a program to analyze information obtained from people visiting your web page(s). The main program takes this Internet information and allows you to query the information. This program should be as modular and extendible as possible. Once this program is written a web-interface can be added to show the results in the form of a graph. The system has to be written in an object-oriented language. Java or C++ seem to be the most appropriate. Efficiency and scalability are important parameters for this project.

Marina will be starting work in the department on the 3rd of April. Until then she can be contacted at the following email address: marinadv@vub.ac.be

 

 

Title: Web access visualization

Supervisor: Dr David Duke

Description:

Understanding the pattern of behaviour of web site 'visitors' is of interest to site managers, particularly for commercial organizations. A number of tools are available that will generate statistics about visitors' behaviour, however in the process information about actual patterns of navigation is lost.

 

This project will look at using visualization to present an account of visitors’ behaviour based on site logs.  Through this mechanism, it is hoped that managers will gain new insight into how users' react to the site.

The objectives are:

(a) to design and implement a visualization interface for web logs, using the visualization toolkit as the implementation platform;

(b) to assess the use of visualization for interpreting web logs by  experimenting with user performance via the visualization interface  using logs constructed to have known properties; and, if time permits,

(c) to compare the effect on user performance on using different layout  strategies for representing the underlying web site structure.

 

General comments:

I am willing to supervise a small number of projects in data  visualization or computer graphics.  For example, a project similar to that described above could be developed for other domains: one that is of some interest is techniques for drawing metabolic pathways and biochemical reactions.   In computer graphics, I would be interested in  looking at better support for interaction under OpenGL. Project work in this area generally requires knowledge of C, C++, and/or  a scripting language such as Tcl.  If you would like to discuss  possibilities, please contact me.

 

 

 

Title: A web-based chess game for two human players at remote sites.

Supervisor: Dr Peter Hall

Description:

Language: Jav. Develop an understanding of web-based computing.   Focus on remote interaction between people.

 

 

Title: A package for  browsing through a database of images, from a remote site.

Supervisor: Dr Peter Hall

Description:

Language: Java. Develop an understanding of web-based computing. Focus on access to remote databases.

Prerequisites: Some knowledge of maths.

 

 

Title: Retrieving images from a database based on their content.

Supervisor: Dr Peter Hall

Description Language: C, C++, or Java. Develop an understanding of multimedia systems. Focus on automated retrieval from databases.

Prerequisites: Some knowledge of maths

 

 

Title: A package for the easy manipulation of video.

Supervisor: Dr Peter Hall

Description: Language: C, C++, or Java. Develop an understanding multimedia. Focus on storing and editing of video clips.

Prerequisites: Some knowledge of maths.

 

 

Title: From PDA to plasma with a gesture

Supervisor: Dr Eamonn O’Neil

Personal digital assistants (PDAs), including handheld and Pocket PCs, are sometimes too personal.  Their small screen makes viewing information difficult for a single user and shared use practically impossible for a group of users attempting to collaborate.

This project involves designing and implementing an application or toolkit which allows the user of a PDA to share information by quickly and smoothly transferring some or all of the contents of the PDA interface to a much larger interface.  For example, you may be browsing (on your PDA) a list of films currently showing at the local cinema, trying to decide which one to watch.  You want to bring 3 of your friends in on the decision-making but it’s difficult for all of you to see and interact with the PDA.  So, with a flick of your hand, you put a list of the films up on a large wall display where you can all see it and maybe open up different windows with trailers of the films which interest one or more of you.

Necessary equipment will be made available, including personal and shared devices.  Wired and wireless (802.11b) networking connections will be available to connect the devices.  The target personal devices include Compaq iPAQ 3850s, HP Jornada 720s and Xybernaut MA Vs.  In most circumstances, you will be able to choose which personal device you prefer to work with.  The target shared device will be a 61 inch (155 cm) plasma screen (driven by a desktop PC).  You will of course be able to try out prototypes on a standard desktop PC and monitor. 

Choice of programming language is yours, although Java would be strongly preferred.

Don’t even think about this project unless you are a decent programmer and can produce a quality application, preferably in Java.

 

 

Title: Report Constructor

Supervisor: Dr Martin Oliver

Description:

A GUI driven, networked database based system for creating reports on academic  progress. A database holds a list of appropriate (standard/default) sentences from which the report is constructed. The sentences can be selected in any order and edited, if desired. A separate database hold details about the pupils in each class. This data is used in constructing the set of report forms, with the name, class, teacher, all date all inserted. The project consists of designing and implementing such a system, with particular attention to the graphical user interface.

The target users are teachers, some of whom will not have any prior experience of using this type of package. The package should be multi-level in its degree of user sophistication.

 

Title: Animation of Algorithms

Supervisor: Dr Martin Oliver

Description:

The idea is to provide some visualisation of how an algorithm works, for  example, by showing the movement of data as the algorithm progresses; or how the algorithm changes one data item into another.  The animation must be tailored to the type of algorithm.  The animation of searching and sorting algorithms would be a good starting point.  There have been some excellent attempts at these, one in particular visualises different sorting processes by showing each sort on a set of dots spread randomly across the surface of a rectangle, where the sorted position is along a line at 45 degrees from the bottom left of the rectangle.

This project will attempt to design and implement an animation package for the visualisation of common searching and sorting algorithms, with the intention that it could be used as a teaching tool to assist students to understand how these algorithms work.  It should be possible to choose both random and pre-sorted data for each algorithm, and to compare the visualisations with each other.

The most important aspect of the project will be to devise highly visual methods for illustrating the algorithms.  Simply showing a list of numbers or objects being shuffled into place is not appropriate.

Documentation: There is plenty of information about animation of algorithms and data visualisation.

Appropriate languages: C, C++, Java, Python, Delphi.  Any language with easy access to graphical functionality will do.  If Python or Delphi is chosen you will need to get your own copy.

 

 

Title: LaTeX <--> Maple Translator

Supervisor: Dr Martin Oliver

Description:

LaTeX is a typesetting package, especially suitable for formatting mathematical text; MAPLE is a package for the manipulation and calculation of mathematical expressions.  Many people are familiar with one, but not the other.  This project is to design and build software to take expressions formed in one package and translate it into the other.  It is an open-ended project: plenty of scope for making it into a high quality piece of work, while it could be very straightforward, and worthwhile, if so desired.  This project is Unix based, with several possible programming possibilities. It is not necessary to use MAPLE, any suitable mathematical package could be selected as the target.

Appropriate languages: C, C++, Perl.

 

Title: Minibus on Demand

Supervisor: Dr Martin Oliver

Description:

Consider how a demand lead local minibus service, for a medium sized  community, might be run.  It might be driven by a web-based requesting system.  It will be necessary to undertake a comprehensive requirements elicitation, determine a number of suitable solutions, and construct a database and data management system for experimental comparison of the possible solutions.

Appropriate languages: C with Perl, Python, others.  Graphical functionality.

 

Title: Car Parking Problem

Supervisor: Dr Martin Oliver

Description:

Consider how an institution, such as a university, might solve its car parking problem.  It might be driven by a web-based requesting system.   It will be necessary to undertake a comprehensive requirements elicitation, determine a number of suitable solutions, and construct a database and data management system for experimental comparison of the possible solutions.

Appropriate languages: C with Perl, Python, others.  Graphical functionality.

 

Title: Surface flyby

Supervisor: Derek Paddon (1W2.34: no email)

Description:

Using C or Java, the objective is to design and implement an

interactive flyby of a surface model.  The model can be drawn

from existing data that is available on the web, such as surface

date of the Earth, the Moon or Mars.  Alternatively the data

could be fractal generated. 

 

Title: Fly through

Supervisor: Derek Paddon (1W2.34: no email)

Description:

Using C or Java, the objective is to design and implement an

interactive fly through of a galaxy and its solar subsystems.

The model should contain normal galactic data, such as stars,

planets, nova, asteroids, comets, etc. 

 

Derek would be happy to talk to students about other 3D animation

projects, if any of you have your own ideas.

 

 

Title: Agents for Agentcities.NET

Supervisor: Dr Julian Padget

Description:

Development of service agents to run in the framework of the Agentcities.NET (www.agentcities.org) project. Suitable application areas are most likely related to tourism, both as providers of local information and as searchers for information from other agentcities nodes. However, other applications areas are welcome (e.g. a second-hand book market) and may be proposed by candidates wishing to take this project. Will involve writing Java and using the JADE agent platform (http://sharon.cselt.it/projects/jade/). Some possible topics are:

       An international cash-less car-pooling system

       A transplant/tissue coordination/distribution system

 

Title: Telephone interaction with agents

Supervisor: Dr Julian Padget

Description:

Computer systems tend to be built on the assumption that user will interact with them via a screen/keyboard/mouse or more recently via a web-browser. In many settings, and in the absence of widespread internet access, this is unrealistic both technically and sociologically. However, telephones are widely available and although limited, offer the basis for access to and control over services (e.g. 'phone banking). The task of this project is to build a telephone interface for a bed and breakfast reservation system developed in the context of the AGENTCITIES.NET project (also described here) both for users and suppliers, with the computer system acting as an intermediary. Various off-the-shelf free software components are available and so, in part, the work will comprise in assessing, understanding and linking together existing software as well as writing some original code.

 

 

Title: Taxi Coordinator

Supervisor: Dr Julian Padget

Description:

Taxi services in Bath are mostly coordinated by a small group of intermediator companies (e.g. Abbey, ) which do not actually own any taxis themselves. Instead individuals with a single taxi or employing several people and running several taxis pay a service charge per month to the intermediator for the supply of pick-up information. The customer information is relayed by radio to a text display receiver in each car, which shows the location of the caller and also the number of cars in that sector (Bath is divided up into numerous geographical areas for the purpose of the taxi service). The received effectively acts as a simple "electronic finger" at an auction. The first driver to accept the call is given the precise address for collection and the details of the destination. If the driver then declines the offer, no further offers will be made/accepted to/from that receiver for a fixed period of time (eg. 40 minutes). Otherwise, the driver accepts the call and is then unavailable until the passenger(s) has/have been delivered. Long distance trips are usually advertised by the same mechanism (even if pre-booked with the intermediator) but only to selected drivers (depending on availability, willingness to undertake, experience). The task of this project is to build an agent-based system within the framework of the AGENTCITIES.NET project (also described here) to handle the core functions of the taxi institution as just described and to specify how this might be delivered through a GPRS mobile system. Consideration of novel value-sharing and charging models is encouraged.

 

Title: Synthetic Performers

Supervisor: Dr Julian Padget

Description:

Integrate the CSound sound synthesis package with a suitable agent development environment (probably April) and carry out initial experiments into the construction of agent performance (not real-time!). There are several possible projects which could build on the basis of CSound linked to Jade, including: development of a suitable agent communication language for coordination of the performance; development of an interface for human composers to work with one or more synthetic performers.

 

Title: A Java Virtual Machine for Mobile Devices

Supervisor: Dr Julian Padget

Description:

The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) instruction set subjectively appears relatively inefficient at encoding Java programs compactly because there are lots of simple instructions which do very little. If the instructions encapsulated more complex operations, the result should be that a) programs would be smaller b) they would run faster. The reason for the second observation is that lots of small instructions means the JVM spends a greater proportion of its time on work to decide which instruction to execute compared to work done for the program being executed. The objective of this project is to apply either statistical or evolutionary computing techniques to analyse and improve the Java instruction set in order to produce more compact and more efficient programs suitable for the limited memory resources found in mobile devices like telephones, PDAs and embedded systems.

 

Title: Mobile Programming with XSLT

Supervisor: Dr Julian Padget

Description:

The XML stylesheet transformer language is as powerful, although somewhat more verbose than, traditional programming languages, but with the advantage of built-in web access and support for distributed programming. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate these features through the development and implementation of a simple mobile agent programming language.

 

Title: Expenses claims via the web

Supervisor: Dr Julian Padget

Description:

The University currently operates a paper-based expenses claim system. The objective of this project is to develop forms which can be filled in via a web browser which will carry out the calculations based on the data provided by the claimant, in particular, with a view to simplifying the handling of claims made for non-UK travel where currency conversion is required. Submission of claims will continue to be on paper because of the need to submit documentary evidence of expenditure, so it will also be necessary to generate a hardcopy, similar to the existing form. Will involve working with XML and PDF.

 

Title: A Secure E-commerce Platform

Supervisor: Dr Julian Padget

Description:

Evaluate some of the advanced programming languages available for secure distributed computation, choose one and implement a prototype of a simple trading platform.

 

Title: Grid Accounting

Supervisor: Dr Julian Padget

Description:

The computational grid is a major international project to link together computing resources around the world and to present them to the user as if the components were part of a unified distributed computing system. A very significant issue in the management of such an organization (or perhaps a confederation of organizations) is the selection of appropriate resources and accounting for their use. The objective of this project is to investigate institutional models and norms that might be used to govern such a scenario.

 

Supervisor: Professor David Pym

Title: A Graphical Tool for Turing Machines

Description:

Suitable for any M.Sc. student with some mathematical background,  skills in programming, and an interest in interfaces.

Turing machines are a basic model of computation which we teach to all undergraduates. However,

because they perform computations in very primitive steps, very difficult to design and execute. A possible M.Sc. project is to implement a graphical tool for designing and executing Turing machines represented as flow-graphs. Advanced extensions of the project would include a tool for checking the correctness of a machine with respect to partial recursive functions. The project would start with primitive recursive functions.

 

Supervisor: Professor David Pym

Title: A Graphical Tool for Abacus Machines

Description:

Suitable for any M.Sc. student with some mathematical background, skills in programming, and an interest in interfaces.

Abacus machines are a basic model of computation based on the idea of assignment, increment and decrement for registers. A possible M.Sc. project is to implement a graphical tool for designing and executing abacus machines represented as flow-graphs. The project would include a tool for checking the correctness of a machine with respect to partial recursive number-theoretic functions. The project would start with primitive recursive functions.

 

 


 

 

 

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Last updated: 16:24 Mon May 20 2002

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