K.H. Wong's Mphil/PhD research projects
Last updated: 1 August 2003 by K.H.
see demo page for my recent work
Currently, I am interested in a number projects related
to the Internet, computer vision and system programming. Here are some
See my publication
Internet information tracking: A technique called "condensation"
is found to be successful in tracking objects for computer vsion systems.
This project is to apply this technique in Internet information tracking.
The result can be used for making smarter Internet image search engins.
(for example http://images.google.com/)
Internet image database and search engines
Face retrieval in the web -- I have developed a color and
statistical based face retrieval system, it can be used for building up
the database of a face search engine.
Image database using color search keys.
Biometric research, such as face recognition using color
analysis, finger print recognition etc.
Networking, visual programming for PDAs (Personal Digital
Assistants) -- Morden microprocessors used in making PDAs (Personal
Digital Assistants) and home appliances will be equipped with networking
modules, how to use them is a big business. There are plenty of software
and system research projects around this issue.
Mobile phone positioning -- try to locate the positions of
cellular phones. There are unlimited applications of such a system in E-commerce.
For example if the telephone company knows where the callers are, callers
can receive more relevant information related to their physical locations.
Education and robotics -- The toy company LEGO has produced
a series of educational robots that have proved to be very successful financially.
It also proves that education and play can be closed linked. Some interesting
projects are going on along this line of thinking.
These titles are just some suggestions, I urge you to contact me (Rm907,
X8397, EMAIL) in person to
discuss about the possible projects.
vision and virtual reality research
Title(Mphil or PhD)
Automatic building of virtual reality walk through environments
The aim is to develop a system to create a 3D virtual reality walk-through
environment without explicitly constructing the 3D map. The input of the
system is a set of video pictures of the environment, the system will calculate
and construct the geometric structures of the scene. This is a very interesting
and useful project to be used in World Wide Web applications and games.
Howvere, it difficult because since the input pictures are all in 2D and
the system requires 3D information to function, therefore we have to develop
and use complex mathmatical models to map 2D pictures onto 3D structures.
Hardware and robotics
Virtual Reality input devices
In many virtual reality systems, users are required to wear special
interfaces, such as data gloves, magnetic sensors etc. The objective of
this project is to develop a computer vision based human machine interface,
so that users are free from those intrusive devices which may hinder
their movements. Computer vision based hand gesture recognition and head
movement detection are examples of such approaches. They can be used in
games and other virtual reality applications. We have already developed
some mathematical techniques for object tracking, students are required
to implement these approaches in PCs.
Low bit rate motion picture compression
Researchers designing future MPEG standards are looking for novel and
high compression ratio techniques for image transmission through low bit
rate connections (e.g. 64Kbps). The model based scheme for human
head image compression is one of the approaches. This system tracks the
pose of a human head and produces a few parameters describing the essential
features, for example rotation and translation of the head. These parameters
will be sent to the receiver for the reproduction of the original image.
This project integrates many different techniques, such as pose estimation,
Internet programming etc., to make low bit rate video transmission possible.
It is useful in virtual reality, game and Internet based systems.
Title:(Mphil or PhD)
Evolutionary robot farm: I am now developing a number of
mobile robots and will use evolutionary techniques to see how the behavior
of these robots will evolve over time under different environmental conditions.
Ultrasonic imaging and robot navigation: In the animal kingdom,
for example the bats, ultrasonic sound is used extensively for navigation
and also for sensing of locating prey in 3D. In the past, ultrasonic radar
was developed for robots for just avoiding obstacles ahead, and we believe
ultra sound methods should be mor euseful than just a point range detector.
Thus, we have devised a mathematical technique for reconstructing the surface
of an object by ultrasonic scanning method and hope that would be used
in robots to improve its sensory capability. Moreover, this technique can
be extended for other scanning applications where 3D imaging is needed.
For example, it can be used to reconstruct the surface of objects or a
human face to be used for automatic 3D modeling. This project can be merged
with the "Automatic building of virtual reality walk through environments"
mentioned above to form an integrated system for automatic 3D walk through
Legged robots: We are building a series of six-, four- and
two- leg robots. They do involve interesting control techniques similar
to those used in animals and insects and the aim is to have walking robots
that can climb stairs, which cannot be achieved by wheel robots.
audio signal processing
Since I myself is a music lover and play a few musical instruments,
it is natural that I do try to involve my research with music related projects
so as to play and work at the same time, and why not? I hope other music
lovers would also join with me to work as well as enjoy in the wonderful
world of music.
Titles: (Mphil or PhD)
Internet Music and MP3 extension: The
MP3 standard has now become the hottest music distribution medium in
the Internet and looks it is going to revolutionize the whole music industrial
in the years to come. With this new medium, one can think of many interesting
applications. Here are the examples.
3D surround sound: we can combine a number of MP3 files it to form
a 3D surround sounds, however, signal synchronization becomes a problem
which requires extensive research.
Virtual bands: It is ideal if music lovers can play music together
through the Internet, however, the time lag in the network prohibits us
to do so. One simple idea is to have a standard file system so that one
can add or remove Channels(tracks), and record and play at the same time.
It is like a Karaoke system that the computer plays a part and the
user plays another part, the computer will record both tracks for future
replay. We can use MP3 as the
backbone and develop extension to it to fulfill the above requirement.
The research issues are data compression, synchronization etc. With this
file standard, a recording (an extended MP3 file) of one musician may start
a snowball and invites other artistic to join and it may evolve into many
different forms of performances. The result may become another standard
for music distribution in the future.
Music signal analysis: Music signals are being analyzed by
Fourier transform, wavelet transform and other Time-frequency analysis
(Wigner transforms). A new time-domain analysis is being developed here
at our lab. and future investigation and analysis are needed. This project
would concentrate on the techniques in showing the time varying spectral
information within a signal for various western and Chinese musical instruments.
It is suitable for those would love music and would like to
know more about the signal processing side of it. The result can be used
in developing more efficient methods for musical signal compression in
Music synthesis by wavelet transform: There are three major
techniques in music
synthesis for electronic musical instruments: (1) Frequency modulation
(FM), (2) wavetable and (3) waveguide. The FM technique is only a simple
engineering solution and cannot generate authentic sounds of traditional
instruments, i.e., the violin, flute etc. The wavetable technique is good
but tone variation is difficult to achieve. The waveguide technique can
generate sound of plucked or woodwind instrument and not suitable for fiddle
instrument. Recently the wavelet technique is found to be useful in data
compression but it has not been used for music synthesis which I think
is a very suitable candidate. The methodology is simple, just use wavelet
transform to analyze the recording of a sound and use the parameters obtained
for regeneration. By adjusting the parameters, I hope we can achieve a
wide range of sound expressions and effects. See
also this web page for a tutorial on music synthesis
Environmental sound compression: The current sound compression
algorithms only compress sound signals without considering the positioning
of sound sources and the environment that the recording was made. If these
information is included, we will not only obtain good surround sound replay
but also be able to manipulate sound positions according to our tatse.
It is similar to 3D graphics generation but the domain is in the audio
signal domain. I expect one can generate exciting results since this idea
has not been explored in detail by others.