ERCIM News No.21 - April 1995

ERCIM Computer Graphics Network

by David Duce

The February 1994 issue of ERCIM News (number 16) announced the award of funding from the Human Capital and Mobility programme to the ERCIM Computer Graphics Network. The network completed its first year of operation at the end of August 1994; progress was reviewed at a meeting held during ERCIM week in Barcelona in November 1994.

Although the title of the network is the ERCIM Computer Graphics Network, the remit of the group is much wider than the title might suggest. Much of the work is concerned with multimedia and "rich" interaction. The work programme for the network is structured into three technical working groups:

The work in the first area is directly related to the emerging ISO/IEC standard PREMO (PResentation Environments for Multi-media Objects). Three workshops were held during the first year and two have been held since, plus a number of shorter working meetings.

The technical work has addressed a number of topic areas:

The results of the technical work have been fed into meetings of the ISO/IEC Rapporteur Group responsible for the PREMO standard, which is attended by members of the teams involved in this working group. Our work has had a significant impact on the direction of the PREMO work and on the coherence of the European input to this work. The formal description work is forming the basis for a formal description of PREMO, using the Z and Object-Z notations. The work to date has been published in the journal Computer Graphics Forum (volume 13, number 3) and was presented at the Eurographics '94 conference in Oslo in September 1994, and a forthcoming issue of the journal Computer Standards & Interfaces, special issue on formal description techniques in standardisation.

The Graphics and knowledge engineering group have held five meetings to date. The initial meeting was a scene-setting meeting for the working group and consisted of presentations of relevant work in each of the institutes represented. The topics covered the areas:

At the second working meeting, it was decided to concentrate the work on the topic "Temporal structure of the fusion of input modes in user interfaces". This relates to the work in task 1 on temporal aspects of multi-media and is an area that has to be addressed in the development of interaction components within PREMO. Formal specification techniques as considered in task 1 are applied to specify the temporal relations. A journal paper has been submitted. The work of this group is described in more detail in the article entitled "Intelligent Multimedia Systems" in ERCIM News number 20.

The first workshop of the Graphics and model visualization group was held in Grenoble in March 1994. At this meeting relevant work in each organization was presented and discussed. Two activities were initiated, one on parallelism in rendering and visualization and the second on modelling. A second workshop of the group was held in November and a set of exchange visits was arranged. Participants have also been active in preparing joint submissions to the Framework IV programme.

For 1995, our programme includes workshops on constraint management for object-oriented multimedia systems, time and synchronisation in multimedia and sound. The emphasis in each is on understanding the key concepts and how to provide hooks and support in PREMO. The network is very keen to encourage participation from more ERCIM institutes and other interested researchers.

Please contact
David Duce - RAL
Tel: +44 1235 44 55 11

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