Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

The UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) is a public university based in Barcelona, Spain. The Image Processing Group at UPC has developed, since 1986, tools and techniques for the representation of visual content (images and video). This activity was harnessed mainly with a European project of the RACE program called Morpheco, in 1992, where the Image Processing Group acted as the prime contractor in this project. The Morpheco project developed object-based compression tools (so-called second generation coding tools). This activity was followed for around 5 years during which the group participated in the European projects MAVT, MoMuSys, Vidas and Multimediator of the ACTS program. This research activity was closely related to the process of standardisation of ISO MPEG-4. The ideas and tools developed during this period have been reused by other investigators and presented to the MPEG-4 committee. Later, the group introduced a new research line oriented to content management and indexing. This phase of research also had a good outcome in terms of publications (similar to the level of the previous phase in compression), European projects: Diceman, Hypermedia, ADViSOR, Faethon and the European NoE Muscle of the IST program, and contracts with companies like Philips (Paris, France), France Telecom (Rennes, France) or D’Ocon Films (Barcelona). The group also had a strong implication in the creation process of the MPEG-7 standard (technical proposals used as bases for parts of the standard, participation in the meetings, responsibility of groups in the MPEG structure, etc.). The Human-Computer Interaction challenges have been investigated by the group during the past few years in the context of diverse projects. An initial experience was with the project ATTITUDE in which the group collaborated with the Belgian company AlterfaceTM for the creation of a system of gestual interaction in a recreational environment (Transfiction). In the European integrated project (IP) of the sixth program CHIL (Computers in the Human Interaction Loop), the global objective was to facilitate the interaction between people by means of information technologies. In turn, in the European NoE Similar (Signal Processing and Information theory for Multimedia Interactive Links and Augmented Representations) the objective was the development of natural, adaptive, multimodal interfaces which can respond to speech, vision and gesture. Currently, in the area of HCI, the group is participating in the Spanish CENIT Project Vision, subcontracted by Telefonica I+D and in the FP7 ActiBio project. In FascinatE, UPC task will be mainly devoted to WP5 where it will be the responsible for developing the gesture-based interaction system of the various proposed scenarios (home environment and personal devices). Apart from that, UPC will contribute to WP1, WP6 and WP7

Key People

Dr. Javier Ruiz-Hidalgo

Dr. Javier Ruiz-Hidalgo received a degree in Telecommunications Engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain in 1997. From 1998 to 1999, he developed an MSc by Research on the field of Computer Vision by the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, UK. During 1999 he joined the Image Processing Group at UPC working on image and video indexing in the context of the MPEG-7 standard where he obtained his Ph.D. thesis in 2006. Since 1999 he has been involved in various European Projects as a researcher from the Image Processing Group at UPC. During 1999 and 2000 he worked in the ACTS(AC308) DICEMAN project developing new descriptors and representations for image and video sequences. From 2001 to 2003 he is also involved in the IST/FET(2000-26467) project MASCOT developing an efficient compression scheme exploiting metadata information. Since 2006 he is the principal investigator in the HESPERIA (CENIT-2006) project involved in developing new image algorithms in security applications. Since 2001 he is an Associated Professor at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. He is currently lecturing on the area of digital signal and systems and image processing. His current research interests include image segmentation, still image and sequence coding, compression and indexing.

Dr. Josep R. Casas

Dr. Josep R. Casas is an associate Professor at the Department of Signal Theory and Communication, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) in Barcelona. He graduated in Telecommunications Engineering in 1990 and received the PhD in 1996, both from UPC, where he is currently teaching Signals and Systems, Image Processing and Television Systems at the School of Telecommunications Engineering (Telecom BCN). He was visiting researcher at CSIRO Mathematics & Information Sciences in Canberra, Australia from 2000 to 2001. Josep R. Casas is Principal investigator of the project PROVEC (“Video Processing for Controlled Environments”) of the Spanish R&D&I Plan started in 2007, and has led or contributed to a number of industry-sponsored projects, projects of the Spanish Science and Technology System (VISION, HESPERIA) and European FP projects (ACTIBIO, SCHEMA, ADVISOR). In particular, he coordinated UPC contribution to CHIL (“Computers in the Human Interaction Loop”), an IP of the IST/EU 6th Framework Program in the strategic objective of Multimodal Interfaces, involving video, audio and natural language technologies. Josep R. Casas has authored or co-authored over 10 papers in international journals, 12 papers in LNCS, 50 contributions to conferences and 9 book chapters and a teaching book in the areas of video coding, analysis, indexing and image processing.
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