Multimedia & Vision Research Group (MMV Group)

MMV logo

MMV people @ QMUL The Multimedia and Vision Research Group at QMUL was formed in September 2000 to conduct research in image, video processing and computer vision. The mission of the Group has been to complement areas of competence in electronic engineering which have traditionally been well represented within the department; such as antennas and telecommunications. When the group was founded in 2000, relatively new areas of multimedia signal processing were in a good position to strengthen the department and college portfolio in research and teaching. The vision was to extend our understanding in multimedia systems technology and to spread excellence through teaching and outreach. The approach taken is integrative since there are no clear boundaries with other groups. Wherever possible, synergies with other research groups are developed and promoted; such as with the centre for digital music and the networks group.

Since 2001 the group has:

  • published over 100 journal papers, most of them in the highest ranked IEEE Transactions in the field, and over 500 refereed conference papers;
  • graduated over 40 PhD students;
  • had involvement in grant funded projects worth more than €100 million.


Objectives

Multi-target Bayes filet used for face tracking Currently, the strategic objectives of the group are:

  • to address critical technical challenges in emerging multimedia applications by strengthening existing research fields and building new research initiatives in a dynamic way according to current trends in technology;
  • to enhance outreach activities by working closer with the industry and other research labs world-wide;
  • to enrich QMUL’s overall research environment.

Having been a main contributor and driver of standardisation in the context of JPEG2000 and HEVC, the group will strengthen its research work in the areas of computer vision, surveillance, and tracking. This strategy will take advantage of past collaboration with the Information Management Department of the British Ministry of Defense, and with corporate partners such as Motorola, GE, Intel, and BT.

Building on the expertise from previous projects (e.g. EU BUSMAN, aceMedia, K-Space, MESH and RUSHES) the group expects to grow its research portfolio with several new large grants.

The group's recent strategic research cooperation with United Technologies (one of the largest industrial corporations world-wide) and ST Microelectronics will further widen the industrial research portfolio, fully exploiting the available areas of expertise.


Fields of work

The MMV Research Group has over 30 members, including 4 members of academic staff and 2 post-doctoral researchers. The group is currently active in the following research areas of visual media engineering and computer vision:

  • 3D Reconstruction and Graphics
  • Video coding
  • Analysis of (Human) Motion
  • Semantic classification & clustering
  • Human Sensing for Human-Media Interaction
  • Colour Vision


Research output and funding

Since 2001 the group has published over 100 papers, most of them in high impact factor IEEE specialist technical journals, as well as publishing over 500 refereed conference papers. The group has also, graduated over 40 PhD students and secured over €15 million of grant funding.

Currently, the group has over €1 million of active research grants. Funding bodies include the EPSRC, the Royal Society, the British Council, Royal Academy of Engineering, the European Union and industrial partners such as the BBC.

The group has been a pioneer in visual information retrieval techniques for semantic inference from audiovisual content, and it is now recognized as a key-player in multimedia information retrieval, in the EU and beyond. This is evidenced by the important role it plays in the TrecVid NIST/USA benchmarking forum, its leading role in the largest cooperative EU projects in the area, and its leadership in the UK Knowledge Management, which embraces the 5 key UK groups in the area. The group coordinated the IST Network of Excellence K-Space and the European COST292 action. It was also one of the main contributors and steering member of several other projects, including FP7 NoE PetaMedia, FP7 Papyrus, FP6 IPs aceMedia, MESH and FP6 RUSHES.

The group is involved in the MPEG-4/7/21 activities and participated in EPSRC supported MMKM network. The coding schema proposed by the group, MMV-SVC, has been found to be one of the best two in terms of compression performance in a worldwide competition organized by MPEG in 2003 to demonstrate evidence on Advanced Scalable Video Coding technology. This kick-started the standardisation process on SVC, which is now near the final stages. The development of the complete framework for full granularity Scalable Video Coding (MMV-SVC), the only one of its kind worldwide, led to €500,000 of industry and EU funding.


International cooperation

REVERIE: NATURAL HUMAN INTERACTION IN VIRTUAL IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENTS Substantial participation in a number of national and international cooperative projects have enabled the group to initiate research collaborations with other world leading institutions including: the University of California, Los Angeles; Berkley University, California; the Northwestern University, Chicago; the University of Alberta, Edmonton; Intel, US. Several European institutions take part as well to projects in collaboration with the group, including: Motorola Research UK; British Telecom; Sony Research UK; the University of Glasgow; the Heinrich Hertz Institute for Communication Technology, Berlin; the Technical University of Berlin; the Technical University of Munich; Siemens Research Munich; the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence; INRIA Research, France; the Groupe des Ecoles des Télécommunications, Paris; the French Institut National de l'Audiovisuel; France Telecom; Thomson France; the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland; Telefonica, Spain; General Electric, Switzerland.

International connections are also related to the standardisation activities to which the group plays an active role, being involved in the MPEG standardization work.


Other esteem indicators

The group is highly active in the most relevant scientific societies, having an associated editor for an IEEE transactions journal, a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Multimedia Signal Processing Technical Committee and two members in the executive group of the IEE visual information engineering professional network, one of them acting as chairman of this important professional network.

A member of the group has been elected member of the Visual Signal Processing and Communications technical committee of the IEEE. One member is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology. Group members have served as guest editor for 3 IEEE Transactions special issues, a IEE Proceeding special issue, a special issues of the EURASIP Journal of Applied Signal Processing, one special issue of the ELSEVIER Signal Processing: Image Communication Journal, a special issue of the Springer journal Signal, Image and Video Processing. A group member is associate editor of the Journal of Multimedia.

A number of successful conferences have been organised by the group. Among them:

  • the International Workshop on Image Analysis for Multimedia Interactive Services (WIAMIS 2003) attracted over 120 researchers in April 2003;
  • the 1st European Workshop on the Integration of Knowledge, Semantics and Digital Media Technology (EWIMT 2004), attracted over 100 researchers in November 2004;
  • the 2nd European Workshop on the Integration of Knowledge, Semantics and Digital Media Technology (EWIMT 2005) attracted over 100 researchers in November 2005;
  • the IEEE International Conference on Advanced Video and Signal based Surveillance (AVSS 2007) attracted 160 attendees in September 2007;
  • the International Conference on Content Based Multimedia Indexing (CBMI 2008) was held in June 2008;
  • the IET International Conference on Visual Information Engineering (VIE 2008) was held in July 2008;
  • the Workshop on Image Analysis for Multimedia Interactive Services (WIAMIS 2009) attracted over 120 researchers in May 2009;
  • the International Workshop on Content-Based Multimedia Indexing (CBMI 2011) attracted over 100 researchers in June 2011;
  • MediaEval Benchmarking Initiative for Multimedia Evaluation (MediaEval 2012) visual privacy task attracted over 130 researchers in October 2012;
  • the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV2012) held in October 2012;
  • the International Workshop on Content-Based Multimedia Indexing (CBMI2012) attracted over 130 researchers in June 2012;
  • the MediaEval Benchmarking Initiative for Multimedia Evaluation (MediaEval 2013) visual privacy task attracted over 140 researchers in October 2013;
  • the International Conference on Imaging for Crime Detection and Prevention (ICDP 2013) attracted over 120 researchers in December 2013;
  • the MediaEval Benchmarking Initiative for Multimedia Evaluation (MediaEval 2014) visual privacy task attracted over 140 researchers in October 2014;
  • the IEEE international conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2014) session on “Realistic 3D in Interactive Virtual Worlds” attracted over 200 researchers in October 2014;
  • the International Conference on Imaging for Crime Detection and Prevention (ICDP 2015) attracted over 140 researchers in July 2015;
  • the MediaEval Benchmarking Initiative for Multimedia Evaluation (MediaEval 2015) session on “DroneProtect: Mini-drone Video Privacy Task” attracted over 140 researchers in September 2015;
  • the International Workshop on Content-Based Multimedia Indexing (CBMI2016) attracted over 110 researchers in June 2016;
  • the IEEE international conference on Image Processing (ICIP2016) session on Video “Processing in the Wild: Understanding Real CCTV Street-Scenes” attracted over 300 researchers in September 2016.