News & Events

1,244 News items, Awards, Events and Talks related to MERL and its staff.


  •  NEWS   IEEE Transactions on Information Theory: publication by Petros T. Boufounos
    Date: February 27, 2012
    Where: IEEE Transactions on Information Theory
    MERL Contact: Petros Boufounos
    Research Area: Computational Sensing
    Brief
    • The article "Universal Rate-Efficient Scalar Quantization" by Boufounos, P.T. was published in IEEE Transactions on Information Theory
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  •  TALK   Learning Intermediate-Level Representations of Form and Motion from Natural Movies
    Date & Time: Wednesday, February 22, 2012; 11:00 AM
    Speaker: Dr. Charles Cadieu, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
    MERL Host: Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Area: Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • The human visual system processes complex patterns of light into a rich visual representation where the objects and motions of our world are made explicit. This remarkable feat is performed through a hierarchically arranged series of cortical areas. Little is known about the details of the representations in the intermediate visual areas. Therefore, we ask the question: can we predict the detailed structure of the representations we might find in intermediate visual areas?

      In pursuit of this question, I will present a model of intermediate-level visual representation that is based on learning invariances from movies of the natural environment and produces predictions about intermediate visual areas. The model is composed of two stages of processing: an early feature representation layer, and a second layer in which invariances are explicitly represented. Invariances are learned as the result of factoring apart the temporally stable and dynamic components embedded in the early feature representation. The structure contained in these components is made explicit in the activities of second-layer units that capture invariances in both form and motion. When trained on natural movies, the first-layer produces a factorization, or separation, of image content into a temporally persistent part representing local edge structure and a dynamic part representing local motion structure. The second-layer units are split into two populations according to the factorization in the first-layer. The form-selective units receive their input from the temporally persistent part (local edge structure) and after training result in a diverse set of higher-order shape features consisting of extended contours, multi-scale edges, textures, and texture boundaries. The motion-selective units receive their input from the dynamic part (local motion structure) and after training result in a representation of image translation over different spatial scales and directions, in addition to more complex deformations. These representations provide a rich description of dynamic natural images, provide testable hypotheses regarding intermediate-level representation in visual cortex, and may be useful representations for artificial visual systems.
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  •  TALK   User-guided 2D-to-3D Conversion
    Date & Time: Tuesday, February 21, 2012; 12:00 PM
    Speaker: Dimitri Androutsos, Richard Rzeszutek, Ryerson University
    MERL Host: Anthony Vetro
    Brief
    • The problem of converting monoscopic footage into stereoscopic or multi-view content is inherently difficult and ill-posed. On the surface, this does not appear to be the case as the problem may be summed up as, "Given single-view image or video, create one or more views as if they were taken from a different camera view." However, capturing a three-dimensional scene as a two-dimensional image is a lossy process and any information regarding the distance of objects to the camera is lost. Methods exist for extracting depth information from a monoscopic view and it is possible to obtain metrically-correct depth estimates under certain conditions. But since conversion is primarily used as a post-processing stage in film production, the user requires a degree of control over the results. This, in turn, makes it ill-posed as there is no way to know ahead of time what the user wants from the conversion. In this talk we will present the work being done at Ryerson University on user-guided 2D-to-3D conversion. In particular, we will focus on how existing image segmentation techniques may be combined to produce reasonable depth maps for conversion while still providing complete control to the user. We will also discuss how our research can be applied to both images and video without any significant alterations to our methods.
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  •  EVENT   99th MPEG meeting
    Date: Monday, February 6, 2012 - Friday, February 10, 2012
    MERL Contact: Anthony Vetro
    Location: San Jose, CA
    Brief
    • MERL is a sponsor for the 99th MPEG meeting to be held in San Jose, CA, in February 2012. MERL researcher Anthony Vetro serves as Head of the US Delegation to MPEG.
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  •  NEWS   AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting 2012: publication by Piyush Grover and others
    Date: January 29, 2012
    Where: AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
    MERL Contact: Piyush Grover
    Research Area: Dynamical Systems
    Brief
    • The paper "Optimized Three-Body Gravity Assists and Manifold Transfers in End-to-End Lunar Mission Design" by Grover, P. and Andersson, C. was presented at the AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
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  •  NEWS   OCS 2012: publication by Toshiaki Koike-Akino, Chunjie Duan, Keisuke Kojima, Kieran J. Parsons and others
    Date: January 26, 2012
    Where: IEICE Optical Communication Systems (OCS)
    MERL Contacts: Keisuke Kojima; Toshiaki Koike-Akino; Kieran Parsons
    Research Areas: Communications, Signal Processing
    Brief
    • The paper "Fractionally-Spaced Equalizer Based on High-Order Statistics in Nonlinear Fiber Optics" by Koike-Akino, T., Duan, C., Parsons, K., Kojima, K., Yoshida, T., Sugihara, T. and Mizuochi, T. was presented at IEICE Optical Communication Systems (OCS)
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  •  NEWS   IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence: publication by MERL researchers and others
    Date: January 10, 2012
    Where: IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
    Research Area: Machine Learning
    Brief
    • The article "Scalable Active Learning for Multi-Class Image Classification" by Joshi, A.J., Porikli, F. and Papanikolopoulos, N. was published in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
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  •  TALK   Secure Computation and Interference in Networks: Performance Limits and Efficient Protocols
    Date & Time: Wednesday, January 4, 2012; 12:00 PM
    Speaker: Dr. Ye Wang, AgaMatrix, Inc.
    Brief
    • In the field of Secure Multi-party Computation, the general objective is to design protocols that allow a group of parties to securely compute functions of their collective private data, while maintaining privacy (in that no parties reveal any more information about their personal data than necessary) and ensuring correctness (in that no parties can disrupt or influence the computation beyond the affect of changing their input data). Information theoretic approaches toward this broad problem, that provide provable (unconditional) security guarantees (even against adversaries that have unbounded computational power), have established that general computation is possible in a variety of scenarios. However, these general solutions are not always the most efficient or finely tuned to the requirements of specific problems and applications.

      In this talk, we will overview our work toward the development of efficient information theoretic approaches for secure multi-party computation applications within the common theme of secure computation and inference over a distributed data network. These applications include:

      1) private information retrieval, where the objective is to privately obtain data without revealing what was selected;
      2) secure statistical analysis, the problem of extracting statistics without revealing anything else about the underlying distributed data;
      3) secure sampling, which is the secure distributed generation of new data with a given joint distribution; and
      4) secure authentication, where the identity of a party needs to authenticated via inference on his credentials and stored registration data.

      Our contributions toward these applications include the following. We proposed a novel oblivious transfer protocol, applicable to private information retrieval, that trades off a small amount privacy for a drastic increase in efficiency. We leveraged a dimensionality reduction that exploits functional structure to simultaneously achieve arbitrarily high accuracy and efficiency in protocols that perform secure statistical analysis of distributed databases. Toward characterizing the region of distributions that can be securely sampled from scratch, we fully characterized the two-party scenario and provided inner and outer bounds on the multi-party scenario. Toward enabling secure distributed authentication, we proposed a two-factor secure biometric authentication system that is robust against the compromise of registered biometric data, allowing for revocability and providing resistance against cross-enrollment attacks.
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  •  NEWS   Video Analytics for Business Intelligence: publication by MERL researchers and others
    Date: January 1, 2012
    Where: Video Analytics for Business Intelligence
    Research Area: Machine Learning
    Brief
    • The article "Object Detection & Tracking" by Porikli, F. and Yilmaz, A. was published in the book Video Analytics for Business Intelligence
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  •  TALK   Electrical Power Storage Technology
    Date & Time: Tuesday, December 20, 2011; 12:00 PM
    Speaker: Olivia Leitermann, MIT
    MERL Host: Daniel Nikovski
    Research Area: Data Analytics
    Brief
    • Ancillary services such as frequency regulation are required for reliable operation of the electric grid. Currently, the same traditional thermal generators that supply bulk power also perform nearly all frequency regulation. Instead, using high power energy storage resources to provide frequency regulation can allow traditional thermal generators to operate more smoothly. However, using energy storage alone for frequency regulation would require an unreasonably large energy storage capacity. Duration curves for energy capacity and instantaneous ramp rate are used to evaluate the requirements and benefits of using energy storage for a component of frequency regulation. High-pass filtering and closed-loop control are used to separate the portion of a frequency regulation control signal suitable for provision by an energy storage unit from the portion suitable for provision by traditional thermal generating resources. Not all frequency regulation signals are equally amenable to the filtering approach used here. Data from two U.S. control areas are used to demonstrate the techniques and the results are compared.
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  •  NEWS   CDC-ECC 2011: publication by Alan W. Esenther and Daniel N. Nikovski
    Date: December 12, 2011
    Where: IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference (CDC-ECC)
    MERL Contact: Daniel Nikovski
    Research Area: Optimization
    Brief
    • The paper "Construction of Embedded Markov Decision Processes for Optimal Control of Non-Linear Systems with Continuous State Spaces" by Nikovski, D. and Esenther, A. was presented at the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference (CDC-ECC)
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  •  NEWS   ISDRS 2011: publication by Chunjie Duan, Koon Hoo Teo, Jinyun Zhang and others
    Date: December 7, 2011
    Where: International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium (ISDRS)
    MERL Contacts: Jinyun Zhang; Koon Hoo Teo
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Electronic and Photonic Devices
    Brief
    • The paper "Design and Simulation of Enhancement-mode N-polar GaN Single-channel and Dual-channel MIS-HEMTs" by Feng, P., Teo, K.H., Oishi, T., Nakayama, M., Duan, C. and Zhang, J. was presented at the International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium (ISDRS)
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  •  NEWS   GLOBECOM 2011: publication by Toshiaki Koike-Akino and Chunjie Duan
    Date: December 5, 2011
    Where: IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (GLOBECOM)
    MERL Contact: Toshiaki Koike-Akino
    Research Area: Communications
    Brief
    • The paper "Secrecy Rate Analysis of Jamming Superposition in Presence of Many Eavesdropping Users" by Koike-Akino, T. and Duan, C. was presented at the IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (GLOBECOM)
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  •  TALK   Interesting and unusual forms of autostereo display
    Date & Time: Thursday, December 1, 2011; 11:00 AM
    Speaker: Gregg Favalora, Optics for Hire (OFH)
    MERL Host: Matthew Brand
    Brief
    • I'll give an information-rich survey presentation on "interesting and unusual" forms of autostereo display. It will assume basic knowledge of autostereo, e.g. lenticular and parallax barrier displays [unless, of course, you'd like a few minutes going over the basics.] I will discuss: spatially-multiplexed, time-multiplexed, and multi-projector systems. This includes: non-obvious depth cues, advances in parallax barrier displays, lenticulars, multi-projector / projection onto corrugated screens, scanned illumination, volumetric, and electro-holographic techniques.
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  •  NEWS   International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (AutomotiveUI) 2011: publication by Bret A. Harsham and others
    Date: November 30, 2011
    Where: International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (AutomotiveUI)
    MERL Contact: Bret Harsham
    Brief
    • The paper "Evaluating the Usability of a Head-Up Display for Selection from Choice Lists in Cars" by Weinberg, G., Harsham, B. and Medenica, Z. was presented at the International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (AutomotiveUI)
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  •  NEWS   WIFS 2011: publication by Petros T. Boufounos and Shantanu D. Rane
    Date: November 29, 2011
    Where: IEEE International Workshop on Information Forensics and Security (WIFS)
    MERL Contact: Petros Boufounos
    Research Area: Information Security
    Brief
    • The paper "Secure Binary Embeddings for Privacy Preserving Nearest Neighbors" by Boufounos, P. and Rane, S. was presented at the IEEE International Workshop on Information Forensics and Security (WIFS)
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  •  NEWS   IEEE Transactions on Communications: publication by Jinyun Zhang and others
    Date: November 23, 2011
    Where: IEEE Transactions on Communications
    MERL Contact: Jinyun Zhang
    Research Area: Communications
    Brief
    • The article "Unified Spectral Efficiency Analysis of Cellular Systems with Channel-Aware Schedulers" by Wu, J., Mehta, N.B., Molisch, A.F. and Zhang, J. was published in IEEE Transactions on Communications
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  •  TALK   Scheduling and Medium Access in Wireless Networks
    Date & Time: Friday, November 18, 2011; 12:00 PM
    Speaker: Shreeshankar Bodas, MIT
    Brief
    • We look at the problem of designing "efficient" resource allocation algorithms for wireless networks. The volume of data transferred over the wireless network has been ever-growing, but the resources (time, frequency) are not growing at the same rate. We therefore need to design good resource allocation schemes to guarantee a good quality of service to the users.

      In the first part of the talk, we look at the wireless access network, such as Wi-Fi. We have three objectives: ensure high resource utilization, low user-perceived latency, while keeping the computational burden on the devices to a minimum. An interesting recent result by Shah et al says that these three objectives are incompatible with other, unless P=NP. We design a physical layer-aware medium access algorithm that simultaneously achieves the three objectives, and thereby show that the hardness result by Shah et al is an artifact of a simplistic view of the physical layer.

      The second part of the talk focuses on designing scheduling algorithms for wireless downlink networks, such as a cellular network. Our objectives (again) are high resource utilization, low per-user delay, and a "simple" algorithm. We outline the drawbacks of the classic MaxWeight-type algorithms, and design iterative resource allocation schemes that perform well on all the three fronts.
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  •  NEWS   ICCV 2011: publication by Michael J. Jones, Tim K. Marks and others
    Date: November 6, 2011
    Where: IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)
    MERL Contacts: Tim Marks; Michael Jones
    Brief
    • The paper "Fully Automatic Pose-Invariant Face Recognition via 3D Pose Normalization" by Asthana, A., Marks, T.K., Jones, M.J., Tieu, K.H. and Rohith, M. was presented at the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)
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  •  NEWS   ACSSC 2011: publication by Petros T. Boufounos and others
    Date: November 6, 2011
    Where: Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers (ACSSC)
    MERL Contact: Petros Boufounos
    Research Area: Computational Sensing
    Brief
    • The paper "Greedy Sparsity-Constrained Optimization" by Bahmani, S., Boufounos, P. and Raj, B. was presented at the Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers (ACSSC)
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