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Potentials, IEEE

Issue 1 • Date Feb.-March 2004

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Displaying Results 1 - 19 of 19
  • Reinforcement learning in case-based systems

    Page(s): 31 - 33
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    Case-based reasoning (CBR) systems compare a new problem to a library of cases and adapt a similar library case to the problem, producing a preliminary solution. Since CBR systems require only a record of library cases with successful solutions, they are often used in areas lacking a strong theoretical domain model, such as medicine, economics and law. The problem is that many CBR systems use expert knowledge to determine how to build indexes for the case library so that cases that match the current situation can be identified. Human experts - whose time is valuable and scarce - often find it difficult to explain precisely their reasoning. Thus, a knowledge elicitation bottleneck occurs for many knowledge-based applications. Reinforcement-trained case-based reasoning (RETCBR) uses feedback from the user or some external process to learn how to match cases. RETCBR expands the domains in which CBR techniques can be applied, because it requires knowledge only for case recognition, not for determining indexing strategies. We are currently applying these techniques to human-computer interaction problems, such as user modeling and collaborative filtering. View full abstract»

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  • Stereoscopic imaging: a real-time, in depth look

    Page(s): 38 - 42
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (468 KB)  

    There is a general push for biometric-based solutions to replace keys, ID cards, passwords and PINs. Facial recognition, as one of the computational biometrics technologies, has received renewed attention and publicity lately, but for its inaccurate results. One major reason for the inaccuracy is the fact that, generally, facial recognition tools are rooted in 2D imaging methods which are limited to front-profile 2D photographs with a maximum divergence of 20 degrees. 3D facial imaging technology eliminates much of the nagging problems, but the benefits come with the added cost of processing time, especially in the case of stereoscopic imaging. The requirement of timely processing is particularly important in access control applications. The distributed algorithm we propose represents a novel step in solving the 3D imaging problem using power processing. The algorithm enables cameras, fitted with special boards, to generate 3D images in less time than with existing methods. The algorithm exploits the well-known properties/constraints from the stereovision field. Thus, it is very reliable. The obvious impact areas for this work are the capture, display and transmission of stereoscopic images. However, other areas, such as stereoscopic HDTV, can benefit from a faster technique. View full abstract»

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  • Confocal microscopy [detecting and diagnosing cancers]

    Page(s): 14 - 17
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (882 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Optical technologies, such as reflectance and fluorescence microscopy, may help detect and diagnose cancers that originate in the epithelium. The epithelium is the layer of tissue that is exposed to the environment and lines the body's cavities. Cancers that originate in the epithelium include cervical, oral, colon, lung, stomach, bladder and skin cancers. The curable precursors to cervical cancer are cervical epithelial lesions that have larger and more densely spaced nuclei. A fiber-optic confocal microscope (FOCM) has been developed at the Optical Spectroscopy Lab, University of Texas at Austin, to help detect and diagnose these lesions in vivo. With the aid of acetic acid as a contrast agent, the FOCM shows nuclear size and density information throughout the epithelium, presenting the same information as histology but without removing, staining and slicing cervical epithelial tissue. (There are also spatial resolution requirements for showing cell nuclei.) The Optical Spectroscopy Lab continues to develop confocal microscopic instrumentation, new contrast agents, and image processing techniques to improve early detection of precancerous cervical lesions. View full abstract»

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  • Editorial

    Page(s): 3
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  • The way ahead

    Page(s): 3
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    First Page of the Article
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  • Streaming multimedia over the Internet

    Page(s): 34 - 37
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (496 KB)  

    Media streaming has emerged as an important service offered over the Internet. In response, the ISO/IEC MPEG-4 multimedia standard has been introduced. It encompasses a wide range of tools and technologies for delivering multimedia content. The MPEG-4 standard does not focus only on media compression, it also considers the media packaging and delivery components. One of the most interesting features MPEG-4 is that it is an object-based multimedia technology. An MPEG-4 presentation is comprised of units of aural, visual or audiovisual content, called media objects. Data access in MPEG-4 is always viewed as delivering, storing or accessing elementary streams. MPEG-4 has dedicated a part of the standard to delivery issues by defining a generic platform for the delivery of multimedia information. This platform is called the delivery multimedia integration framework (DMIF). The article gives an overview of DMIF, and describes its communication architecture and the DMIF default signaling protocol (DDSP). The authors also describe their contribution to producing Implementation 1 (IM1), the reference software for MPEG-4. They have contributed the DMIF remote retrieval instance and also an MPEG-4 streaming server that fully supports DMIF. View full abstract»

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  • Microwaving the heart

    Page(s): 18 - 20
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (404 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a chaotic (and lethal) cardiac rhythm disorder that profoundly affects the cardiovascular performance. Surgical therapeutic intervention has been the principal method of treatment in these cases. The standard method has been the scalpel based "maze" cut and sew procedure. The method aims at interrupting the circular electrical patterns that are responsible for the arrhythmia. Strategic placement of incisions in both atria terminates the formation and the conduction of errant electrical impulses, and channels the normal electrical impulse in one direction. Scar tissue generated by the incisions permanently blocks the paths of the impulses that cause AF, thus eradicating the arrhythmia. Microwave cardiac ablation is a relatively new concept for the clinical treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. It is a procedure in which oscillating electromagnetic energy is delivered to the myocardium (the heart muscle), via a probe, to create thermal lesions. The frequencies typically used for microwave medical ablation are 915 MHz or 2.45 GHz. The thermal lesions are relied upon to disrupt or eliminate the conduction pathways supporting arrythmia. This relatively new technology has accrued an impressive clinical history in terms of biophysical and clinical efficacy, safety and surgeons' satisfaction. View full abstract»

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  • Cryptic primes

    Page(s): 43 - 45
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    Prime numbers reserve a special place in number theory and computer science. Their extensive use in data structures, cryptography, nucleotide encoding, in developing musical tones and such merit their importance across all disciplines, especially in computer science. The article looks at the history and applications of primes, particularly their use in classical cryptographic systems, such as the Diffie-Hellman asymmetric-key cryptography algorithm and the RSA public key encryption system. Quantum cryptographic techniques are also discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Pushing the limits of artificial vision

    Page(s): 21 - 23
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    The field of neural prostheses has made significant strides toward restoring damaged or lost nervous system function for millions of people. These advances have led to the development of selective electrical interfaces that communicate directly with nerve cells to modulate neural processes rationally. The first neural prosthesis developed was the cardiac pacemaker, which has become pervasive in society. The pacemaker also provides the promise that such an approach can address higher order neural dysfunctions. Technologies borrowed from the semiconductor industry have allowed researchers to micro fabricate devices with active elements on the length scale of nerve cells. This size capability has led to the development of the cochlear implant, which has restored hearing in thousands of deaf patients. Restoring more complex sensory functions, such is vision, provides greater engineering challenges, but achieving them is within our grasp. Current approaches to achieving artificial vision are discussed, along with strategies being used to push the capability limits of these prostheses even further. View full abstract»

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  • Model-integrated computing

    Page(s): 28 - 30
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    The integration of design tools and an executable system is an important step in software engineering's evolution. Model-integrated computing (MIC) through the use of domain specific modeling environments (DSMEs) is an emerging approach to computer programming. By providing a customized level of abstraction in a relatively short period of time, and leveraging existing domain knowledge by creating the language specifically for a domain expert, DSMEs are a logical progression of system design technology. MIC is the technology that turns a design tool into an executable system. DSMEs should be used only when they fit the profile required by the domain. A domain with a manageable set of components with well-understood behaviors is an excellent candidate for a DSME, as the final computer system can be generated from the model of the system. Once the domain is identified, then it is possible to use metamodeling to develop a language that suits that domain. To quote Mark Twain, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug". MIC is the practice of finding the perfect words to express the problems of a domain, and using the implied meaning of the language to implement the system rapidly and efficiently. View full abstract»

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  • On the job: choosing a workplace

    Page(s): 5 - 7
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    First Page of the Article
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  • Bioinformatics

    Page(s): 24 - 27
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    Computational methods are becoming an increasingly important aspect of the evaluation and analysis of experimental data in molecular biology. The use of computational methods towards solving problems in biology is known as bioinformatics. The field of bioinformatics is constantly redefining itself as methods for collecting biological data are developed and refined. While the future directions of the field are impossible to predict, one conclusion seems to be evident: computational techniques have changed the way in which biologists collect and analyze experimental data. Computation will continue to be a prominent component of biochemistry and molecular biology research for the foreseeable future. While early studies developed the techniques necessary to sequence entire genomes, scientists are now investigating the interacting mechanisms that control the expression of genes. Ambitious new efforts are underway to identify the complex biological pathways of interaction between genes, the proteins for which they code, and the various metabolic intermediates acted upon by these proteins. Advances in understanding these sorts of large scale biological problems bear enormous promise for improving the human condition. View full abstract»

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  • Interpreting EEG functional brain activity

    Page(s): 8 - 13
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    A critical issue in the presurgical evaluation of brain operations is mapping regions that control speech and language functions. The goal is to preserve these regions during surgery. Mapping done by electrically stimulating the cortex subdurally with implanted electrodes is highly effective, but introduces a high risk for cortical tissue injury. Mapping the brain with non-invasive techniques, such as EEG recordings, is possible. The object of our study is to show that the results produced could be effective and useful, without any risk to the patient. EEG data was collected using electrical source-imaging, with up to 256 electrodes (ESI-256 system). The EEG of each subject was recorded during an auditory/comprehension test using 41 key locations of the possible 256 according to the modified combinatorial nomenclature (MCN). The representations obtained allow us to highlight how different subjects react under similar auditory/comprehension tests, in order to assess the similarity/dissimilarity of brain functional patterns, and, potentially, to detect the presence of any associated neurological disorders. The study confirms that all frequency bands can be used to characterize, under distinct events, the activation associated with a well-established auditory/comprehension test. View full abstract»

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  • IEEE Potentials Magazine

    Page(s): 0_1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Table of contents

    Page(s): 1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Potential's Staff List

    Page(s): 2
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Essays

    Page(s): 46
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Gamesman solutions

    Page(s): 47
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    Freely Available from IEEE

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IEEE Potentials is the magazine dedicated to undergraduate and graduate students and young professionals.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Elizabeth T.B. Johnston
Design Alaska, Inc.