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IBM Systems Journal

Issue 3.4 • Date 1996

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 32
  • Preface

    Page(s): 265
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (954 KB)  

    This special double issue is an opportunity for the IBM Systems Journal to celebrate the long and fruitful collaboration between the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and IBM. The Media Lab is a highly innovative and leading force in the creation of new uses of computers that stretch the very meaning of computing in imaginative and unexpected ways. IBM has been a major participant in and sponsor of the Lab since its inception. View full abstract»

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  • Asparagus Soup

    Page(s): 266 - 268
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2715 KB)  

    Many years ago in Stowe, Vermont, Tom Watson, Jr. (former IBM chairman) and Olive Watson served lunch to Jerome Wiesner (former MIT president) and his daughter. The first course was asparagus soup, which Jerry's daughter liked so much that he later requested and received the recipe. View full abstract»

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  • Post-modern video

    Page(s): 269 - 271
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2895 KB)  

    Digital video is no longer a special-purpose curiosity, but is an integral component of all emerging computer-mediated communications systems. Moving pictures, conferencing, entertainment systems, movie production, and video sequencing are some of the areas that have been influenced. Advances in digital representations of moving pictures are already responsible for important changes in our communications systems. Novel conferencing and entertainment systems made possible by compression are infecting home and work environments. Now, inroads are being carved into theatrical movie production, and new analysis techniques are making digital picture archives realistic and useful. Video sequence understanding has suddenly become a vital research domain, rivaling restoration and compression as a locus of interest. Applications in digital video range from digital libraries to surveillance and home television. View full abstract»

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  • Media Banks: Entertainment and the Internet

    Page(s): 272 - 291
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (9366 KB)  

    There are two emerging models for delivering high-density, synchronized audiovisual presentations: video-on-demand and the Internet. The first is based on long-lived connections and guaranteed timeliness; the second assumes short spurts of low-bandwidth data on demand. We present the design for a Media Bank that intermediates between them. It provides on-demand access to media elements that are assembled on-the-fly by the recipient to reproduce synchronized audiovisual presentations. The Media Bank uses a fully distributed architecture that assumes a community of viewers. Any member citizen can request or deliver sound, picture, descriptive annotations, or programs to control assembly. Data are redundantly stored in small segments and are cataloged by content and format to facilitate personalized and interactive retrieval. View full abstract»

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  • A society of models for video and image libraries

    Page(s): 292 - 312
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (9306 KB)  

    The average person with a computer will soon have access to the world's collections of digital video and images. However, unlike text that can be alphabetized or numbers that can be ordered, image and video has no general language to aid in its organization. Tools that can "see" and "understand" the content of imagery are still in their infancy, but they are now at the point where they can provide substantial assistance to users in navigating through visual media. This paper describes new tools based on "vision texture" for modeling image and video. The focus of this research is the use of a society of low-level models for performing relatively high-level tasks, such as retrieval and annotation of image and video libraries. This paper surveys recent and present research in this fast-growing area. View full abstract»

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  • Techniques for data hiding

    Page(s): 313 - 336
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (13399 KB)  

    Data hiding, a form of steganography, embeds data into digital media for the purpose of identification, annotation, and copyright. Several constraints affect this process: the quantity of data to be hidden, the need for invariance of these data under conditions where a "host" signal is subject to distortions, e.g., lossy compression, and the degree to which the data must be immune to interception, modification, or removal by a third party. We explore both traditional and novel techniques for addressing the data-hiding process and evaluate these techniques in light of three applications: copyright protection, tamper-proofing, and augmentation data embedding. View full abstract»

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  • Multimedia based on object models: Some whys and hows

    Page(s): 337 - 348
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (6020 KB)  

    In this paper I describe some of the design issues and research questions associated with object-based video coding algorithms, as well as the new applications made possible. I propose a hardware and software strategy to cope with the computational demands (stream-based computing combined with automatic resource management) and also briefly introduce object-based audio representations that are linked to the video representations. View full abstract»

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  • Computational holographic bandwidth compression

    Page(s): 349 - 365
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (10397 KB)  

    A novel technique to compute holographic fringe patterns for real-time display is described. Hogel-vector holographic bandwidth compression, a diffraction-specific approach, treats a fringe as discretized in space and spatial frequency. By undersampling fringe spectra, hogel-vector encoding achieves a compression ratio of 16:1 with an acceptably small loss in image resolution. Hogel-vector bandwidth compression achieves interactive rates of holographic computation for real-time three-dimensional electro-holographic (holovideo) displays. Total computation time for typical three-dimensional images is reduced by a factor of over 70 to 4.0 seconds per 36-MB holographic fringe and under 1.0 seconds for a 6-MB full-color image. Analysis focuses on the trade-offs among compression ratio, image fidelity, and image depth. Hogel-vector bandwidth compression matches information content to the human visual system, achieving "visual-bandwidth holography." Holovideo may now be applied to visualization, entertainment , and information. View full abstract»

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  • Community and personalization

    Page(s): 367 - 368
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2102 KB)  

    In a sense, information technology has come of age. Although not all of the necessary infrastructure is in place, the capacity for efficient distribution of information electronically is a fait accompli. But do we use this capacity to communicate effectively? Providing access to content is not sufficient to guarantee effective message passing. A message delivered but ignored, or a message ingested but not digested, is not useful. In order to inform, the "recipient" must find the message content engaging and relevant. It is the contention of the News in the Future group at the MIT Media Laboratory that effective communication requires distribution of messages that are rich in description. These descriptions, when taken with consideration of the context of both the individuals and the communities receiving them, can result in messages that are both engaging and useful. View full abstract»

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  • Enriching communities: Harbingers of news in the future

    Page(s): 369 - 380
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (6776 KB)  

    Four prototypes of news presentation are described. These prototypes share the common view of news presentation as a service that changes the relationship between news providers and news consumers. FishWrap, an electronic newspaper, explores the relationship between individuals and communities in a university setting. PLUM contextualizes news from geographically defined communities. The India Journal addresses the needs of an immigrant population. Multi-user sessions in community (MUSIC) builds upon relationships among people in urban communities. View full abstract»

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  • FramerD: Representing knowledge in the large

    Page(s): 381 - 397
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (6171 KB)  

    Content-aware media applications require rich, interconnected descriptions of media content. FramerD is an object-oriented database developed at the MIT Media Laboratory to support just such descriptions in a scalable and distributed manner. Conventional databases, even the newer object-oriented ones, focus mostly on data structures whose components are scalar or literal values, rather than references to other objects. FramerD is optimized to support objects that have components consisting of references to other objects in an environment where the storage of and the operations over the objects are distributed over local- and wide-area networks. This paper discusses the design, implementation, and performance of FramerD, and sketches some current applications of the system. View full abstract»

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  • For want of a bit the user was lost: Cheap user modeling

    Page(s): 398 - 416
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (12062 KB)  

    The more a computer knows about a user, the better it can serve that user. But there are different styles, and even philosophies, of how to teach our computers about us-about our habits, interests, patterns, and preferences. "Cheap" user modeling, the subject of this essay, simply means ascertaining a few bits of information about each user, processing that information quickly, and providing the results to applications, all without intruding upon the user's consciousness. In short, there are techniques for personalization that can-and should-be built into today's systems. Like most journal papers, this is a description of an existing system: DOPPELGÄNGER. But it is also an exhortation for readers to incorporate the described techniques and philosophy into their own systems. View full abstract»

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  • Children's interests in news: On-line opportunities

    Page(s): 417 - 430
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (8834 KB)  

    Children's perspectives on news are presented. The context of the discussion includes computer networks, interest research, and constructionism. Projects are categorized by their relationship to children's interests in news and other topics. Fourth- and fifth-grade children's participation in news-related aspects of the NewsMaker project are presented to demonstrate the possibilities that arise when children are able to create and discuss news on line. View full abstract»

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  • The Computer Clubhouse: Preparing for life in a digital world

    Page(s): 431 - 439
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3756 KB)  

    The gap between the technological "haves" and "have-nots" is widening, leading to dangerous economic and cultural rifts in our society. But access to technology alone is not enough to bridge this gap. This paper describes a new model of a learning community, called the computer clubhouse, that breaks away from the traditional computer lab. at the clubhouse, inner-city youth become designers and creators-not just consumers-of computer-based products. the authors explore the four core principles of the clubhouse educational approach, and discuss how the clubhouse helps prepare today's youth for life and work in tomorrow's world. View full abstract»

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  • Things to think with

    Page(s): 441 - 442
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2101 KB)  

    There is an old saying that goes something like this: "Give a person a hammer, and the whole world looks like a nail." Indeed, the ways in which we see the world are deeply influenced by the tools and media at our disposal. If we are given new tools and media, not only can we accomplish new tasks, but we begin to view the world in new ways. View full abstract»

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  • Programmable Bricks: Toys to think with

    Page(s): 443 - 452
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (6353 KB)  

    In this paper, we discuss the applications and implications of the Programmable Brick-a tiny, portable computer embedded inside a LEGO® brick, capable of interacting with the physical world in a large variety of ways. We describe how Programmable Bricks make possible a wide range of new design activities for children, and we discuss experiences in using Programmable Bricks in three types of applications: autonomous creatures, active environments, and personal science experiments. View full abstract»

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  • Using acoustic structure in a hand-held audio playback device

    Page(s): 453 - 472
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (9415 KB)  

    This paper discusses issues in navigation and presentation of voice documents, and their application to a particular hand-held audio playback device, called NewsComm. It discusses situations amenable to auditory information retrieval, techniques for deriving document structure based on acoustical cues, and techniques for interactive presentation of digital audio. NewsComm provides a portable user interface to digitized radio news and interview programs, and it allows occasional connectivity to a networked audio server with disconnected playback. View full abstract»

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  • The interactive balloon: Sensing, actuation and behavior in a common object

    Page(s): 473 - 487
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (6117 KB)  

    In the not too distant future, new materials for sensing and actuation, together with high-density, low-power electronics and embedded computation, will bring interaction and intelligence to commonplace inanimate objects in our environment. as a simple but illustrative example, we have built balloons that can interact conversationally. this paper describes this system: the piezoelectric foil that works as an acoustic pickup and speaker on the balloon, its audio characteristics, the driving electronics, the signal processing, and some applications of this technology at the MIT media laboratory. View full abstract»

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  • Things that blink: Computationally augmented name tags

    Page(s): 488 - 495
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (4422 KB)  

    The conventional name tag automatically dispenses information at a time when it is useful and relevant. The name of the person wearing the tag is visible in a face-to-face encounter. The information presented on a name tag changes according to who is wearing the name tag, but it does not depend on who is viewing the name tag. This paper presents a computationally augmented name tag-the "Thinking Tag"-that is capable of displaying different information depending on who is viewing it. When two participants at an event face each other, their name tags change to reflect a simple measure of how much they have in common. A goal of the Thinking Tag technology design is to create an augmented name tag that does not interfere with the social mechanisms that normally operate among groups of people. Therefore, the communication and computation technology are hidden within the tag. View full abstract»

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  • Design of electronic information

    Page(s): 497 - 498
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2090 KB)  

    We experience both qualitative and quantitative aspects of information. The design of electronic information involves a search for a common ground between the quantitative description of information and its qualitative expression. In searching for this common ground, at issue is not only what one designs, but how one designs, what happens to the design after it is conceptualized, how users interact with the design, and what effect the design may have on society. View full abstract»

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  • Experiments in digital graphic design

    Page(s): 499 - 513
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (7999 KB)  

    Graphic design, layout, and the use of typography are among topics discussed in this essay about the collaboration between an art director at ibm and researchers at the visible language workshop of the mit media laboratory to produce printed journal cover designs. we highlight how a traditional graphic designer and computer programmers worked together to produce visual results on a computer display. View full abstract»

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  • Navigating large bodies of text

    Page(s): 514 - 525
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (8046 KB)  

    The display of information by computers does not often fulfill the promise of the computer as a visual information appliance. a design experiment is described in this paper in which a large body of text, such as the complete plays of william shakespeare, is made visible. the typography is designed to handle display at a variety of scales so that the user can move smoothly between detailed views and overviews of as many as one million words. visual filtering techniques are described that aid in the analyses of text at a wide range of scales. also, the use of three-dimensional space to organize complex relationships among different information elements is described. new interaction paradigms are explored that aid in the navigation of complex, three-dimensional information spaces. View full abstract»

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  • Color as a determined communication

    Page(s): 526 - 538
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (7541 KB)  

    Although it is possible that one viewer's perception of color may be very different from another's, experimental evidence suggests that the relationships between colors are, in many respects, universal, and thus relatively free from individual and cultural influences. the "experience of color" can be described objectively, so that predictable visual sensations can be elicited by adjusting the relationships among colors. a model of color experience is described that is based on the types of interactions among colors. the model adjusts formal compositional attributes such as hue, value, chroma, and their contrasts, as well as size and proportion. components such as these can be utilized to build a general architecture for adding guidance to interactive systems. View full abstract»

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  • Instructible agents: Software that just keeps getting better

    Page(s): 539 - 556
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (10739 KB)  

    Agent software is a topic of growing interest to users and developers in the computer industry. Already, agents and wizards help users automate tasks such as editing and searching for information. But just as we expect human assistants to learn as we work with them, we will also come to expect our computer agents to learn from us. This paper explores the idea of an instructible agent that can learn both from examples and from advice. To understand design issues and languages for human-agent communication, we first describe an experiment that simulates the behavior of such an agent. Then we describe some implemented and ongoing instructible agent projects in text and graphic editing, World Wide Web browsing, and virtual reality. Finally, we analyze the trade-offs involved in agent software and argue that instructible agents represent a "sweet spot" in the trade-off between convenience and control. View full abstract»

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  • Salient stills: Process and practice

    Page(s): 557 - 573
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (8162 KB)  

    Unlike a photograph, which represents a discrete moment of time, a salient still reflects the aggregate of the temporal changes that occur in a moving image sequence. The salient still image may have multiresolution patches, a larger field of view, or higher overall resolution than any individual frame in the original image sequence. The salient still process is reviewed in the context of resolution enhancement, motion estimation, segmentation, and model-based coding. Applications of salient stills, including portraiture, storyboarding, and database search, are discussed. Subjects' reactions to salient still images are presented. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

Throughout its history, the IBM Systems Journal has been devoted to software, software systems, and services, focusing on concepts, architectures, and the uses of software.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
John J. Ritsko
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center5