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KAUST Visual Computing Center

Mar 28, 2018

KAUST Visual Computing Center

Open House

Wednesday March 28 2018

12:00 - 14:00

Building 1, level 2 sea side

A light lunch will be served at the center

FalconViz Gets The Upper Hand As Saudi Arabia’s Only Licensed Commercial Drone Operator

Jan 16, 2017

In the summer of 2014, people in Jeddah’s historical Al Balad neighborhood caught a curious sight. Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, buzzed 50 meters above the old city, prowling over its densely-packed stone rooftops.

Forbes Middle East rankings for VCC startups

Dec 15, 2016

Three startups of VCC have been ranked among the top 50 startups in Saudi Arabia by Forbes Middle East. The startups are FalconViz (5), Visual Experience (19), and Hachid (21).

Technical Papers Chair - Wolfgang Heidrich

Oct 05, 2016

​Preview the vision of SIGGRAPH Asia 2016 Technical Papers from Wolfgang Heidrich, SIGGRAPH Asia 2016 Technical Papers Chair.
See Video

CS Graduate Seminar | On solving large-scale MRFs on GPUs and on evaluating image-based modeling and rendering systems

Sep 26, 2016

By Professor Michael Goesele ( TU Darmstadt, Germany )

Image-based modeling and rendering systems have made tremendous progress in recent years. Motivated by our own modeling and rendering pipeline, I will present two separate contributions:First, I will discuss the challenges in evaluating the end-to-end quality of image-based modeling and rendering system.

Peter Wonka's new query tool, called a relation-augmented image descriptor will change forever querying images online.

Aug 18, 2016

Today, querying the massive amounts of images available in online databases such as Flickr and Instagram can be a time-consuming experience and sometimes even ineffective. Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, and the University College London, have developed a new tool that generates image queries based on a geometric description of objects in spatial relationships with potential applications in computer graphics, computer vision, and automated object classification.

The collection of photographs and pictures available on the internet represents an immense source of data that can be “read” and used only if we use queries capable of sorting out images according to their salient attributes.
"At present, when searching for images on the internet, the query is based entirely on text descriptions that go along with them," says Peter Wonka, the researcher from KAUST who designed and led the study. "For being effective a text description needs to be short and to provide true and pertinent information on the picture it represents."
Wonka and his colleagues Paul Guerrero and Niloy Mitra from University College London decided to add something more powerful to the text-based search tool currently available.
"The obstacle was defining an extra descriptor without adding extra metadata to existing images”, explained Wonka “ and we went for indicators of existing relationships between objects—such as 'riding,' 'carrying,' 'holding' or 'standing on'. In other words, we added verbs to the nouns describing the images.”
The new query tool called a relation-augmented image descriptor (RAID), is able to analyze the textual description while searching for matches using geometric analogies.
"RAID allows queries using complete textual descriptions such as 'a person standing on snowboard' as well as images or simple sketches of the desired composition of objects," said Wonka. "The new tool uses spatial descriptors such as 'above' or 'left of' – which allow discriminating among different complex relationships."
The team is currently working on a three-dimensional version of the descriptor able to search for extra details in the pictures.


More Information

KAUST SG paper 'Sketch-Based Query for Searching for Relationships Among Objects in Images' was cited by ACM tech news

Aug 11, 2016

​Researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University College London have proposed a tool that generates image queries based on a sketch or description of objects in spatial relationships, which could make it easier to search large databases of images.

Deep Learning Summer School

Aug 01, 2016

I participated in the Deep Learning Summer School organized by the CIFAR Institute and the CRM Center of Canada. This event took place at the University of Montreal, and it consisted of a series of lectures covering a broad range of topics about deep learning from a machine learning perspective touching multiple applications like computer vision, natural language processing, and robotics. The talks were given by top researchers in each area working in academia (NYU, MIT, Stanford) and industry (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) such as Rob Fergus, Jeff Dean, Yousha Bengio among others.
It was the second edition of this summer school, which it is pretty selective, with an acceptance rate around 25%. In that sense, it was a pleasant experience for me to talk with highly competitive people from academia and industry working at the heart of deep learning models. It was a really insightful experience to hear about the way other researchers are tackling their specific problems as well as their perception of the field and the relevant challenges in the next couple of years. Another essential part of the summer school was the opportunity to present recent and ongoing research work, I took advantage of it to talk and discuss my latest work accepted for ECCV-2016. Our work was received well from practitioners and researchers, a group of people is eager to try it out for specific applications such as sports analytics and pedestrian analysis, and others are interested in built on top of our observations.
In summary, it was a splendid time to learn, network with people and spread the presence of KAUST through the work of a member of the Visual Computing Center.

Hachid Receives Award At View / CVPR 2016

Jul 20, 2016

Hachid won the award for the Venture pitch with the best business plan at the Fifth Annual Vision Industry and Entrepreneur Workshop (VIEW) 2016. VIEW is held in conjunction with the prestigeous and highly competitive Conference on Vision and Pattern Recognition, one of the premier scientific venues in the field of computer vision. VIEW brings together young high-tech startups and established industry in the field of Computer Vision, Robotics, and Graphics.

We at hachid feel deeply honoured by this award, which we received in competition with three other cutting edge high-tech startups.

My Remarkable Summer School Experiences

Jul 17, 2016

My extraordinary journey started at the eleventh Microsoft Research Summer School, which took place in Cambridge, UK. I had the opportunity to attend a series of talks of academic interest and transferable skills conducted by world leader researchers from Microsoft. Additionally, I was able to present my research during a poster session where I had the chance to meet several students and Microsoft researchers working on related research topics. Overall, it was a remarkable summer school that balanced between professional development and social activities.
The next experience included my visit to the fabulous city of Sicily, Italy, where the International Computer Vision Summer School (ICVSS) 2016 was hosted. This summer school is one of the most renowned in Computer Vision with a selection process that included only 30% of the total student candidates to attend the event. The tenth edition of the ICVSS provided me an objective and clear overview of the state-of-the-art research in Computer Vision. At the same time, I had a golden opportunity to meet and learn about internship opportunities at world leading companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Doubtless, ICVSS is a must to attend for all Computer Vision Ph.D. Students.

VCC Spin-off Patents Technology

Jul 06, 2016

Hachid Arabia, a VCC spin-off startup, has been granted an international and US patent entitled “System and Method for Crowd Counting and Tracking” under Application Nos. The patent secures intellectual property to an embedded computing platform and proprietary algorithm to analyze sensor data in order to perform head counting in confined spaces.

Highest paper approvals for CVPR

Jun 01, 2015

Congratulations to all faculty and students for this great achievement.

Computer vision: Teaching computers how to see the world

May 27, 2015

Ghanem works in the Visual Computing Center (VCC) and is interested in computer vision, image processing and machine learning. "People in computer vision are trying to teach machines how to see the world the same way we see the world. Seeing not only object color and so forth, but actually understanding semantically what this visual data is all about," he described.​

And The Winners are...

Mar 08, 2015

Congratulations to all the participants thank you for all your hard work for this poster competition.​

NeuroLines: A Subway Map Metaphor for Visualizing Nanoscale Neuronal Connectivity [INFOVIS HONORABLE MENTION AWARD]

Oct 19, 2014

NeuroLines: A Subway Map Metaphor for Visualizing Nanoscale Neuronal Connectivity
[INFOVIS HONORABLE MENTION AWARD]
Authors: Ali Al-Awami, Johanna Beyer, Hendrik Strobelt, Narayanan Kasthuri, Jeff W. Lichtman, Hanspeter Pfister, Markus Hadwiger