It has been 8 months since the end of the last eNTERFACE’08 workshop, held in Paris, last year. I reported it here at: “The eNTERFACE Workshop”. Before this workshop I would say that I was scientifically lost, without any perspective about the subject of my PhD thesis. At that time, I even wasn’t motivated to participate because this decision meant to be far from home during a whole month. Fortunately, everything was fine in Paris and at home.

Actually, the project surpassed my expectations. What I did there I would never have expected to do something like that. I was always an enterprise-oriented guy and then I started to work with multimodal applications and all those experiments were so exciting. Our team carried out a project about the fusion of 2 different modalities in order to help people on their activities at the office. The two modalities were speech and movement tracking, detected by a speech recognition tool (Sphinx) and an image processing tool (OpenCV) respectively. The fusion mechanism combined speech and movements to predict what people are planning to do in a certain scenario and the computer helped them to complete their tasks as fast as possible.

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This project has produced a lot of results, more than we actually expected. We have been exploring a quite interesting gap to fulfill in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and signal processing, which is the multimodal fusion and fission. Those subjects deserve further explanations in future posts. For now, I’m happy to announce all the results that we have produced so far:

  1. The eNTERFACE’08 workshop proceedings : the final report of the project is published in the workshop proceedings. All projects have their report published without a rigorous evaluation, but their results are quite significant because we all follow their works through several presentations during the whole month. It gives credibility to the research produced there.
  2. Preliminary results presented at the IEEE ISM 2008: At the beginning of the workshop we wrote a paper to a demo session in IEEE ISM’08, describing what we brought to the workshop as a preliminary work produced in the lab.
  3. Final results published in SPECOM’09: Because the final eNTERFACE report was not evaluated by a committee we thought that it was a good idea to submit it to a conference where other researchers could confirm our investigation as a concrete contribution to the field. Fortunately, we received the notification of acceptance, which is a good motivation to keep our focus on the subject.
  4. The Meanings4Fusion open source project: maybe this is the most important result for me. The project is not a closed research running in the dark rooms of a research lab. It is public, with a clear authorship but free of charge and widely accessible. You are welcome to participate in the discussions and contribute somehow with the project. After other heavy works, I’m back to the project and you can contact me to get further information.
  5. A poster accepted at CogSci’09: the cognitive part of the project was compiled in a poster to be presented in the annual conference of the cognitive science society. We are looking forward for the feedback of the conference participants because this part of the project was really hard.
  6. The EuroDocInfo’09 doctoral consortium: this is a regional doctoral consortium covering universities of Belgium and north of France. They want to bring researchers and companies closer together to identify potential applications in the industry. I’ve presented there the fusion mechanism (Meanings4Fusion), which was very well accepted by the audience.
  7. The OpenInterface Workshop – challenges of engineering multimodal interaction: this workshop is promoted by the OpenInterface EC STREP Project, which is focused on the exploitation of multimodal applications using the OpenInterface Framework in an European level. It will be held in the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology, Bonn, Germany.
  8. The EICS’09 doctoral consortium: this doctoral consortium is more relevant because it is in a conference sponsored by ACM, which has an international visibility. I received the notification of acceptance this morning, which is indeed a good reason to celebrate. It will be held in the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. This is the second great reason of happiness because it’s a great honor to visit such a renowned institution.
  9. The basis of a new project accepted in eNTERFACE’09: we submitted a project to the next edition of the eNTERFACE that is actually a continuation of the previous one. This time we are going to prepare a scenario and collect data with the help of eNTERFACE’s attendees. The result of the data analysis will validate our fusion mechanism in a variety of new situations, increasing its robustness.
  10. Part of a special session in ICMI-MLMI 2009: at last the greatest result. This conference is sponsored at the same time by ACM and IEEE, which means a great achievement and recognition of this work. This session is focused on multimodal fusion engines and will put together important researchers in this domain to discuss different approaches of multimodal fusion on the direction of a theoretical definition and validation.

Wow! All these results in less than one year! Of course this is the work of a team and I have to thank Prof. Benoit Macq for his support, Olga Vybornova for our efficient collaborative work, Lionel Lawson for the technological basis, all members of the eNTERFACE’08 project and also Kênia for her unconditional support and love.

By the way, there is no other explanation to such great achievements, but LOVE! Everything you do with love becomes unbelievably possible! I don’t call it dream because dream is part of the future and love is 100% present.