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Guest Editors' Introduction: Special Section on the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality and Software Technology (VRST 2009)

Daniel Thalmann
Benjamin Lok

Pages: pp. 873-874

This special section is dedicated to the three Best Papers of VRST 2009, which was held in Kyoto, Japan from 18 to 20 November 2009. The papers were first selected by a jury based on the referees' reports and the oral presentation. The authors were then asked to provide an extended version. The extended papers were then reviewed through a strict peer review process.

The first paper, “Robust Relocalization and Its Evaluation for Online Environment Map Construction” by Sehwan Kim, Christopher Coffin, and Tobias Höllerer from the University of California in Santa Barbara, presents robust methodology and evaluation for camera orientation relocalization, using virtual keyframes for online environment map construction. In case of tracking loss, incoming camera frames are matched against known-orientation keyframes to reestimate camera orientation. Instead of solely using real keyframes from incoming video, the proposed approach employs virtual keyframes which are distributed strategically within completed portions of an environment map. The authors compare different system variants using three evaluation methods to show that the proposed system is useful in a practical sense. To improve recovery robustness against lighting changes in indoor and outdoor environments, they propose a new approach based on illumination normalization and saturated area removal.

In the second paper, “Natural Perspective Projections for Head-Mounted Displays,” Frank Steinicke, Gerd Bruder, Scott Kuhl, Pete Willemsen, Markus Lappe, and Klaus H. Hinrichs from Munster University in Germany analyze the user's perception of a virtual environment displayed in a Head Mounted Displayed (HMD), which is rendered with different geometric fields of views. They introduce a psychophysical calibration method to determine the HMD's actual field of view, which may vary from the nominal values specified by the manufacturer. Furthermore, we conducted two experiments to identify perspective projections for HMDs, which are identified as natural by subjects—even if these perspectives deviate from the perspectives that are inherently defined by the display field of view.

In the third paper, “A Wide-View Parallax-Free Eye-Mark Recorder with a Hyperboloidal Half-Silvered Mirror and Appearance-Based Gaze Estimation,” Hiroki Mori, Erika Sumiya, Tomohiro Mashita, Kiyoshi Kiyokawa, and Haruo Takemura from Osaka University propose a wide-view parallax-free eye-mark recorder with a hyperboloidal half-silvered mirror and a gaze estimation method suitable for the device. Their eye-mark recorder provides a wide field-of-view video recording of the user's exact view by positioning the focal point of the mirror at the user's viewpoint. They implemented and evaluated a gaze estimation method for their eye-mark recorder. They apply principal component analysis and multiple regression analysis to determine the relationship between the captured images and their corresponding gaze points.

Daniel Thalmann

Benjamin Lok

Guest Editors

About the Authors

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Daniel Thalmann received the PhD degree in computer science in 1977 from the University of Geneva and an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from the University Paul-Sabatier in Toulouse, France, in 2003. He is with the Institute for Media Innovation at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is a pioneer in research on virtual humans. His current research interests include real-time virtual humans in virtual reality, crowd simulation, and 3D interaction. He was the founder of The Virtual Reality Lab (VRlab) at EPFL, Switzerland, a professor at The University of Montreal and a visiting professor/researcher at CERN, the University of Nebraska, the University of Tokyo, and the National University of Singapore. Until October 2010, he was the president of the Swiss Association of Research in Information Technology and a director of the European Research Consortium in Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM). He is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, and a member of the editorial board of six other journals. He was a member of numerous program committees and a program chair and cochair of several conferences, including IEEE VR, ACM VRST, and ACM VRCAI. He has also organized five courses at ACM SIGGRAPH on human animation and crowd simulation. He has published more than 500 papers in graphics, animation, and virtual reality. He is coeditor of 30 books and coauthor of several books, including Crowd Simulation and Stepping Into Virtual Reality (2007, Springer). He also received the Eurographics Distinguisehed Career Award in 2010
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Benjamin Lok received the PhD degree (2002, advisor: Dr. Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.) and the MS degree (1999) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the BS degree in computer science (1997) from the University of Tulsa. He did a postdoctorate fellowship (2003) under Dr. Larry F. Hodges at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is an associate professor in the Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Department at the University of Florida (UF). He is also an adjunct associate professor in the Surgery Department at the Medical College of Georgia. His research focuses on virtual humans and mixed reality in the areas of computer graphics, virtual environments, and human-computer interaction. He received a US National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (2007-2012) and the UF ACM CISE Teacher of the Year Award in 2005-2006. He and his students in the Virtual Experiences Research Group have received Best Paper Awards at ACM I3D (Top 3, 2003) and IEEE VR (2008). His work is primarily supported by the NSF and US National Institutes of Health. He currently serves on the Steering Committee of the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference and he was a program cochair of the ACM VRST 2009 and IEEE Virtual Reality 2010 conferences, and area chair for IEEE ISMAR 2009. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and Simulation: Transactions of the Society for Modeling and Simulation.
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