SIAT Faculty Publications

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Avalanche Beacon Parks: Skill Development and Team Coordination in a Technological Training Ground

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-03
Abstract: 

High-risk outdoor recreation allows its enthusiasts to reach unprecedented levels of adrenaline; it also contains risks and requires specific training (in part technological). In particular, its participants must be ready to react efficiently during an emergency or in response to an accident. Technological training grounds can simulate particular contexts and emergency situations as a place for recreationists to train and practice. In this paper, we use the practice of avalanche companion rescue as a case study to explore how technological training grounds support recreationist training. Our results offer insights into how avalanche beacon training parks support skill development and team coordination training. We also present strategies to orient the design of technological training grounds beyond avalanche companion rescue.

Document type: 
Article

Dogmas of Understanding in Western Art Music Performance

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-07-22
Abstract: 

This paper presents an exploration of the ontological shift from musical materials (i.e. melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, timbre, register) to activities in music performance analysis. The “dogmas” extend Herbert H. Clark’s conceptual framework for the study of joint activity in language use to explore music performance in the WAM tradition. A systematic analysis of London Symphony Orchestra masterclasses examines the basic mechanisms of music making in four main areas: representation, audience, interaction and tacit knowledge. This exploration leads to a broader account of cognition and creativity in music performance, one that bridges inner and outer processes of awareness around domains of coordination in joint activities. In this view, material conceptualizations are viewed as targets of focal awareness rather than the basis for cognition in music making. This account, grounded in a rich third-person phenomenological analysis of instructional materials, paves the way for a “meaningful analytics” of musical practice.

Document type: 
Article

Automatic Calibration of Modified FM Synthesis to Harmonic Sounds Using Genetic Algorithms

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-07-14
Abstract: 

Many audio synthesis techniques have been successful inreproducing the sounds of musical instruments. Several of these techniques require parameters calibration. However, this task can be difficult and time-consuming especially when there is not intuitive correspondence between a parameter value and the change in the produced sound. Searching the parameter space for a given synthesis technique is, therefore, a task more naturally suited to an automatic optimization scheme.

Genetic algorithms (GA) have been used rather extensively for this purpose, and in particular for calibrating Classic FM (ClassicFM) synthesis to mimic recorded harmonic sounds. In this work, we use GA to further explore its modified counterpart, Modified FM (ModFM), which has not been used as widely, and its ability to produce musical sounds not as fully explored. We completely automize the calibration of a ModFM synthesis model for the reconstruction of harmonic instrument tones using GA. In this algorithm, we refine parameters and operators such as crossover probability or mutation operator for closer match. As an evaluation, we show that GA system automatically generates harmonic musical instrument sounds closely matching the target recordings, a match comparable to the application of GA to ClassicFM synthesis.

Document type: 
Conference presentation

Intimacy in Long-Distance Relationships over Video Chat

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011-08
Abstract: 

Many couples live a portion of their lives being separated from each other as part of a long-distance relationship (LDR). This includes a large number of dating college students as well as couples who are geographically-separated because of situational demands such as work. We conducted interviews with individuals in LDRs to understand how they make use of video chat systems to maintain their relationships. In particular, we have investigated how couples use video to “hang out” together and engage in activities over extended periods of time. Our results show that regardless of the relationship situation, video affords a unique opportunity for couples to share presence over distance, which in turn provides intimacy and reduced idealization. While beneficial, couples still face challenges in using video, including contextual (e.g., location of partners, time zone differences), technical (e.g., mobility, audio and video quality, networking), and personal (e.g., a lack of true physicality needed by most in order to support intimate sexual acts) challenges.

Document type: 
Technical Report

Artificial intelligence systems in new media art and design

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006-08
Abstract: 

Science and art are merging and with artificial intelligence system like neural networks, genetic programs and rule based systems, artists or designers are using smart systems that allow them to better immerse themselves in the creative process. Artist/Scientist Steve DiPaola uses AI techniques in his self created programs and artwork.

Document type: 
Article

Computationally rendered painterly portrait spaces

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008-10
Abstract: 

This work is ongoing output from research work by Steve DiPaola that attempts to build a computational painting system (called ‘painterly’) that allows aspects of art (the creative human act of fine art painting) and science (cognition, vision and perception; as well as computational design) to both enhance and validate each other. The research takes a novel approach to non photorealistic rendering (NPR) which relies on parameterizing a semantic knowledge space of how a human painter paints, that is, the creative and cognitive process.

Document type: 
Article

Evolving creative portrait painter programs using Darwinian techniques with an automatic fitness function

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2005-07
Abstract: 

We experiment with computer creativity by employing and modifying techniques from evolutionary computation to create a related family of abstract portrait painter programs. In evolutionary art, most systems evolve paintings by allowing the artist to selectively breed the artwork 'by hand' from a selection of the currently evolved population. Our system differs in that it uses an automatic 'creative fitness function' which allows the evolutionary process to run without stopping for 'creative human intervention'. A recent type of Genetic Programming (GP) is used called Cartesian GP, which has several features that allow our system to favour creative solutions over optimized solutions.

Document type: 
Conference presentation

An Interactive Narrative Architecture Based on Filmmaking Theory

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

Designing and developing an interactive narrative experience includes development of story content as well as a visual composition plan for visually realizing the story content. Theatre directors, filmmakers, and animators have emphasized the importance of visual design. Choices of character placements, lighting configuration, and camera movements, have been documented by designers to have direct impact on communicating the narrative, evoking emotions and moods, and engaging viewers. Many research projects focused on adapting the narrative content to the interaction, yet little attention was given to adapting the visual presentation. In this paper, I present a new approach to interactive narrative – an approach based on filmmaking theory. I propose an interactive narrative architecture, that in addition to dynamically selecting narrative events that suit the continuously changing situation, it automatically, and in real-time, reconfigures the visual design integrating camera movements, lighting modulation, and character movements. The architecture utilizes rules extracted from filmmaking, cinematography, and visual arts theories. I argue that such adaptation will lead to increased engagement and enriched interactive narrative experience.

Document type: 
Article

Affective communication remapping in MusicFace System

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004-07
Abstract: 

This paper addresses the issue of affective communication remapping, i.e. translation of affective content from one communication form to another. We propose a method to extract the affective data from a piece of music and then use that to animate a face. The method is based on studies of emotional aspect of music and our behavioural head model for face animation.

Document type: 
Conference presentation

IT Education, Girls, and Game Modding

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Researchers have argued that video games have great utility for learning. Games promote experiential learning and can be used to facilitate active learning. This paper examines the potential of video games in education. In particular, it examines the benefits of game modding compared to playing and/or creating games. However, video game classes have been primarily attended by male students. This paper looks further into the gender issue regarding the use of video game modding in education. This is demonstrated through a course developed by the authors on game design. The main goal of the course was to introduce middle school and high school female students to IT and assist them in acquiring five basic IT skills. During the course, survey data was collected from participating students. Results from the surveys as well as analysis of student projects and anecdotal evidence suggest that using video game modding is successful in increasing self-efficacy and motivation as well as teaching female students basic IT skills.

Document type: 
Article