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International Workshop on Volume Graphics

24 - 25 March 1999

Swansea, United Kingdom


    State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA 

    An increasing trend in volume graphics focuses on the use of modeled data, that is, the use of discrete voxel representation for a variety of geometry-based applications. These applications include CAD, simulation, and animation, as well as those that intermix geometric objects with 3D sampled or computed datasets. In these applications, the inherently continuous 3D geometric model is discretized employing voxelization (3D scan conversion) algorithms, which generate a volume buffer (3D raster) of voxels. In order to render these volumetric models and other volumetric data sets in real-time a special-purpose volume engine, such as Cube-4, is imperative. Currently, Mitsubishi Electric and Japan Radio Corp. are fabricating chips and boards using the Cube-4 technology. These trends in volume graphics have the potential to revolutionize the field of computer graphics by offering an alternative to the existing surface graphics approach. This talk provides an overview of volume graphics, the Cube volume rendering engine, and volume graphics applications. 

    Professor Arie Kaufman is Director of the Center for Visual Computing (CVC) and a Leading Professor of Computer Science and Radiology, State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), and has chaired multiple Eurographics/Siggraph Graphics Hardware Workshops, Visualization '90-'94, and Volume Visualization Symposium '92, '94, '98. Kaufman has chaired and is currently a director of IEEE CS Technical Committee on Computer Graphics. He received the 1995 IEEE Outstanding Contribution Award, 1996 IEEE CS Golden Core Member, and 1998 IEEE Fellow. Kaufman holds BS (Mathematics/Physics) from Hebrew University, Jerusalem (1969), MS (Computer Science) from Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (1973), and PhD (Computer Science) from Ben-Gurion University, Israel (1977). 

    TOR Systems, Elbit Medical, Israel 

    Discrete 3D Graphics, the sub field of computer graphics that is based on discrete representation of 3D models, is most commonly associated with medical imaging and other scientific visualization applications. It has been shown in the past that discrete graphics is advantageous over traditional surface based methods for various rendering tasks. In this presentation we concentrate on the use of discrete graphics beyond rendering, for the solution of geometric problems and for its unique modeling capabilities. We describe geometric queries, object shape manipulation, and visibility calculation methods that rely on discrete representation for efficient solution. 

    With the advent of affordable rendering hardware and the progress in discrete graphics methods, we foresee the increased interest in this approach. Complementing today's surface based software and hardware systems with its unique capabilities, discrete graphics is posed to take a major role of in future graphics systems. 

    Dr. Roni Yagel is the director of TOR Systems, an Elbit Medical subsidiary, where he leads the development of next generation products for image guided surgery. He served as R&D manager for Silicon Graphics Biomedical where he lead the development of several software products in medical imaging. Beforehand, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Advanced Computer Center for Art and Design and the Biomedical Engineering Center at The Ohio State University. He headed the Volume Graphics Research Group which pursues research in computer graphics, volume graphics, scientific visualization, virtual reality, and image processing. The group has published more than 100 papers in many aspects of volume graphics. The many alumni of the group continue to spread the message of volume graphics all over the world. 

    Arizona State University, USA 

    This talk will present a state-of-the-art report on volume modeling research.  A volume model is a mathematical means of modeling volume data.  Volume data consists of a collection of positions in 3D space with an associated measure of "density" at each location.  This data can be denoted as (xi, yi, zi: Di),  i = 1, . . . , N, where the Di is the measured or simulated quantity at position (xi, yi, zi).  A volume model is a mathematical function, F(x, y, z) which represents the relationship implied by the volume data.  The methods and techniques used to represent the volume model, F(x, y, z), constitute the focus of volume modeling research.  To date, there has been considerable research on the development of techniques for visualizing volume data, but very little on modeling volume data.  This is somewhat surprising since the potential benefits of volume models are tremendous.  This situation is somewhat explained by the fact that volume data is relatively new and researchers have spent their efforts in figuring out ways to "look" at the data and have not been able to afford the resources needed to develop methods for modeling volume data. In addition to providing a means for visualizing volume data, some of the benefits of a volume model are the generation of heirarchical and multiresolution models which are extremely useful for the efficient analysis, visualization, transmission, and archiving of volume data.  Also, the volume model can serve as the mathematical foundation for subsequent engineering simulations and analysis required for design and fabrication.  This talk will survey some of the recent research in volume modeling with particular emphasis on noisy, redundant, scattered data associated with some of the newer scanning devices. 

    Gregory M. Nielson is a professor at Arizona State University where he teaches and does research in the areas of Scientific Visualization and Computer Aided Geometric Design.  Professor Nielson received his PhD from the University of Utah in 1970.  He has been on the editorial board of several professional journals and he is a cofounder of the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.  He is one of the founders and members of the steering committee of the IEEE sponsored conference series on Visualization.  He has previously chaired and is currently a director of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Computer Graphics.  He was the recipient of an IEEE Meritorious Service Award in 1993 and an IEEE Outstanding Contribution Award in 1995.  In 1996, he was awarded the John Gregory Memorial Award in Geometric Modeling for his pioneering research efforts in CAGD. 

    University of Leeds, UK 

    The talk will focus on how the Internet can enhance systems for volume graphics. It will look at two important topics: collaborative volume graphics, and web-based volume graphics. 

    Most volume graphics is handled as a single-user application, yet there are significant gains from being able to collaborate with colleagues at different geographic locations. For example, in a volume rendering application, one collaborator might take responsibility for the segmentation process, another for the visualization process but each might wish to have input to the other's process. We shall look at how this can be achieved, with particular reference to modular visualization environments such as IRIS Explorer. 

    The Web provides a powerful environment for distributed computing. In the talk, we shall examine different ways in which the volume graphics task can be distributed between client and server with a variety of examples from different research groups worldwide. Again there will be special consideration of modular visualization environments. 

    Dr Ken Brodlie is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Studies at the University of Leeds. His main research interest is in scientific visualization, and he leads the Visualization Research Group at Leeds. This group has studied problem-solving environments that link simulation and visualization, and is currently looking at collaborative and web-based visualization, accuracy in visualization, and the use of web-based virtual environments for surgical simulation. He heads the University of Leeds IRIS Explorer Centre of excellence, which carries out innovative research and development to enhance IRIS Explorer. 

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