To expand the state of the art in visualisation methods and technologies to improve the ways that people interact with computer systems and the increasingly complex information they generate.
We are investigating software and information visualisation, from an original base of visualisation for program understanding. This has involved research into metaphors, animation, system evolution, 3D representations, components, and dynamic monitoring of running systems. The current main focus is on providing suitable visualisations of complex data in distributed and dynamic software environments.
Beginnings: The early work moved away from the traditional nodes and arcs approach to visualisation and to explore various new ideas. These ideas covered many areas, from representations, abstractions and metaphors to layout, prototypes and implementations. In addition much can be learnt from the information visualisation field and by carrying out visualisation of data sets other than program code different ideas and concepts can be tried and tested.
Expansion: Because of the progress made in software visualisation our work is now widening to take in other aspects. We have looked at systems and components as well as code, and also at the evolutionary aspect of software. Building on this, new avenues of investigation are related to the distributed Grid environments that are now used when having to analyse and deal with very large amounts of source data.
We are conducting research, both theoretical and applied, into supporting stereoscopic imaging for a range of 3D digital imaging modes. These imaging modes include natural and synthetic computer graphics. The core research issues are the creation, manipulation, storage, transmission, and display of stereoscopic and multiview images. Our initial research focus is on the creation and manipulation of images.
Image Creation: Our research on image creation builds on a detailed understanding of human factors of stereoscopic display. Novel methods for controlling the perceived depth in stereoscopic images are being investigated by creating new mappings of 3D model space for stereoscopic image space.
Image Manipulation: This area of research focuses on combining 3D models, 2D images, depth maps and stereoscopic images. This involves practical considerations such as how to easily create and manipulate structures like layered depth images and also theoretical issues in providing a sound mathematical basis for mixed dimension representation schemes. Future research will focus on compression schemes, resolving the display dependent nature of stereoscopic images and the automatic conversion of existing 2D material into stereoscopic image pairs. This work, we anticipate, will contribute directly to the convergence of computer graphics and vision.