Tier 1 of our strategic research framework serves to focus our overall research efforts on the dual themes of big data computing and human-centered computing. These two areas, more specific versions of which feature among our departmental areas of expertise, help to shape our drive to provide groundbreaking innovations in truly smart computing.
1. Big Data Computing
Big Data is one of the key challenges and perhaps the greatest opportunity of our time. Taming the rapid and exponential growth of data in various, constantly changing forms is a daunting task for corporations, other organisations and governments around the world. Traditional data processing techniques and database management tools are no longer viable, with limitations in acquisition, analysis and visualisation, information retrieval and knowledge discovery.
Yet effective Big Data Computing promises the capacity for enhanced decision making, greater operational efficiency and reduced costs. The Department is focusing on both theoretical and application issues in this field, building a big data framework. Our researchers, for instance, are applying distributed computing technology to tackle the sheer volume of data and investigating the efficient retrieval of semantic and other language-specific information.
2. Human-Centered Computing
An emerging interdisciplinary field, Human-Centered Computing focuses on computing and computational technologies as they relate to human behaviours, with technologies and applications developed to account for behavioural, physical, social and cultural contexts. Expertise is gathered from a broad range of areas, including cognitive science, communication studies, computer science, graphic design, human-computer interaction, information technology, psychology, sociology and system development.
The Department’s focus on Human-Centered Computing can be divided into two categories: efforts to understand humans through their actions using existing computational technologies, and the development of new technologies to enhance those actions.
Tier 2 of our strategic research framework provides the backbone for Tier 1, grouping the existing strengths of our faculty members and research personnel into six clearly defined areas of departmental expertise. In these areas they produce globally recognised interdisciplinary research, innovating for a better world.
1. Big Data Computing and Information Retrieval
Our researchers understand the urgent need to develop reliable new technologies, methods and tools for processing everchanging big data, and are working in various related areas. Among others, their investigations cover parallel databases as services, data accountability and service outsourcing, data and communicative behaviours in online social networks, search engine indexing, transfer-learning methods for multisource data sets, and social media big data analysis.
2. Graphics, Visualisation and Multimedia
Multimedia combines content such as sound, images and graphics to make applications dynamic in areas such as education, entertainment, social networking and telemedicine. With the explosion of multimedia information available in daily lives around the world, the key research challenges lie in managing complex multimedia objects and extending them into three dimensions with the capacity for real-time interaction. Our researchers focus on three-dimensional computer graphic modelling and rendering, distributed three-dimensional graphics, image and video quality enhancement, content-based image retrieval, and multi-sensor data and motion analysis, all of which have excellent application potential.
3. Human-Centered Computing
Drawing on methods developed in a range of scientific, social science and design fields, our researchers explicitly focused on Human-Centered Computing are using computational technologies to analyse human actions and stimulate performance enhancement in numerous areas. Their major work covers brain informatics, ubiquitous computing, human-computer interfaces – including multimodal interaction and affective computing – and social computing.
4. Networking and Mobile Computing
Wireless networks and smart mobile devices have undergone startling advancements in recent years, now offering users the flexibility and freedom of mobile computing almost anywhere at any time. Especially in the last decade, computer networks have become fast, more reliable and wider in their coverage. Our researchers keep well abreast of such advancements, devoting efforts to distributed and parallel computing, mobile application security, mobile cloud computing, network performance monitoring and measurement, wireless sensor networks and vehicular networks. Their solutions now feature in intelligent transportation systems, structural health care and localisation and security applications.
5. Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence
Pattern recognition, or the classification of measurements and observations, is significantly enhanced through the application of computational intelligence techniques. With surging demand for efficient and high-performance automated pattern recognition, breakthroughs are being made in emerging areas such as bioinformatics and computational biology, evolutionary computing, social media mining, soft computing and Web intelligence, among others. Departmental researchers are currently undertaking important work in biometric security, medical imaging, video and image processing, data mining, ontology representation and decision making.
6. Systems and Software Engineering
Systems and software engineering involves the development of methodologies, processes and tools for building robust, high performance computer-based systems. In this area, our researchers have applied their expertise on key challenges in agile development, context-aware middleware, cost estimation, cyber-physical systems, real-time embedded systems, software metrics, software processes and quality, storage in embedded systems and risk management. They are also working on solutions to the problems arising from the use of business-critical applications.
Tier 3 of the Department’s strategic approach to research includes cross-area centres and laboratories in which interdisciplinary work is conducted on strategic applications that are in high demand. Strong partnerships established with local and international academic institutions and dominant industry players are noteworthy here, allowing us to establish joint laboratories and successfully complete projects with high impact and significance.
Over the past decade, the Department has established and developed its research reputation through the following centres and laboratories.
* Sponsored by Cisco and Macroview Telecom
With an explicit focus on developing further facilities to promote interdisciplinary research and associated applications, we have recently established the following laboratories.