Special Announcement:

  • Media Lab researchers' 4 papers have been accepted at the prestigious ACM Multimedia 2015 Conference, 2 papers have been accepted to ACM SIGSPATIAL 2015 .

Research Tracks in Media Lab

Sensory Media

Media Lab will be concentrating on the following research areas..

  • Design and develop algorithms to define quality of information (QOI) in multi-sensor systems
  • Protocols for sensor networks: wired and wireless
  • Framework for sensory data capturing, storing, dissemination, and visualization
  • State of the art machine learning algorithms to capture and analyze sensory data from diversified sensors
  • Extract context information from sensory media
  • Sensory data management system
  • Sensory data fusion algorithms for multi-sensor systems
  • Develop models of body sensor network for e-Health, object tracking and relevant applications
  • Sensory media for ambient intelligent environment
  • Sensory media in ubiquitous networks

Haptic and E-Touch

The haptic research track at the Media Lab will investigate techniques of how to transmit information through the sense of touch through intuitive and effective haptic interfaces, improve the quality of haptic feedback, and handle the effects of network parameters such as delay and jitter for enhancing the realism of virtual and tele-operated environments. We will study biomechanics of touch, computational theory of haptics, state of the art haptic devices and software tools. The following are some of the sub-areas of haptics-based research.
  • Haptic based biometric system
  • Multimodal approach of haptic interaction
  • Haptics for bridging gaps between virtual and real world
  • Haptics for social media such as adding haptics to feel YouTube video
  • Haptic audio visual framework
  • Measuring quality of experience in haptic applications
  • Haptic teleconferencing
  • Tele-operation and haptics for surgey
  • Haptics for rehabilitation and disability
  • Haptic for emotional communication
  • Feeling objects in a virtual world using mobile devices
  • Interdisciplinary haptics e.g. human haptics, machine haptics, computer haptics and multimedia haptics

Multimedia for Identifying User Emotion

In this research theme we will study the media to capture, express and evaluate human emotion. For example, we will study methods to recognize human facial emotional expression, extract human emotion from nonverbal expression and other human physiological sources.
  • Neural mechanisms of human emotions
  • Contagion of emotions
  • Feature extraction from emotions in human voice and face
  • Effect of emotion on human vital parameters such as heart rate and blood pressure
  • Algorithms for automatic identification and recognition of human face from extracted emotion
  • Multimedia hardware, software, and frameworks to capture user emotion
  • Identifying and modeling emotions of disabled people
  • Machine learning algorithms for emotion expression
  • Tagging emotion value to social network data such as email, SMS and twitter messages, which embeds or portrays human emotion
  • Modeling emotional disorder such as anxiety or fear from physiological parameters e.g. facial muscle and heart rate

Multimedia Security and Watermarking

Multimedia content is used by almost every discipline nowadays in many applications such as government, finance, health care and the law. In many of these institutions' sensitive applications, it is mission critical and often a requirement to secure the multimedia content through authentication and access control mechanisms. In the domain of multimedia security and forensics, we will investigate techniques to identify the illegal copying, altering and distribution of digital media such as audio, images video, and other binary contents. To achieve this, we will employ techniques such as watermarking, adaptive encryption of digital media, digital fingerprinting for multimedia content protection, and multimedia forensics. Following are some salient research areas that we will be working on:
  • Digital watermarking and authentication e.g. developing secure multicasting protocol which is watermark-aware.
  • Multimedia forensics
  • Usable security involving multimedia such as CAPTCHAs, graphical passwords, security visualization, and fractals
  • Multimedia coding and visual quality assessment for standards such as JPEG2000 and MPEG-4
  • Quality of protection (QoP) for multimedia by exploring the means and effects of including security parameters within Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Security protocols for multimedia streaming application

Social Multimedia Computing

Social media usage in KSA has grown massively over the last couple of years. People from all ages use a vast array of social media and communications technologies as part of their everyday lifecycle. In Media Lab we will study the most popular social media tools for social networking, online media sharing, blogging, micro blogging, social tagging and bookmarking, multipoint to multipoint audio/video conferencing, image or video sharing, collaborative authoring, and scheduling meetings. We will investigate various methodological and theoretical algorithms to mine media elements embedded in these social media sources, analyze them, and publish key findings regarding how social media is reconfiguring daily life. For example, we will focus on emergent Web 2.0 technologies, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, in addition to building new algorithms. The Media Lab will aim to help Government, nonprofits and businesses find solutions to health, economic, employment, community and other issues through these social media.

Target Applications

Sensor Applications

In Media Lab, we will be focusing on the following research applications related to sensory media.

  • Ambient Intelligent Body Sensor Network for e-Health Applications
  • Expressing user context from multi-modal sensor networks
  • Sensor network data visualization
  • Modeling and Assessing Quality of Information in Multi-sensor Multimedia Tele-surveillance Systems
  • Peer to Peer collaborative multi-robot sensor network for remote sensing
  • Wireless body sensor system for smart home health monitoring
  • Multimedia sensor networks design for remote home surveillance
  • Sensors in a smart home to care for elder-people
  • Wireless assistive sensor networks for the disabled
  • Indoor and outdoor location aware applications employing multi-modal sensors

Serious Games

We will target serious games with state of the art in multimedia technologies in the following areas:

  • Serious games for higher education e.g. game based learning, instructional design, interactive storytelling, mathematics games, team based assessment, immersive learning experience, multi-modal learning and assessment in Second Life , and collaborative web browsing in a virtual world.
  • Serious games for health such as for post-stroke patients, upper limp rehabilitation, emergency medical service, students with learning and intellectual disability, stroke patient rehabilitation with augmented reality-based games
  • Serious games for business e.g. interactive 3D coach training, supply chain simulation, and business process management simulation
  • Serious games for sports e.g. immersive driving and flight simulator, context aware recommendation of exergames

Haptic Applications

  • Haptic dta visualization.
  • Haptics for medical simulation and rehabilitation
  • E-commerce applications allowing the consumer to physically interact with a product by feeling the warmness, coldness, softness, hardness, smoothness, roughness, lightness, and heaviness properties of surfaces and textures that compose a product
  • Education e.g. haptic interfaces that allow people to access and learn information (law of physics, geometry etc.) in virtual reality environments
  • Entertainment e.g. haptics interface for home entertainment and games
  • Arts and design e.g. virtual sculpturing and modeling, painting, and museums
  • Audio Applications e.g. provide more realism to feel a fabric's surface roughness, friction, and softness.

Image and Video Processing

Image and video processing deals with acquiring, processing, and analyzing images and videos for algorithm development and system design. Media Lab aims to find new methods of image recognition, enhancement, and compression. In the area of video processing the Media Lab intends to investigate new methods of motion estimation and video coding. This research will help to develop techniques and tools to automatically analyze and index digital images and videos and allow content-based operations such as browsing, searching, and filtering.

Computer Animation

Computer animation is the process used for generating moving images by using computer graphics. In a computer-assisted animation system, the animator models a character. Then he positions the character in key frames (most important frames). Next, the computer uses animation algorithms to fill in the "in-between" frames (tweening). At the Media Lab, our objective is to design and implement new algorithms, systems, and tools for computer animation and use these tools to create animated productions. Computer generated animations are used in several fields such as computer games, movies, robotics, training and education.

Virtual Reality

A virtual reality environment is a real-time and interactive artificial 3D environmental model created with computer hardware and software display technology and presented to the user in such a way that it appears and feels like a real environment and makes the user immersive to the world. By leveraging multimedia technologies, we will create virtual environments for different augmented reality application scenarios for areas including education, health, military, and industry. Following are some salient areas of research in virtual environments
  • Spatial cognition: In this area of research we will create complex environments for navigation and cognitive mapping of objects in a natural environment. For example, a user walks in the HARAM areas in Makkah and Madinah to get to know or observe different aspects of the holy places. We will be employing sophisticated locomotion devices with virtual displays in order to construct true locomotion interfaces which will allow a user to interact with different points of interest with the virtual environment by walking through that environment
  • Vision: People naturally interact with the real world objects through the exact spatial orientation of these objects. However, when the virtual world is created to map the real world objects, the simulated environment poses several challenges to represent the accurate spatial orientation of these objects. We will be employing multimedia technologies for immersive virtual display such as Head Mounted Devices (HMD) and appropriate algorithms to provide a feeling of being inside a large space and then investigate the perception of distance, size and motion.
  • Human computer software interface: We will focus on the development of new metaphors for virtual environments and the identification of reusable, application-independent interface components

Multimedia for User Identification

Multimedia has been extensively used to identify users based on behavioral or physiological characteristics such as fingerprint, hand signature, keystroke dynamics, gesture, voice, iris, gait, or face image are gradually gaining ground. We will employ media such as haptics, RFID and sensors to extract biometric features such as direction, pressure, force, angle, speed, and position of the user's interactions in physical space or in a virtual world. We will investigate algorithms including first order statistic, dynamic time warping, spectral analysis, Hidden Markov Model, stylistic navigation, multi-biometric cryptosystems, coupled spectral regression, descriptor-based Hough transform, and dynamic probabilistic models. We will work with Saudi Ministries and industries that are concerned with the area of biometrics to deploy our prototypes and ideas.

Collaborative Multimedia Environment

Collaborative Multimedia Communications refers to the collaborative work among several participants who are concurrently engaged in a multimedia session. Internet-based multimedia collaboration has recently received a lot of attention mainly due to easy accessibility of the Internet by ordinary users. We will work on several areas of computer supported collaborative multimedia environment such as novel synchronous shared workspace, state of the art multipoint to multipoint audio video conferencing, shared authoring, and multilingual collaboration with moderation.

Automatic Multimedia Metadata Extraction

Extracting metadata from digital multimedia is a challenging task. This is because there are diversified types of media (document, audio, video, etc.) available over the Internet. With the advent of Web2.0, people are adding new media on their websites on a daily basis. Searching those media of diversified types and automatically finding metadata poses more challenges. In this research track, we will address the challenge of automatically searching and indexing media from different sources of Internet and then automatically extracting metadata from those media types. We will be designing algorithms and an automated multimedia metadata extraction tool that will be deployed in a real life scenario to show a proof of concept.

Multimedia Visualization

Multimedia Data visualization is the study of the visual representation of data. The main objective of data visualization is to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means. The AMLab has the goal of carrying out research into advanced interactive visualization of data obtained from wide range of domains e.g., environment, weather, simulations, modeling, statistical and financial data. This research is vital in the areas of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) and Scientific Visualization (Sci-Fi).

Font Design and Digitization of Arabic Calligraphy

Two fundamental techniques for storing fonts in computer are bitmap and outline. Outline representation has many advantages over bitmap such as scaling, shearing, translation, rotation, and clipping. Arabic characters are different from other characters such as English, Latin etc. They are written cursively from right to left and each character has two to four different forms, depending on its position in the word. The research in this area at AMLab aims to develop efficient techniques of font design, especially for Arabic language, with minimal human intervention.


  • Intelligent tele-surveillance systems for ministry of transportation
  • Smart tele-care video monitoring for anomalous event detection
  • Novel approach of haptic tele-operation
  • 3D modeling to tele-healthcare
  • Detection and Monitoring of Passengers on a Bus by Video Surveillance

Real-time Multimedia Systems

We will target the following areas of real time multimedia systems:
  • Real time multimedia delivery over sensor networks
  • Measurement of Quality of service (QOS) and quality of experience (QOE) in real time multimedia systems
  • Novel higher layer protocols (P2P SIP, RTP, RTCP, RTSP) including security protocols for real-time multimedia systems

Mobile Multimedia Computing

Mobile devices are becoming the most frequently used terminal to access the information through the Internet and social networks. More and more multimedia content is spreading over the networks of mobile and wireless devices. A lot of user-generated multi-modal content is generated nowadays by normal users in an unseen scale around the world through mobile device's input mechanisms such as camera, microphone, texting, etc. These contents are usually characterized as mostly unprofessional and noisy content. In addition, those mobile devices are different in their hardware and software capabilities and features. We will also take user preferences and context awareness into account. So, this area of our research will be concerned with challenges of intelligent multimedia techniques to facilitate effort-free, robust and effective multimedia experiences on mobile devices including media acquisition, filtering, editing, sharing, indexing, browsing, management, adaptation, search, advertising, and related user interfaces.

Multimedia Databases/Storage Framework

  • State of art in massive multimedia data storage architecture
  • Design and development of spatio-temporal multimedia database systems
  • Efficient indexing scheme for content-based retrieval on multimedia databases. A still difficult search query to solve is "find all cars in my photos and/or videos".
  • Context-aware delivery of media in multimedia databases
  • Extraction and classification of unstructured multimedia data in web pages for structured multimedia database
  • Efficient indexing and searching in multimedia database management system