Archive for the Category: ' Research '

Posted By Tommy

Handbook of Monte Carlo Methods

This book is going to be published in 2011. It explains in detail the theory and practice of Monte Carlo methods. For example, it will explain how to generate billions of random numbers and ensure that the numbers are really random. For example, MATLAB uses the Mersenne Twister algorithm by default, but in fact, this method is not suitable for Monte Carlo methods because of the fact that when you get an extremely low number from this algorithm, the next number will more likely be a low number as well. So, this book will teach us how to generate the random numbers appropriate to Monte Carlo methods.

The official citation for the book is:

D.P. Kroese, T. Taimre, Z.I. Botev (2011). Handbook of Monte Carlo Methods,
Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics, John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Currently, the site contains all the MATLAB code for the book. Although we don’t have the book yet, this means that we can still work through the problems. The site is at:

The book is currently listed at $127.72, but it looks like this price is including a 12% discount already. I suppose that after the preorder is finished, the price will go up to $145. You can preorder the book at Amazon.

Posted By Tommy

Virtual clothing can wrinkle

Even the clothing of animated characters can attract wrinkles. The system works by detecting areas of a person’s shape that move or deform more than others. Then those areas are assumed to be clothing,  and with comparison to a predictive model of the underlying skeleton, the analysis concludes how the fabric moves on the body.

Posted By Tommy

Compiling OpenCV 2.0 with Visual Studio 2010

I had a couple of troubles setting up OpenCV 2.0 in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. I simply updated the working build from VS 2008. It had been working fine. So the first thing I found out that there was an error with “std::back_inserter”. The problem is that it was part of the standard package, but now it’s not. This trouble affects two files: “cvmodelest.ccp” and cvhog.cpp” so it’s easily cured by adding 

#include <iterator> 

to cv.h. somewhere around line 60.

Another problem I encountered was a crash with videoInput.lib. It seems that it’s been compiled with VS2005 and it’s source code is not included. So with a bit of research I found that it’s not exactly a necessary thing to include anyway, so I followed the instructions:

# On Windows: enabling the VideoInput library:

The libvideoInput.a library file provided by Willow Garage was built with the old SJLJ exception handling method. Therefore, you cannot link against it using compilers that use the new DWARF-2 exception handling method like MinGW 4.4.x, unless you rebuild the libvideoInput.a file using MinGW. The best bet for compilers using DWARF-2 is not to use VideoInput at all. This can be done by taking the following step:

1. Comment the line containing “#define HAVE_VIDEOINPUT 1″ (i.e. near line 101 or 105), in file src/highgui/_highgui.h.

In contrast, for old compilers using SJLJ like TDM, to have VideoInput included in OpenCV 2.0:

1. Edit file src/highgui/CMakeLists.txt
2. At line 199, insert ” ole32 oleaut32 uuid” at the end of the list of libraries to be linked against (i.e. after “videoInput strmiids”). The developers have forgotten to insert them.

Posted By Tommy

Robo-kid develops social skills

Robo-kid develops social skills

Can a robot learn to be like a human? Some Japanese researchers hope that their robot child will eventually talk, perhaps two years from now, and furthermore that they hope it will have a soul. It’s ambitious, but I’m thinking that it’s going to take more than two years, unless they have some way to accelarate the pace!

Posted By Tommy

Daily Builds Are Your Friend

Daily Builds Are Your Friend

This is a fun though old (2001) article about “daily builds”. It means that you should have a stable system that you’re working on… Unfortunately, my system was working last week, with lots of kids testing it. There wasn’t really a bug, but the data reporting was subpar, so I decided it was the right time to.

I assumed it would only take a couple hours to update, but silly me, it took a bit longer for each step. I updated the build and the drill sections. Finally I’m updating the play section, which seems to be working except that right now the text boxes aren’t showing up on the screen. I know it’s working because I can hear the voice speaking out the word, but I can’t see the boxes. Well, I have barely delved into what’s going wrong, so I assume it can be fixed quickly and easily..