[Elsnet-list] Job opening: PhD position in audiovisual signal processing

Verhelst, Werner wverhelst at etro.vub.ac.be
Wed May 12 14:32:02 CEST 2010


PhD position in Audio Visual Signal Processing

ETRO - AVSP - Vrije Universiteit Brussel



PhD position in audiovisual crossmodal attention and multisensory integration.

Keywords: audio visual signal processing, scene analysis, cognitive vision.



The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels, Belgium; http://www.vub.ac.be), department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO) has available a PhD position in the area of audio visual scene analysis and in particular in crossmodal attention and multisensory integration in the detection and tracking of spatio-temporal events in audiovisual streams.


The position is part of an ambitious European project aliz-e "Adaptive Strategies for Sustainable Long-Term Social Interaction". The overall aim of the project is to develop the theory and practice behind embodied cognitive robots which are capable of maintaining believable multi-modal any-depth affective interactions with a young user over an extended and possibly discontinuous period of time.
Within this context, audiovisual attention plays an important role. Indeed, attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on an aspect of the environment while ignoring others. The human selective attention mechanism enables us to concentrate on the most meaningful signals amongst all information provided by our audio-visual senses. The human auditory system is able to separate acoustic mixtures in order to create a perceptual stream for each sound source. It is widely assumed that this auditory scene analysis interacts with attention mechanisms that select a stream for attentional focus. In computer vision, attention mechanisms are mainly used to reduce the amount of data for complex computations. They employ a method of determining important, salient units of attention and select them sequentially for being subjected to these computations. The most common visual attention model is the bottom-up approach which uses basic features, conjunctions of features or even learned features as saliency information to guide visual attention. Attention can also be controlled by top-down or goal-driven information relevant to current behaviors. The deployment of attention is then determined by an interaction between bottom-up and top-down attention priming or setting.
Motivated by these models, the present research project aims at developing a conceptual framework for audio-visual selective attention in which the formation of groups and streams is heavily influenced by conscious and subconscious attention.



The position will be within the ETRO research group (http://www.etro.vub.ac.be) under supervision of Prof. Werner Verhelst and Prof. Hichem Sahli, but will also have close collaboration and regular interaction with the research groups participating in Aliz-e.

The ideal candidate is a team worker having theoretical knowledge and practical experience in audio and image processing, machine learning and/or data mining. He/she is a good programmer (preferably matlab or C++). He or she is in the possession of a 2 year master in engineering science (electronics, informatics, artificial intelligence or other relevant discipline).

The position and research grant are available from June 2010. The position is for 4 years.
Applicants should send a letter explaining their research interests and experience, a complete curriculum vitae (with the relevant courses and grades), and an electronic copy of their master thesis (plus, optionally, reports of other relevant projects) to wverhels at etro.vub.ac.be

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