Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 305

Search results for: virtual environments

305 Virtual Environments...Vehicle for Pedagogical Advancement

Authors: Elizabeth M. Hodge, Sharon K. Collins, Eric Kisling

Abstract:

Virtual environments are a hot topic in academia and more importantly in courses offered via distance education. Today-s gaming generation view virtual worlds as strong social and interactive mediums for communicating and socializing. And while institutions of higher education are challenged with increasing enrollment while balancing budget cuts, offering effective courses via distance education become a valid option. Educators can utilize virtual worlds to offer students an enhanced learning environment which has the power to alleviate feelings of isolation through the promotion of communication, interaction, collaboration, teamwork, feedback, engagement and constructivists learning activities. This paper focuses on the use of virtual environments to facilitate interaction in distance education courses so as to produce positive learning outcomes for students. Furthermore, the instructional strategies were reviewed and discussed for use in virtual worlds to enhance learning within a social context.

Keywords: Virtual Environments, Second Life, Instructional Strategies and Technology

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304 Toward a Model for Knowledge Development in Virtual Environments: Strategies for Student Ownership

Authors: N.B. Adams

Abstract:

This article discusses the concept of student ownership of knowledge and seeks to determine how to move students from knowledge acquisition to knowledge application and ultimately to knowledge generation in a virtual setting. Instructional strategies for fostering student engagement in a virtual environment are critical to the learner-s strategic ownership of the knowledge. A number of relevant theories that focus on learning, affect, needs and adult concerns are presented to provide a basis for exploring the transfer of knowledge from teacher to learner. A model under development is presented that combines the dimensions of knowledge approach, the teacher-student relationship with regards to knowledge authority and teaching approach to demonstrate the recursive and scaffolded design for creation of virtual learning environments.

Keywords: Virtual learning environments, learning theory, teaching model, online learning.

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303 The Effect of Facial Expressions on Students in Virtual Educational Environments

Authors: G. Theonas, D. Hobbs, D. Rigas

Abstract:

The scope of this research was to study the relation between the facial expressions of three lecturers in a real academic lecture theatre and the reactions of the students to those expressions. The first experiment aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a virtual lecturer-s expressions on the students- learning outcome in a virtual pedagogical environment. The second experiment studied the effectiveness of a single facial expression, i.e. the smile, on the students- performance. Both experiments involved virtual lectures, with virtual lecturers teaching real students. The results suggest that the students performed better by 86%, in the lectures where the lecturer performed facial expressions compared to the results of the lectures that did not use facial expressions. However, when simple or basic information was used, the facial expressions of the virtual lecturer had no substantial effect on the students- learning outcome. Finally, the appropriate use of smiles increased the interest of the students and consequently their performance.

Keywords: emotion, facial expression, smile, virtual educational environment, virtual learning, virtual lecturer.

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302 Virtual Reality Classrooms Strategies for Creating a Social Presence

Authors: Elizabeth M. Hodge, M.H.N. Tabrizi, Mary A. Farwell, Karl L. Wuensch

Abstract:

Delivering course material via a virtual environment is beneficial to today-s students because it offers the interactivity, real-time interaction and social presence that students of all ages have come to accept in our gaming rich community. It is essential that the Net Generation also known as Generation Why, have exposure to learning communities that encompass interactivity to form social and educational connections. As student and professor become interconnected through collaboration and interaction in a virtual learning space, relationships develop and students begin to take on an individual identity. With this in mind the research project was developed to investigate the use of virtual environments on student satisfaction and the effectiveness of course delivery. Furthermore, the project was designed to integrate both interactive (real-time) classes conducted in the Virtual Reality (VR) environment while also creating archived VR sessions for student use in retaining and reviewing course content.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Social Presence, Virtual Environments, Course Delivery Methods.

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301 Learning and Teaching in the Panopticon:Ethical and Social Issues in Creating a Virtual Educational Environment

Authors: K. Sheehy, R. Ferguson, G. Clough

Abstract:

This paper examines ethical and social issues which have proved important when initiating and creating educational spaces within a virtual environment. It focuses on one project, identifying the key decisions made, the barriers to new practice encountered and the impact these had on the project. It demonstrates the importance of the 'backstage' ethical and social issues involved in the creation of a virtual education community and offers conclusions, and questions, which will inform future research and practice in this area. These ethical issues are considered using Knobel-s framework of front-end, in-process and back-end concerns, and include establishing social practices for the islands, allocating access rights, considering personal safety and supporting researchers appropriately within this context.

Keywords: distance education, ethics, virtual environments.

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300 Utilizing Virtual Worlds in Education: The Implications for Practice

Authors: Teresa Coffman, Mary Beth Klinger

Abstract:

Multi User Virtual Worlds are becoming a valuable educational tool. Learning experiences within these worlds focus on discovery and active experiences that both engage students and motivate them to explore new concepts. As educators, we need to explore these environments to determine how they can most effectively be used in our instructional practices. This paper explores the current application of virtual worlds to identify meaningful educational strategies that are being used to engage students and enhance teaching and learning.

Keywords: Virtual Environments, MUVEs, Constructivist, Distance Learning, Learner Centered.

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299 Virtual Learning Environments in Spanish Traditional Universities

Authors: Leire Urcola, Amaia Altuzarra

Abstract:

This communication is intended to provide some issues for thought on the importance of implementation of Blended Learning in traditional universities, particularly in the Spanish university system. In this respect, we believe that virtual environments are likely to meet some of the needs raised by the Bologna agreement, trying to maintain the quality of teaching and at the same time taking advantage of the functionalities that virtual learning platforms offer. We are aware that an approach of learning from an open and constructivist nature in universities is a complex process that faces significant technological, administrative and human barriers. Therefore, in order to put plans in our universities, it is necessary to analyze the state of the art of some indicators relating to the use of ICT, with special attention to virtual teaching and learning, so that we can identify the main obstacles and design adaptive strategies for their full integration in the education system. Finally, we present major initiatives launched in the European and state framework for the effective implementation of new virtual environments in the area of higher education.

Keywords: Blended learning, e-Learning, ICT, Virtual LearningEnvironments

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298 A Virtual Learning Environment for Deaf Children: Design and Evaluation

Authors: Nicoletta Adamo-Villani

Abstract:

The object of this research is the design and evaluation of an immersive Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for deaf children. Recently we have developed a prototype immersive VR game to teach sign language mathematics to deaf students age K- 4 [1] [2]. In this paper we describe a significant extension of the prototype application. The extension includes: (1) user-centered design and implementation of two additional interactive environments (a clock store and a bakery), and (2) user-centered evaluation including development of user tasks, expert panel-based evaluation, and formative evaluation. This paper is one of the few to focus on the importance of user-centered, iterative design in VR application development, and to describe a structured evaluation method.

Keywords: 3D Animation, Virtual Reality, Virtual Learning Environments, User-Centered Design, User-centered Evaluation.

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297 Autonomous Virtual Agent Navigation in Virtual Environments

Authors: Jafreezal Jaafar, Eric McKenzie

Abstract:

This paper presents a solution for the behavioural animation of autonomous virtual agent navigation in virtual environments. We focus on using Dempster-Shafer-s Theory of Evidence in developing visual sensor for virtual agent. The role of the visual sensor is to capture the information about the virtual environment or identifie which part of an obstacle can be seen from the position of the virtual agent. This information is require for vitual agent to coordinate navigation in virtual environment. The virual agent uses fuzzy controller as a navigation system and Fuzzy α - level for the action selection method. The result clearly demonstrates the path produced is reasonably smooth even though there is some sharp turn and also still not diverted too far from the potential shortest path. This had indicated the benefit of our method, where more reliable and accurate paths produced during navigation task.

Keywords: Agent, Navigation, Demster Shafer, Fuzzy Logic.

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296 Integration of Best Practices and Requirements for Preliminary E-Learning Courses

Authors: Sophie Huck, Knut Linke

Abstract:

This study will examine how IT practitioners can be motivated for IT studies and which kind of support they need during their occupational studies. Within this research project, the challenge of supporting students being engaged in business for several years arose. Here, it is especially important to successfully guide them through their studies. The problem of this group is that they finished their school education years ago. In order to gather first experiences, preliminary e-learning courses were introduced and tested with a group of users studying General Management. They had to work with these courses and have been questioned later on about their approach to the different methods. Moreover, a second group of potential students was interviewed with the help of online questionnaires to give information about their expectations regarding extra occupational studies. We also want to present best practices and cases in e-education in the subarea of mathematics and distance learning. Within these cases and practices, we use state of the art systems and technologies in e-education to find a way to increase teaching quality and the success of students. Our research indicated that the first group of enrolled students appreciated the new preliminary e-learning courses. The second group of potential students was convinced of this way of learning as a significant component of extra occupational studies. It can be concluded that this part of the project clarified the acceptance of the e-learning strategy by both groups and led to satisfactory results with the enrolled students.

Keywords: E-learning evaluation, self-learning, virtual classroom, virtual learning environments.

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295 An Evaluation Model for Semantic Enablement of Virtual Research Environments

Authors: Tristan O'Neill, Trina Myers, Jarrod Trevathan

Abstract:

The Tropical Data Hub (TDH) is a virtual research environment that provides researchers with an e-research infrastructure to congregate significant tropical data sets for data reuse, integration, searching, and correlation. However, researchers often require data and metadata synthesis across disciplines for crossdomain analyses and knowledge discovery. A triplestore offers a semantic layer to achieve a more intelligent method of search to support the synthesis requirements by automating latent linkages in the data and metadata. Presently, the benchmarks to aid the decision of which triplestore is best suited for use in an application environment like the TDH are limited to performance. This paper describes a new evaluation tool developed to analyze both features and performance. The tool comprises a weighted decision matrix to evaluate the interoperability, functionality, performance, and support availability of a range of integrated and native triplestores to rank them according to requirements of the TDH.

Keywords: Virtual research environment, Semantic Web, performance analysis, tropical data hub.

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294 A Psychophysiological Evaluation of an Effective Recognition Technique Using Interactive Dynamic Virtual Environments

Authors: Mohammadhossein Moghimi, Robert Stone, Pia Rotshtein

Abstract:

Recording psychological and physiological correlates of human performance within virtual environments and interpreting their impacts on human engagement, ‘immersion’ and related emotional or ‘effective’ states is both academically and technologically challenging. By exposing participants to an effective, real-time (game-like) virtual environment, designed and evaluated in an earlier study, a psychophysiological database containing the EEG, GSR and Heart Rate of 30 male and female gamers, exposed to 10 games, was constructed. Some 174 features were subsequently identified and extracted from a number of windows, with 28 different timing lengths (e.g. 2, 3, 5, etc. seconds). After reducing the number of features to 30, using a feature selection technique, K-Nearest Neighbour (KNN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) methods were subsequently employed for the classification process. The classifiers categorised the psychophysiological database into four effective clusters (defined based on a 3-dimensional space – valence, arousal and dominance) and eight emotion labels (relaxed, content, happy, excited, angry, afraid, sad, and bored). The KNN and SVM classifiers achieved average cross-validation accuracies of 97.01% (±1.3%) and 92.84% (±3.67%), respectively. However, no significant differences were found in the classification process based on effective clusters or emotion labels.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, effective computing, effective VR, emotion-based effective physiological database.

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293 Deep Learning and Virtual Environment

Authors: Danielle Morin, Jennifer D.E.Thomas, Raafat G. Saade

Abstract:

While computers are known to facilitate lower levels of learning, such as rote memorization of facts, measurable through electronically administered and graded multiple-choice questions, yes/no, and true/false answers, the imparting and measurement of higher-level cognitive skills is more vexing. These require more open-ended delivery and answers, and may be more problematic in an entirely virtual environment, notwithstanding the advances in technologies such as wikis, blogs, discussion boards, etc. As with the integration of all technology, merit is based more on the instructional design of the course than on the technology employed in, and of, itself. With this in mind, this study examined the perceptions of online students in an introductory Computer Information Systems course regarding the fostering of various higher-order thinking and team-building skills as a result of the activities, resources and technologies (ART) used in the course.

Keywords: Critical thinking, deep learning, distance learning, elearning, online learning, virtual environments.

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292 Building Virtual Reality Environments for Distance Education on the Web: A Case Study in Medical Education

Authors: Kosmas Dimitropoulos, Athanasios Manitsaris, Ioannis Mavridis

Abstract:

The paper presents an investigation into the role of virtual reality and web technologies in the field of distance education. Within this frame, special emphasis is given on the building of web-based virtual learning environments so as to successfully fulfill their educational objectives. In particular, basic pedagogical methods are studied, focusing mainly on the efficient preparation, approach and presentation of learning content, and specific designing rules are presented considering the hypermedia, virtual and educational nature of this kind of applications. The paper also aims to highlight the educational benefits arising from the use of virtual reality technology in medicine and study the emerging area of web-based medical simulations. Finally, an innovative virtual reality environment for distance education in medicine is demonstrated. The proposed environment reproduces conditions of the real learning process and enhances learning through a real-time interactive simulator.

Keywords: Distance education, medicine, virtual reality, web.

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291 Dempster-Shafer's Approach for Autonomous Virtual Agent Navigation in Virtual Environments

Authors: Jafreezal Jaafar, Eric McKenzie

Abstract:

This paper presents a solution for the behavioural animation of autonomous virtual agent navigation in virtual environments. We focus on using Dempster-Shafer-s Theory of Evidence in developing visual sensor for virtual agent. The role of the visual sensor is to capture the information about the virtual environment or identifie which part of an obstacle can be seen from the position of the virtual agent. This information is require for vitual agent to coordinate navigation in virtual environment. The virual agent uses fuzzy controller as a navigation system and Fuzzy α - level for the action selection method. The result clearly demonstrates the path produced is reasonably smooth even though there is some sharp turn and also still not diverted too far from the potential shortest path. This had indicated the benefit of our method, where more reliable and accurate paths produced during navigation task.

Keywords: Agent, navigation, Dempster Shafer, fuzzy logic.

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290 Individual Differences and Paired Learning in Virtual Environments

Authors: Patricia M. Boechler, Heather M. Gautreau

Abstract:

In this research study, postsecondary students completed an information learning task in an avatar-based 3D virtual learning environment. Three factors were of interest in relation to learning; 1) the influence of collaborative vs. independent conditions, 2) the influence of the spatial arrangement of the virtual environment (linear, random and clustered), and 3) the relationship of individual differences such as spatial skill, general computer experience and video game experience to learning. Students completed pretest measures of prior computer experience and prior spatial skill. Following the premeasure administration, students were given instruction to move through the virtual environment and study all the material within 10 information stations. In the collaborative condition, students proceeded in randomly assigned pairs, while in the independent condition they proceeded alone. After this learning phase, all students individually completed a multiple choice test to determine information retention. The overall results indicated that students in pairs did not perform any better or worse than independent students. As far as individual differences, only spatial ability predicted the performance of students. General computer experience and video game experience did not. Taking a closer look at the pairs and spatial ability, comparisons were made on pairs high/matched spatial ability, pairs low/matched spatial ability and pairs that were mismatched on spatial ability. The results showed that both high/matched pairs and mismatched pairs outperformed low/matched pairs. That is, if a pair had even one individual with strong spatial ability they would perform better than pairs with only low spatial ability individuals. This suggests that, in virtual environments, the specific individuals that are paired together are important for performance outcomes. The paper also includes a discussion of trends within the data that have implications for virtual environment education.

Keywords: Avatar-based, virtual environment, paired learning, individual differences.

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289 A Laboratory Assistance Module

Authors: Konstantinos E. Evangelidis, Evangelos Kehris, Theodore H. Kaskalis

Abstract:

We propose that Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) should be designed by taking into account the characteristics, the special needs and the specific operating rules of the academic institutions in which they are employed. In this context, we describe a VLE module that extends the support of the organization and delivery of course material by including administration activities related to the various stages of teaching. These include the co-ordination, collaboration and monitoring of the course material development process and institution-specific course material delivery modes. Our specialized module, which enhances VLE capabilities by Helping Educators and Learners through a Laboratory Assistance System, is willing to assist the Greek tertiary technological sector, which includes Technological Educational Institutes (T.E.I.).

Keywords: Virtual learning environments, Teachingcoordination, Laboratorial education, Technological institutes.

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288 Virtual 3D Environments for Image-Based Navigation Algorithms

Authors: V. B. Bastos, M. P. Lima, P. R. G. Kurka

Abstract:

This paper applies to the creation of virtual 3D environments for the study and development of mobile robot image based navigation algorithms and techniques, which need to operate robustly and efficiently. The test of these algorithms can be performed in a physical way, from conducting experiments on a prototype, or by numerical simulations. Current simulation platforms for robotic applications do not have flexible and updated models for image rendering, being unable to reproduce complex light effects and materials. Thus, it is necessary to create a test platform that integrates sophisticated simulated applications of real environments for navigation, with data and image processing. This work proposes the development of a high-level platform for building 3D model’s environments and the test of image-based navigation algorithms for mobile robots. Techniques were used for applying texture and lighting effects in order to accurately represent the generation of rendered images regarding the real world version. The application will integrate image processing scripts, trajectory control, dynamic modeling and simulation techniques for physics representation and picture rendering with the open source 3D creation suite - Blender.

Keywords: Simulation, visual navigation, mobile robot, data visualization.

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287 Teaching College Classes with Virtual Reality

Authors: Penn P. Wu

Abstract:

Recent advances in virtual reality (VR) technologies have made it possible for students to experience a virtual on-the-scene or virtual in-person observation of an educational event. In an experimental class, the author uses VR, particularly 360° videos, to virtually engage students in an event, through a wide spectrum of educational resources, such s a virtual “bystander.” Students were able to observe the event as if they were physically on site, although they could not intervene with the scene. The author will describe the adopted equipment, specification, and cost of building them as well as the quality of VR. The author will discuss (a) feasibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of using VR as a supplemental technology to teach college students and criteria and methodologies used by the authors to evaluate them; (b) barriers and issues of technological implementation; and (c) pedagogical practices learned through this experiment. The author also attempts to explore (a) how VR could provide an interactive virtual in-person learning experience; (b) how VR can possibly change traditional college education and online education; (c) how educators and balance six critical factors: cost, time, technology, quality, result, and content.

Keywords: Learning with VR, virtual experience of learning, virtual in-person learning, virtual reality for education.

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286 An Integrated Cloud Service of Application Delivery in Virtualized Environments

Authors: Shuen-Tai Wang, Yu-Ching Lin, Hsi-Ya Chang

Abstract:

Virtualization technologies are experiencing a renewed interest as a way to improve system reliability, and availability, reduce costs, and provide flexibility. This paper presents the development on leverage existing cloud infrastructure and virtualization tools. We adopted some virtualization technologies which improve portability, manageability and compatibility of applications by encapsulating them from the underlying operating system on which they are executed. Given the development of application virtualization, it allows shifting the user’s applications from the traditional PC environment to the virtualized environment, which is stored on a remote virtual machine rather than locally. This proposed effort has the potential to positively provide an efficient, resilience and elastic environment for online cloud service. Users no longer need to burden the platform maintenances and drastically reduces the overall cost of hardware and software licenses. Moreover, this flexible and web-based application virtualization service represents the next significant step to the mobile workplace, and it lets user executes their applications from virtually anywhere. 

Keywords: Cloud service, application virtualization, virtual machine, elastic environment.

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285 Redefining Field Experiences: Virtual Environments in Teacher Education

Authors: Laurie Mullen, Jayne Beilke, Nancy Brooks

Abstract:

The explosion of interest in online gaming and virtual worlds is leading many universities to investigate possible educational applications of the new environments. In this paper we explore the possibilities of 3D online worlds for teacher education, particularly the field experience component. Drawing upon two pedagogical examples, we suggest that virtual simulations may, with certain limitations, create safe spaces that allow preservice teachers to adopt alternate identities and interact safely with the “other." In so doing they may become aware of the constructed nature of social categories and gain the essential pedagogical skill of perspective-taking. We suggest that, ultimately, the ability to be the principal creators of themselves in virtual environments can increase their ability to do the same in the real world.

Keywords: field experience, pedagogy, simulation, teacher education

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284 Factory Virtual Environment Development for Augmented and Virtual Reality

Authors: M. Gregor, J. Polcar, P. Horejsi, M. Simon

Abstract:

Machine visualization is an area of interest with fast and progressive development. We present a method of machine visualization which will be applicable in real industrial conditions according to current needs and demands. Real factory data were obtained in a newly built research plant. Methods described in this paper were validated on a case study. Input data were processed and the virtual environment was created. The environment contains information about dimensions, structure, disposition, and function. Hardware was enhanced by modular machines, prototypes, and accessories. We added functionalities and machines into the virtual environment. The user is able to interact with objects such as testing and cutting machines, he/she can operate and move them. Proposed design consists of an environment with two degrees of freedom of movement. Users are in touch with items in the virtual world which are embedded into the real surroundings. This paper describes development of the virtual environment. We compared and tested various options of factory layout virtualization and visualization. We analyzed possibilities of using a 3D scanner in the layout obtaining process and we also analyzed various virtual reality hardware visualization methods such as: Stereoscopic (CAVE) projection, Head Mounted Display (HMD) and augmented reality (AR) projection provided by see-through glasses.

Keywords: Augmented reality, spatial scanner, virtual environment, virtual reality.

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283 On-line Recognition of Isolated Gestures of Flight Deck Officers (FDO)

Authors: Deniz T. Sodiri, Venkat V S S Sastry

Abstract:

The paper presents an on-line recognition machine (RM) for continuous/isolated, dynamic and static gestures that arise in Flight Deck Officer (FDO) training. RM is based on generic pattern recognition framework. Gestures are represented as templates using summary statistics. The proposed recognition algorithm exploits temporal and spatial characteristics of gestures via dynamic programming and Markovian process. The algorithm predicts corresponding index of incremental input data in the templates in an on-line mode. Accumulated consistency in the sequence of prediction provides a similarity measurement (Score) between input data and the templates. The algorithm provides an intuitive mechanism for automatic detection of start/end frames of continuous gestures. In the present paper, we consider isolated gestures. The performance of RM is evaluated using four datasets - artificial (W TTest), hand motion (Yang) and FDO (tracker, vision-based ). RM achieves comparable results which are in agreement with other on-line and off-line algorithms such as hidden Markov model (HMM) and dynamic time warping (DTW). The proposed algorithm has the additional advantage of providing timely feedback for training purposes.

Keywords: On-line Recognition Algorithm, IsolatedDynamic/Static Gesture Recognition, On-line Markovian/DynamicProgramming, Training in Virtual Environments.

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282 Recognition Machine (RM) for On-line and Isolated Flight Deck Officer (FDO) Gestures

Authors: Deniz T. Sodiri, Venkat V S S Sastry

Abstract:

The paper presents an on-line recognition machine (RM) for continuous/isolated, dynamic and static gestures that arise in Flight Deck Officer (FDO) training. RM is based on generic pattern recognition framework. Gestures are represented as templates using summary statistics. The proposed recognition algorithm exploits temporal and spatial characteristics of gestures via dynamic programming and Markovian process. The algorithm predicts corresponding index of incremental input data in the templates in an on-line mode. Accumulated consistency in the sequence of prediction provides a similarity measurement (Score) between input data and the templates. The algorithm provides an intuitive mechanism for automatic detection of start/end frames of continuous gestures. In the present paper, we consider isolated gestures. The performance of RM is evaluated using four datasets - artificial (W TTest), hand motion (Yang) and FDO (tracker, vision-based ). RM achieves comparable results which are in agreement with other on-line and off-line algorithms such as hidden Markov model (HMM) and dynamic time warping (DTW). The proposed algorithm has the additional advantage of providing timely feedback for training purposes.

Keywords: On-line Recognition Algorithm, IsolatedDynamic/Static Gesture Recognition, On-line Markovian/DynamicProgramming, Training in Virtual Environments.

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281 Virtual Assembly in a Semi-Immersive Environment

Authors: Emad S. Abouel Nasr, Abdulaziz M. El-Tamimi, Mustufa H. Abidi, Abdulrahman M. Al-Ahmari

Abstract:

Virtual Assembly (VA) is one of the key technologies in advanced manufacturing field. It is a promising application of virtual reality in design and manufacturing field. It has drawn much interest from industries and research institutes in the last two decades. This paper describes a process for integrating an interactive Virtual Reality-based assembly simulation of a digital mockup with the CAD/CAM infrastructure. The necessary hardware and software preconditions for the process are explained so that it can easily be adopted by non VR experts. The article outlines how assembly simulation can improve the CAD/CAM procedures and structures; how CAD model preparations have to be carried out and which virtual environment requirements have to be fulfilled. The issue of data transfer is also explained in the paper. The other challenges and requirements like anti-aliasing and collision detection have also been explained. Finally, a VA simulation has been carried out for a ball valve assembly and a car door assembly with the help of Vizard virtual reality toolkit in a semi-immersive environment and their performance analysis has been done on different workstations to evaluate the importance of graphical processing unit (GPU) in the field of VA.

Keywords: Collision Detection, Graphical Processing Unit (GPU), Virtual Reality (VR), Virtual Assembly (VA).

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280 Virtual Firm Competitiveness

Authors: Zdeněk Mikoláš, Zuzana Wozniaková

Abstract:

In the 21. century it comes true, that competitiveness of the firm is - to a considerable level - influenced by its participation in the chain of suppliers, customers and partners and by the way how the subject cooperates in the chain. This is valid also for new forms of enterprise such as virtual organization or virtual firm. In the first part of the paper there are determined the differences between these forms of enterprise. Another part will bring methodological framework for analysis of the factors, that influence the competitiveness of the virtual organization from spontaneity and order point of view.

Keywords: abstraction, competitiveness, order, potential, spontaneity, virtual firm, virtual organization.

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279 Virtual Laboratory for Learning Biology – A Preliminary Investigation

Authors: Murniza Muhamad, Halimah Badioze Zaman, Azlina Ahmad

Abstract:

This study aims to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine the topic to be focused in developing Virtual Laboratory For Biology (VLab-Bio). Samples involved in answering the questionnaire are form five students (equivalent to A-Level) and biology teachers. Time and economical resources for the setting up and construction of scientific laboratories can be solved with the adaptation of virtual laboratories as an educational tool. Thus, it is hoped that the proposed virtual laboratory will help students to learn the abstract concepts in biology. Findings show that the difficult topic chosen is Cell Division and the learning objective to be focused in developing the virtual lab is “Describe the application of knowledge on mitosis in cloning".

Keywords: biology education, computer simulation, virtual laboratory, virtual reality

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278 Comparative Study of Virtual Sickness between a Single-screen and Three-screen from Parallax Affect

Authors: Chompoonuch Jinjakam, Yuta Odagiri, Kobchai Dejhan, Hamamoto Kazuhiko

Abstract:

Virtual environment induces simulator sickness effect for some users. The purpose of this research is to compare the simulation sickness relative with parallax affect in one-screen and three-screen HoloStageTM system, measured by Simulation Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ). The results show the subjects tested in three-screen has less sickness than one-screen and effect from the Oculomotor (O) more than from the Disorientation (D) and more than from the Nausea (N) or represented in O>D>N.

Keywords: Virtual environment, virtual sickness, simulationsickness questionnaire, HoloStageTM.

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277 Digital Learning Environments for Joint Master in Science Programmes in Building and Construction in Europe: Experimenting with Tools and Technologies

Authors: E. Dado, R. Beheshti

Abstract:

Recent developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) have created excellent conditions for profoundly enhancing the traditional learning and teaching practices. New modes of teaching in higher education subjects can profoundly enhance ones ability to proactively constructing his or her personal learning universe. These developments have contributed to digital learning environments becoming widely available and accessible. In addition, there is a trend towards enlargement and specialization in higher education in Europe. With as a result that existing Master of Science (MSc) programmes are merged or new programmes have been established that are offered as joint MSc programmes to students. In these joint MSc programmes, the need for (common) digital learning environments capable of surmounting the barriers of time and location has become evident. This paper discusses the past and ongoing efforts to establish such common digital learning environments in two joint MSc programmes in Europe and discusses the way technology-based learning environments affect the traditional way of learning.

Keywords: education, engineering, learning environments, ICT.

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276 Dependence of Virtual Subjects Reflection from the Features of Coping Behavior of Students

Authors: F.S.Tashimova, A. Mirzabekova, Z. Ismagambetova, Y. Massanov, Z. Gabit

Abstract:

In the globalization process, when the struggle for minds and values of the people is taking place, the impact of the virtual space can cause unexpected effects and consequences in the process of adjustment of young people in this world. Their special significance is defined by unconscious influence on the underlying process of meaning and therefore the values preached by them are much more effective and affect both the personal characteristics and the peculiarities of adjustment process. Related to this the challenge is to identify factors influencing the reflection characteristics of virtual subjects and measures their impact on the personal characteristics of the students.

Keywords: Coping behavior, overcoming, personalization (representation), psychological defense, values, virtual space, virtual subject, subjective reflection.

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