Waqas Ahmad: Research project 2, “Computationally Efficient Lightfield Compression”
I am Mr. Waqas Ahmad and have completed my BS and MS in Electronics engineering from Mohammad Ali Jinnah university Islamabad campus. Beside my educational qualification, I have acquired at least six years of professional experience. Initially, I started my professional career as a design engineer for three years on a research project “Automatic Personal Identification Biometric Systems”. On the completion of said project, I joined Streaming Networks (pvt), where I worked in a team meant for application development of their core product Hybrid Digital Video Recorder (HDVR) for at least two years. I have also worked on a project “High-Quality Tele-Medicine Driven Video Encoding System under Very-Low Bitrates” .
Computationally Efficient Lightfield Compression
The light field capturing technologies inherently provides two types of correlations in the acquired data, i.e. angular and spatial correlation. Until now, the conventional image encoders do not exploits the characteristics offered by light field data. The recent light field compression call from JPEG Pleno reflect the significance of the problem in hand. The computationally efficient light field compression requires in-depth knowledge about the light field representations and the image/video compression techniques.
In the first year, I have completed two technical courses in order to develop knowledge required for the project. In Fundamentals of Realistic 3D course, I have studied free viewpoint systems, fundamentals of multi-view geometry, stereo analysis, 3D reconstruction, view synthesis and rendering methods. Completion of a course on Video Processing Communication permitted to study the major components involved in image and video compression. This course covered the topics on frequency analysis of video signals, motion estimation, fundamentals of video coding, scalable video coding, and state-of-the-art video compression algorithms and standards. In both projects, I have completed technical projects in order to demonstrate the knowledge acquired from these courses. In addition to these technical skills, I have also followed a course on philosophy of science, ethics and research methods to be able to write research proposals. A course on scientific writing and presentations finally provided the necessary know how to successfully document the scientific research outcome.
Research and Development
The light field is categorized into two groups, acquired using lenslet array referred to as plenoptic image and using multi-camera system. In the first year, I have focused on plenoptic images acquired using lens-let based camera (Lytro Illum). The state-of-the-art plenoptic image compression schemes imply two possible modifications in plenoptic image compression to achieve better efficiency. Either to encode plenoptic image in its raw form and use modified standard encoders or to decompose the lenslet image in to its sub-aperture representation and make use of already develop image/video coding standard.
The first research activity is planned as a response to the call for proposal of plenoptic image compression in ICIP, 2017. A detail investigation is performed for the various representation of plenoptic image captured using Lytro Illum. It is concluded that the decomposition of plenoptic image into its sub-aperture representation is beneficial from compression perspective. The sub-aperture images depict the scene from slightly different perspective and the multi-view encoding system exploits this fact and obtain efficient compression.
At present, I am collaborating with Media 3D research lab as a guest researcher in Tampere University of Technology, Finland. In this joint effort we are investigating possible prediction tools for light-field data.
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