Adaptive Animation of Human Motion for E-Learning Applications

Adaptive Animation of Human Motion for E-Learning Applications

Frederick W.B. Li (University of Durham, UK), Rynson W.H. Lau (University of Durham, UK), Taku Komura (University of Edinburgh, UK), Meng Wang (University of Durham, UK) and Becky Siu (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-342-5.ch011
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Human motion animation has been one of the major research topics in the field of computer graphics for decades. Techniques developed in this area help present human motions in various applications. This is crucial for enhancing the realism as well as promoting the user interest in the applications. To carry this merit to e-learning applications, we have developed efficient techniques for delivering human motion information over the Internet to collaborating e-learning users and revealing the motion information in the client machines with different rendering capability. Our method offers a mechanism to extract human motion data at various levels of detail (LoD). We also propose a set of importance factors to allow an e-learning system to determine the LoD of the human motion for rendering as well as transmission, according to the importance of the motion and the available network bandwidth. At the end of the paper, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the new method with some experimental results.
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Human motion animation (Badler, Palmer, & Bindiganavale, 1999) has been incorporated in varieties of applications, such as engineering simulation, virtual conferencing, gaming, military, and education. It can play different roles in the applications. More specifically, as a major supporting role, it helps present certain motions, such as dance performance of the main virtual human characters in an application. This kind of animation must be done in significant fine detail to allow users to have a good understanding of the motion of the virtual human characters. However, doing this would need to involve complicated and costly computations, which may not be able suitable for real-time applications. On the other hand, as a minor supporting role, human motion animation helps reveal motions of supporting characters. For example, it may animate the crowd in an evacuation training application. The level of detail of animation of this type may be decreased without affecting how the users to perceive the motion of the crowd. Although the computation workload for animating an individual virtual character may be greatly reduced in this situation, applications may still incur high computation work if one needs to animate a large amount of virtual characters at the same time.

With the dramatic improvement in networking capabilities and the possible consolidation of rich learning resources over the Internet, e-learning has been admired as a very useful learning environment. It offers remarkable features, which are hardly found in the traditional learning environment. First, unlike traditional learning that requires students to gather at a specific time and place to attend a lesson, e-learning allows students at different geographical locations to join a lesson without physically traveling there. Second, e-learning allows the consolidation and distribution of e-learning contents from a vast amount of Internet Web sites to students. Third, e-learning natively supports the presentation of various types of media, such as 3-D graphics, animation, and sound, to help students visualize and understand concepts in an easier way. For example, Canós, Alonso, and Jaen (2004) propose a multimedia-enabled emergency evacuation training system for an underground metropolitan transportation environment. The system makes use of text, images, audio, video, and simple 3-D graphics to construct the user interface and present evacuation training materials. Results show that such an arrangement could improve students’ understanding on complex procedures.

To further enhance the interactivity of the learning environment and motivate the student participation, 3-D virtual environments with animation (Sims, 1995) would definitely be a crucial complement to the e-learning systems, such as the emergency evacuation training system (Canós et al., 2004). The possible incorporation of such an environment would allow students to be actively trained in various emergency situations. While it is important for students to fully visualize the emergency situations and learn to respond to them interactively, it is also necessary for the instructors to be able to visually monitor the progress of the students from different angles in the virtual environment. Despite these benefits, as we have discussed, 3-D animation, in particular when animating human motions, can be very demanding in terms of rendering. In addition, owing to the large size of the human motion data, the transmission of such data to the e-learning users over the Internet would induce a significant bandwidth consumption on the networks.

In this article, we present an adaptive human motion framework to support real-time rendering and transmission of human motions in e-learning systems. The rest of this article is organized as follows. The second section provides a survey on related work. The third section describes the foundation of 3-D-based e-learning systems.The fourth section shows the adaptive human motion framework in detail. The fifth section presents some experimental results of our method. Finally, the sixth section concludes the work presented in this article.

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Associate Editors
Table of Contents
Mahbubur Rahman Syed
Mahbubur Rahman Syed
Chapter 1
Hiroshi Takeda, Hisashi Yaginuma, Hajime Kiyohara, Akira Tokuyasu, Masami Iwatsuki, Norio Takeuchi, Hisato Kobayashi, Kazuo Yana
This article describes a new automatic digital content generation system we have developed. Recently some universities, including Hosei University... Sample PDF
Automatic Digital Content Generation System for Real-Time Distance Lectures
Chapter 2
Filomena Ferrucci, Giuseppe Scanniello, Genoveffa Tortora
In this chapter the authors present E-World, an e-learning platform able to manage and trace adaptive learning processes which are designed and... Sample PDF
E-World: A Platform for the Management of Adaptive E-Learning Processes
Chapter 3
Judy C.R. Tseng, Wen-Ling Tsai, Gwo-Jen Hwang, Po-Han Wu
In developing traditional learning materials, quality is the key issue to be considered. However, for high technical e-training courses, not only... Sample PDF
An Efficient and Effective Approach to Developing Engineering E-Training Courses
Chapter 4
Te-Hua Wang, Flora Chia-I Chang
The sharable content object reference model (SCORM) includes a representation of distance learning contents and a behavior definition of how users... Sample PDF
A SCORM Compliant Courseware Authoring Tool for Supporting Pervasive Learning
Chapter 5
WenYing Guo
Selecting appropriate learning services for a learner from a large number of heterogeneous knowledge sources is a complex and challenging task. This... Sample PDF
An Ontology-Based e-Learning Scenario
Chapter 6
Dan Phung, Giuseppe Valetto, Gail E. Kaiser, Tiecheng Liu, John R. Kender
The increasing popularity of online courses has highlighted the need for collaborative learning tools for student groups. In this article, we... Sample PDF
Adaptive Synchronization of Semantically Compressed Instructional Videos for Collaborative Distance Learning
Chapter 7
Jing Chen, Qing Li, Ling Feng
The abundance of knowledge-rich information on the World Wide Web makes compiling an online etextbook both possible and necessary. In our previous... Sample PDF
Refining the Results of Automatic e-Textbook Construction by Clustering
Chapter 8
Yueting Zhuang, Xiafen Zhang, Weiming Lu, Fei Wu
Chinese brush calligraphy is a valuable civilization legacy and a high art of scholarship. It is still popular in Chinese banners, newspaper... Sample PDF
Chinese Brush Calligraphy Character Retrieval and Learning
Chapter 9
William K. Cheung, Anders I. Mørch, Kelvin C. Wong, Cynthia Lee, Jiming Liu, Mason H. Lam
In this article we investigate the use of latent semantic analysis (LSA), critiquing systems, and knowledge building to support computer-based... Sample PDF
Grounding Collaborative Learning in Semantics-Based Critiquing
Chapter 10
Giuliana Dettori, Paola Forcheri, Maria Grazia Ierardi
Learning Objects (LOs) are increasingly considered potentially helpful to improve teachers’ work and to spread innovation in the school system.... Sample PDF
Improving the Usefulness of Learning Objects by Means of Pedagogy-Oriented Design
Chapter 11
Frederick W.B. Li, Rynson W.H. Lau, Taku Komura, Meng Wang, Becky Siu
Human motion animation has been one of the major research topics in the field of computer graphics for decades. Techniques developed in this area... Sample PDF
Adaptive Animation of Human Motion for E-Learning Applications
Chapter 12
Gennaro Costagliola, Vittorio Fuccella
On-Line Testing is that sector of e-learning aimed at assessing learner’s knowledge through e-learning means. In on-line testing, due to the... Sample PDF
eWorkbook: An On-Line Testing System with Test Visualization Functionalities
Chapter 13
Brian Stewart, Derek Briton, Mike Gismondi, Bob Heller, Dietmar Kennepohl, Rory McGreal, Christine Nelson
Athabasca University—Canada’s Open University evaluated learning management systems (LMS) for use by the university. Evaluative criteria were... Sample PDF
Choosing MOODLE: An Evaluation of Learning Management Systems at Athabasca
Chapter 14
Damien Clark, Penny Baillie-de Byl
Computer aided assessment is a common approach used by educational institutions. The benefits range into the design of teaching, learning, and... Sample PDF
Enhancing the IMS QTI to Better Support Computer Assisted Marking
Chapter 15
Ali Dashti, Maytham Safar
Distance education created new challenges regarding the delivery of large size isochronous continuous streaming media (SM) objects. In this paper... Sample PDF
Streaming of Continuous Media for Distance Education Systems
Chapter 16
Manjulika Srivastava, Venugopal Reddy
The question why some learners successfully study through distance mode and others do not is increasingly becoming important as open and distance... Sample PDF
How Did They Study at a Distance? Experiences of IGNOU Graduates
Chapter 17
Gwo-Jen Hwang, Ting-Ting Wu, Yen-Jung Chen
The prosperous development of wireless communication and sensor technologies has attracted the attention of researchers from both computer and... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Computing Technologies in Education
Chapter 18
S. Grunwald, B. Hoover, G.L. Bruland
In this chapter the authors describe the implementation of an emerging virtual learning environment to teach GIS and spatial sciences to distance... Sample PDF
An eLearning Portal to Teach Geographic Information Sciences
Chapter 19
Maria Manuela Cunha, Goran D. Putnik
Individualised open and distance learning at the university continuing education and post-graduate education levels is a central issue of today. The... Sample PDF
A Changed Economy with Unchanged Universities? A Contribution to the University of the Future
Chapter 20
Richard Y.D. Xu, Jesse S. Jin
This article presents a schematic application of computer vision technologies to e-learning that is synchronous, peer-to-peer-based, and supports an... Sample PDF
Rationale, Design and Implementation of a Computer Vision-Based Interactive E-Learning System
Chapter 21
Dorothée Rasseneur-Coffinet, Georgia Smyrniou, Pierre Tchounikine
This article presents an approach and tools that can help learners appropriate a Web-based learning curriculum and become active participants in... Sample PDF
Supporting Learners' Appropriation of a Web-Based Learning Curriculum
Chapter 22
Gwo-Jen Hwang, Hsiang Cheng, Carol H.C. Chu, Judy C.R. Tseng, Gwo-Haur Hwang
In the past decades, English learning has received lots of attention all over the world, especially for those who are not native English speakers.... Sample PDF
Development of a Web-Based System for Diagnosing Student Learning Problems on English Tenses
Chapter 23
Chi-Syan Lin, C. Candace Chou, Ming-Shiou Kuo
The paper outlines a new paradigm and its underlying rationales for implementing networked learning environments that is emerging from new... Sample PDF
Inhabited Virtual Learning Worlds and Impacts on Learning Behaviors in Young School Learners
Chapter 24
Rory McGreal, Terry Anderson
Any view of e-learning in Canada must be informed by the uniquely Canadian feature of provincial jurisdiction over education. Therefore any... Sample PDF
Research and Practice of E-Learning in Canada 2008
About the Contributors