Mi­crosoft helps stu­dent cre­ate dig­i­tal pic­tures

Central Leader - - News -

Com­puter soft­ware that can trans­late hand-drawn di­a­grams into elec­tronic files is be­ing de­vel­oped at The Univer­sity of Auck­land.

Through a project funded by Mi­crosoft, PhD stu­dent Rachel Blago­je­vic is cre­at­ing com­puter soft­ware that recog­nises the el­e­ments used in most com­monly drawn di­a­grams, such as flow charts, and con­verts it to a for­mat which can be used in elec­tronic files.

“There are lots of dif­fer­ent el­e­ments to most di­a­grams which are dif­fi­cult for com­put­ers to recog­nise,” says Rachel. “For ex­am­ple, lines may be cap­i­tal I’s, lower case L’s, or con­nec­tors in a chart. This new soft­ware will an­a­lyse the at­tributes of the el­e­ment, such as tim­ing and length of pen strokes, to de­cide what it is and place it in the di­a­gram ap­pro­pri­ately.”

“With this recog­ni­tion di­a­grams drawn with dig­i­tal pens can be au­to­mat­i­cally con­verted to for­mal rep­re­sen­ta­tions,” says Dr Beryl Plimmer, Rachel’s PhD su­per­vi­sor. “Us­ing soft­ware that will au­to­mat­i­cally con­vert hand draw­ings to elec­tronic will re­move an un­nec­es­sary step in busi­ness.”

This is the third time the De­part­ment of Com­puter Science has re­ceived fund­ing through the Mi­crosoft Re­search Asia fund. Other projects funded by Mi­crosoft are look­ing at de­vel­op­ing a tool to con­vert mind maps to elec­tronic for­mat and a tool to al­low an­no­ta­tion of web pages.

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