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IM2 ( is one the 20 Swiss National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) aiming at boosting research and development in several areas considered of strategic importance to the Swiss economy. The National Centers of Competence in Research are a research instrument managed by the Swiss National Science Foundation  (SNSF) on behalf of the Federal Authorities. Granted for a maximum duration of 12 years, they are evaluated every year by a review panel, and renewed every four years. In December 2009, the SNSF approved the next and last four-year period (2010 - 2013) which has started January 1st, 2010. Success of the NCCRs is measured in terms of research achievements, training of young scientists (PhD students and postdocs), knowledge and technology transfer (including spin-offs), and advancement of women.

The IM2 NCCR, headed by Idiap Research Institute in Martigny (, gathers the major Swiss contributors to the field of Interactive Multimodal Information Management, from a number of university institutions (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, University of Geneva, University of Fribourg, University of Bern, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) and a range of commercial companies. IM2 is also working in the context of numerous international contacts, including several large European projects, as well as an agreement for the exchange of young researchers with ICSI in Berkeley, California.

Started in 2002, IM2 is aimed at the advancement of research, and the development of prototypes, in the field of multimodal information management and man-machine interaction. IM2 is particularly concerned with technologies coordinating natural input modes (such as speech, image, pen, touch, hand gestures, head and/or body movements, and even physiological signals) with multimedia system outputs, such as speech, sounds, images, animations, whether standalone or combined in web-based browsing interfaces.

To foster collaboration and maximize synergy between the IM2 partners, it was decided to focus on a few, well defined, applications. The most important and challenging of them is Smart Meeting Management. The overall objective of this application is the construction of a demonstration system to enable structuring, browsing and querying of an archive of automatically analysed meetings. The archived meetings take place in a room equipped with multimodal sensors. For each meeting, audio, video and textual information is available, as well as information from other modalities. Audio information comes from close talking and distant microphones, as well as binaural recordings. Video information comes from multiple cameras and overhead projectors. Writing devices capture whiteboard or participant’s notes. The video and audio information form several streams of data generated during the meeting, while the additional information — the agenda, discussion papers — and can be used to guide the automatic structuring of the meeting. Multimodal interfaces called ‘meeting browsers’ are then used for searching and browsing the multimedia/multimodal meeting archive.

Last modified 2010-01-20 09:43

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