MTES

Motivation

Studies show that the image processing theory can be explained most effectively by visual means, and that it is necessary to complement the theory with computer-based experiments. Moreover some researchers found that the laboratory exposure before the theoretical treatment begins is most effective. It helps students understand the theory more clearly and easily. Therefore

  • Hands-on experiments are essential to demonstrate the image computation concepts through examples.
  • Image processing industries want to hire the students exposed to extensive laboratory work to be prepared for real applications.

Researches in education tools can be divided into two groups:

  • The first group is the library systems with simple execution tools such as menus and script languages. The library consists of visualization functions, basic image processing functions, and interface functions defined to access image data. These library systems are designed to simplify laboratory experiment by providing basic functions frequently required for the experiment. However, these library systems do not provide the programming environment with which student can implement and analyze their ideas without writing complex programs.
  • The researches in the second group tried to solve these problems by taking advantages of the general research tools. These systems are designed to support research and education. They are equipped with simple programming tools, such as a visual-programming tool and an interpreter, and various image analysis tools. However, most of these systems are designed for idea verification not for algorithm development. The structures of image processing functions in those systems are not transparent to the users. And none of these systems provide either the tools to prepare online materials for lecture and experiment or the tools to present them simultaneously in the same environment.

MTES

MTES provides lecturers tools to create and register viewgraphs for the lectures and the environment to present them to the students with real examples. It is also designed as an efficient environment for research and application development by supporting the development of true object-oriented algorithm in image processing, systematic algorithm management, and easy generation of application.

To support the easy creation of reusable image processing algorithms, MTES provides data classes with resources for essential image processing operations. With class libraries and online function management tools, users create an image processing software component that can be recognized as an icon on a function icon window. To promote the reuse of the user-defined functions, MTES provides an intelligent visual programming environment which allows users to create their own image processing applications by simply dragging functions from a function icon window and dropping to a visual workspace. For the transparency of codes, the source code of the data class library and basic image processing functions pre-registered in MTES are open to users.

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MTES overall structure

To support both education and research, MTES allows users to create their own functions by using commercial programming compiler, such as Microsoft Visual C++, and accumulate them systematically for reuse. To simplify the generation and management of sharable user-defined functions, it provides the library of image-data class, which provides resources for essential image processing operations, and the algorithm manager that handles the registration and management of user-defined functions. The algorithm manager maintains not only the function library but also the information necessary for the reuse of the functions.

Conclusion

MTES is a visual-programming environment for image processing that supports both research and education. It helps lecturers to generate online teaching materials consisting of viewgraphs for a lecture and the direction of the experiments needed for the lecture. The system also provides a suitable teaching environment to present the lecture and experiment simultaneously in the same environment.

This system has been used to teach graduate and undergraduate image processing courses in over 13 universities in Korea. From our experience regarding the use of this system when teaching image processing courses, since 2001, we found that it helps students to understand complex image processing concepts by showing real examples during the lecture. It also helps them to be well prepared for real world image processing applications by integrating the hands-on experiment to the lecture.

Download

MTES software is available for download.

Related References

SCI/SCIE Indexed Journal:

▷ Jungheon Lee, YoungTak Cho, Hoon Heo, Oksam Chae, “MTES:Visual Prgramming for Teaching and Research in Image Processing”, Springer- Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 3514, pp. 1035-1042, April 2005 (SCIE)

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