Confessions of a researchaholic

September 6, 2017

Co-managing research materials

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:14 pm

Instead of hosting research materials on our own servers (as I did in the old days for both ongoing projects and published outcomes), it is more flexible to share on GitHub/Bitbucket public/private repos that need revision control, and store the compiled files in other services, such as papers on research gate or semantic scholar, videos via YouTube/Vimeo, etc.

With this setup, the co-authors can edit the research together, and I have less to worry about server management.

August 23, 2017

Revision control based on lines vs operations

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:52 am

I cannot believe I have not (really) noticed this earlier, but the current git/svn revision controls are based on simple line differences, without taking into account the actual editing operations which we actually did in SIGGRAPH 2011 for image editing.

As a very simple example, say a file contains an original line like this:

I love you. Do you love me?

User 1 breaks the line into two:

I love you.
Do you love me?

User 2 adds one word the line:

I love you. Do you love me too?

A revision control tool that considers editing operations can automatically merge the two edits:

I love you.
Do you love me too?

While the current svn/git tools, based on line differences, will simply give up and ask users for manual intervention.

August 16, 2017

Publishing two papers out of one submission

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:09 pm

Co-authors and I submitted a paper with two main parts to X, a top venue in our field.
The reviews said the first part is good contribution but the second part is basically nothing, and rejected our paper.

We then revised the paper and submitted to Y, another top venue in our field.
The reviews said the exact opposite from X, but accepted our paper conditional upon the removal the first part.

So we split the paper, with the second part to Y and the first part to (the next round of) X.


July 27, 2017


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:06 am
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Looking at the paper titles for HPG 2017, I wonder if it can be renamed to HPRT (similar to how CVPR can be renamed to CVML).

When we have real-time ray tracing on mobile devices (the day will come), all the legacy graphics algorithms (i.e. tricks) will become obsolete.
I believe real-time RT, instead of machine learning, will be the end of traditional rendering tricks.

April 10, 2017

Open source texture synthesis

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:00 pm
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Well I guess this is long overdue; knock yourself out here.

Open source facilitates collaboration and code reuse, and propels our progress forward. I shall participate more in the future.

March 8, 2017

And then the murders began

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:14 am
Tags: ,

Technical paper authors could also get into the propulsive, forward-moving action, and to provide any necessary backstory more actively.
The outcome may be more fun and less dry for readers.

January 18, 2017

Paper length

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:08 am
Tags: ,

The obsession with paper length is a legacy of printed proceedings.

What matters most is readability.
I would rather spend 1 hour reading a 20-page paper than 2 hours reading a 10-page paper.

Then follows file size: the smaller the better for storage and transmission.

November 12, 2016

Basis cases

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:38 pm
Tags: ,

Back in the good old days when I was working as a GPU architect in NVIDIA, we had suites of tests for various stages of GPU development: architecture, RTL, driver, real chips, etc.

Ogtest, consisting of tests written in OpenGL, can be applied to all stages. Each test is written to be as compact as possible, the tests are ordered from simple to complex, and collectively they cover the entire target space (e.g. all applications to run on the target GPU).

For example, the first test is to draw a flat colored triangle, the next is a textured triangle, and the next is called son-of-the-textured-triangle (with two textures instead of just one, if I remember correctly).
I then went on to add a test called daughter-of-the-textured-triangle (I am all in for gender equality) which consists of two textures but exercised a different path through the texturing and shading units (if I remember correctly).

I like to think of these as the basis test cases for the entire target space, analogous to basis vectors in linear algebra.

This applies to all research and development projects. Instead of jumping to debug full-scale applications, it can help to design a set of basis cases first. The process can clarify our thinking, and help us debug and explore algorithm/implementation issues. The basis cases can even be part of the analysis section of a research paper.

October 21, 2016

Research riddle

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:45 pm

Identify the common relationships between the following pairs of papers.

Discrete element textures, SIGGRAPH 2011
Vignette: interactive texture design and manipulation with freeform gestures for pen-and-ink illustration, CHI 2012

Dynamic element textures, SIGGRAPH 2013
Draco: bringing life to illustrations with kinetic textures, CHI 2014

Motion field texture synthesis, SIGGRAPH Asia 2009
Energy Brushes: interactive tools for illustrating stylized elemental dynamics, UIST 2016

September 13, 2016

Paper acceptance rate

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:58 pm

Since HKU asked for this and resumes do not usually contain failures, I reckon it could be a good idea to share my paper acceptance rate.

For SIGGRAPH (the top venue for computer graphics and interactive techniques, in case you don’t know), my life-time acceptance rate is 36%, and 40% in the last 5 years.

As a milestone of seniority, I couldn’t recall how many SIGGRAPH papers I have until doing this calculation.

I am not keeping track of my submissions to other venues (such as CHI, UIST, I3D, TVCG, EGSR, etc.), but I am pretty sure the overall rate is at least 50%, and much higher for some venues, such as EGSR (100%).

For reference, the overall acceptance rates of many graphics venues can be found under

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