Technology for the digital transformation of society

As a society, we are in a constant state of flux. Aided by technology, we are witnessing a digital transformation of our society, which is fast-tracked by researchers on a daily basis.

At uOttawa Engineering, our experts are leading the way in software engineering, applied artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. When one thinks of the future, one sees robots, advanced networks and data-driven tech; what we see is its great potential for society. That is why our researchers are hard at work in the digital transformation labs, building the future as we speak.

Areas of research

  • Artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous systems
  • Communications networks and services
  • Internet of Things / machine-to-machine systems
  • Advanced data management and analytics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Human interaction with digital media
  • Text mining and machine learning
  • Software engineering
  • Foundational research in theoretical computer science


University of Ottawa researchers eye new uses for big data and vehicular crowd-sensing

A researcher with a group of people around a table

Burak Kantarci, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering, and his team are focused on Internet of Things and big data analytics, and see an opportunity to take advantage of the visual and digital sensors on connected vehicles to make roads safer.

Applying artificial intelligence to reinforce safety

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning are all closely related and deeply intertwined.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is all technology that tries to mimic some aspect of human behaviour. Machine learning, a sub-theme of AI, involves teaching machines to learn concepts.

Within this domain is the neural network domain, where the aim is not to design problem-solving algorithms, but rather to develop artificial neurons inspired by the brain. From this, researchers connect the neurons to see if they can learn something. The space within which the neurons are working together is called a neural network. Over the years, neural networks have evolved to a greater size, allowing for more complex learning. Deep learning is the result of this evolution; it is the space within which neural networks work together to learn new things.

Professor Robert Laganière is a key member of the VIVA Research Lab and focuses specifically on computer vision. Integrating AI into his work, Laganière conducts leading-edge research allowing him to contribute to society at large through two primary applications: autonomous driving and intelligent surveillance cameras.

Autonomous Driving

Laganière contributes to this growing industry through the development of sensor pads that provide vital information to the car. Through the application of computer vision and machine learning techniques to the sensors, he ensures that the car gets the most accurate information possible, enabling key functionalities in autonomous vehicles. These sensors also enable the development of smarter driver assistance applications, where the driver is provided with useful information to help him or her drive better and more safely. The more accurate the image analysis, the smarter the software.

Intelligent Video Surveillance

Professor Laganière’s research in computer vision also touches upon intelligent video surveillance, taking camera footage to the next level. Whereas traditional surveillance cameras only recorded scenes, cameras used for intelligent video surveillance take what is recorded and interpret it to understand what is happening within the scene. As a result, this research allows for visual analytics, where consumer behaviour and information can be extracted from visuals, and abnormal event detection for security purposes, among many other applications.

Connecting the future: creating fast and reliable networks for the Smart Cities to come

diagram showing elements of Melike Erol Kantarci's work in 5g networks

The world of wireless networks and communications is one of the fastest-moving areas of research in our modern world. With the first generation of 5G-compatible devices currently hitting the market, the need for fast, localized, real-time network connectivity has never been greater.

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