Welcome to CVwiki, the Computer Vision Wikia. Below is a list of Frequently asked questions on Computer Vision in general and this wiki in particular.
What is Computer Vision?Edit
Computer vision is the science (some say art) of programming a computer to process, and ultimately understand, images and video. It can be viewed as signal processing applied to 2D (images), 3D (videos), or higher dimensions. This view highlights one of the main difficulties; modern computers have a 'serial' design, meaning they can only process one piece of data at a time. 'Parallel' processing computers would be more suitable for multidimentional signals such as vision task, and indeed, this is how the human visual system is organised.
Computer Vision is one of the ultimate unsolved problems in computer science, and solving it, or even small parts of it, creates exciting new possibilities in technology, engineering and even entertainment. Todays examples run from visual aids for the blind, to robotics, to the new Sony Eye Toy! The future of this quickly developing field is only limited by our imagination.
My computer has a webcam, doesn't that mean it can see?Edit
No! A webcam or digital camera allows a computer to capture images or video, record it and reproduce it on the monitor. This is where you can see it. The computer never 'sees' the video because it cannot understand the information in the image or video. Its like owning a book without being able to read. Computer vision is about programming computers to be able to 'read' the information in visual data.
What is a Wiki?Edit
A Wiki is a website that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content. You can This Page! The ultimate wiki is Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, being writen by over 80,000 volunteers. Wikipedia highlights the power of a wiki for certain types of projects. An encyclopedia is by its nature big, contains more information than one person can know, and is highly interconnected. By using the such a large body of volunteers who may contribute what they know on what they are interested in, and to proof-read each others work, wiki's can grow very fast and become very comprehensive. The Encyclopedia Britannica's 100,000 articles is the collaborative result of several thousand writers over several centuries. By contrast, Wikipedia is 3 years old, now has over 800,000 articles, and is still growing by about 1,000 articles every day.
Why start a new wiki for CV?Edit
The area of Computer Vision is too broad (touching computer science, optics, engineering, mathematics and even biology and psychology) and has too many applications for one person to know. It is also a highly inter-related subject, with many of the terms and tools used in the field having different names depending on the task at hand (eg. Particle Filter ~= Condensation ~= Sequential Monte Carlo...). A wiki format, whereby information may be submitted by all and read and reviewed by all, also suits the acedemic nature of CV research. If you have heard of "Distributed computing", you'll know that computers have a lot of idle time which may be put to better use with the correct software. A wiki is a type of software which allows "Distributed computing" for humans, a sort of Distributed Authoring. This has great advantages over the common "submit a useful link" link seen on many CV websites.