NUVEM Research Strategic Unit


Research Groups

To organize and direct the actions and activities, the Strategic Unity NUVEM is structured internally in Research Groups, which delineate their lines of research.

Smart Societies Group (societies@nuvem)

The mission of the Smart Societies research group is to create solutions that promote citizenship, sustainability, social integration, inclusion and citizen participation in science through the use of innovative technologies and the Internet. Its vision is to develop innovative solutions focusing on humans and in your community, promoting citizenship and actively participating in the construction of intelligent societies.

Historically, information and communication technology, ICT, has been widely used to improve processes and productivity of corporations, as private and government companies, universities, agencies and research institutions. In general, except for isolated initiatives in virtual communities and social networks, ordinary citizens and the community in which he lives do not deserve the same attention from researchers and agencies, private and government, at least in regard to production services whose purpose is the citizen himself.

The Smart Societies research group is intended to change this scenario, seeking innovative solutions to the promotion of citizenship, sustainability, social inclusion and active participation of citizens in their community, including contributing to the development of science itself.

The main research topics approached seek to deal with all the aspects related to the development of intelligent societies. They treat the building of smarter cities through the search for innovative solutions for the application of technology in communities and management of the cities themselves and the information related to it, the intelligent management of natural resources and energy through smart grids, the search for green technologies, citizen participation in the sciente development and their own community through citizen science, citizen connectivity aspects through wireless broadband Internet, Internet of Things and Cloud Computing, the development of interactive and collaborative services for the citizen, and aspects related to guarantee your security and privacy.

The research lines of the Smart Societies research group include: Wireless Broadband Internet, interactive and collaborative services for the citizen, Citizen Security and Privacy, Internet of Things and Cloud Computing, Intelligent Electricity Network (Smart Grid) , Smart Cities (Management of Cities, Data Management and Innovative Applications), Green ICT, Citizen Science.

Virtual Sensations Group (sensations@nuvem)

The Virtual Sensations research group mission is to stimulate the sensations of people in their daily tasks through innovative interfaces and views that exceed the limits of their primitive senses. Its vision is to provide innovative interfaces and visualizations (hardware and software) that stimulate the senses of people in their daily activities.

The man has become irreversibly dependent on computers, surrounded by devices that provide graphical responses in interactive ways for various problems. Such graphics can simultaneously contain maps, photos, videos or diagrams. In the educational field, students changed from viewers to creation agents in the educational process. This process of creation occurs through modern computers (tablets, computers, smartphones and video games). Inevitably students seek support for learning in interactive and dynamic processes. Currently is common to see students seeking answers on Google, YouTube, Wikipedia. In the entertainment field, users interact with games using wireless controllers with feedback or, in other cases, the own player body's acts as a remote control. Video games, previously restricted to young and in its infancy, mainly boys, today are fun for all ages.

However, now video games are not restricted to entertainment. Another order for video games is related to the medical sciences. For example, active physiotherapists in rehabilitation have used video games in their therapies, causing extremely sophisticated and costly medical equipment to divide space with video games, which are a accessible equipment at a low cost, even for treatment of patients in their own home . These are examples of applications that has been widely benefics from use of graphics and interactive devices. To the development of such tools, the following research topics should be included in the project.

The research lines of the Virtual Sensations research group include: Games, Videos, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Animation, Foundations of Computer Graphics, Visualization Techniques, Assistive Technologies.

Connected Mobility Group (connection@nuvem)

The mission of the Connected Mobility research group is to promote freedom of communication and interaction with unrestricted technology, location and device. Its vision is to generate knowledge, products and services that enable total mobility with increased communication skills and interaction between people.

This research group is motivated by three modern phenomena that are completely interrelated. Two technological phenomena: wireless networks and mobile devices, are the driving force that leads a social phenomenon, agile and easy connection between people. The society in general is becoming increasingly connected. People are constantly in touch with each other in the development of various activities and geographical distance is no longer an impediment to human interaction. On the other hand, the Internet is becoming more mobile, which allows the connection between people occurs in virtually any environment where people are. Mobility connectivity is the result of joint development and convergence of wireless communication technologies and mobile devices with large processing capacity and interactivity.

The interaction between people and the distribution of content are two predominant themes in telecommunications. In the past, the interaction between people was performed through communication systems using the wired telephone network. Content distribution was always performed via wireless communication using radio and television networks. In recent years this trend is being reversed. Multimedia content delivery is increasingly being performed by cable systems or IPTV while communication between people favors the use of mobile phones and other communication systems, wireless or not, derived from it (such as 3G and Wi-Fi). To these advances in communication can be added the advances in mobile technologies and cloud computing.

The main consequence of the combination of technological and social phenomena is the promotion of human liberty as never seen in historical. Obviously that freedom must be accompanied by responsibility and accordingly the privacy limits must always be respected. The very concept of privacy is evolving a result of the very Connected Mobility. Since the trend of these areas is to continue to evolve demand of society, research efforts, development and innovation will continue necessary for long into the future.

The lines of Connected Mobility Group research include: Wireless, Mobile Computing Networks, Cloud Computing, Internet of the Future, Optical Networks, Green ICT, Online Social Networking, Privacy and Internet Security.

Extreme Computing Group (computing@nuvem)

The mission of the Extreme Computing research group is driving the development of new technologies and integrated solutions for social, scientific and technological challenges that require high computing power. Its vision is to provide means and solutions for the development of applications that require high computing power, exploring the state of the art in terms of high performance computing, communication in very high speed and management of complex large-scale data.

The advent of the computer has provided a revolution in several areas of human activity, whether economic and socio-cultural interactions, scientific research and/or technological development. This revolution is based on the flexibility of communication, management and storage of data and information made possible by computer technology. Currently, scientific research and technological development in various areas of knowledge, are increasingly computer, where the computer is used as a general and effective tool in the understanding of phenomena and the development of solutions in a global, collaborative environment and multidisciplinary, since the scientific and technological problems being treated are too complex to be solved by researchers from a single discipline or research and development team.

Computer technologies have also modified the economic, social and cultural relations. A recent example is the emergence of social networks, where millions (billions) of people share virtually part of their lives through information, photos, videos and opinions. Another example are sites like Wikipedia, which is maintained and updated not centrally by thousands of people around the globe. All this progress is accompanied by the need for greater computing power to store, transmit, process and analyze massive amounts of data and information produced by these applications. Scientific experimentation in different fields of application is an intensive activity in the production of data. The economic, social and cultural activities are also a rich source of data that can be better exploited. Social networking sites, for instance, generate terabytes of data daily.

This predominance in the production of data has raised including areas of research and new professions, such as "Big Data" and data scientist. Big data meets high performance computing technologies for the processing of large volumes of data and the data scientist is a professional who combines both computer skills and data analysis to extract useful information from this huge volume of raw data. A key problem for developing applications in this scenario is that they require a high power computer processing, and secure communication at high speed, and sophisticated storage technologies, data management and analysis. The combination of these aspects will result in data center high computational power, environmentally friendly and with a reduced carbon footprint that are cheaper to build and operate and reliable. It will also allow the development of applications and services that adapt more quickly and effectively to the needs of users.

The research areas of Extreme Computing research group include: Computer and Communication Flexibility, High Performance Computing, Software Defined Networks, Storage and Large Data Volumes Processing, Computational Algorithms, relations between power consumption and sustainability, Cloud Computing.

Integrated Universes Group (integration@nuvem)

The Integrated Universes research group mission is to integrate immersion, interaction and realism through virtualization-based systems with the use of advanced multimedia and Internet technologies to explore new frontiers between real and imaginary universes. Its vision is to benefit human activities and technologies that create illusions of presence and interaction in virtual environments and content.

Integrated universes is a topic of research that seeks the highest level of immersiveness of the human being in completely transparent technology. Its essential concept, being based on virtual reality, covers virtualization objects, people, information, and activities that exist in the real world into the digital world created and made available in computer clusters in networks and the Internet. One of the highlights is the exploration of visual immersion, as occurs in environments with virtual sets. This type of environment can be defined as a medium composed of highly interactive computer simulations that can sense the user's position and replace or augment the return of one or more senses giving the feeling of being immersed, or be present in the simulations. Comprehensively we can define virtual reality as a set of methods and technologies related to the user's immersion in environments with realistic appearance and behavior and interaction simulated by computer. Immersion is induced from the electro-optical excitation of the human senses (hearing, sight, touch and smell). The dip direction can be total or partial and also takes into account the possibility of integration of real environments with simulated environments that call Augmented Reality.

The main motivations of the research are the practical applications they serve. Both virtual reality as integrated universes have a large range of potential uses. Business, education, training, research and medicine are some areas that we can mention among several others that can benefit from the technology developed in this research area.

The Integrated Universes research group's research lines include: Virtual and Augmented Reality, Virtual Prototyping, Simulation and Training, Telepresence and teleoperation, Videoconference with virtual reality, Virtual Worlds, Computers and Virtual Networks, limits between the real, the virtual and the computer, user behavior and brain function.