Computer Science Graduate Seminar: Supported Navigation in Immersive Virtual Environments

 

Thursday, September 27, 2018, 9:30am

Location:   Seminar room 003, IT Center, Kopernikusstr. 6

Speaker: Sebastian Freitag, M. Sc.

Abstract:

Navigation - the process of getting from one location in a virtual scene to another - is one of the most important and fundamental types of interaction in Virtual Reality, as it is part of most use cases and applications in some way or another. However, there is no single navigation technique that is suitable and appropriate for all use cases, as there is typically a different set of requirements for each application, and all techniques come with their own set of drawbacks. Therefore, the selection of a navigation technique for any use case is usually a trade-off decision.

Therefore, this work investigates and proposes navigation support techniques to mitigate the negative aspects of these trade-offs. First, ways to manipulate a user's movement to increase the share of real walking relative to the overall amount of navigation are examined. In this context, a navigation technique is presented that repositions the user while they travel in order to maximize the interaction space for real walking at the target location. Furthermore, it is investigated whether rotation gain (the manipulation of the mapping between physical and virtual head rotations), which can be used for techniques such as redirected walking, is usable in screen-based setups such as CAVE-like environments. Second, the work proposes navigation support techniques based on an automated analysis of the virtual scene, that are aimed at making navigation more efficient. To this end, we analyze scene visibility - which parts of the scene are visible from any viewpoint - and the evaluation of the quality of such a viewpoint.

In this context, the work compares different measures to estimate viewpoint quality, contributing several novel methods, and introduces an approach for approximating scene visibility efficiently by restricting the computation to navigable areas of a scene. It is further shown that these techniques can be used successfully to increase the efficiency of navigation, proposing a technique to adjust travel speed automatically, reducing cognitive load, an approach to find intermediate target locations during long-distance travel to reduce cybersickness, and an assistance technique that improves cognitive map buildup during exploration.

The computer science lecturers invite interested people to join.