XIX Conference on Information Science – 27th June 2022

JCI – Jornadas de Ciência da Informação” are an annual event promoted and organized by the students of the Bachelor and Master Degrees in Information Science (LCI and MCI), taught in partnership by the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FLUP and FEUP). Being a reference in the scientific community and among professionals in the area, this event has been an opportunity for guests and participants from the industry, public institutions and academia to interact and debate current issues in the field of Information and its management.

In its 19th edition, the JCI will take place at the FLUP’s Amphitheatre, on June 27th, between 9am and 6pm. Under debate will be “THE ROLE OF INFORMATION SCIENCE FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION”.

Registration is free but compulsory (given the limited number of places available).

Follow the event on its social networks, Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: “Modular Architecture for 3D Game Environment Art with Photogrammetry”

Nataska Statham

 Date, Time and place:
June 22, 09:00, remotely with streaming at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvsg2ymeaHLRLbsGt67JmKw


Doutor António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Departamento de Engenharia Informática of Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto.


PhD Richard A. Bartle, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Essex, UK;

PhD Andrija Bernik, Assistant Professor at the Department of Multimedia, Design and Application, University North in Varazdin, Croácia;

PhD Rui Pedro da Silva Nóbrega, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Informática of Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa;

PhD Luís Filipe Pinto de Almeida Teixeira, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática of Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto;

PhD João Tiago Pinheiro Neto Jacob, Technical Product Owner at Mindera Gaming (Supervisor).


 Photogrammetry is a technology increasingly used in games for modelling 3D characters and natural environments, with the potential of time-efficient generation of realistic meshes with a higher level of detail than is normally achieved via hand-modelling. In architectural environments, however, although textures are photoscanned, meshes are still hand-modelled. A key challenge is that architecture for games tends to rely on modular meshes, which require high precision and standardisation, whereas photoscans of real-world architecture tend to output irregular meshes that are hard to conform to modularity. This investigation aims to address this lack of integration with a focus on high granularity modular architecture for 1st and 3rd person 3D games. It starts with a review of 3D game graphics production and modular architectural assets for games, as well as the integration of photogrammetry in the creation of 3D assets for games and for 3D environment art in particular. This is followed by a theoretical contribution, consolidating the principles of modular architecture for games within the game development lifecycle. Next, it identifies the inherent incompatibilities preventing the integration of photogrammetry with modular architecture for games and postulates solutions, implemented and tested via a series of controlled experiments using commonly available software. It concludes that integration is possible, but that a manual process is presently required due to the lack of tools designed to conform detailed surfaces to the profile of standardised reference meshes. The investigation proposes a workflow to achieve sectional modularity of architectural photoscans via tileable borders to which mesh variations can be integrated via modular swapping. It proposes a modified game development lifecycle with longer pre-production and potentially multiple photoscanning sessions to incorporate architectural photoscans into modular game environment art production. Via this workflow, a wide range of types of photoscanned architectural surfaces and types of geometry were standardised into the requirements optimal for modular meshes for 3D environment art, indicating its viability as a workflow for game development in general.

 Keywords: 3D environment art, game development lifecycle, level design, modular architecture, photogrammetry.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: ”Literacia visual e comunicação”

Jorge Luís Pacheco Barcelos

Date, Time and place:
May 31,10:30, remotely with streaming at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvsg2ymeaHLRLbsGt67JmKw

President of the jury:
PhD Jorge Manuel Pinho de Sousa, Full Professor at Faculdade de Engenharia of Universidade do Porto

PhD Paulo Nuno Vicente, Assistant Professor at Departamento de Ciências da Comunicação of Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of Universidade Nova de Lisboa;

PhD Luís Francisco Mendes Gabriel Pedro, Assistant Professor at Departamento de Comunicação e Arte of Universidade de Aveiro;

PhD Maria da Conceição Gonçalves Costa, Associate Professor at Escola de Comunicação, Arquitetura, Artes e Tecnologias da Informação of Universidade Lusófona;

PhD José Manuel Pereira Azevedo, Associate Professor at Departamento de Ciências da Comunicação e da Informação of Faculdade de Letras of Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);

PhD António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, Associate Professor at Departamento de Engenharia Informática of Faculdade de Engenharia of Universidade do Porto.


This thesis seeks to verify the degree of visual literacy that individuals in undergraduate and graduate studies at the Universities of Porto and Paraíba Federal, in the courses of design, multimedia, digital media, engineering, communication, have when interpreting an image. These interpretations present three important dimensions such as affective, compositional, and critical when analyzing an image, be it a painting, a photograph, a work of art, or an audiovisual piece, materialized in a verbal text. The theoretical framework of this research is given by reading a corpus of visual literacy such as Dondis (1974), Housen (1983), Braden and Bacca (1991), Arnheim (2001), Averignou and Pettersson (2011), Duchak (2014), Serafini (2014), Brumberger (2019), Kedra (2019), Supsakova (2020); and on image with Kress and Van Leeuwen (1996), Mirzoeff (1999), Cartwright & Sturken (2001), Villafañe (2006), and Mitchel (2009); and communication with Hall (2001), Berger (2000), Baylen&D’alba (2005), Horkenheimer & Adorno (2006), Santaella & Noth (2020), and in methodologies with Bloom (1956); Leung (2000); Amantes&Borges (2008), Hassan (2011), Biggs &Collins (2014), Rautiainen&Jappinen (2017), Arneson&Offerdahl (20018), Fernades (2019). This research has developed the Multimodal Assessment Method of Visual Literacy (MAMLV) that uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, with the qualitative aspect assisting in providing greater detail of the interpretive experience. The data collection instrument was a semi-structured interview that allows the interviewee to vent their interpretive thoughts, with minimal interference from the interviewer. These statements were collected and classified through the use of a coding manual that aids in classification. The statements were classified into categories of domains and subcategories, the topics. Depending on the number of statements, the individual belongs to a certain level of visual literacy. There are three levels of visual literacy, although the Multimodal Assessment Method of Visual Literacy (MAMLV) considers intermediate levels between each level. Thus, it can be observed that individuals despite being immersed in a visual world still present a low degree of visual literacy, as they do not have the skills and competencies fully developed to know the communicative interactions between the visual elements, their design principles and the visual grammar that are contained in an image. Although there are also individuals with a high degree of visual literacy. The findings suggest that this happens due to the lack of teaching curricula that contemplate visual and media literacy in the different levels of primary, secondary and university education, considering the curricular structures of the courses involved, and the results found, we can conclude that the inclusion of visual literacy in systematized teaching is of paramount importance for the formation of fully visually literate individuals.

Keywords: Visual Literacy; Image; Communication, Methodology

DEI Talks | “Digital Culture and Cultural User experience” by Markos Konstantakis

Markos Konstantakis is a PhD candidate in the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication at Aegean University, in the field of Augmented Reality, entitled: «Augmented Cultural User Experience – ACUX». He receives a Master’s Degree in “Specialization in Information Systems, Networks and Telecommunications”, from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the Hellenic Open University ( HOU ). Markos completed a Degree and a Master’s Degree in Marine Mechanical Engineer NTUA (National Technical University of Athens). Since November 2013 he is a Research Fellow – Lecturer for the implementation of the Act «Supplementary Program Distance Learning e-learning», University of Athens, teaching and writing program notes: «Network Engineer», «Matlab» and «Digital Culture». Since September 2016 is working as a Research Assistant for the implementation of projects regarding cultural tourism, conservation of arts and digital culture. His research includes the technologies of Virtual and Augmented Reality, Ubiquitous Computing, Digital Culture, User Experience, Cultural Heritage, Prototyping, Human-Computer Interaction, the Internet of Things and Serious Games.

 Join us on the 6th of June, at 14:00, in room I-105 of FEUP, for the presentation of “Digital Culture and Cultural User experience”.


The immense interest in academia and the cultural industry has been to augment users’ participation during their interaction with cultural artefacts by making them an actor in their own cultural experience. Cultural User eXperience (CUX) has gained momentum in recent years, and a factor that affects CUX is the cultural background and profile of the individual user. Users have their own cultural characteristics and preferences, they learn and interact differently with a particular artefact, and finally, they obtain a unique cultural experience.

CUX is an essential consideration that should be acknowledged and implemented when initiating the Cultural Heritage (CH) domain. It is beyond the usability of a cultural product or system. It includes both pragmatic and hedonic user factors that could influence a user’s positive experience when interacting with the system or product, leading to the effectiveness of CH activities. The diversity of visitors to cultural spaces is one of their unique attributes and is becoming a significant challenge for these venues to meet their visitors’ needs. How can they address the variety of interests and needs of all their visitors? Therefore, it is necessary to know visitors’ expectations when visiting cultural spaces.

The cultural tourists of today (at least in developed countries) travel more than the tourists of the past, and it is possible that the tourists of tomorrow will travel even more often, increasing the level of cultural user experience. Therefore, travelling, which was considered a ”luxury good” in the past, is an integral part of people’s lives nowadays. Also, tourists do not leave their previous experiences, motivations, preconceptions, and attitudes behind when they travel, the same way they leave their coats in the cloakroom upon entering a museum. Furthermore, the effects of a journey are not limited to the time spent at the destination. Tourists connect information and construct meaning before travelling to a place and continue to do so months or even years after their journey.

It is indisputable that cultural tourism destinations require detailed categorization of their visitors and their underlying motivations since not every person is motivated by the exact reasons for learning, experimenting, or self-exploring. Because of this assumption that cultural tourists are not alike, most of the literature in cultural tourism follows a clustering approach, emphasizing determining the typology of the cultural tourists.

Amongst the abundance of tools available for interaction design, user typologies have been claimed to be “the most effective and fundamental”. By creating a concrete image of the user, designers gain insight into the elements a User Interface (UI) should have and how the user is likely to respond to those elements.

Furthermore, during the past years, cultural interactive experiences are produced in an increased pace to bring back the lost fiction, as well as the functional and ritual nature of the cultural objects. To date, there are various technologies available in cultural environments to support cultural exhibitions directly or indirectly (augmented reality, digital storytelling, serious games, linked open data, context awareness), and every technology used makes an impact on the exhibition or the visitors.

Celebration of the 50th anniversary of LEE.1972

Last Saturday, May 28th, 2022, 32 former students of the Bachelor in Electrotechnical Engineering from FEUP, LEE.1972, headed to Viseu, for the long-awaited 50th anniversary commemorative meeting.

During an afternoon of long conversations at Quinta da Magarenha Restaurant, they remembered the times of Rua dos Bragas, the adventures lived in the youth, the great events that marked an effervescent time among the student community, the professional paths and the families. The memories, religiously kept for years, are proudly shared in these meetings that are living proof that friendships resist time and life.

And so much has changed in Engineering in the past 50 years. From 18 440 m2 of Rua dos Bragas, home to 6 undergraduate courses and some postgraduate courses, 61 teachers, 551 students (with only 6.5% female students) and 48 staff members, it grew in 2001 to 93 918 m2, thus giving rise to new possibilities of evolution at Asprela. This allowed for a growth that in 2020 counted with 9 Departments, 56 degree courses and 46 non-degree courses, 611 teachers, 7518 students enrolled in degree courses and 1113 in non-degree courses (32% female) and 257 staff members.

Raul Moreira Vidal, Emeritus Professor at the University of Porto and former teacher and Director of DEI, member of the Organizing Committee of the event, of which António Taveira de Vasconcelos, Henrique Albuquerque Cruz, José Cardoso Ayres and Maria dos Prazeres Lomba also took part, reveals that “the secret for these meetings to continue to take place is the immense desire to celebrate friendship, to keep alive the ties that unite the harvest of 72, to remember and pay homage to colleagues who have already left”.

“A retrospective look is necessary. To understand the evolution of things, to understand that informatics and technologies have a cradle, this exercise is fundamental!” says the Professor, who reminds us that for him Engineering is a Dream Come True, believing that the new generations will not let the motto “Engineering with Soul” fade away in everything they create.

*Data refers to 1969/1970

FEUP welcomes “LITHME – Language In The Human Machine Era” 1-2 June

The announced LITHME Roadshow arrives this week at FEUP, 1 – 2 of June, and the program is already online.

This roadshow will focus on language technologies and Human-Machine interaction, which allow us to speak with and through technology, the software that powers the Human-Machine era, and the embedded human devices. It includes, but is not limited to: innovative Human-Machine interfaces; machine translation and interpretation; automatic sign language interpretation; text-to-speech, speech-to-text and speech-to-speech technologies; and virtual reality and augmented reality, among others.

The stands of Altice Labs, Alana AI, Cortical.io, BCN – Sistemas de Escritório e Imagem, SA/Class VR, Flowchase, Naturalvox, S.A.U., Pangeanic Language Technologies and Translation Services and ReadSpeaker can be visited. In addition to the showcases, it will be possible to attend lectures promoted by these companies, with free access.

On the afternoon of day 1, in room B015, will take place the lectures of Alana Ai (14:00), the project Augmented Video 360 (15:30) and Cortical.io (17:00).

On the afternoon of day 2, in room B026, it will be time for Altice Labs (14:00), Flowchase (15:30) and Natural Vox (17:00) present their latest products and services.

Simultaneously, the Faculty of Arts will host the LITHME Training School (30 May – 3 June), which aims to broaden the knowledge of LITHME activities, bring together trainees from across the field of linguistics, language research and language technology, provide intensive training on new and emerging interdisciplinary challenges and familiarize them with unique technologies developed by the event sponsors.

Henrique Lopes Cardoso (DEI/FEUP) and Rui Sousa-Silva (FLUP), responsible for the Working Group on ‘Computational Linguistics’ of this Cost Action, believe it is an opportunity not to be missed by enthusiasts and those curious about new language technologies and their themes.

The Sound Installation “Forest Waves” on display at the Biodiversity Gallery until May 29

On the 19th of May inaugurated in the Biodiversity Gallery – Living Science Centre, the sound installation Forest Waves, by the student of the Master in Multimedia, *Luís Luzia.

Forest Waves’ is a sound installation that aims to communicate the history of the degradation of the Portuguese forest throughout the last decades. This unique ecosystem is in a state of decline and degradation due to the human impact, namely in what concerns the favouring of introduced species like the eucalyptus.

The installation takes advantage of two techniques to transmit information: soundscapes and data sonification. The soundscapes were captured in two different areas of the Peneda-Gerês National Park: Mata da Albergaria (a native forest) and a eucalyptus plantation. The data sonification corresponds to a musical composition created from data on the areas occupied by certain species in the national territory, translating their evolution over time. The eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) and different species of oak (Quercus genus) were selected due to their abundance and/or importance in the indigenous ecosystems of mainland Portugal.

Forest Waves’ thus seeks to explore new ways of communicating science, taking advantage of the great potential of the artistic medium as a way to confer qualitative information appealing to sensitivity and emotion.

+ info at: https://mhnc.up.pt/instalacao-forest-waves/

19 to 29 May; Tuesday to Sunday; 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm (last access: 5.30 pm)

Free admission

*Luís Luzia is a twenty-three-year-old multidisciplinary artist from Vila Nova de Gaia. In 2019 he completed a degree in Biology at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, where he developed a strong interest in the dissemination and preservation of the beauty and diversity of the Portuguese natural heritage. However, a desire to seek new ways of communicating science outside traditional media led him to the Master in Multimedia at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, where he focused on interactive music and sound design. Besides developing installations, Luís is also a musician, illustrator and visual artist.

Aisha Animashaun, Master in Multimedia Alumna, wins the APDC Best Thesis Award, in the area of Media

With the support of CEE – Consortium of Engineering Schools, APDC – Portuguese Association for the Development of Communications, launched in February 2021, the Best Thesis Award, with the aim of rewarding annually the best master’s dissertations in the areas of Information Technology, Telecommunications and Media.

This year, in a ceremony associated with the 31º Digital Business Congress, the dissertation “Generative Soundscapes for Enhanced Engagement in Non-Invasive Neurorehabilitation”, by Aisha Jeanette Animashaun, Master in Multimedia Alumna, was awarded in the Media area.

The Dissertation, concluded in July 2021, was supervised by Prof. Gilberto Bernardes, Assistant Professor at DEI and Coordinator of the area of Interactive Music and Sound Design of the Master in Multimedia, who tell us more about this research:

“The lack of engagement and motivation, also referred to as apathy, has a negative impact on the treatment effectiveness and well-being of people with neurocognitive disorders such as dementia. In this context, we aimed to assess whether the engagement of people with dementia during non-invasive treatments is affected by noise levels from surrounding sound sources and negative auditory stimuli present in treatment environments. An online survey gauged that disruptive auditory stimuli and noise levels influence engagement and adherence levels of demented individuals during treatment. Negatively perceived sound sources were identified in both therapy facilities and at home, such as human voices, household appliances, and household noises. The results indicate that the perception of higher noise levels in therapeutic facilities is in correlation with the lower rate of perceived adherence during the therapy session compared to the lower noise level and higher engagement found when demented individuals interact at home. A generative sound environment strategy was proposed to dynamically mask the frequency bands of noise identified with negative auditory stimuli to promote a relaxing soundscape from a range of ambient sounds connoted in the literature with low degrees of valence and arousal.”

In conversation with Aisha, she shared with us the enormous satisfaction of receiving this distinction:

“To me, it is not so much about winning as it is to celebrate the people involved in the journey. I was thankful that all the work on the project as well as the input from my supervisor, professors, colleagues, friends, and family have been recognized through this award. I am really passionate about research that aims to improve health and wellbeing and I am thrilled that it translated well into the research project!”. When asked about the biggest challenge encountered during this journey, Aisha tells us that “The biggest challenge, as in so many projects from 2020 onwards, was the pandemic. My initial focus had to shift in order to eliminate the risk for health-impaired individuals. However, the support I received from my supervisor and surroundings helped me identify a more focused path and made the project even stronger than the previously proposed plan. I think one of the biggest achievements or most exciting events was to actually work with participants during the experiment and get their feedback on our prototype. Their openness to including multimedia technology in treatments for neurorehabilitation and the suggestive results of a higher engagement during the test was very encouraging.”

What about plans for the future?

“I would like to conduct further research into neurorehabilitation and neurocognitive disorders making use of multimedia-focused interventions and ultimately embark on a PhD journey to fuel my passion for research and learning”.

We wish you all the best Aisha!

Recalling last year’s edition, André Cruz, Alumnus of the Integrated Masters in Informatics and Computer Engineering, was also distinguished with this Award, in the area of Information and Communication Technologies, with his dissertation “Fairness-Aware Hyperparameter Optimization”, which focused on the study of biases and potential discriminations in the use of artificial intelligence systems related to gender, age, ethnicity or geographical location. The awarded research resulted in a new algorithm – Fairband, which allows training fairer models, increasing the fairness of automatic decision processes by 93%, on average. More about it can be seen here.

DEI Tutorials | “An Overview of OpenMP, MPI and CUDA” by Prof. Fahed Jubair

“An Overview of OpenMP, MPI and CUDA” will be conducted by Prof. Fahed Jubair, on the 12th of May, between 14:00 and 17:00, in room B006.

 The tutorial will describe an overview of three popular programming models: OpenMP, MPI and CUDA. The tutorial will first describe and compare the current types of parallel processors. Then, it will describe how OpenMP is used for programming shared-memory architectures. Next, the tutorial will describe how MPI is used for programming distributed-memory architectures. Finally, the tutorial will describe how CUDA is used for programming Nvidia GPUs. The tutorial will include practical examples of all programming models.


Fahed Jubair graduated from Purdue University in 2014 with a Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Jordan in 2007. Dr. Jubair is currently an Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Jordan. His main research interests include optimizing compilers, parallel computing, heuristic algorithms, and machine learning.

CreativityTalks | Prof. Damián Keller will present us “Creativity in post-2020 music practices”

Given the current concentration of technological resources by a few financial conglomerates and the ongoing attempts to eliminate free-sharing from the internet, music once again provides a stage for social experiments that may have long-lasting effects. Damián Keller expands on the idea that we should apply different strategies to post-2020 music-making from the ones we adopted during the twentieth century. He focus on four emerging and complementary trends in an attempt to identify their creative specificities: telematic art, networked music performance, technologies for music notation and representation, and ubiquitous music. He acknowledges the transitory character of some of these labels and stress the difficulties of defining practices that are strongly tied to technological innovations. Rather than claiming the precedence, the intellectual ownership or the territorial hegemony of any of these terms, he proposes a conceptual map that highlights their applicability to various creative targets.

“Creativity in post-2020 music practices” will be presented by Prof. Damián Keller, on the 19th of May, at 18:00, online on: https://youtu.be/1mfRD8JncvY

The session will be moderated by Prof. Gilberto Bernardes, DEI’s Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Interactive Music and Sound Design area of the Master in Multimedia.


Damián Keller is an Associate Professor of Music Technology at the Federal University of Acre and the Federal University of Paraíba in Brazil. He is a cofounder of the international research network Ubiquitous Music Group and a founding member of the Amazon Center for Music Research (NAP). He has published over two hundred articles on ubiquitous music and ecologically grounded creative practice in journals on information technology, design, education, philosophy and the arts. His latest coedited book is Ubiquitous Music Ecologies (Routledge). http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~dkeller