Multimedia Software Laboratory

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Projects    Publications    People    Relevant Conferences

Our research focuses on software systems that integrate and manipulate multiple media. We are particularly interested in using style sheets and other techniques based on structured document models to enhance the user interfaces of software development and information visualization systems.

Our research uses techniques from many areas of computer science including

This page lists the current projects, people, and recent publications of the group. Our lab is located in the Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Building in room 1010, and our phone number is (414) 229-6479. For more information, contact Dr. Ethan Munson at . If you're interested in joining the MSL, you can find out more about research opportunities on Dr. Munson's list of possible student projects.


Software Concordance. This NSF-funded project will develop a new, integrated approach to managing software documents of all types (source code, requirements, design, testing, and maintenance documents). The Software Concordance will support embedded multimedia documentation in source code files and will help developers maintain and analyze a complete hypermedia web of documentation on the systems they are developing.

UPLATE: User Perception of Latency. We are investigating how well people can perceive delays in the response of interactive software and when they care about these delays. This research was originally supported by a gift from the USENIX Association through their Student Research Awards Program and we are now seeking additional funding from the National Science Foundation.

Web Image Search.Yelena Tsymbalenko studied the use of HTML metadata (textual content and document structure) to find images on the Web. Her MS thesis describes the search software that she built and the excellent image search results. We are continuing this research to replicate her results and to extend them to new kinds of metadata.

Information Visualization Usability.Information visualization systems have tremendous potential to help people find interesting information. Many have novel interfaces. We are interested in testing the usability of these novel interfaces.

Proteus: An Adaptable Style Sheet System for Multimedia Documents.
Proteus is a portable style sheet system for documents in any medium. It is designed for use with tree-structured documents, such as those defined using SGML or XML, but can also be used with list-structured documents of the sort found in conventional word-processors. Style sheets for Proteus are written in the PSL language , which is a declarative, constraint-based specification language. Terry Cumaranatunge produced the latest implemention, which is described in the paper Memory Scalability in Constraint-Based Multimedia Style Sheet Systems.

If you would like to receive the source code, please email Dr. Munson. We have an early version of a tutorial for using the Proteus C++ library.

Theory of Media. Proteus and its PSL language can be adapted to different media because they are based on the only formal model of media in multimedia software research. This model was originally described in a paper presented at the PODP '96 workshop and recently expanded in a second paper presented at a workshop on Representations for Multi-Modal Human-Computer Interaction at the AAAI-98 conference.

Recent Publications

Absolute Thresholds of Detection for Changes in a Graphical User Interface, by James Dabrowski and Ethan V. Munson. Appeared in the Proceedings of HCI International 2001, New Orleans, August 2001.

Is 100 Milliseconds Too Fast? by James Dabrowski and Ethan V. Munson. To appear in the Proceedings of ACM CHI 2001, Seattle, April 2001.

Today's Style Sheets Standards: The Great Vision Blinded, by Philip M. Marden, Jr. and Ethan V. Munson. Computer magazine, IEEE Computer Society, November 1999, pp. 123-125. Available here as a PDF file.

Why Current Style Sheet Standards Have Failed to Improve Document Engineering. by Philip M. Marden, Jr. and Ethan V. Munson. Web Engineering Workshop at WWW8 Conference, Toronto, Canada, May 1999.

PSL: A Style Sheet Language Midway between CSS and XSL by Philip M. Marden, Jr. and Ethan V. Munson. WWW8 Conference, Toronto, Canada, May 1999.

Optimizing Video-on-Demand Through Requestcasting by Julie Pochueva. Master's thesis, Department of EECS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, March 1999. Available in both PDF and PostScript formats. (Please note that the PDF version suffers from the dreaded TeX/PDF conflict, which means that it prints just fine, but looks bad on the screen. We'll try to fix this in the future, but it's tough.)

Evaluating OOHDM in Designing the Software Concordance Application by Santosh Kutty. Master's thesis, Department of EECS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, June 2000. Available in ZIP format.

PSL: An Alternate Approach to Styles Sheet Languages for the World Wide Web by Philip M. Marden, Jr. and Ethan V. Munson. Journal of Unversal Computer Science, Springer-Verlag, October 1998. If the JUCS web site is unreachable, the paper is also available from our site in HTML and postscript.

A Representation of Media for Multimedia Authoring and Browsing Systems by Ethan V. Munson and Mark Pfeiffer. To appear in the Proceedings of the AAAI 98 Workshop on Representations for Multi-Modal Human-Computer Interaction, Madison, WI, USA, July 1998. Abstract

Multiple Presentations of WWW Documents Using Style Sheets by Philip M. Marden, Jr. and Ethan V. Munson. Proceedings of Ed-Media 98, World Conference on Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia; Freiburg, Germany; June 1998.

Memory Scalability in Constraint-Based Multimedia Style Sheet Systems by Terry Cumaranatunge and Ethan V. Munson. Electronic Publishing, Artistic Imaging, and Digital Typography. Lecture Notes in Computer Science No. 1375, Springer-Verlag, April 1998. Abstract

Click here for more publications.


Current Members Roles Projects
Dr. Ethan Munson Principal Investigator
Head Software Designer
Head SysAdmin
All Projects
Jim Dabrowski PhD Student
Paper Author
Apprentice SysAdmin
House Psychologist
Software Concordance
Tien Nhut Nguyen PhD Student
Structured Document Expert
Hypertext Expert
Software Concordance
Mark Pfieffer MS Student
Paper Author
Software Concordance
Software Relationship Taxonomy
Theory of Media
Nick Bohne BS Student Virtual Reality
Cheng Thao MS Student Web Image Search
Satish Gupta MS Student
Fluid Expert
Java Expert
Software Concordance
Adjunct Members
Dr. John Tang Boyland Faculty member
File Server Administrator
Programming Languages and Compilers
Attribute Grammars
Bob Sorenson PhD Student Tree Automata
Attribute Grammars
Terry Cumaranatunge MS Alumnus
First Student Author
Programmer Extraordinaire
Motorola Software Engineer
Protean Runtime System
MSPEC Language
Hong Liu First MS Alumnus
MPMosaic Originator
Nortel Software Engineer
Yuliya Milbeck MS Alumnus
Windows Guru
W.H. Brady Software Engineer
Guided Paths
Julie Pochueva MS Alumnus
HP Software Engineer
Video-on-Demand Architectures
Preeti Seshadri MS Alumnus
Paper Author
Agent Programming Languages
Resource Control in Java
Yelena Tsymbalenko MS Alumnus
GE Medical Systems Software Engineer
Finding Relevant Images in HTML
Jack Kaye MS Alumnus
Mitra Software Engineer
Philip Marden MS Alumnus
Paper Author
Intel Software Engineer

See the Lab ...

Conferences relevant to the lab

Conference Location Papers deadline Conference dates
IV02 London April 1, 2002
July 10, 2002
CoopIS 2002 Irvine, California May 31, 2002 Oct 30 - Nov 1, 2002
ACM Multimedia 2002 Juan les Pins, France April 15, 2002 -papers, workshops, panels, tutorials
July 1, 2002 -short papers/posters, demos, video, doctoral symposium
December 1-6, 2002
ACM Hypertext 2002
College Park, Maryland April 25, 2002 -demos/posters  June 11 - 15, 2002
Fortaleza, Ceara', Brazil May 20, 2002 October 7-11, 2002
SEA 2002
MIT, Cambridge, USA June 1, 2002 November 4-6, 2002
McLean, VA May 24, 2002 -abstracts
May 31, 2002 -full papers
November 8-9, 2002
SAC 2003
Melbourne, Florida September, 2002 -paper
March 9-12, 2003

To find out more about the Multimedia Software Group, email Dr. Ethan Munson at