The proposal for setting up the National Laboratory on Machine Perception was put forward and accepted by the government appointed Expert Committee in March 1986. Approved by the State Planning Commission, the laboratory started to be built in June 1986 and put into operation in December 1988. It is the first national laboratory established in Peking University.

The current Chairman of the laboratory Academic Committee, which has 15 specialists and experts, is acad. Prof. Tang Xiaowei and the current Director of the laboratory is Prof. Tang Shiwei. The consultant of Academic Committee is Acad. Prof. Yang Fuqing. Among its 27 staff members, 15 are professional researchers, and 12 supporting staff.

1. Laboratory Main Research Objectives and Areas

The main research objectives of the laboratory are fundamental and applications oriented basic research in the field of machine visual perception and auditory information processing, which are essential to advance such engineering areas as artificial intelligence, robotics, intelligent control systems, management automation, etc. The research has been focused on the basic theory and methodology for machine visual and auditory perception, voice and text recognition and natural language understanding, image recognition and image database, intelligent system and knowledge engineering, neural computational modeling and artificial neural networks, and other fundamental research topics with potential social and economical benefits. The research results have provided methods and techniques for the realization of practically applicable machine visual and auditory perception systems, natural human-machine interaction systems, and have established, in certain application fields, the principles and techniques of design at advanced level, leading to the development of practical products.

2. Main research Achievements

In accordance with the advice of the Academic Committee on the research orientation and objectives, about 60 research projects of both theoretical and application nature have been actively carried out in the laboratory. Among them are National Key Projects, both fundamental and applied, the projects from the state sponsored PhD Foundation, the National Natural Science Foundation projects and collaborative projects sponsored under a number of Government Ministries and Committees. Some important original results have been obtained, e.g., the project funded by the 7th National Five-year Plan attern Recognition and Image Database was considered by the Evaluation Committee as an international breakthrough. In particular, the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, which has been recognized as the most advanced system ever realized on workstations using special software technique, has received the top award from the State Education Committee for Progress in Science and Technology, and the second rank National Award for Progress in Science and Technology. Since the 8th National Five-year Plan, this system has been put in use by the Police Departments in Shanghai, Zhuhai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, etc. with good results. The system has also entered the international market. In addition, some important original research findings have been obtained in Computer Vision, Speaker Identification, Image Database, Intelligent Systems and Knowledge Engineering, and Physiological and Psychological Modeling for Vision or Auditory Systems.

3. Cultivation of Talents and Research Team-Building

The Laboratory has put special emphasis on fostering the academic standards of the young researchers. Opportunities are provided for them to actively engage in domestic and international academic exchange and collaborative activities, allowing them to keep constant academic contact with researchers in the same fields and to be aware of the latest research developments.

In the past few years, there have been about 300 research papers published by the researchers in the Laboratory. A number of MS and PhD graduates have grown to become principal investigators of the research projects. Currently, there are young researchers undertaking independent research projects in all the main research directions of the Laboratory.

The Laboratory has also made special effort in the postgraduate teaching through rationalizing the syllabus and creating new specializations. Over the past four years, 50 MS students, 4 PhD students and 1 post-doctoral fellow have graduated. Currently, there are 43 MS, 8 PhD students and 4 post-doctoral fellows actively working in the Laboratory.

4. Scholastic Opening and Exchange Activities

The Laboratory has been actively pursued an open-door policy and has promoted exchange activities both home and abroad. Since the end of 1988, the Laboratory has already supported 147 projects for guest scientists and visiting scholars. Some of the research findings of these projects have been published in academic journals and conferences.

To further encourage international academic exchange, some world renowned experts in the relevant fields have been appointed as the members of its Academic Committee. There have 21 foreign scientists invited to deliver lectures in the Laboratory and to conduct the academic exchange activities. The Laboratory project leader for the neural networks has been given twice in 1994 and 1995 eural Network Leadership Award. The Laboratory has also organized an international conference and has sent nearly 60 researchers to lecture and participate in the international conferences.

5. Major Equipment

The Laboratory is well equipped to support the research projects in the specified areas. Currently, there are SGI super-workstation Onyx2 (1 set), SGI Origin 2000 server (1 set), SGI workstations (4 sets including O2 and Indigo models), IBM RS/6000 M80 server (1 set), HP J6000 server (1 set), SUN Enterprise 220R server (1 set), Sun workstations (12 sets), B&K 2032 Speech Analysis system (1 set), JX-610 scanner (1 set), a number of PCs and other equipment. The Laboratory has a LAN connecting all the workstations and PCs, which is also routed to the Internet.

Address: Center for Information Science,

National Laboratory on Machine Perception

Peking University

Beijing, 100871


Tel. +86-010-62751935

Fax. +86-010-62755654


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