Research themes

Digitalization and smart society


Biomimetics and intelligent systems

Biomimetics and intelligent systems research uses fusion of expertise from the fields of computer science and biology. The research areas include data mining, machine learning, robotics, and information security. Research topics vary from data mining algorithm development and optimisation of industrial manufacturing processes all the way to environmental monitoring with mobile robots. The research also aims to provide concrete new openings for the purpose of reacting to fundamentals and novelties to integrate better ICT and biotechnology/biomedicine. Research activity has resulted in several spinoff companies with applications in various industrial areas.

Machine vision and signal analysis

Machine vision and signal analysis research is distinguished for its scientific breakthroughs in machine vision. Many of its results, including the Local Binary Pattern, face analysis and geometric computer vision methodologies, are highly cited and have been adopted in different types of problems and applications around the world. The face analysis methodology has been applied to face anti-spoofing in biometrics and recognition of micro-expressions for hidden emotion analysis. This theme also includes strong expertise in physiological signal analysis, especially in cardiorespiratory diseases. The research on this theme has played the key role in promoting artificial intelligence and machine learning education within the university.

Ubiquitous computing

The research area of ubiquitous computing has the largest cluster of human-computer interaction (HCI) and Ubicomp researchers in Finland and one of the largest in Europe. It is involved in the development of techniques for modelling human behaviour, augmenting physical spaces, and systems engineering to enable ubiquitous applications and services. Much of the research deals with large amounts of streaming and longitudinal data. The research cluster has built superior-quality platforms that analyse Twitter feeds in real-time and urban mobility data points from a city-scale WiFi and Bluetooth network, and powered popular smartphone apps and modelled large-scale financial transactions.

Wireless communications

The wireless communications research area has had a great impact in numerous European research and innovation programs since 1990s. Examples of high impact include projects defining the key components for 3G, 4G, and 5G as well as building expertise for 6G. The innovativeness of the research groups involved springs from their capability to create novel technology components and develop them into complete wireless systems necessary for raising applications and new areas, e.g., artificial intelligence and big data. The key research areas include radio access network technologies, signal processing and optimisation, radio frequency systems and design, virtualised networks, visible light communications, medical communications and 5G/6G test network. The developed technologies are applied in cellular phones and base stations as well as other wireless networks enabling the technological change for the future that will bring people and services together in immediate and adaptable networks.

Circuits and systems

The circuits and systems research area is focused in electronics and in optoelectronics. The field is extremely important since modern telecommunications that use optical fibres, for example, is based on these techniques. One of the research topics within this field in Oulu is the development of environment perception techniques for rapidly widening applications such as vehicle control and guidance systems, robot vision, and automatic control of machines, for example. These techniques pave the way for advances in civil and industrial engineering, road construction and maintenance, urban planning, environmental analysis and precision forestry.