Alumnus Bo Chen Wins Best Student Paper Award from ACM Multimedia Systems 2022

9/27/2022 8:02:29 AM Aaron Seidlitz, Illinois CS

Bo Chen, who graduated with his PhD from Illinois Computer Science in May 2022, won the Best Student Paper Award at the ACM Multimedia Systems (MMSys) 2022 conference in June.

Image of Illinois CS alumnus Bo Chen with a scenic city backdrop.
Bo Chen

The paper, entitled “Context-Aware Compression Optimization for Visual Analytics Offloading,” was funded by the Army Research Laboratory, and the work was done by Chen through the Coordinated Science Laboratory’s IOBT Center – which is led by Illinois CS professor Tarek Abdelzaher.

His advisor, fellow Illinois CS professor Klara Nahrstedt, was a co-author on the paper, and said “it was really exciting work to compress intelligent images on cameras in real-time and offload them to edge devices for further analysis.”

Chen said he got the inspiration for the work from a system called Reducto, which utilizes low-level image features to do frame filtering.

“I felt this system focuses on the time dimension of video and there might be something we can do in the space dimension,” Chen said. “As a result, I started to think about how to utilize low-level image features to adaptively compress images. I integrated this idea into a famous image compression algorithm, JPEG, and fortunately it worked really well.”

Joining the Illinois CS PhD program in 2016, Chen said his initial inspiration was to work with the talented faculty here, as well as fellow graduate students, who compose a “great academic atmosphere.”

And his interest in networking came from his belief that it is indispensable part of our life, and he wanted to make it serve everyone better.

Klara Nahrstedt
Klara Nahrstedt

That led to his work with Nahrstedt, when he primarily learned about 360-degree video. His fascination with this new way for people to engage with video, soon led to his vantage point changing – as he came to believe it offered not just viewing potential, but also video analysis.

“For example, first responders can utilize the 360-degree video to understand the environment better than a normal video. Investigating into the video analysis made me realize many other problems in video compression and machine learning, which is what I'm currently working on,” Chen said.

The best student paper award further validated his efforts in the area.

“This award means a lot to me, as I proved to myself that I'm capable of producing good work at such an amazing forum like the MMSys conference,” Chen said.