Title: Computer Science in Sport - Taking Stock on the Occasion of the 10th International Symposium
In 1997, an International Symposium on Computer Science in Sport was organised in Cologne, Germany. As we now know, this Symposium was the starting point of a series of international biennial congresses. This year we are able to celebrate the 10th occurrence of this event. Much has been achieved since then: an International Association and eight National Associations have been founded, 30 editions of the International Journal of Computer Science in Sport (IJCSS) have been published, numerous international events have been organized, books have been released and recognised research areas have emerged. However, critical challenges remain: There is still a lack of transnational networks and research projects. Computer Science in Sport as a scientific discipline is still hardly noticed in many countries, such as the USA. There are only a few institutions educating in "Computer Science in Sport" or "Sport Informatics". The journal IJCSS, albeit well received, has not yet gained an Impact Factor.
This presentations focuses on the achievements reached so far, but, moreover, tries to give suggestions and initiate discussions on how to meet future challenges.
Professor Arnold Baca is Dean of the Faculty of Sport Science at the University of Vienna, Austria. He received the Engineering Diploma in Computer Science in 1984 and the Ph.D.
(Thesis: "Variance-reducing techniques for simulation methods in system reliability analysis" in 1986 from the Technical University Vienna. In 1998 he received the Habilitation in "Applied Computer
Science in Biomechanics and Kinesiology" from the University of Vienna. Since 2008 he is Full Professor at the Department of Biomechanics, Kinesiology and Applied Computer Science (Institute of Sport
Science) at the University of Vienna. He has been President of the International Association of Computer Science in Sport from 2007-2013. He is Editor in Chief of the e-Journal
"International Journal of Computer Science in Sport" and reviewer of several national and foreign scientific journals, such as Journal of Biomechanics, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise,
European Journal of Applied Physiology. In 1999, he organised the 2nd International Symposium on Computer Science in Sport in Vienna, Austria. Current research activity: Computer Science Applied to Biomechanics -
Pervasive Computing in Sports - Multimedia and Information Systems in Sports - Biomechanics of Rowing - Game Analysis.
Title: Architecture of Motor Performance - Building Blocks in Brain and Technology
This presentation examines, in a first step, the cognitive architecture of human action, showing how it is organized over several levels and how it is built up. Basic Action Concepts
(BACs) are identified as major building blocks on a representation level. These BACs are cognitive tools for mastering the functional demands of movement tasks. Results from different lines
of research showed that not only the structure formation of mental representations in long-term memory but also chunk formation in working memory are built up on BACs and relate systematically to movement structures. It is concluded that such movement representations might provide the basis for action control in skilled voluntary movements in the form of cognitive reference structures. To simulate action control and human performance, in a second step, I will discuss challenges and issues that arise when we try to replicate complex movement abilities in the context of technical systems. Interestingly human motor performance, rooted in the profoundness of biological evolution, has matured to a point where it can profit from technical systems. The research results on mental motor representation can not only help to understand the cognitive background of motor performance, they also provide a basis for building artificial cognitive systems that can interact with humans in an intuitive way and acquire new skills by learning from the user. In this context, it is clearly advantageous for a real or virtual coach to know how mental representation structures are formed, stabilized and adapted in daily actions. This knowledge enables a coach or technical system (such as intelligent glasses, or intelligent virtual coaches) to address individual users or trainees concerning their current level of learning and performance, and to shape instructions to optimize learning processes and maximize performance.
Thomas Schack is a professor for Neurocognition and Action - Biomechanics at Bielefeld University (Germany). Dr. Schack's main research interest concerns the cognitive architecture of movement, mental movement representation,
mental training and the neurophysiological basis of complex movement. Additional he is interested in research topics like mental control, attention and cognitive robotics. An important component in Thomas Schack's research laboratories
(Cognition and Action-Labs: COALA) is the combination of experimental and modelling methods from Psychology, Biomechanics, Cognitive Science and Robotics to learn about the cognitive construction and principles of human actions. The research results
are checked in high performance sports. Thomas Schack received excellence certificates in the fields of sport psychology and movement science, e.g. the TOYOTA-Scientific Award in 2002. He is recently Vice-President of the International Society of Sportpsychology (ISSP)
and Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-coordinator of the Center of Excellence "Cognitive Interaction Technology" at Bielefeld University. Furthermore he is PI in Large Scale Projects like "Intelligent Coaching Space" and "Kognihome" where motor control research meets
computer science and cognitive informatics to support motor activity of humans in future sport and lodging settings.
Dr Michael Hiley (University of Loughborough, UK)
Title: Optimal Technique, Variability, and Skilled Performance
Computer simulation modelling is a powerful tool in Sports Biomechanics that allows the researcher to investigate the underlying mechanics of technique. Having identified the underlying mechanics and system constraints performance may be optimised and new skills developed. As computer processing power has increased so have the applications for simulation modelling. For example, simulation models can be combined with virtual reality environments to produce innovative gymnastics training aids. However, it is important that gymnastics research has input from coaches and that the knowledge gained finds its way into coach education resources and practical application.
Optimisation is often used in conjunction with simulation modelling in an attempt to explain the technique adopted in skilled sport performance. This might take the form of minimising joint torques in an expectation that the optimum technique will resemble the actual performance. Many tasks in everyday life may be based on minimising such variables, however, in the field of sport effort is often maximised in order to achieve the performance outcome. Therefore, while optimal technique should lie within the constraints of realistic strength characteristics there must be other criteria that explain the athlete's technique. Optimal technique, by definition, can be sensitive to perturbations. For example, small errors in timing an optimal technique may lead to a sub-optimal or even failed performance. Since in all human movement there is inherent variation skilled technique needs to be successful in a noisy environment and so optimised technique also needs to be robust to the inherent variation in coordination. The aspect that often governs elite technique is that of achieving consistent success rather than some biomechanical measure of movement.
The presentation will demonstrate, through a number of case studies, how computer simulation modelling and optimisation may be used to gain an insight into the important aspects of gymnastics techniques and the importance of including aspects of motor control when investigating limiting movements.
Dr Mike Hiley has degrees in Sports Science and Mathematics (BSc, Loughborough University) and Biomechanics (PhD, Loughborough University). After a number of years working with sports governing bodies he took up the post of Research Fellow in Sports Biomechanics and Motor Control in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Loughborough University in January 2006. He is currently a Senior Lecturer responsible for teaching both Sports Biomechanics and Motor Control and is the Programme Director for all joint honours programmes with Sport and Exercise Science.
Dr Hiley's research is in the area of biomechanics and motor control, investigating the mechanics of technique and how it is influenced by the human control system. Specifically he has used computer simulation modelling to investigate the interaction between the gymnast and the gymnastics equipment. His work has helped to explain the adoption of the modern giant circling technique on the high bar in terms of the margin for error when releasing for dismounts and how optimum technique is affected by the need for robustness to motor system noise. His research incorporates other areas of gymnastics including the computer simulation of swinging on the asymmetric and parallel bars and vaulting.
Dr Hiley has given a number of keynote and invited presentations, including last year's World Congress of Biomechanics in Boston, where he was invited to talk about his work on the underlying control strategies in human movement. In addition to his academic work Mike is a Biomechanics Tutor for British Gymnastics and has incorporated the results of computer simulation research into the coach education programmes of British Gymnastics and the International Gymnastics Federation. Along with Professor Yeadon, Dr Hiley was responsible for much of the design of the National Gymnastics Performance and Research Centre at Loughborough University with its integrated gymnastics and biomechanics research equipment..