Adaptive Image Format Translation in an Ad-Hoc Network

Reference#: P02083

As ad-hoc device networks become more prevalent in operating rooms, new combinations of devices arise and a requirement for standardization to allow surgeons and technicians to rapidly assimilate operational procedures is needed. Current operating room networks are showing promise in introducing device discovery, shared control, and security. However, the last mile of data universality appears to be impossible to traverse since there will always be new devices that will need to break the mold to innovate further. The present invention acknowledges that a universal data protocol may never become a reality and seeks to go around this final stumbling block by translating the semantics of new data exchanges on-the-fly since new data protocols are an inevitability.

The present invention describes a system of negotiating the true semantic meaning of a sensor generated data stream between a data source and data recipient who represent the data with different conceptual structures. The different conceptual structures of this data are necessitated by the different origins that created the data, but are intended to reflect the same underlying reality. Any new sensor that is used to capture the reality of the physical worked introduces new capabilities and paradigms for that which is being recorded or measures. Variations of imaging sensors with each new product offer new ranges of capabilities, and with new capabilities come new forms of representing that data. With currently available technology, a custom built solution must be designed for each new paradigm used in data representation, fundamentally slowing adoption of new sensor modalities feeding data to exiting treatment systems.

The present invention resolves these discrepancies between a published device and a subscribing device by incrementally adjusting the structures of the meta-data utilized by each device through a complaint resolution exchange of messages. XML message sent via HTTP are broken down into tree structures of primitive image elements. The subscribing device may issue complaints about the structure presented by the publisher and the publisher, in turn, will attempt to reorganize its message to better fir the request to better fit the advertised protocol of the publisher. Both publisher and subscriber work repeatedly through their trees invoking inheritance, aggregation, and learned substation rules until a common ground is reached. The publisher and subscriber may also prune branches and leaves or flatten aggregations where crucial structure is not lost. Device developers may specify basic restrictions to prevent crucial losses of structure, semantics or content, since they know best what is presented in their unique new device.

The process proceeds in a way analogous to a mathematician solving tow sides of an equation, one step at a time, except that the solution is obtained as a distributed computation. Both devices in the metaphorical equation seek to find equivalence with the other device through stepwise application of a basic rule-set.

Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 7519714 issued.

Dr. G. R. Jacobovitz
Phone: (443) 778-9899

Additional References:

Link to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office