About Us

The research group Entertainment Computing (EC) has been founded in 2011 and focuses on various aspects of entertainment and is headed by » Univ.-Prof. Dr. Helmut Hlavacs.
The main idea of research is to maximize the user experience, to optimize entertainment systems and software, to exert a positive stimulus on gamers, and to minimize the necessary computational and energy requirements necessary to deliver the targeted results to the end users.

Our core areas

Core areas

The core areas of research of the group include multimedia, computer games, distributed and mobile systems, and virtual reality.
Our multimedia research focuses on encoding, storage, and transport of multimedia content. This especially includes videos of different types, from self-made to professional content.
We research on the effects of transport and coding on the quality as perceived by the user. This may include distortions due to loss, but also encoding artifacts due to limited bandwidth.

For computer games we research technological basics such as simulation of humans, procedural game content, network communication for games, artificial intelligence for non-player characters, or real-time rendering. We are interested into technologies currently being nonexistent, but useful for the gaming industry.
A second important aspect of our computer games research are serious games used in different areas such as medicine, psychology, well care, and training of first responders.

Our third research area is performance of computer systems, covering a large span of computing devices, from mobile or distributed systems, up to high performance multi-core computers.
Here we are interested into optimizing the performance in some way, typically by measuring and modeling system performance, such that the perceived media quality is optimized.

Finally, our virtual reality research focuses on the perceived presence, i.e., the degree end users think that they are really physically in another reality.

Scientific Methodology

Our main target is to carry out research and publish the results at international conferences or journals. To this end we employ different methodologies for identifying, measuring, and prov- ing scientific innovation. Measuring and modeling are two such methodologies, which includes the measurement of certain parameters of a system, and also creating mathematically tractable system models. Other methods include implementing prototypes and carrying out experiments with real people.

We are embedded into several cooperations with other departments, hospitals and universities, both inside Austria and abroad. In our interdisciplinary cooperations, we as computer scientists provide technological solutions, which are then used by our partners for further experiments. This may include, for instance, bringing our communications equipment into real test households, and letting real people – from children to elderly – experiment with our technology.


The group is mainly involved into the Bachelor’s study programme Computer Science and the Master’s study programme Media Informatics. In the latter we manage the application area Game Design, involving lectures for real time computer graphics, physics and AI for games, and game design itself.
In our lectures we closely cooperate with professionals from the gaming industry, who are invited to either give single talks, or take over a complete lecture. We are further involved into other lectures, where students develop practical results like computer games, gaming technologies, multimedia systems, etc.