The beginning of June, I received an invitation for MATLAB EXPO in Ghent. Since I used to be a frequent user of the MATLAB and Simulink tool suite, the event was a pleasant trip down memory lane for me.
by DSP Valley (Bjorn Vandevondel)
MATLAB EXPO took place in Utrecht and Ghent. Ghent was the closest to me, so the choice to go to the EXPO in the Ghelamco Arena on the 21st of June was easily made. Somewhat 10 years ago, I used the MATLAB and Simulink tool suite to evaluate and implement image processing algorithms. I was really eager to know what had changed since then. At the end of the day, that turned out to be quite a lot!
AI and data science techniques
After the welcoming by Mr. Stakenborg, Managing Director of MathWorks BeNeLux, I attended the keynote of Loren Shure, Consulting Application Engineer at MathWorks on Artificial Intelligence. In this presentation the main focus was on the different techniques used in AI (deep learning, computer vision, data science, … ) and how the tools from MathWorks enable engineers to use these techniques in their day-to-day work, by providing suitable functions, toolboxes and support.
A second keynote, brought by Katya Vladislavleva from DataStories International, elaborated on the business value of data science. Moreover, the speaker focused on the process of bringing data science and results from using these techniques to a clear business advantage. As a general example she showed the case of predictive analysis as an important input for manufacturing R&D in modern Industry 4.0 oriented applications.
New R2018a release
The presentation by Stephan van Beek, and Jorik Caljouw, both Application Engineers at MathWorks, on the novelties in the latest release of the MATLAB and Simulink tool suite was quite interesting because it made me realize that 10 years is like an eternity when it comes to design tools. They discussed the possibilities of the new R2018a release of the tools. Next to the different toolboxes and block sets, the gentlemen also elaborated on the improvements or better the advancements in the coding process (C and HDL) and the possibility to easily share code and generate documentation by e.g. using cross references.
The new R2018a release knows advancements in the coding process (C and HDL) and does easily share code and generate documentation.
Their presentation made me want to be back in the development lab experimenting with these tools and implementing all kinds of complex algorithms for e.g. autonomous systems. I re-lived the joy and pleasure of using advanced tools to do developments…
More efficient design process
For the remainder of the day I attended the main presentations rather than joining a master class. I figured that my experience would be too rusty to get something out of such a masterclass. I was also eager to get to know some experiences of seasoned MATLAB users in their field of application, and these main presentations were an excellent opportunity. The talks of Mr. Viaene from Vintecc, Mr. Dutré from Siemens and Mr. Reilink from DEMCON all focused on a specific topic in the design process in their respective application domains, and how the tools from MathWorks could come in handy to speed up or to make the design process more efficient.
A short visit to the exhibition floor concluded my visit. It led me to the conclusion that MATLAB and Simulink have become, if they weren’t so already, a must-have tool suite for engineers, designers and data scientists, supporting them in a lot of different aspects and facets of the designing process.