Friday, February 27, 2009

Feb 2009 - LoCA program chair meeting and decisions

Myself and Tanzeem Choudhury from Dartmouth College are the program chairs for the Fourth International Symposium on Location- and Context-Awareness to be held in Tokyo Japan from the 7-8 May 2009. LoCA 2009 is colocated with Pervasive 2009 the Seventh International Conference on Pervasive Computing, which will be held May 11-14, 2009 in Nara, Japan.

A total of 77 abstracts and 54 papers were submitted to LoCA 2009 and after careful peer review by the program committee and discussion by the chairs, 18 papers were selected to form what we feel is a high-quality program. Best paper and presentation awards will be presented during the symposium. And all accepted papers will be contained in the symposium proceedings which will be published in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series by Springer.

While we had more good papers than we could accept, those in the program will form an exciting and engaging research program for everyone who attends LoCA 2009. Some of the terms and expressions (adapted a little to preserve anonymity) used in the reviews of these accepted papers include:

  • "New Concept", "Novel Concept", "An interesting novel idea"
  • "...the research jumps head-on into a large open problem"
  • "...strong rigorous evaluations which are well written and well argued"
  • "...the authors offer insightful descriptions"
  • "... well written, well explained, and thoroughly evaluated research contribution that is quite relevant for ..."
  • "... an interesting paper, well-presented and -evaluated and addressing an important problem."
  • "..the paper makes good use of state-of-the art techniques to solve the problem of ..."
  • "..I think this is a real problem of interest to the community"

Peer review can be a both upliftting and shocking process but the tireless efforts of all those on the LoCA PC are to be very much commended as hundreds of reviews had to be written to help select just 18 papers.

Dr.Shonozaki of Koozyt (PlaceEngine) will be a Keynote Speaker for LoCA 2009 and the early bird registration for LoCA 2009 is March 5.

I would like to thank all the members of the PC, our reviewers, general and local chairs and in particular my program co-chair Dr. Tanzeem Choudhury for a very smooth, professional and high quality peer-review process for LoCA 2009.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feb 2009 Clique Strategic Research Cluster funded: €3.56 million

I am one of the six principal investigators for Clique which was announced by the Irish Tánaiste as an Science Foundation Ireland funded (SFI) Strategic Research Cluster. Our industry partners, in this joint initiative are IBM, Idiro Technologies and Norkom Technologies. Our academic partners are UCD and DERI in Galway. Clique runs from 2009 - 2013 and has a focus on the analysis and visualisation of large graphs and networks, specifically social and biological networks. This is a very exciting development for my research as it will allow me to hire a number of postdocs and postgraduates but more importantly to work in a research eco-system with domain experts, industry partners, rich data sources and collaborators interested in various aspects of the end-to-end problems in visual analytics.

Many of the Clique team will be based in the UCD CASL

While these companies are providing matching funding and resources the SFI is providing €3.56 million over the course of 5 years. In total with industry and SFI funding the program has funding in excess of €5 million. The academic principal investigators involved are, Prof. Pádraig Cunningham, Prof. Denis Shields, Prof. Brendan Murphy, Dr. Aaron Quigley, Dr. Neil Hurley and Dr. Conor Hayes. The funding will be used to hire postdoctoral researchers and pay postgraduate scholarships.

The development of this research cluster has been a long time in the making. I've been an IBM visiting scientist since 2005 and others have been collaborating with Idiro and Norkom over a number of years. This cluster was first proposed over 1 year ago when 40 similar clusters were proposed to the SFI. The process to select these five from the forty has included a preliminary expression of interest (then review), full detailed proposal (then reviews), site visit (international panel), SFI review and board review and final the official announcement by the government! It's a very rigourous process aimed to ensure the best research is funded, the value for the Irish tax payer is strong and the potential for industry is high.

I look forward to blogging about new team members, new research ideas, papers, outputs and commercilisation in the years to come!

[ Read SFI News Release ]

"SFI Strategic Research Clusters (SRCs) will help link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, foster the development of new and existing Irish-based technology companies, and grow partnerships with industry that could make an important contribution to Ireland and its economy.

The SRC programme has been designed to facilitate the clustering of outstanding researchers to carry out joint research activities in areas of strategic importance to Ireland (in ICT and/or BioTech sectors), while also giving the time and resources to attract and cultivate strong industry partnerships that can inform and enhance their research programmes."

Feb 2009 CHI Workshop and Surface User Interfaces

I just blogged about Surface User Interfaces on the "Evaluating new interactions in healthcare" blog. We have a paper [1] on "Design Patterns" at this workshop during CHI which this blog is being used to support. While I don't think I can attend the workshop myself as I have trips to the USA, Sweden, Germany and Australia in the next two months my colleague Julie Doyle will attend. My PhD student Ross Shannon will also attend to present our paper on "Time Sequences" during the work in progress at CHI in Boston.

Figure 1: SharePic photo sharing system [3]

[1] Doyle J., Quigley A. and Nixon P., "Do Pattern Languages help us Structure Evaluations in Healthcare Technologies?" proceedings of the CHI 2009 Workshop on Evaluating New Interactions in Healthcare: Challenges and Approaches, Boston USA, April 2009.

[2] Shannon R., Quigley A. and Nixon P. (2009). Time Sequences. In CHI '09 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Boston, Massachusetts, April 04 - 09, 2009). CHI '09. ACM, New York, NY. (in press)

[3] Apted, T., Kay, J., and Quigley, A. 2006. Tabletop sharing of digital photographs for the elderly. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Montréal, Québec, Canada, April 22 - 27, 2006). R. Grinter, T. Rodden, P. Aoki, E. Cutrell, R. Jeffries, and G. Olson, Eds. CHI '06. ACM, New York, NY, 781-790.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Feb 2009 Just for Ross

Just for Ross, one of my PhD students, I've moved to some proper
blogging software. Previously I used Feeder, a mac based software app,
which I was very happy with. However, this didn't allow for linking,
commenting etc.. hence wasn't really "blogging" instead mere note
taking. So after migrating 160 posts to blogger (o, by the way blogger
thanks for making this impossible to do automatically) here I am
emailing my blog this post! If this mail2blogger actually works I will
be well impressed.

Thanks also to Umer for taking the time out to demo a visualisation
application on our MERL Diamondtouch multi-touch surface. I will be
posting more on this as we develop our tutorial program for TableTop 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Feb 2009 Program Committee P2P 2009

I've been invited to join the PC for the P2P 2009 the Ninth International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Systems from the 8 - 11 September 2009 to be held in Seattle, Washington, USA. I've been to a number of P2P conferences over the years and also served on a number of past program committees. It's an excellent conference series with a range of research presented, from the highly theoretical in systems demonstrated though simulation alone to clearly applied, real-world results.

"Topics that relate to Peer-to-Peer systems, Peer-to-Peer applications, Grid systems, large-scale distributed systems, and overlay networks are open for consideration. Experience with applications, and papers with the potential to open up new directions for research are especially encouraged.

Topics of interest for the conference include, but are not limited to:

* P2P applications and services
* Performance and robustness of P2P systems
* Commercial applications
* Security in P2P systems
* Self-organization in P2P systems
* P2P information retrieval
* Higher-level query support in P2P systems
* Semantic overlay networks and semantic query routing in P2P systems
* Trust, Reputation and Fairness in P2P Systems
* Cooperation and collaboration in P2P systems
* Overlay architectures and topologies
* P2P overlay interaction with underlying infrastructure
* Overlay monitoring and management
* Social networks
* P2P systems over mobile networks
* Delay-tolerant P2P systems
* P2P workload characterization and simulation
* P2P economics
* P2P grids "

[ Read More ]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Feb 2009 Program Committee, Conference on Smart Spaces

I've been invited to join the PC for the 2nd Conference on Smart Spaces ruSMART 2009 to be held in St.Petersburg, Russia from September 15-16, 2009. I like the outline for this event and topics it covers. The program from 2008 also looks very good.

"Recent advances in the field of wireless networks have moved them beyond their traditional areas of application to a much broader scope. They form a space where users can access a number of wireless technologies to interact with various services. Similarly, existent and future services form a space providing an unlimited set of possibilities ranging from browsing to interactive video conversations. All these layers form a smart environment that can harmonize a number of technologies at each architectural layer to provide the best user experience.

This conference will explore and explain the scope and challenges of smart spaces. In this regard, the conference aims to bring together research professionals from diverse fields including but not limited to wireless communication, ubiquitous networks, software development, multimedia, services, and business in both academia and industry.

The 2nd Conference on Smart Spaces ruSMART 2009 will take place on September 15 - 16, 2009. It will be co-located with the 9th International Conference Next Generation Wired/Wireless Advanced Networking NEW2AN 2009. ruSMART proceedings will be published by SpringerLNCS in joint volume."

[ Read More ]

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb 2009 Open posts for Clique Research Cluster

Clique LogoI am one of the principal investigators for the Clique Research Cluster in Graph, Network Analysis and Visualisation based at University College Dublin and the National University of Ireland, Galway.

We are inviting applications for the following posts and funded PhD positions:
  • Senior postdoctoral researcher (UCD ref 003756)
  • Postdoctoral researcher in probablistic network modelling (UCD ref
  • Postdoctoral researcher in analysis of information diffusion in social networks (NUIG-Clique-02)
  • 6-8 funded PhD studentships to address research challenges in
    • anomaly detection
    • biological network analysis
    • computational techniques in network analysis
    • information visualisation
    • models of information flow
    • probabilistic network models.

Please note, the closing date for this round of applications is 8th
March 2009. Please see the Clique Cluster vacancies page for more details.

Feb 2009 CHI 2009 Work In Progress paper

Congrats to Ross on having his work in progress paper accepted to CHI 2009 to be published as an extended abstract.

Shannon R., Quigley A. and Nixon P. (2009). Time Sequences. In CHI '09 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Boston, Massachusetts, April 04 - 09, 2009). CHI '09. ACM, New York, NY. (in press)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Feb 2009 Chartered IT Professional (CITP)


I'm now a Chartered IT Professional (CITP). Which is a professional certification awarded under a UK Royal Charter to IT professionals by the Council of the British Computer Society.