Energy-efficient location-awareness on mobile devices

Event details

  • When: 29th July 2011 12:00 - 13:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Seminar

Speaker: Peterri Nurmi,  Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT
Contemporary mobile phones readily support different positioning techniques. In addition to integrated GPS receivers, GSM and WiFi can be used for position estimation, and other sensors such as accelerometers and digital compasses can be used to support positioning, e.g., through dead reckoning or the detection of stationary periods. Selecting which sensor technologies to use for positioning is, however, a non-trivial task as available sensor technologies vary considerably in terms of their energy demand and the accuracy of location estimates. To improve the energy-efficiency of mobile devices and to provide as accurate position estimates as possible, novel on-device positioning technologies together with techniques that select optimal sensor modalities based on positioning accuracy requirements are required. In this talk we first introduce novel GSM and WiFi fingerprinting algorithms that run directly on mobile devices with minimal energy consumption [1]. We also introduce our recent work on minimizing the power consumption of continuous location and trajectory tracking on mobile devices [2].
[1] P. Nurmi, S. Bhattacharya, J. Kukkonen: “A grid-based algorithm for on-device GSM positioning.” Proc. 12th ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp, Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2010). ACM Press, 2010, 227-236.
[2] M. B. Kjaergaard, S. Bhattacharya, H. Blunck, P. Nurmi, “Energy-efficient Trajectory Tracking for Mobile Devices”, Proc. 9th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services (MobiSys, June-July, 2011).

About Petteri:
Dr. Petteri Nurmi is a Senior Researcher at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT. He received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Helsinki in 2009. He is currently co-leading the Adaptive Computing research group at HIIT together with Doc. Patrik Floréen. His research focuses on ubiquitous computing, user modeling and interaction with a view of making the life of ordinary people easier through easy-to-use mobile services. He regularly serves as Program Committee Member and reviewer for numerous leading conferences and journals. More information about his research can be found from the webpage of the research group:

Sensing, understanding and modelling people using mobile phones

Event details

  • When: 26th July 2011 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Speaker: Mirco Musolesi, Computer Science, University of St Andrews


Mobile phones are increasingly equipped with sensors, such as accelerometers, GPS receivers, proximity sensors and cameras, that can be used to sense and interpret people behaviour in real-time. Novel user-centered sensing applications can be built by exploiting the availability of such technologies in these devices that are part of our everyday experience. Moreover, data extracted from the sensors can also be used to model people behaviour and movement patterns providing a very rich set of multi-dimensional data, which can be extremely useful for social science, marketing and epidemiological studies.

In this talk I will present some of my recent work in this area including the design and implementation of the CenceMe platform, a system that supports the inference of activities and other presence information of individuals using off-the-shelf sensor-enabled phones and of EmotionSense, a system for supporting social psychology research. Finally, I will discuss the issues related to the design of energy-efficient social sensing systems.

About Mirco:

Dr. Mirco Musolesi is a SICSA Lecturer at the School of Computer Science at the University of St. Andrews. He received a PhD in Computer Science from University College London in 2007 and a Master in Electronic Engineering from the University of Bologna in 2002. From October 2005 to August 2007 he was a Research Fellow at the Department of Computer Science, University College London. Then, from September 2007 to August 2008 he was an ISTS Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Dartmouth College, NH, USA, and from September 2008 to October 2009 a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. His research interests lie in the broad area of mobile systems and networking with a current focus on intelligent mobile systems, online social networks, application of complex network theory to networked systems design, mobility modelling and sensing systems based on mobile phones. More information about his research profile can be found at the following URL:

Dr Tom Kelsey launches iPhone app for IVF-Predict

Calculator that returns chances of a live birth for a planned IVF cycle.
IVF-Predict Support.

IVFpredict was developed by Professor Scott Nelson and Professor Debbie Lawlor and published in PLOS Medicine.

In conjunction with Dr Tom Kelsey they have transformed this complex formula into a simple online and smartphone based calculator.

Narrative Generation: a case study in assistive technology

Event details

  • When: 19th July 2011 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Speaker: Nava Tintarev, University of Aberdeen

Story-telling, (including personal narrative), is a big part of our personal and social communication. This talk will identify challenges and solutions that look at the generation of narrative for social communication. We describe a way to “automatically” generate personal stories. The stories which are mix of natural language and multimedia, are based on sensor, and other data, collected with a mobile phone. This study will place a particular focus on the natural language generation task of document structuring: segmenting this data into meaningful and distinct events.
About Nava:
Nava Tintarev has worked on applied HCI projects with themes such as explanations in recommender systems, recommendations in
a mobile travel scenario, and more recently, natural language generation for assistive technology.

Currently, she is working as a Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen where she is a member of the Natural Language Generation Group.
She has been working on the “How was School today…?” project, which helps children with complex communication needs create and tell a story
about their day at school (which will be the applied setting for the talk on the 19th of July). Before that, she was at Telefónica Research, Barcelona,
working on user-centred issues in recommender systems.
Her doctoral thesis focused on explanations for recommender systems, and one of her papers on the topic
won her the James Chen best student paper award at the International Conference on Hypermedia (2008). For the last
three years she has also been co-organizing a workshop on explanation-aware computing (ExaCt) (

Greg Bigwood receives the Brendan Murphy Memorial Young Researcher Prize

Greg Bigwood at MSN 2011St Andrews Computer Science PhD student Greg Bigwood has won the Brendan Murphy Memorial Young Researcher Prize at the 2011 Multi-Service Networks meeting in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Multi-Service Networks (MSN) is an annual meeting of network researchers that mainly revolves around talks from PhD students. The Brendan Murphy Prize is given for the best presentation and is in memory of Brendan Murphy, an outstanding researcher and mountaineer known to many in the communications and distributed systems research community, and a regular participant at MSN since its inception. Greg received the prize for his talk Incentives for Opportunistic Networks.

The use of regret and forgiveness

Event details

  • When: 26th July 2011 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Talk

Dr Steve Marsh.

Regret, the emotion arising from counterfactual reasoning about action
and inaction, is a powerful tool in the arsenal of trust-reasoning and
enabling technologies. One aspect of the tool, Regret Management, is the
enforcement of a view of System Trust in technological approaches in
order to preserve and encourage respect for concerns such as data
protection, privacy, and cyber-social interaction. Forgiveness, as a
tool in the broad spectrum of computational trust, helps agents reason
about and rebuild relationships that may have been damaged by some
action, and is particularly useful in areas where, as online, cheap
pseudonyms can exist. This talk will examine regret and forgiveness from
the point of view of agents or devices in connected environments, where
humans are present actors, and show how enforcement of regret management
and forgiveness measures may be efficacious.

Steve Marsh is a Research Scientist in the Network Security Group at in
the Communications Research Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

His PhD (University of Stirling, 1994) was a seminal work that
introduced the first formalisation of the phenomenon of trust (the
concept of ‘Computational Trust’), and applied it to Multi Agent
Systems. As a milestone in trust research, it brought together disparate
disciplines and attempted to make sense of a vital phenomenon in human
and artificial societies, and is still widely referenced today. Steve’s
current work builds extensively on this model, applying it to network
security, MANETs, and mobile device security.

His research interests include computational trust, trust management,
regret and regret management, and socially adept technologies. He is the
Canadian delegate to IFIP Technical Committee 11: Security and Privacy
Protection in Information Processing Systems. He is an adjunct professor
at UNB (Computer Science), UOIT (Business and IT) and Carleton
University (Systems and Computer Engineering and Cognitive Science).

Evaluation of network resilience and survivability: analysis, simulation, tools, and experimentation

Event details

  • When: 12th July 2011 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar


As the Internet becomes increasingly important to all aspects of society, the consequences of disruption are increasingly severe. Thus it is critical to increase the resilience and survivability of the future networks in general, and the Internet in particular. We define resilience as the ability of the network to provide desired service even when the network is challenged by attacks, large-scale disasters, and other failures. Resilience subsumes the disciplines of survivability, fault-tolerance, disruption-tolerance, traffic-tolerance, dependability, performability, and security. After an introduction to the disciplines and challenges to network resilience, this presentation will discuss analytical, simulation, and experimental emulation techniques for understanding, evaluating, and improving the resilience of the Future Internet. This includes a multilevel state-space based approach that plots network service delivery against operational state that is the basis for both mathematical- and simulation-based analysis, and approaches that embed fundamental properties such as redundancy and diversity into all aspects of network structure, mechanism, and protocols. A set of tools to help in this analysis has been developed: KU-LoCGen (Location and Cost-Constrained Topology Generation), KU-TopViwe (Topology Viewer), and KU-CSM (Challenge Simulation Module). Plans to experimentally evaluate resilience include using the international programmable testbed GpENI: Great Plains Environment for Network Innovation.


James P.G. Sterbenz is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and a member of technical staff at the Information & Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas, and is a Visiting Professor of Computing in InfoLab 21 at Lancaster University in the UK. He has previously held senior staff and research management positions at BBN Technologies, GTE Laboratories, and IBM Research. His research interests include resilient, survivable, and disruption tolerant networking, future Internet architectures, active and programmable networks, and high-speed networking and components. He is director of the ResiliNets Research Group, currently PI in the NSF-funded FIND and GENI programs, the EU-funded FIRE ResumeNet project, leads the GpENI international programmable network testbed project, and leads a US DoD project in highly-mobile ad hoc disruption-tolerant networking. He received a doctorate in computer science from Washington University in 1991. He has been program chair for IEEE GI, GBN, and HotI; IFIP IWSOS, PfHSN, and IWAN; and is on the editorial board of IEEE Network. He is principal author of the book High-Speed Networking: A Systematic Approach to High-Bandwidth Low-Latency Communication.

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