St Andrews Research Open-day in Computer Science

Event details

  • When: 26th October 2018 10:00 - 16:00
  • Where: School of Computer Science
  • Format: Conference, Symposium, Visiting Day

Register for St Andrews ROCS HERE for free.

St Andrews ROCS is an event for those of you who engage (or are planning to engage) with research in the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews.

The main audiences are prospective postgraduate students, prospective or current industrial collaborators, and colleagues from other disciplines or Schools in Scotland and beyond.

The event will take place Friday October 26th 2018, between 10:00 AM and 4 PM.

There will be talks from all research groups, posters, demonstrations, guided tours, and much more.

You can learn about how to become a St Andrews PhD student or an active industrial collaborator.

The event will take place in the JACK COLE BUILDING, NORTH HAUGH, UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS, ST ANDREWS, KY16 9SX, SCOTLAND.

You can download the programme of activities.

If you have any questions, e-mail dopgr-cs@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Register for St Andrews ROCS HERE for free.

SRG Seminar: “Using Metric Space Indexing for Complete and Efficient Record Linkage” by Özgür Akgün

Event details

  • When: 18th October 2018 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Seminar
Abstract
Record linkage is the process of identifying records that refer to the same real-world entities, in situations where entity identifiers are unavailable. Records are linked on the basis of similarity between common attributes, with every pair being classified as a link or non-link depending on their degree of similarity. Record linkage is usually performed in a three-step process: first groups of similar candidate records are identified using indexing, pairs within the same group are then compared in more detail, and finally classified. Even state-of-the-art indexing techniques, such as Locality Sensitive Hashing, have potential drawbacks. They may fail to group together some true matching records with high similarity. Conversely, they may group records with low similarity, leading to high computational overhead. We propose using metric space indexing to perform complete record linkage, which results in a parameter-free record linkage process combining indexing, comparison and classification into a single step delivering complete and efficient record linkage. Our experimental evaluation on real-world datasets from several domains shows that linkage using metric space indexing can yield better quality than current indexing techniques, with similar execution cost, without the need for domain knowledge or trial and error to configure the process.

Distinguished Speaker Program Tour (Indonesia): Professor Aaron Quigley

Professor Quigley will engage in a lecture tour to three cities in Indonesia in March 2019 as part of the Distinguished Speaker Program (DSP) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The DSP brings together international thought leaders from academia, industry, and government.

Professor Quigley will speak at the 5th International HCI and UX Conference which will travel to Jakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar. He will present talks on Discreet Computing and Global Human Computer Interaction along with meeting with local academic and industry leaders in Human Computer Interaction. Professor Quigley will be on sabbatical in the National University of Singapore next year.

DLS: Scalable Intelligent Systems by 2025 (Carl Hewitt)

Event details

  • When: 13th November 2018 09:30 - 15:30
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series
  • Format: Distinguished lecture

Venue: The Old Course Hotel (Hall of Champions)

Timetable:

9:30 Lecture 1
10:30 Break with Coffee
11:15 Lecture 2
12:15 Break for Lunch (not provided)
14:15 Lecture 3
15:15 Discussion

Lecture 1: Introduction to Scalable Intelligent Systems

Lecture 2: Foundations for Scalable Intelligent Systems

Lecture 3: Implications of Scalable Intelligent Systems

Speaker Bio:

Professor Carl Hewitt is the creator (together with his students and other colleagues) of the Actor Model of computation, which influenced the development of the Scheme programming language and the π calculus, and inspired several other systems and programming languages. The Actor Model is in widespread industrial use including eBay, Microsoft, and Twitter. For his doctoral thesis, he designed Planner, the first programming language based on pattern-invoked procedural plans.

Professor Hewitt’s recent research centers on the area of Inconsistency Robustness, i.e., system performance in the face of continual, pervasive inconsistencies (a shift from the previously dominant paradigms of inconsistency denial and inconsistency elimination, i.e., to sweep inconsistencies under the rug). ActorScript and the Actor Model on which it is based can play an important role in the implementation of more inconsistency-robust information systems. Hewitt is an advocate in the emerging campaign against mandatory installation of backdoors in the Internet of Things.

Hewitt is Board Chair of iRobust™, an international scientific society for the promotion of the field of Inconsistency Robustness. He is also Board Chair of Standard IoT™, an international standards organization for the Internet of Things, which is using the Actor Model to unify and generalize emerging standards for IoT. He has been a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and Keio University and is Emeritus in the EECS department at MIT.

Abstract:

A project to build the technology stack outlined in these lectures can bring Scalable Intelligent Systems to fruition by 2025. Scalable Intelligent Systems have the following characteristics:

  • Interactively acquire information from video, Web pages, hologlasses, online data bases, sensors, articles, human speech and gestures, etc.
  • Real-time integration of massive pervasively inconsistent information
  • Scalability in all important dimensions meaning that there are no hard barriers to continual improvement in the above areas
  • Close human collaboration with hologlasses for secure mobile interaction. Computers alone cannot implement the above capabilities
  • No closed-form algorithmic solution is possible to implement the above capabilities

Technology stack for Scalable Intelligent Systems is outlined below:

  • Experiences Hologlasses: Collaboration, Gestures, Animations, Video
  • Matrix Discourse, Rhetoric, and Narration
  • Citadels No single point of failure
  • Massive Inconsistency Robust Ontology Propositions, Goals, Plans, Descriptions, Statistics, Narratives
  • Actor Services Hardware and Software
  • Actor Many Cores Non-sequential, Every-word-tagged, Faraday cage Crypto, Stacked Carbon Nanotube

For example, pain management could greatly benefit from Scalable Intelligent Systems. Complexities of dealing with pain have led to the current opioid crisis. According to Eric Rodgers, PhD., director of the VA’s Office of Evidence Based Practice:

“The use of opioids has changed tremendously since the 1990s, when we first started formulating a plan for guidelines. The concept then was that opioid therapy was an underused strategy for helping our patients and we were trying to get our providers to use this type of therapy more. But as time went on, we became more aware of the harms of opioid therapy and the development of pill mills. The problems got worse.

It’s now become routine for providers to check the state databases to see if there’s multi-sourcing — getting prescriptions from other providers. Providers are also now supposed to use urine drug screenings and, if there are unusual results, to do a confirmation. [For every death from an opioid overdose] there are 10 people who have a problem with opioid use disorder or addiction. And for every addicted person, we have another 10 who are misusing their medication.”

Pain management requires much more than just prescribing opioids, which are often critical for short-term and less often longer-term use. [Coker 2015; Friedberg 2012; Holt 2017; Marchant 2017; McKinney 2015; Spiegel 2018; Tedesco, et. al. 2017; White 2017] Organizational aspects play an important role in pain management. [Fagerhaugh and Strauss 1977]

Google@Computer Science 2018

The School hosted another successful Google event today. Students heard first hand from Exie Huntington University Programs Specialist, three of our talented alumni (James Smith, Peter Josling and Blair Fyffe) and had an opportunity to chat with current students (Silvia Nepšinská, Diyana Petrova, Daria Savanovich and Shyam Reyal) who have completed internships with Goggle. The well-received and very well attended session heard about their academic background, working at Google and technical roles. A technical interview workshop will take place later this evening.

SRG Seminar: “Efficient Cross-architecture Hardware Virtualisation” by Tom Spink

Event details

  • When: 11th October 2018 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Seminar, Talk

Virtualisation is a powerful tool used for the isolation, partitioning, and sharing of physical computing resources. Employed heavily in data centres, becoming increasingly popular in industrial settings, and used by home-users for running alternative operating systems, hardware virtualisation has seen a lot of attention from hardware and software developers over the last ten?fifteen years.

From the hardware side, this takes the form of so-called hardware assisted virtualisation, and appears in technologies such as Intel-VT, AMD-V and ARM Virtualization Extensions. However, most forms of hardware virtualisation are typically same-architecture virtualisation, where virtual versions of the host physical machine are created, providing very fast isolated instances of the physical machine, in which entire operating systems can be booted. But, there is a distinct lack of hardware support for cross-architecture virtualisation, where the guest machine architecture is different to the host.

I will talk about my research in this area, and describe the cross-architecture virtualisation hypervisor Captive that can boot unmodified guest operating systems, compiled for one architecture in the virtual machine of another.

I will talk about the challenges of full system simulation (such as memory, instruction, and device emulation), our approaches to this, and how we can efficiently map guest behaviour to host behaviour.

Finally, I will discuss our plans for open-sourcing the hypervisor, the work we are currently doing and what future work we have planned.

DHSI Seminar – Wednesday 17th October

Event details

  • When: 17th October 2018 12:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Gateway Bldg
  • Format: Seminar

Digital Health Science Interschool Seminar Series
Opportunity for collaboration and networking

The next seminar in the DHSI series will be held in Seminar room 6, Gateway building, North Haugh on Wednesday 17th October at 12.00pm

The lead contact in Computer Science is Dr Tom Kelsey.

The core values of the seminar series is to allow a learning environment that cross cuts traditional academic “silo” thinking. Therefore this seminar series will focus on maximising the critical mass present in the participating seven schools who are currently contributing in the science of digital health.

In order to allow innovative thinking and collaborative practice the themes of every seminar will focus on one chronic and relapsing health related condition and/or a technological theme with all schools. Contributors to these seminars are encouraged to present any aspect of digital science. This year we also have NHS Fife participating into this.

See DHSI Flyer below for more information on themes and further seminar dates.


School Seminar – Professor Anirudha Joshi: The story of Swarachakra – Cracking the puzzle of text input in Indian languages

Event details

  • When: 29th October 2018 15:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title: The story of Swarachakra – Cracking the puzzle of text input in Indian languages

Abstract: There was a time when text input in Indian languages was called a ‘puzzle’. People found it so difficult that became a barrier that prevented them from using most other technology products, from doing common tasks such as searching the web or saving a contact. As a result, Indians typed very little in their own languages. The Roman script (in which we write English) is an Alphabet. In contrast, a large majority of Indian scripts are Abugidas – a different type of scripts. In our lab, we were convinced that we need different solutions – what works for Alphabets may not work for Abugidas. Over the years we explored several designs. Our early solutions were for desktop computers. Later we developed concepts for the feature phones. We tried several creative ideas and made prototypes. We got interesting results in the lab. We published papers and case studies. But beyond that, we could not reach out and make a difference to the end-users. Then smartphones arrived, and quickly became popular. It became relatively easier to develop and deploy keyboards. Again, we tried several ideas. One solution stood out in comparison with others. We called it “Swarachakra”. Today, Swarachakra is available for 12 Indian languages and has been downloaded by about 4 million users. What was the problem, and how was it solved? And what challenges remain? Come to the talk to find out.

Speaker biography: Anirudha Joshi is professor in the interaction design stream in the IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay, India, though currently he is on a sabbatical, visiting universities in the UK. His specialises in design of interactive products for emergent users in developing economies. He has worked in diverse domains including healthcare, literacy, Indian language text input, banking, education, industrial equipment, and FMCG packaging. Anirudha also works in the area of integrating HCI activities with software engineering processes. He has developed process models, tools, and metrics to help HCI practitioners deliver a better user experience. Anirudha is active with HCI communities in India and outside. He has chaired in various roles in several conferences including India HCI, INTERACT and CHI. Since 2007, he represents India on IFIP TC13. He is the founding director of HCI Professionals Association of India since 2013. Since 2015 he is the Liaison for India for the ACM SIGCHI Asian Development Committee. Since 2016, he has been the VP Finance of the ACM SIGCHI Executive Committee. Anirudha has diverse backgrounds. He is a BTech (1989) in Electrical Engineering, an MDes (1992), in Visual Communication Design, and a PhD (2011) in Computer Science and Engineering, all from IIT Bombay.

Pascal Bruegger: Resident Monitoring System

Event details

  • When: 23rd October 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

The situation in hospitals, nursing homes and homes for patients suffering from mental illnesses is increasingly challenging. The medical staff and special educators are often responsible for a large (and growing) number of residents, for which there is only a very limited time for one-to-one care. The risk of not being able to respond promptly to problems increases with the number of residents per medical staff. Moreover, elderly people find challenging giving and up independence when moving into a nursing home. Overnight, they find themselves in a place where care activities are structured, and at fixed times, with little freedom. However, many of these people either need regular medical care or are unable to live independently. The risk of injuries, falls, loss of consciousness or simply not being able to manage their health (e.g. take medication) leads to the decision to place the person in a socio-medical environment.

To be able to monitor residents in a nonintrusive manner would provide a certain degree of independence, safety and well-being for the residents and also relieve some of the pressure on nurses and educators. The ideal monitoring system should in fact be an ecosystem that includes sensors that can localise and detect resident’s activities and collect physiological data, a way of sending regular updates about the situation of the residents they take care of medical staff and a central monitoring system for both residents and medical staff and a logic to decide the most appropriate available person to intervene in case of problems with a resident. We propose an exploration of solutions that blend new technologies with a respect for human relationships in the context of a nursing home. This is to be achieved through an intelligent environment that monitors a resident’s general well-being unobstrusively, meaning both the physiological state, the activity and the location of the person.

Speaker Bio:

Pascal Bruegger is a Professor in Computer Science at the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg – University of Applied Sciences, Western Switzerland since 2013. He is responsible of the mobile technologies and applications curriculum in his department. His PhD subject was the creation of a holistic framework to design and implement ubiquitous computing systems supporting user activity and situation. With the widespread availability of smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, his research interest is oriented toward smart environments integrating mobile technologies. His goal is to gather different user data through mobile sensors in order to propose context base systems helping users carrying out their daily activities. For two years, Pascal, with his background in biology, has focused his research in physiological data and activities. Experienced in humanitarian ICT, Pascal has work many years for the International Committee of the Red Cross and has made several long-term missions across Africa and Asia. He managed large scale IT infrastructures and organised training seminars for specialists in humanitarian ICT. He is also ICT specialist in the Swiss rescue team.

Bridging the Gap between Formal Argumentation and Actual Human Reasoning

Later this week Dr Alice Toniolo will be an invited speaker at “Bridging the Gap between Formal Argumentation and Actual Human Reasoning” taking place at the Institute for Philosophy II, Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Her talk will focus on argumentation-based support for human sensemaking of conflicting information. See abstract below for more information.

Abstract: Models of argumentation have increasingly been employed in human decision-making systems to facilitate good reasoning. Sensemaking of conflicting and incomplete information is one application where argumentation-based tools have the potential to help users reduce the cognitive load in identifying hypotheses about a situation. To improve the effectiveness of systems that employ computational models of argumentation, however, there is a real need to evaluate their use in human decision support. In this talk, we seek to better understand the link between human reasoning, argumentation schemes and preferred extensions in supporting sensemaking of conflicting information. An application will be presented in the context of intelligence analysis which employs argumentation schemes to construct hypotheses about the world and counteract cognitive biases. Preferred extensions are linked to different possible world explanations and help analysts reduce the cognitive effort in identifying what is coherent in a situation. However, using argumentation-based tools to support reasoning about the world opens questions on how people engage with and understand these approaches. A set of experiments with human participants is presented to investigate the use of argumentation schemes and preferred extensions in identifying plausible explanations. Initial results show that argumentation schemes are a reliable method to structure inferences and draw plausible conclusions from incomplete information with potential for supporting the identification of biases. On the other hand, preferred extensions can be seen as capturing different possible world explanations affecting the degree of believability of a conclusion. Results from the experiments show that the degree of believability of a conclusion may be associated with the number of preferred extensions in which the conclusion is credulously accepted with similar heuristics as those employed in understanding probabilities.