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.

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.

School Seminar – Professor Patrick Olivier – Digital Civics: Infrastructuring Participatory Citizenship

Event details

  • When: 18th October 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title:  Digital Civics: Infrastructuring Participatory Citizenship

Abstract:  Firstly, this is not technical talk, its a talk about a research initiative in “Digital Civics” that Open Lab is undertaking primarily with partners in the North East of England, but also nationally and internationally. Digital Civics proposes the use of digital technologies in the provision of relational models of public services, that is, models that take as a starting point the potential of digital technologies to support citizen-focused sharing of knowledge, experience and resources. By framing government as more than simply the provider of uniform and mechanistic services, digital civics aims to leverage technology to foster environments in which local agents (e.g. charities, local businesses, citizens) are able to solve problems together. Digital Civics research is inherently cross-disciplinary, action-oriented and place-based, and this requires us (as academic researchers) to configure ourselves differently to the communities with whom we conduct our research. In this talk I will be describing examples of our digital civics research, from applications in community engagement and education to public health and social justice, as well as the trajectory and pragmatics of the overall endeavour.

Speaker biography:  Patrick Olivier is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computing, Newcastle University, UK. He founded and leads Open Lab, Newcastle University’s centre for cross-disciplinary research in digital technologies. His research interests span interaction design, social computing and ubiquitous computing, particularly in public service and civic application contexts (education, public health and social justice). He is director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics (55 cross-disciplinary PhD students) and the EPSRC Digital Economy Research Centre (a multidisciplinary five-year project involving 25 postdocs).

Google scholar:

https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=CUu9heMAAAAJ

ORCID:

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2841-7580

Open Lab:

https://openlab.ncl.ac.uk/

Digital Civics:

https://digitalcivics.io/

Carron Shankland (Stirling): How did I get here? Being and becoming a professor (School Seminar)

Event details

  • When: 27th November 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

2016 was a weird year for Carron. On the plus side she was one of twelve women in Computing and Mathematics to receive a Suffrage Science Award, recognising both scientific achievement and ability to inspire others. She’s involved in lots of work to promote careers in science for women, having initiated and led the Athena SWAN programme of actions at Stirling for four years, and started building Cygnets: a good practice network of UK computing departments engaged in gender equality work. But 2016 was also one of the worst years of her life, with lots of stress, and consequent depression. She’ll talk about her journey from student to professor, with some thoughts about the people and qualities that lead to success, and how those qualities can also be enemies. This should be relevant for everyone, no matter their career stage, academic or professional services, or discipline. (Spoiler alert: she will probably have more questions than answers in this talk!)

Speaker Bio:

Carron Shankland is a professor in Computing Science at the University of Stirling. Her research is about understanding the behaviour of biological systems through mathematical and computational models. Current projects include using data mining to understand disease dynamics, and modelling cancer therapies to try to understand how the actions of therapies might combine to greater effect. As a senior academic, she believes in participating in governance: she’s had positions on Academic Council and University Court, and was deputy head of Natural Sciences. Carron is passionate about the promotion of careers in science for women, having initiated and led the Athena SWAN programme of actions at Stirling 2012-2016. She chairs the BCS Women in Computing Research Group and is building DiVERct: a good practice network of ICT (computing and electronic and electrical engineering) departments engaged in diversity and inclusion work. In 2017 she won one of the first Scottish Women’s Awards for services to science and technology, and in 2016 she was one of twelve women in Computing and Mathematics to receive a Suffrage Science Award, recognising both scientific achievement and ability to inspire others. When she’s not doing computing science (or admin!) she likes to play classical chamber music (she plays clarinet and viola), chop things down in the garden, or visit galleries and coffee shops with her partner Pat (they’ve had a civil partnership since 2006).

Iain Bate (York): Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Embedded Systems and Future Challenges (School Seminar)

Event details

  • When: 30th October 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

This talk will concentrate on some successful applications of search-based and neural network algorithms in two distinctly different areas of real-time embedded systems development: scheduling and timing analysis, and Internet of Things. However it will then motivate some significant challenges for the artificial intelligence community that surprised a user from another research community. The talk will highlight how a seemingly simple-to-use powerful solutions would benefit from a more traditional engineering lifecycles.

Speaker Bio:

Dr Iain Bate is a Reader within the Real-Time Systems (RTS) Research Group at York. His main interests include scheduling and timing analysis, and design assurance to achieve dependable operation even when there are complex failures. His original doctoral work on scheduling and timing analysis was first patented and then adopted by Rolls-Royce for use on current aircraft projects. His work on timing analysis has been used on a large fast jet project.

Recently he has worked on applying the principles of Dependable Real-Time Systems (DRTS) to more complex systems such as automotive systems and Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) including for environmental monitoring. In particular he has concentrated on producing models of aspects of systems through the building of systematic methods based around multi-variate statistical models. Dr Bate has published over 100 papers and 30 industrial reports, and secured and managed over £5 million worth of grants. He was the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Systems Architecture for 10 years.

Alan Dix (Swansea): Sufficient Reason (School Seminar)

Event details

  • When: 16th October 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

A job candidate has been pre-selected for shortlist by a neural net; an autonomous car has suddenly changed lanes almost causing an accident; the intelligent fridge has ordered an extra pint of milk. From the life changing or life threatening to day-to-day living, decisions are made by computer systems on our behalf. If something goes wrong, or even when the decision appears correct, we may need to ask the question, “why?” In the case of failures we need to know whether it is the result of a bug in the software,; a need for more data, sensors or training; or simply one of those things: a decision correct in the context, that happened to turn out badly. Even if the decision appears acceptable, we may wish to understand it for our own curiosity, peace of mind, or for legal compliance. In this talk I will pick up threads of research dating back to early work in the 1990s on gender and ethnic bias in black-box machine-learning systems, as well as more recent developments such as deep learning and concerns such as those that gave rise to the EPSRC human-like computing programme. In particular I will present nascent work on an AIX Toolkit (AI explainability): a structured collection of techniques designed to help developers of intelligent systems create more comprehensible representations of the reasoning. Crucial to the AIX Toolkit is the understanding that human-human explanations are rarely utterly precise or reproducible, but they are sufficient to inspire confidence and trust in a collaborative endeavour.

Speaker Bio:

Alan Dix is Director of the Computational Foundry at Swansea University. Previously he has spent 10 years in a mix of academic and commercial roles, most recently as Professor in the HCI Centre at the University of Birmingham and Senior Researcher at Talis. He has worked in human–computer interaction research since the mid 1980s, and is the author of one of the major international textbooks on HCI as well as of over 450 research publications from formal methods to design creativity, including some of the earliest papers in the HCI literature on topics such as privacy, mobile interaction, and gender and ethnic bias in intelligent algorithms. Issues of space and time in user interaction have been a long term interest, from his “Myth of the Infinitely Fast Machine” in 1987, to his co-authored book, TouchIT, on physicality in a digital age, due to be published in 2018. Alan organises a twice-yearly workshop, Tiree Tech Wave, on the small Scottish island where he has lived for 10 years, and where he has been engaged in a number of community research projects relating to heritage, communications, energy use and open data. In 2013, he walked the complete periphery of Wales, over a thousand miles. This was a personal journey, but also a research expedition, exploring the technology needs of the walker and the people along the way. The data from this including 19,000 images, about 150,000 words of geo-tagged text, and many giga-bytes of bio-data is available in the public domain as an ‘open science’ resource. Alan’s new role at the Computational Foundry has brought him back to his homeland. The Computational Foundry is a 30 million pound initiative to boost computational research in Wales with a strong focus on creating social and economic benefit. Digital technology is at a bifurcation point when it could simply reinforce existing structures of industry, government and health, or could allow us to radically reimagine and transform society. The Foundry is built on the belief that addressing human needs and human values requires and inspires the deepest forms of fundamental science.

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Update: The slides from the talk are available here.