Keynote Speakers

Irina Rish (IBM, T. J. Watson Research Center - New York, United States)

Irina Rish is a researcher at the Healthcare & Life Sciences department of IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. She received MS in Applied Mathematics from Moscow Gubkin Institute, Russia, and PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine. Her areas of expertise include artificial intelligence and machine learning, with a particular focus on probabilistic graphical models, sparsity and compressed sensing, active learning, and their applications to various domains, ranging from diagnosis and performance management of distributed computer systems ("autonomic computing") to predictive modeling and statistical biomarker discovery in neuroimaging and other biological data. Irina has published over 60 research papers, several book chapters, two edited books, and a monograph on Sparse Modeling, taught several tutorials and organized multiple workshops at machine-learning conferences, including NIPS, ICML and ECML. She holds 24 patents and several IBM awards. As an adjunct professor at the EE Department of Columbia University, she taught several advanced graduate courses on statistical learning and sparse signal modeling.

Volker Markl (TU Berlin and DFKI)

Volker Markl is a Full Professor and Chair of the Database Systems and Information Management (DIMA) group at the Technische Universitat Berlin (TU Berlin), director of the research group “Intelligent Analysis of Massive Data” at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), and speaker of the Berlin Big Data Center (BBDC). Earlier in his career, Dr. Markl lead a research group at FORWISS, the Bavarian Research Center for Knowledge-based Systems in Munich, Germany, and was a Research Staff member & Project Leader at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, USA. Dr. Markl has published numerous research papers on indexing, query optimization, lightweight information integration, and scalable data processing. He holds 19 patents, has transferred technology into several commercial products, and advises several companies and startups. He has been speaker and principal investigator of the Stratosphere research project that resulted in the "Apache Flink" big data analytics system. Dr. Markl currently serves as the secretary of the VLDB Endowment and was elected as one of Germany's leading "digital minds" (Digitale Köpfe) by the German Informatics Society (GI). Volker Markl and his team earned an ACM SIGMOD Research Highlight Award 2016 for their work on implicit parallelism through deep language embedding.

Keynote Title: Big Data Management and Apache Flink: Key Challenges and (Some) Solutions

Abstract: The shortage of qualified data scientists is effectively limiting Big Data from fully realizing its potential to deliver insight and provide value for scientists, business analysts, and society as a whole. In order to remedy this situation, we believe that novel technologies that draw on the concepts of declarative languages, query optimization, automatic parallelization and hardware adaptation are necessary. In this talk, we will discuss several aspects of our research in this area, including results in how to optimize iterative data flow programs, optimistic fault-tolerance, and steps toward a deep language embedding of advanced data analysis programs. We will also discuss how our research activities have led to Apache Flink, an open-source big data analytics system, which by now has become a major data processing engine in the Apache Big Data Stack, used in a variety of applications by academia and industry.

Siobhán Clarke (Trinity College Dublin - Ireland)

Prof. Siobhán Clarke is a Professor in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin. She joined Trinity in 2000, having previously worked for over ten years as a software engineer for IBM. Her current research focus is on software engineering models for the provision of smart and dynamic software services to urban stakeholders, addressing challenges in the engineering of dynamic software in ad hoc, mobile environments. She has published over 150 papers and is a Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator, exploring an Internet of Things middleware for adaptable, urban-scale software services. Prof. Clarke is the founding Director of Future Cities, the Trinity Centre for Smart and Sustainable Cities, with contributors from a range of disciplines, including Computer Science, Statistics, Engineering, Social Science, Geography, Law, Business and the Health Sciences. She leads the School’s Distributed Systems Group, and was elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin in 2006.

Keynote Title: The role of technology and communication in enabling behavioural change for cities of the future

Abstract: It is expected that some 5 billion people representing ~60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2030. The growth of cities is an evolving phenomenon that is often unplanned, leading to serious social problems such as traffic congestion, noise pollution, energy wastage, and high levels of carbon dioxide emissions. Given growing urban populations, it is clear we need to change our behaviour to better manage the sharing of increasingly constrained urban resources, such as the road network, energy, water, and so on. This is also an exciting time for ICT, with great advances in sensor technology and wireless communication giving some optimism that in this age, we may be capable of coping with the challenges ahead. This talk explores how automated communication and collaboration, using real-time decision-making, can play a part in assisting citizens in making better use of the resources available to them. The goal is not to take over citizens' lives, but to remove the onus on citizens to be constantly aware of potential opportunities for optimising resource sharing. In particular, the talk uses examples from autonomous vehicles and energy demand-side management.

Nikola Serbedzija (Fraunhofer FOKUS - Berlin, Germany)

Nikola Šerbedžija is a scientific advisor at Fraunhofer FOKUS responsible for new research activities and innovative technology. He was visiting professor at University of Technology Sydney (1999-2000) and at University of Arts, Berlin (2000 – 2008). His major research areas are adaptive control, pervasive and ubiquitous computing, and self-aware systems, mostly applied within embedded and real-time systems, ambient assistance and empathic systems. Since 2008 he has been involved in several EU projects and initiatives that consider future and emerging technology (FET programme).

Keynote Title: Real-Life Computing

Abstract: Fast development and deployment of smart technology, internet of things and cyber-physical systems are changing our everyday life. These technical advances have blended virtual and real worlds, complementing our natural biosphere with an informational one, making our society information-driven and technology dependent. We are not anymore just users who exploit the benefits of new technologies, we ourselves are becoming a part of the computation and thus being inevitably exposed to unpredictable influences. Due to potential risks that the technology which places humans in focus of the processing loop brings about, an inclusion of protective mechanisms in the early design phase of such systems seems to be essential. This is provided by a new paradigm that enforces both functionally correct and life-conform system operation, thus guarding personal conditions and social context, harmonizing our bio- and info-spheres. Real-life computing uses context-dependent real-life experience as a major constraint upon which a new generation of systems should be validated. In analogy to real-time systems which are primarily evaluated according to timely responsiveness, real-life systems are valued according to the extent they are responsive and sensitive to life conditions, characterized by the individual psychophysical, social and ethical contexts. Real-life conformance is achieved by adaptive safeguards, specially designed software abstractions that enforce system self-correction in case of violation of real-life constraints. The concept is general-purpose and can be applied to any class of applications that include humans in the processing loop. It is illustrated by three different case studies taken from neuro-processing, affective computing and urban social networking domains, showing protective-by-design system architectures that interface, influence and guard human cognition, emotion and social behavior, respectively.

Saeid Nahavandi (Deakin University - Victoria, Australia)

Saeid Nahavandi received his BSc (Hons), MSc and PhD in Control Engineering from Durham University, UK in 1985, 1986 and 1991 respectively. Saeid is an Alfred Deakin Professor, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Defence Technologies) and the Director for the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation at Deakin University in Australia. Professor Nahavandi is a Fellow member of IET, IEAust and Senior Member of IEEE and has published over 600 refereed papers and been awarded several competitive Australian Research Council (ARC) grants over the past 19 years. He received the Research collaboration / initiatives award from Japan (2000) and Prince & Princess of Wales Science Award in 1994. He won the title of Young Engineer of the Year Award in 1996 and holds four patents. In 2002 Professor Nahavandi served as a consultant to the Jet Propulsion Lab (NASA) during his visit to JPL Labs.

Keynote Title: Haptically Enabled Virtual Reality Systems

Abstract: Several industries such as defence, manufacturing, mining, automotive and medical have long realized the potential and has reaped the benefits of using virtual reality as training tools due to their potential advantages over conventional training practices. Significant cost savings have been achieved due to the shorter training-scenario development times and reuse of existing models. This talk will focus on research technology platforms, where virtual reality, augmented reality and haptics are integrated to create an environment for interactive haptic based simulation for training. VR and AR provide grounds for realistic visualization, as well as immersion, considered to be important in creating a sense of engagement and perception, whereas haptics enforces physical constraints within the virtual world, generating the feelings of realistic interaction. Both technologies, in a complementary way, give rise to systems capable of maximum knowledge transfer and better understanding of the tasks.

Keith Stenning (University of Edinburgh - Scotland, UK)

Keith Stenning is a cognitive scientist working on human reasoning and decision. He has sought to understand how formalisms such as logics can further the business of experimental analysis of human reasoning. His PhD applied logical model theory to the data of discourse processing, and showed how the conventions of exposition (say story telling) conspire to allow the hearer to construct a unique model of the speaker's discourse. Soon after preferred model semantics made Logic Programming into a nonmonotonic logic ideal for modelling this cooperative process. Turning to diagrammatic reasoning provided relief from language and resulted in {\em Seeing Reason} (2002) which used diagrammatic systems of teaching logic to analyse experiments on what it is that students learn when they learn elementary logic. Returning to discourse, {\em Human Reasoning and Cognitive Science} (2008) (with Michiel van Lambalgen) provided evidence that more than one formalism is required to capture the qualitatively different kinds of reasoning that people engage in for the many purposes they pursue. Proving a theorem is not telling a story, yet with the richness of modern logic, it is possible to find logics that capture the essences of both activities. Contrasting classical logic and LP, and the confusions between them that both experimenters and subjects suffer from, reveals the power of avoiding prevalent monotheisms in regard to formalisms. Somewhere along the way, he became a Foreign Fellow Royal Dutch National Academy, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society.

Keynote Title: What is human-like computation like?

Abstract: Human Reasoning and Cognitive Science (2008) (with Michiel van Lambalgen) argues that at least several logics are required for modelling human reasoning because of the many things people need to achieve by reasoning, and then attributes a central role in this ecology to Logic Programming (LP), as the logic of reasoning to interpretations. Any ‘new information that presents itself requires interpretation, and LP provides a first-response. Its reasoning can be fast, cheap and automatic, and puts new incoming information in touch with the relevant parts of the vast repository of a human individuals general knowledge, without which contact no sense can be made of the input. This is one capacity among others that has a good claim to be at the heart of what makes human reasoning so distinctive. Ironically, LP is an invention of computer science. This talk will briefly outline how LP serves experimental investigation of human reasoning to interpretations, providing some examples of little bits we understand. If it succeeds, it will have made clearer how different from the computation of von Neumann machines, human computation really is, and how indispensable logic is to the conduct of psychology.