I had the great pleasure of taking part in WCE 2013
(World Congress on Engineering).
It was three splendid days in London,
where the conference was held at the
Imperial College London.
Below you will find impressions from the conference, and links for further reading.
According to the World Congress on Engineering homepage:
The conference has focus on frontier topics in theoretical and applied engineering.
|And with more than one thousand participants, from over 30 countries (according to the conference homepage), it was indeed 3 hectic days with a lovely smorgasbord of (theoretical and applied engineering) topics.|
- The 2013 International Conference of Applied and Engineering Mathematics.Thomas Tarnow and I agreed to focus on ''The 2013 International Conference of Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Systems'' and ''The 2013 International Conference of Computer Science and Engineering'', and then take in as much as possible of the rest.
- The 2013 International Conference of Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Systems.
- The 2013 International Conference of Computational Statistics and Data Engineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Computer Science and Engineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Data Mining and Knowledge Engineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Financial Engineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Information Engineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Information Security and Internet Engineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Mechanical Engineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management.
- The 2013 International Conference of Parallel and Distributed Computing.
- The 2013 International Conference of Systems Biology and Bioengineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Signal and Image Engineering.
- The 2013 International Conference of Wireless Networks.
|Established in 1907, Imperial College's Motto is ''Scientia imperii decus et tutamen'' - ''Knowledge is the adornment and protection of the Empire''.|
Imperial's main campus is located in the South Kensington area of central London. It is situated in an area of South Kensington known as Albertopolis, which has a high concentration of cultural and academic institutions, including the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Albert Hall.
|With the help of the friendly WCE staff, registration and ''getting around'' all went quite smoothly though.|
Still, we had our hands full during the conference.
I.e. (literally) on registration we got the conference proceedings, volume I-II (a big thing), to carry with us, as well as a ''conference-bag'' with a lot of other conference material.
And (figuratively) it was 3 busy days with talks back-to-back from early morning to late afternoon.
It refers to a classification of the different objectives that educators set for students (learning objectives). Bloom's taxonomy divides educational objectives into three ''domains'': Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor (sometimes loosely described as knowing/head, feeling/heart and doing/hands respectively).Skills in the cognitive domain revolve around knowledge, comprehension, and critical thinking.
Within the domains, learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels.
Knowledge - Exhibit memory of previously learned materials by recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers.Skills in the affective domain describe the way people react emotionally and their ability to feel other living things pain or joy:
Comprehension - Demonstrate understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating the main ideas.
Application - Using new knowledge. Solve problems in new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way.
Analysis - Examine and break information into parts by identifying motives or causes. Make inferences and find evidence to support generalizations.
Synthesis - Compile information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions.
Evaluation - Present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria.
Receiving - The lowest level; the student passively pays attention.Skills in the psychomotor domain describe the ability to physically manipulate a tool or instrument like a hand or a hammer:
Responding - The student actively participates in the learning process - the student also reacts in some way.
Valuing - The student attaches a value to an object, phenomenon, or piece of information.
Organizing - The student can put together different values, information, and ideas.
Characterizing - The student holds a particular value or belief that now exerts influence on his/her behavior .
Perception - The ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity.According to Wiki, Bloom's taxonomy serves as the backbone of many teaching philosophies, in particular those that lean more towards skills rather than content.
(Mind) Set - Readiness to act. It includes mental, physical, and emotional sets.
Guided response - The early stages in learning a complex skill that includes imitation and trial and error.
Mechanism - This is the intermediate stage in learning a complex skill. Learned responses have become habitual and the movements can be performed with some confidence and proficiency.
Complex overt response - The skillful performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns.
Adaptation - Skills are well developed and the individual can modify movement patterns to fit special requirements.
Origination - Creating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem.
Although Bloom's taxonomy has been criticised for its simplicity, it provided a useful framework in my teaching.
Overall the six levels of Bloom's Cognitive domain were helpful, in my teaching, in which I transformed students learning from the ''knowledge'' level to the ''evaluation'' level.
... (for synthesis) I encouraged students to create something new by making predictions and solving problems.
... (obviously) Students had mixed responses for the ''synthesis'' level of Bloom's Cognitive domain, (and) many students had (minor) problems in the ''evaluation'' level of Bloom's Cognitive domain.
However, if we use Bloom's taxonomy (and other available teaching guidelines) then we can improve the overall design and delivery of software engineering modules in education.
While the mathematical properties of Petri Nets are interesting and useful, the beginner will find that a good approach is to learn to model systems by constructing them graphically, aided in construction and analysis by computer software for simulation and analysis of Petri Nets.In this talk, a new tool, PNets, was presented to us.
Best, perhaps, trying this out with some concrete applications in mind (E.g. Office automation, work-flows, flexible manufacturing, programming languages, protocols and networks...).
This tool offers modelling and functionality animation of designed Petri nets together with verification of their fundamental properties as safety, liveness, conservativeness, boundedness.The tool looked pretty convincing. And (probably) a fun way to play around with Petri Nets.
Real-time collaboration is critical for developing high quality software systems at low cost in a geographically distributed software development environment.Indeed, ''More and more, company contracts out all or part of its software development activities to another company.
The real-time communication and coordination is one of most important motivation factors of social computing adoption.Which is all good, but perhaps a bit ''unstructured'' (''Social communication doesn't really feel like work?'').
We anticipate that this study will reduce uncertainties related to social computing adoption.Who knows, soon, even Skype might be coming to a workplace close to you.
Rami Rashkovits talked about ''FACT: A Formative Assessment Criteria Tool for
the Assessment of Students' Programming Tasks''.
In this study an assessment tool for homework assignments in computer science and its use were presented. The tool enables instructors to define a list of criteria by which the students assignments are evaluated.
Many tools, focuses mainly on the correctness of the solutions and neglects other important properties such as program design (e.g., modularity) and clarity.
In their previous programming course the students assignments were graded mainly for their correctness, and as a result they did not pay much attention to readability, modularity and coverage.Now, with this Assessment Criteria Tool the students are helped to come up with better solutions:
According to the requirements (reflected by the weights, assigned by the instructor) they had to change their perception on these criteria and provide better solutions.With help from the assesments (clarified for each problem by the instructor in the tool) students
Assimilated the significance of code clarity and modularity to the future maintenance of the software. They also learned that writing unit test to cover as many lines of code as possible improves the quality of the code and reduce the number of software errors.Indeed, happy day when a tool helps students learn all of these good programming practices.
Lakshmi Sunil (Sohar University, Oman) presented the paper ''Design of a Recommender System for Web
In the abstract it says:
Devised means of incorporating intelligence in web content systems to be able to provide recommendations to learners on the basis of their learning preferences, i.e. based on their learning profiles. The paper discusses the design of such a system, mapped to a content ontology and learner profiles created in the system.Schoolteachers beware - this could very well be the future of learning!
And, (it was) a brilliant presentation.
Isabel C. Moura (Portugal) followed with a talk about ''Visualizing the Execution of Programming Worked-out Examples with Portugol (Which some of us translated to something like "learning how to work with debuggers'').
Tenghu Mohd Sembok (International Islamic University Malaysia) ended the session with a talk about ''Arabic word Stemming Algorithms and Retrieval Effectiveness''.
- Knows the meaning of https.In the end the authors find that:
- Is aware of several ways of being infected by malware (To name just a few: Sharing pendrives, clicking banners in certain websites, installing ''friendly'' plugins, etc.).
- Never reads the emails from suspicious or unknown senders (Clearly, reading suspicious emails may entail a variety of annoyances or even attacks).
- Never opens the attachments in the emails from suspicious or unknown senders (Opening these kind of attachments may pave the way for being infected via Trojan horses).
- Uses more than one password.
- In social networking, does not publish personal data in the profile.
- Asks contacts for permission before publishing information concerning them.
The best skilled segment of population is the one between 25 and 34 years old, with some higher education degree, that uses the internet daily.
- In almost all areas, the highest skilled people are below 35 years old.
- Individuals with high or good self-perceived skills on computer security, certainly have the best results (!).
On the contrary, users stating they have no skills, on average, present the lowest results.
To resolve the problem of low identification merely relying on the EEG or EMG from the patients with perceptual-motor dysfunction, this paper proposes a quantitative description method to extract instantaneous feature of the EEG and EMG.Sounded quite awesome.
Conclusion is obtained that the human movement intention is reflected complementarily by EEG and EMG features. Especially for the perceptual-motor dysfunction patients, the algorithm can improve the identification accuracy on the human movement intention, and can be helpful in rehabilitation training process based on biological feedback control.
This research work reveals that the interactions of the HIV and the lymphocytes could be mathematically modeled and the ensuing mathematics resolved in a bid to find a solution to the infection.Difficult to follow, but - given the above - the conclusion was interesting:
Negative combined absolute Hamaker coefficient such a condition in essence would mean repulsion between the virus and the blood cells and could prove the much desired solution to the HIV jinx.Here, the audience looked rather perplexed. The HIV cured, but now the patient is ''exploding'' with parts flying in all directions (repulsion between virus and blood cells)?
The previous two experiments show that genetic algorithms can successfully find a good polynomial approximator to the density data with fewer numbers of terms. By only using 4 terms we are able to find a good approximation with an average deviation of only 1.1%.G. Anjan Babu (India) talked about ''Diagnosis of Glomerulonephritis by an artificial neural network Based on Physical Symptoms and Clinical Observations of the Blood Samples''.
The SDM is an associative memory model that works based on the properties of high-dimensional boolean spaces, exploring in part similarities between long binary vectors. The experimental results described in the present paper show that the original model of the SDM alone, without any text processing, is able to work as a surprisingly good text classifier, even taking plain ASCII text as input.Using a Reuters dataset, it is indeed possible to find those articles that deal with e.g. economic issues.
Designing fuzzy controller with GA does not require any prior knowledge and yields satisfactory results. The algorithm also enhances productivity of designing fuzzy controller, makes the controller have comprehensive lookout and converges to a better solution. For process control and paramater tuning applications the proposed optimization algorithm is promising.
Allowing conversation, discussion and interpretation with verses in classical Arabic language by engaging in dialogue using modern Arabic language.We were told that ''The proposed framework for developing Abdullah's user interface is based on a Pattern Matching approach to handle the user's conversations''.
Incorporating reinforcement learning into robust nonlinear control theory shows a promising route to achieve better performance.Very pedagogical, the author also explained to us that
The purpose of this contribution is to introduce an intelligent sliding mode controller, by incorporating RL into the solution. I.e. the standard sliding mode control is overviewed and the integration of RL into this framework is explained.Even the reinforcement learning seemed straight forward (sort of):
(The) agent will be rewarded (or punished) by taking an action in a particular state, and entering to the new state. Consequently learning is done by weighting (or suppressing) actions at each state, as instructed by the reward signal. These action values will be written in Q-table and they will be updated as the agent visits different states, and takes different actions.Undoubtedly, the ideas presented in this talk will come in handy someday!
Random Forests grows many classification trees. To classify a new object from an input vector, put the input vector down each of the trees in the forest. Each tree gives a classification, and we say the tree "votes" for that class. The forest chooses the classification having the most votes (over all the trees in the forest).The presenter told us that the Random Forest algorithm:
Here we are presenting our work towards improvement in learning time of Random Forest by proposing a new approach called Disjoint Partitioning. In this approach, we are using disjoint partitions of training dataset to train individual base decision trees. This helps in creating diversity in base decision trees.
We have investigated possibility of using Disjoint Partitioning approach with Random Forest Classifier.Again, undoubtedly, the ideas presented in this talk will come in handy someday!
We conclude that this approach works well with datasets that are imbalanced in nature and have binary classification.
Queueing theory: The mathematical study of waiting lines, or queues. In queueing theory a model is constructed so that queue lengths and waiting times can be predicted. Queueing theory is generally considered a branch of operations research because the results are often used when making business decisions about the resources needed to provide a service.And, during the talk, we were given a number of good pointers (and inspiration) to reading material for long winter nights.
After the end of the presentations
(of the second day of the congress),
it was time for the Conference Dinner Banquet.
We got an exquisite meal in exquisite surroundings.
With a lot of old England charm and great hospitality.
Thomas and I had the good fortune of being seated next to Simos Evangelou (Lecturer at Imperial College, London).
We had a great talk about Control Engineering (in Formula 1 cars).
As well as the ''the Kensington Ferrari and Lamborghini mystery''...
That is, in South Kensington, every other car seems to be a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. But you never seem to see them parked in the streets, only driving by.
How does that work?
Also, had a good talk with
Ion Profeanu, Romania,
(in the middle of the picture,
with the gray-blue shirt and the nametag, pouring coffee)
about his Applied and Engineering Mathematics talk ''Pi and Others''.
Numerical solutions for (2) have been studied extensively. These methods produce one approximation in a single integration step. Block methods, however produce more than one approximation in a step. Block methods have been used to solve a wide range of ordinary differential equations as well as delay differential equations.In the end he concluded: ''The numerical results (in this paper) indicate that the two-point block method achieves the desired accuracy as efficiently as possible''.
Based on RFID technology, label information where located on each cassette will be passed to the backend database system. Through RFID technology information, this system presents the RFID label information for the user for tracing purposes.According to the speaker, the benefit (of introducing the RFID system in the semiconductor company, as a replacement for an old barcode system, read by humans) was immediately apparent:
- Improved efficiency (Faster shipment).Apparently, some members of the audience were a bit worried about the efficiency in the (chinese) plant (after the introduction of the RFID tagging technology).
- Elimination of many manual processes (Speedup of automation processes).
- Reduction in number of human errors.
Based on historical meterological data (like windspeed, direction of wind and how much (wind) energy was produced, given these conditions) - This is input to how much power plant electricity should be produced at a given time (to meet customer demands).Here a description followed for:
How a spatial collaborative system for wind power plants can be developed in a service oriented architecture.that could be a helpful step in integrating the windfarms into a national power grid.
Phase-locked loop (PLL) is essentially a control system that employs feedback to maintain the phase of output signal in step with the phase of a reference signal.In the end, we understood, that ''the system becomes more stable when the techniques described here were used''.
PLLs are employed in a wide variety of communication systems including frequency synthesizers, modulators and demodulators, motor speed control, signal detection etc.
(E.g.) The model developed may be suitable for high frequency FM transceiver due to its better settling time and stability.A presentation, miles apart from the somewhat superficial approach of just buying some electronic gadget
To remedy the problem of heteroscedasticity and outliers simultaneously, we proposed a new method that we call two-step robust weighted least squares.The proposed method was then investigated extensively using real datasets and ''is seen to be good in the presence or absence of outliers''.
Transforming of text documents to real vectors is an essential step for text mining tasks such as classification, clustering and information retrieval. The extracted vectors serve as inputs for data mining models.
The process of transformation of text documents to structured vector representation involves the substantial reduction of information. In the bag-of-words approach a document is modeled as a container of vocabulary words where an order of words does not matter. The adjusted frequencies of words are used as features to describe documents.These vector representations can then be refined, and thereby made more suitable for data mining.
We propose a new approach to a vector representation of text documents.
An extracted document vector includes information about the adjacency of words in a document. We experimentally proved that the proposed representation enables to build document classifiers of higher accuracy using shorter document vectors.
An attempt is made to analyze the factors influencing progression rate in higher education system via data engineering and a statistical approach.Output of Analysis:
The results in the table can be interpreted as follows:The audience found these results very fascinating. Even though, some thought that certain factors were missing
- English score indicates that one unit change in English Score will increase the progression by 8.8%, keeping other variables constant.
- Employed is 18.816, i.e. one unit change in employment status from employed to unemployed will affect the progression by 18 times, i.e. employment leads to drop in progression.
- Marital Status is 15.835. i.e. one unit change in marital status from married to unmarried will lead to increase the progression by 15 times
(Where) graphs naturally arise in the context of computer networks, World Wide Web, climate networks, social networks and biological networks. Accordingly, anomaly detection of graphs has been gathering a great deal of attentions. For example, in the network intrusion detection, we want to find malicious messages (e.g spammers, port scanners) among many ordinary messages.Straight forwardly:
A graph may change its communities by way of members and/or in the way of connections.An anomaly detector was presented that:
In this example, a server and clients may make a community. Once a client is hacked, it may behave differently and send irregular messages to specific computers. Such anomaly would be detected as the change of link strength.
- Concentrates on communities.Here we would be interested in finding ''transitions in the dynamics of a graph'':
- Detects mainly the change of community structure.
- Can work online.
In a dynamic network, we concentrate on finding the change points on the dynamics. Specifically, we consider that a change happens when the densely connected nodes is separated, or sparsely connected nodes have dense connections.I.e. given:
Our basic assumption is that the community structure is almost invariant over time, in other words, dense/sparse connections would be unchanged even though their weights of links may change to some extent.(i.e. assuming invariance in communities) a ''change in members would be a sign of a special event''.
(The Enron Dataset) Contains data from about 150 users, mostly senior management of Enron, organized into folders. The corpus contains a total of about 0.5M messages. This data was originally made public, and posted to the web, by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during its investigation.
(For this graph) A node represents an individual employee and an edge represents the email exchange relationship. The weight of a link represents the number of emails exchanged between the corresponding two employees. In this graph, the most densely connected subgraph corresponds to an executive committee exchanging many emails to run the company. The other subgraphs consist of communications between executives and employees in corresponding sections.If would then be interesting if the method could spot events, such as:
a) Enron's stock price attains its largest value (Aug 2000).In the end the authors conclude that:
b) Jeffrey Skilling takes over as CEO (Feb 2001).
c) Jeffrey Skilling announces departure (Aug 2001).
d) Enron is bankrupted (Dec 2001).
The proposed algorithm detects not only the change of community structure, but also the change of community activity. This is reasonable in some sense. Strictly speaking, the community structure and community activity cannot be separated so clearly because the structure may change due to the heavily weakened links or strengthened links.And they note, that ''We compared our algorithm with two state-of-the-art algorithms and confirmed its effectiveness.
In this sense, our detector might have detected changing points of an organizational life cycle: Birth, growth, maturity, decline and death.
Modern people usually situate inside buildings, therefore indoor air quality is important to living environment.The interesting point would then be how many plants we need in order to get a good indoor air quality?
The quality of the indoor environment significantly affects our health. The research indicated that 189 pots of Bird's-Nest Fern could reduce the concentration of CO2 from 2000ppm to 1000ppm in 2hr 6min in a room.So, bring on the plants!
Indoor plants could not only decorate the indoor spaces, release of pressure and tiredness, they could improve the quality of indoor air condition and reduce the pollutants in the air. This study showed that indoor plants can also contribute to lowering the temperature through better transpiration rate potentially.
Usability is one of the most important characteristics of any user interface; it measures how easy the interface is to use. It has been defined as ''a measure of the quality of a user's experience when interacting with a product or system - whether a web site, a software application, mobile technology, or any user operated device''Is is all about stuff like (ease of) Navigation, Architecture/organisation, Ease of Use (quick downloading) and Communication (basic information available), Design (visual attractiveness of a site's design) and Content (assesses whether a site includes information that users require).
Universities are ranked in many ways. In this talk, the focus is on a ranking system called Eduroute - A system which focuses on studying and evaluating university websites (and, not on the performance of a university).The authors concluded:
The results showed that the ranking of the three websites was an indicator to the overall usability of the sites; the first ranked university at Eduroute had the lowest number of usability problems per investigated pages, while the least ranked university had the largest number of usability problems.Sure, usability is important - and it is good thing when different methods agree on what usability is.