This page lists DSE news items including articles published, upcoming talks by members of the section, awards, and grants.
Uchitel is keynote speaker at XIII Iberoamerican Conference on Software Engineering (posted 02 February 2010)
Uchitel is keynote speaker at annual Brazilian Symposium on Formal Methods (posted 22 August 2009)
Dr. Sebastian Uchitel recently gave on of the three keynote lectures at the Brazilian Symposium on Formal Methods (SBMF '09) in Gramado, Brazil. The title of his talk was "Partial Behaviour Modelling: Foundations for Incremental and Iterative Model-Based Software Engineering".
Ponder2 wins Best Paper Award at IEEE ICAS 2009 (posted 21 May 2009)
The The Fifth International Conference on Autonomic and Autonomous Systems awarded a Best Paper award for the submission and presentation of Ponder2: A Policy System for Autonomous Pervasive Environments by Kevin Twidle, Naranker Dulay, Emil Lupu, and Morris Sloman. More information on Ponder2 can be found at http://ponder2.net/.
ACM International Conference on Pervasive Services coming to Imperial College (posted 21 November 2008)
The 6th International Conference on Pervasive Services is a forum for the presentation and discussion of approaches, research findings, applications and experiences in the area of pervasive computing. Along with the main conference, there will be a number of smaller workshops. The dates of the conference, to be held at Imperial College London, are July 13-17, 2009.
General Chair of the conference is DSE member Dr. Julie McCann.
Magee named Deputy Principal of the Faculty of Engineering (posted 07 October 2008)
From 1 October, Prof. Jeff Magee assumes a new role within the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London, that of Deputy Principal for Research. In this role, Prof. Magee will be responsible for chairing the Faculty Research Committee and coordinating Faculty-wide research initiatives. He remains as Head of the Department of Computing.
Kramer is keynote speaker at annual Models conference (posted 07 October 2008)
Prof. Jeff Kramer recently gave one of three plenary keynote lectures at the ACM/IEEE 11th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (Models '08) in Toulouse, France. The title of his talk was "Abstraction and Modelling - A Complementary Partnership".
Why is it that some software engineers are able to produce clear, elegant designs and programs, while others cannot? Is it purely a matter of intelligence? What is the problem? One hypothesis is that the answer lies in abstraction: the ability to exhibit abstraction skills and perform abstract thinking and reasoning. Abstraction is a cognitive means by which engineers, mathematicians and others deal with complexity. It covers both aspects of removing detail as well as the identification of generalisations or common features, and has been identified as a crucial skill for software engineering professionals. Is it possible to improve the skills and abilities of those less able through further education and training? Are there any means by which we can measure the abstraction skills of an individual? In this talk, we explore these questions, and argue that abstraction and modelling are complementary partners: that abstraction is the key skill for modelling and that modelling provides a sound means for practising and improving abstraction skills.
Fischbein and Uchitel to present paper at ACM SIGSOFT annual conference (posted 21 September 2008)
Dario Fischbein and Dr. Sebastian Uchitel will be presenting their paper "On Correct and Complete Merging of Partial Behaviour Models" at the 16th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE-16) in November. This highly selective event is the premier showcase for research results in software engineering.
Please contact the authors for a preprint.
Rosenblum and Wolf receive inaugural ACM SIGSOFT Impact Award (posted 21 September 2008)
DSE members Prof. David Rosenblum and Prof. Alexander Wolf have received the 2008 ACM SIGSOFT Impact Award for their 1997 paper "A Design Framework for Internet-Scale Event Observation and Notification". This is the first year the award has been made, and was established to recognize a paper judged to have had significant impact since its publication at a SIGSOFT sponsored or co-sponsored conference held at least 10 years prior to the award year. The paper laid out a set of models that illuminated seven domains of concern for those working to design the architectures, infrastructures, algorithms and protocols of Internet-scale event-based systems.
Rosenblum and Wolf have been invited to give a plenary address at the 16th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE-16) in November 2008.
Thing defends PhD thesis on response system for denial-of-service attacks (posted 21 September 2008)
Vrizlynn Thing successfully passed her PhD viva on 19 September. Her supervisors were Prof. Morris Sloman and Dr. Naranker Dulay. The thesis, titled "Adaptive Response System for Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks", involved an analysis of BOT attack tools and the design and implementation of a distributed DoS mitigation system. The system is capable of automatically executing appropriate detection and mitigation responses adaptively according to the attack. It provides a traffic redirection attack protection system, called TRAPS, aimed at attack detection and mitigation for IPv6 networks. Her examiners were Prof. Madjid Merabti of Liverpool John Moores University and Dr. Michael Huth of Imperial College London.
The work was funded by the EU Diadem project, and the UK MOD and US Army sponsored International Technology Alliance. Thing holds a Masters Degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and is a member of DSE's Policy Group in the Department of Computing.
Petrounias defends PhD thesis on chorded programming languages (posted 19 September 2008)
Alexis Petrounias defended his thesis, titled "On The Design of Chorded Languages". His work was supervised by Prof. Susan Eisenbach and Prof. Sophia Drossopoulou, and involved the formal specification of join concurrency in the context of object-oriented languages, resulting in a featherweight model of chorded languages along with a treatment of principal notions of fairness when implementing schedulers for such languages. His examiners were Dr. Maribel Fernandez of King's College London and Dr. Sebastian Hunt of City University London.
Petrounias holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Sussex and an M.Sc. in Advanced Computing from Imperial College London, and was part of the SLURP and DSE groups in the Department of Computing.
McCann publishes survey on autonomic computing (posted 18 August 2008)
DSE member Dr. Julie McCann has written an article with former DSE member Dr. Markus Huebscher for ACM Computing Surveys entitled "A Survey of Autonomic Computing—Degrees, Models, and Applications". The article appears in the August 2008 issue and can be obtained here.
Autonomic Computing is a concept that brings together many fields of computing with the purpose of creating computing systems that self-manage. In its early days it was criticised as being a "hype topic" or a rebadging of some Multi Agent Systems work. In this survey, we hope to show that this was not indeed "hype" and that, though it draws on much work already carried out by the Computer Science and Control communities, its innovation is strong and lies in its robust application to the specific self-management of computing systems. To this end, we first provide an introduction to the motivation and concepts of autonomic computing and describe some research that has been seen as seminal in influencing a large proportion of early work. Taking the components of an established reference model in turn, we discuss the works that have provided significant contributions to that area. We then look at larger scaled systems that compose autonomic systems illustrating the hierarchical nature of their architectures. Autonomicity is not a well defined subject and as such different systems adhere to different degrees of Autonomicity, therefore we cross-slice the body of work in terms of these degrees. From this we list the key applications of autonomic computing and discuss the research work that is missing and what we believe the community should be considering.
Kramer elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (posted 15 July 2008)
The UK Royal Academy of Engineering has announced the election of Prof. Jeff Kramer as a Fellow of the society. "The Academy honours the UK's most distinguished engineers. It aims to take advantage of the enormous wealth of engineering knowledge they possess and, through the interdisciplinary character of its membership, it provides a unique breadth of engineering experience to further the art and practice of engineering in all its forms."
Prof. Kramer was recognized for his fundamental and far-reaching contributions to the field of distributed software engineering.
Wolf assumes chair of ACM SIG Governing Board (posted 01 July 2008)
Today marks the beginning of the two-year term of Prof. Alexander Wolf as chair of the Special Interest Group (SIG) Governing Board of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The board consists of the chairs and presidents of the 35 individual specialty groups within the 85000-member organization. The chair of the board is elected by its members and serves on the Executive Committee of the ACM Council. Prof. Wolf served as chair of SIGSOFT, the special interest group in software engineering, from 2001 to 2005.
New articles on health care and security (posted 17 May 2008)
Several new publications written by DSE members in the areas of health care and security are set to appear.
- "Consent-base Workflows for Healthcare Management"
- "Encrypted Shared Data Space"
- "Shared and Searchable Encrypted Data for Untrusted Servers"
Two talks to be given by Shriram Krishnamurthi of Brown University (posted 07 May 2008)
Shriram Krishnamurthi, an Associate Professor at Brown University, will be visiting the Department of Computing and giving two talks.
How Playing Cards Changed my View of Access-Control Policies
Wednesday, May 14 2008, 15:00, Huxley 144
Access-control policies control data dissemination in domains from health-care to social networks. The subtlety of policies, and their frequent expression in high-level, declarative languages, suggests a natural opportunity for formal methods.
The direct application of traditional formal methods, however, appears unhelpful in this domain. The talk will describe our work on useful forms of input and output, the concrete tools we've produced, and our increasing use of human cognitive aspects to drive our next generation of research in this area.
Joint work with Dan Dougherty and Kathi Fisler (WPI).
A Programming Language for the New Web
Thursday, May 15 2008, 11:00, Huxley 144
Explicitly or implicitly, programming languages mirror domains. The best languages weave the concerns of a domain through a compatible computational model to offer programmers the best of both worlds. This statement naturally raises the question: What is the appropriate programming language for Web applications in the Ajax style?
Seminar by John Karat and Clare-Marie Karat of IBM Research (posted 05 April 2008)
Improving Privacy and Security Policy Management with SPARCLE
Thursday 17 April 2008 at 14.00 (room to be confirmed)
Our research team in the Policy Technologies area at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center is creating a policy workbench called SPARCLE to simplify how people manage organizational policies across the organization, to improve the quality of policy statements, and to enable the policy to be implemented through technology to ensure consistency, reliability, and compliance. The goal of this policy management capability is to close the gap between written policies and organizational processes. The tool will enable people both within an organization, and those who interact with it, to understand the policies being enforced in the organizations systems and management processes.
SPARCLE provides two methods of authoring policy, either through structured lists which generate natural language policy statements or through use of restricted natural language entry of text. The policy representations created by both methods are kept in synch in the tool, with ties to the policy enforcement and compliance monitoring of the policy statements. Elements with the policy statements are mapped to system components such as database tables and access control lists. This policy management capability will reduce risk for organizations and the internal and external users who interact with them. While SPARCLE was originally created to help organizations manage the privacy of the personal information (PI) they store in their systems, the approach is being generalized to other types of policies (for example, security, systems management, networking, business operations).
Our team will present an overview of the research on the SPARCLE Policy Workbench, illustrate the policy management capability through a demonstration of the system, and discuss user evaluation data regarding the policy capability. We will position the SPARCLE policy capability within the security policy management framework for the ITA project and discuss ideas regarding current and future research.
Host: Prof. Morris Sloman
DSE members to present four papers at ETAPS '08 (posted 05 March 2008)
The European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software (ETAPS) is the primary European forum for academic and industrial researchers working on topics relating to Software Science. Four papers authored by DSE members will be presented in conferences and workshops at ETAPS this April.
CC - Compiler Construction
FASE - Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering
LDTA - Eighth Workshop on Language Descriptions, Tools and Applications
Please contact the authors for preprints.
New articles on health care and security (posted 01 March 2008)
Several new publications written by DSE members in the areas of health care and security are set to appear.
- "Personalizing Situated Workflows for Pervasive Healthcare Applications"
- "A Workflow-based Access Control Framework for Healthcare Applications"
- "Network Domain Entrypoint/path Determination for DDoS Attacks"
- "Place and Time Authentication of Cultural Assets"
Please contact the authors for preprints.
DSE members well represented at ICSE '08 (posted 28 February 2008)
The International Conference on Software Engineering is the premier conference in the field. Three papers authored by DSE members will be presented in the research track at ICSE '08 this coming May.
- "Existential Live Sequence Charts Revisited"
German Sibay, Sebastian Uchitel, and Victor Braberman
- "Impact Analysis of Database Schema Changes"
Andy Maule, Wolfgang Emmerich, and David S. Rosenblum
- "Four Enhancements to Automated Distributed System Experimentation Methods"
Yanyan Wang, Antonio Carzaniga, and Alexander L. Wolf
Please contact the authors for preprints.
In addition, Prof. Jeff Kramer is co-organizing a workshop on The Role of Abstraction in Software Engineering and Prof. Jeff Magee is co-organizing a workhop on Software Engineering for Adaptive and Self-Managing Systems.
Nokia donates 20 smart phones (posted 27 February 2008)
As part of a contribution for a new research project under development, Dr. Peter Pietzuch has received a donation of 20 smart phones from Nokia. Until the start of the project, the phones are available to members of the DSE group for research and individual students projects. Each phone, an N80, is equipped with a camera and a miniSD reader and supports WLAN (802.11b/g), 3G, Bluetooth and Java.
Pietzuch receives two EPSRC grants totaling more than 800,000 GBP (posted 13 February 2008)
Dr. Peter Pietzuch has received two awards from the U.K. EPSRC. These three-year awards total more than 800,000 GBP of funding.
"Smart Flow - Extendable Event-Based Middleware" focuses on healthcare providers world-wide who are developing electronic solutions to improve patient care and reduce costs. This is a complex endeavour because current middleware software is unable to adapt to the special requirements of healthcare applications in terms of auditing, controlled information flow, privacy and access control. The Smart Flow project, performed in collaboration with partners at the University of Cambridge and the NHS Clinical and Biomedical Computing Unit, will investigate a lightweight architecture for building messaging middleware from a set of dynamic middleware extensions. Healthcare applications can express their requirements as extensions and push them into an intelligent middleware layer, simplifying application design and improving performance.
"DISSP: Dependable Internet-Scale Stream Processing" examines the the proliferation of real-time stream data in applications such as sensor networks, scientific instruments, pervasive systems and web feeds. The DISSP project will investigate techniques for reliably processing large amounts of stream data coming from distributed sources at a global scale. In order for such a global stream processing system to provide a robust service to millions of users, approaches will be developed that degrade processing quality in a controlled fashion in response to resource shortages caused by failure or overload.
Uchitel awarded prestigious ERC starting grant (posted 07 February 2008)
Dr. Sebastian Uchitel has been awarded a prestigious European Research Council starting grant, emerging from a competition that saw only a 3% success rate. The grants are designed to boost the careers of researchers who are establishing themselves as independent research leaders. There were 9167 initial applications for these grants Europe-wide with only 431 passing the ERC’s quality thresholds for excellence.
Dr. Uchitel is developing a blueprint for engineering complex software systems, describing how they should function. He believes this theoretical technique will aid engineers in constructing higher quality software systems. When completed, this project will enhance the ability of software designers around the world to construct elaborate software models with greater ease. It will also allow them to validate requirements and therefore implement new systems with greater confidence. "These models will allow software engineers to identify flaws early and prevent financial loss," he said.
Wolf to give keynote at DAIS '08 and DisCoTec '08 in Oslo, Norway (posted 05 February 2008)
The 8th IFIP International Conference on Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems (DAIS'08) will feature a keynote talk by Prof. Alexander Wolf. The title of the talk is "New Uses of Simulation in Distributed System Engineering" and will present two such uses, one to increase the power of large-scale distributed experimentation and the other to develop a rigorous testing method for distributed systems.
DAIS '08 is part of the 3rd Distributed Computing Techniques (DisCoTec '08) federated event, to be held in Oslo, Norway, June 4-6, 2008. Keynote talks are presented at a plenary session of the federated event.
ALLOW project to investigate flow-based pervasive applications (posted 01 February 2008)
Dr. Naranker Dulay is leading ALLOW: Adaptable Pervasive Flows. ALLOW is a Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. The consortium partners are University of Stuttgart, University of Passau, Bruno Kessler Foundation and Lancaster University. The project started February 2008 and ends January 2011.
ALLOW aims to develop new mechanisms, methods and principles for adaptable flow-based pervasive applications. A flow is a set of actions that are glued together by an execution plan in order to achieve a goal under a set of constraints. This resembles the well-known workflow concept. A flow represents a much broader concept however that enables adaptable pervasive applications. Flows are situated in the real world, attached to artifacts or people, moving with them through different contexts. While being carried along, they model the behavior intended for their entity and also adapt the entity's environment to this behavior.
Further information: http://www.allow-project.eu/
Demonstrator project to evaluate structural condition of Queen's Tower (posted 15 Decemeber 2007)
Dr. Julie McCann and her team have been awarded a 6-month demonstrator project ("DOORS: Gateways and Crossroads for Pervasive Environmental Monitoring") aiming to collect environmental and vibration data to evaluate the structural condition of the Queen's Tower. In collaboration with the Department of Civil Engineering, the team will be using a heterogeneous network made of a combination of Beasties (Tesserae/C), Sunspots (JVM/Java) and TMotes (TinyOS/NesC) devices to collect data and by doing so, are aiming to tackle research issues related to pervasive interoperability such as: internode co-operation, time synchronization and coexistence management.
The project is co-sponsored by the Imperial College Centre for Pervasive Sensing and Sun Microsystems as part of an ideas factory.
Further information: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/pls/portallive/docs/1/34469717.PDF