University of Strathclyde

CISeminar

This is the website of the seminar of the
Department of Computer and Information Sciences
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Everybody is most welcome!

Email the organiser suggestions/criticism/anything:
Clemens Kupke


Date Abstract
15/03/2017
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Marilyn Lennon (dhawg, CIS)

Digital Health and Wellbeing Group: So what have we be doing for the last 2 years? - a pit stop tour of Research, Teaching and KE capacity in digital health and wellbeing.

This talk will provide an up to date overview of what has been going on in the digtial health and wellness group over the last two years since I joined CIS. I will showcase some of the research capcity we have built up, tell you about the new digital health masters we have created, highlight some key cross University (and external) collaborations that you might want to tap into, share some newly emerging strategy coming from 'the top' and discuss ways you can work with us to bring in exciting new grants and KE activity in this thriving area of research.
08/03/2017
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Serge Sharoff (University of Leeds)

A Language Adaptation approach

Many lesser-resourced languages are related to languages, which have better resources. For example, the Universal Dependency treebank has about 2 million words of training resources for Russian, and only 950 words for Ukrainian. Similarly, the Autodesk Machine Translation dataset only covers three Slavonic languages, while only German is available among the Germanic languages. To address such problems, I suggest a general approach, which can be called Language Adaptation in a way similar to the notion of Domain Adaptation. In this approach, a model for a particular language processing task is built by lexical transfer of cognate words and by learning a new feature representation for a lesser-resourced language starting from a better-resourced one. In this talk I will demonstrate how language adaptation works in such training scenarios as Part-Of-Speech tagging, syntactic parsing and translation quality estimation.
01/03/2017
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Mike Just (Heriot Watt University)

TBA

TBA
Next talk
22/02/2017
15:00(!)
Room
LT14.15
Andrea Bracciali (University of Stirling)

An introduction to Blockchains

Blockchains, i.e. decentralised, distributed data structures which can also carry executable code for a non-standard execution environment, introduce new models of computation. Decentralised, here, means, informally speaking, "without central control", e.g. a currency without a (central) bank, but much more. Blockchains support the recently introduced virtual currencies, a la Bitcoin, and a new class of decentralised applications, including smart contracts. In this talk we will introduce the main aspects of a blockchain, with particular reference to the Bitcoin blockchain as a paradigmatic case of such a new model of computation, and also touching on smart contracts. No previous knowledge of bitcoin/blockchain required for this introductory talk.
15/02/2017
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Chris Heunen (University of Edinburgh)

Semantics for probabilistic programming

Statistical models in e.g. machine learning are traditionally expressed in some sort of flow charts. Writing sophisticated models succinctly is much easier in a fully fledged programming language. The programmer can then rely on generic inference algorithms instead of having to craft one for each model. Several such higher-order functional probabilistic programming languages exist, but their semantics, and hence correctness, are not clear. The problem is that the standard semantics of probability theory, given by measurable spaces, does not support function types. I will describe how to get around this.
08/02/2017
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Ruth Hoffmann (University of Glasgow)

Probabilistic and Stochastic Hybrid Automata and their Abstractions

With the wide applicability of probabilistic and stochastic hybrid systems in the real world, it is now more important than ever to be able to verify these systems for safety and reliability. Hybrid systems can be found any where, from thermostats to processes passing messages. We will discuss the different types of hybrid systems and their discrete abstractions. The probabilistic hybrid systems we will be focusing on are autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles. The abstracted structures allow for existing quantitative and model checking tools to verify and analyse the system.
25/01/2017
13:00
Room
LT14.15
William Wallace (CIS)

Roughly Seven Months of Knowledge Exchange

I started in the department as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow back in May of last year. I'd like to talk about what I've learned so far, what "strategies" I'm following to increase knowledge exchange in CIS and to get some feedback from you all about how I can help and what I can do better.
14/12/2016
16:00(!)
Room
LT14.15
Sam Lindley (University of Edinburgh)

Do be do be do

We explore the design and implementation of Frank, a strict functional programming language with a bidirectional effect type system designed from the ground up around a novel variant of Plotkin and Pretnar's effect handler abstraction.

Effect handlers provide an abstraction for modular effectful programming: a handler acts as an interpreter for a collection of commands whose interfaces are statically tracked by the type system. However, Frank eliminates the need for an additional effect handling construct by generalising the basic mechanism of functional abstraction itself. A function is simply the special case of a Frank operator that interprets no commands.

Moreover, Frank's operators can be multihandlers which simultaneously interpret commands from several sources at once, without disturbing the direct style of functional programming with values.

Effect typing in Frank employs a novel form of effect polymorphism which avoid mentioning effect variables in source code. This is achieved by propagating an ambient ability inwards, rather than accumulating unions of potential effects outwards.

I'll give a tour of Frank through a selection of concrete examples.

(Joint work with Conor McBride and Craig McLaughlin)
07/12/2016
14:00(!)
Room
JA325(!)
George Weir (CIS)

The Internet of Things: A Balance of Benefits and Risks?

Is your fridge or your toaster a smart device? Across the globe, governments and commercial organisations are pushing initiatives to make the Internet of Things (IoT) a reality. This means that devices and objects around us will increasingly interact with each other and with local networks to exchange data. This monitoring and interaction will afford timely feedback and environmental management. Already, smart motorways are helping to reduce traffic congestion and smart homes interact with residents to optimise heating and lighting. Inevitably, risks are also emerging, including the role of IoT devices in recent massive Distributed Denial of Service attacks. Can we look forward to a world that is enhanced through Internet of Things, or will the risks to safety, security and privacy significantly limit its impact?
30/11/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Rebekah Willson (CIS)

The problem with working in the university is the university: "Systemic Managerial Constraints" and working in academe

As universities become increasingly bureaucratic, with multiplying administrative and managerial tasks, there is a direct effect on the information behaviour of academics. In addition to an increase in their information needs, both the work academics undertake and the ways in which they accomplish that work are constrained. This presentation discusses the concept of "Systemic Managerial Constraints" (SMC) as a way to understand the pervasive managerialism that results from neoliberal universities and its influences on academics' information behaviour. In addition to examining some of the specific effects of SMC, discussion will centre around the nature of academic work, precarity within academe, collegial amelioration of its effects, and its relationship to the personal agency of academics.
23/11/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Richard Connor (CIS)

New Dimensions for Metric Search

Metric search is a research domain concerned with finding, from within an unordered and very large space, objects that are similar to another presented as a query. "A solved problem" I hear you shout; look at Google Image search, Shazam, Tineye, etc. Actually, there are only a few very partial solutions, and none of these systems work well when pushed, other than by cheating.

If the space is very large, the solution requires to be scalable; even if we can calculate similarity in a microsecond, which we can't, 10^12 microseconds is still more than a week. So we rely on the metric properties of the space; by organising the data cleverly, through calculating distances, it is possible to avoid searching almost all of the space. However, such techniques work very well only for low "dimensionality" spaces, and typically fail when the object domain is complex.

So we resort to some clever maths. Proper metric spaces turn out to be semi-metric spaces with certain finite embedding properties; in fact, they are 3-embeddable in 2D Euclidean space. Our new result here is that many metric spaces, including the most useful, have a much stronger property: they are {n+1}-embeddable in n-dimensional Euclidean space. This gives us much sharper properties for excluding subspaces from searches. (Don't worry if you don't know what all this means, it is easy and will be explained in pictures!)

We have found two such properties, and dramatically improved the state of the art search times. We're sure there are others, probably lurking in the higher dimensions where it's much harder to think intuitively. So join us in the search, especially if you can think in more then three dimensions!

This research, performed mostly in early 2016, has already resulted in: an unconditionally accepted publication in ACM Trans. Inf. Sys.; the Best Paper award at SISAP 2016; and an invited paper in a special issue of Elsevier Inf. Systems. Not to mention being rejected out of hand for EPSRC funding!
16/11/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Leif Azzopardi (CIS)

Economic Interactions: Formal Models of Search Behavior

Understanding how people interact when searching is central to the study of Interactive Information Retrieval (IIR). Most of the prior work has either been conceptual, observational or empirical. While this has led to numerous insights and findings regarding the interaction between users and systems, the theory has lagged behind. In this talk, I will first provide an overview of the IIR process. Then I will introduce an economic model of search based on production theory. This model not only describes the search process but lets us explain observed search behaviors and to generate a series of interaction-based hypotheses regarding search behavior. To validate the model, I will show how the observed search behaviors from an empirical study with thirty-six participants were consistent with the theory. This work, not only, describes a concise and compact representation of search behavior, but also provides a strong theoretical basis for future IIR research. The modeling techniques used are also more generally applicable to other situations involving Human Computer Interaction, and could be helpful in understand many other scenarios.

The talk will be based on the following papers:
The economics of interaction
How query cost affects search behavior
Modeling Interaction with Economic Models of Search
9/11/2016
13:00
Room
MC301 (!!)
Jamie Gabbay (Heriot-Watt Edinburgh)

Consistency of Quine's NF using nominal techniques

Naive set theory has one rule; naive sets comprehension: If φ is a predicate, then {a | φ(a)} is a set. This is inconsistent by Bertrand Russell's famous observation of 1901 that {a | a ∉ a} ∈ {a | a ∉ a} if and only if {a | a ∉ a} ∉ {a | a ∉ a}. Solutions proposed included Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, simple type theory, and Quine's New Foundations (NF). NF works by restricting comprehension to stratifiable formulae; those in which variables can be assigned 'levels', which are natural numbers, such that if a ∈ b occurs and a has level n, then b must have level n+1. Russell's example is ruled out because a ∉ a cannot be stratified.

Consistency of NF has been an open problem since it was proposed by Quine in 1937. I will present a claimed proof of consistency of Quine's NF (the paper is available here and on arXiv, and is under review). In use, NF feels more like a simple type theory than it does a set theory, and there are deep reasons for this which come out in my proof. My proof, while ostensibly about set theory, is actually about applying ideas from rewriting and computing to ideas from set theory, along with a pinch of non-Tarskian thinking about what binders (including forall and lambda) are.

In my talk I will present the proof with an emphasis on the implications that this specific result has more generally for the theory of computing.
2/11/2016
16:00(!)
Room
LT14.15
Maria Wolters (University of Edinburgh/Turing Institute)

Towards A Process View of Missing Data: A Case Study of Working at the Alan Turing Institute

In this talk, I will introduce the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science, the UK's primary data science institute. After outlining the Turing Institute's structure and the opportunities it presents to researchers, I will present a case study of how I have been using the Turing's resources and collaboration opportunities to examine process models of missing data. Missing data is, colloquially speaking, data that should be there, but isn't. Traditional statistical methods have focused on imputing the missing data where necessary. My approach is somewhat different in that I am interested in the processes that underlie data generation. I argue that health care data is often missing for a reason, and that understanding those reasons helps us interpret and analyse the data that is present. I will exemplify this approach by using activity trackers.
26/10/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Luke Dicken (IGDA Foundation/Zynga Inc.)

Data Scientists - The New Unicorns of the Bay

In 2014, Luke Dicken relocated to the Bay Area to take a position as a "Senior Data Scientist" at a leading mobile games company. But what is Data Science? What does it mean to be a Data Scientist and how is that distinct from disciplines like Analytics and Product Management? In this session, Luke will discuss the Bay's new hot trendy role - how a small team can make a big difference and what key skills go into delivering exceptional value as a Data Scientist, in order to better enable educators to prepare students for the new industry craze (or tempt them out of the ivory towers themselves!)
19/10/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Fredrik Nordvall-Forsberg (CIS)

Expressive data types for programming languages and verification

This talk will give a basic introduction to Martin-Löf Type Theory without assuming any background knowledge of the audience, with the goal of reaching some current work of mine towards the end. Martin-Löf's dependent type theory is both a foundational framework for mathematics, and a functional programming language with a very rich type system. Of course, we want this language to have a rich notion of data structure as well. I will review some classes of data types that one can add to dependent type theory in order to increase its expressiveness. In particular, I will discuss data types with so-called higher dimensional structure -- this can be used to identify data that should be treated equivalently. We will see how such data types can be used to formalise programming languages and verify programs, e.g. by representing permutation-invariance, compiler optimisations, or databases without a bias of concrete representation.
12/10/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Sergey Kitaev (CIS)

What is a good bijection? A case study on pattern-avoiding permutations.

A bijection is a one-to-one correspondence between two sets. Usually, there is more than one way to build a bijection between equinumerous sets (and there are of course many if the sets aren't very small and we don't care whether the bijections are intelligible). What is a good bijection between two sets? Is it one that is easy to describe? Or, is it one that better illuminates structural similarity between the sets in question? Even though the answer "it depends" is acceptable here, much more can be said under certain assumptions in certain situations. I will illustrate this idea by going through a remarkable story of a problem in the theory of permutation patterns.

This talk will be accessible for a general audience.
5/10/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Andreas Komninos/Mark Dunlop/John Wilson (CIS)

How busy will Glasgow be next week? An investigation of Glasgow busyness data.

Information on how busy the city is going to be can be extremely valuable to city businesses and service providers. In a short DataLab funded project with Glasgow City Council we are looking into predictive models for Glasgow busyness. We have data on hotel bookings, flight searches and live footfall data from key points around the city. In this talk we will give an overview of the patterns we have found in this data, the inherent noisyness of flight search data and our first attempts at predicting future busyness.
28/9/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15

Dawn Hibbert (IS Customer Services)

Information session on HEFCE's Open Access policy

Making sure that our research output is submittable to the REF.
21/9/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Duncan Smeed (CIS)

CS Education: Past, Present and Future. A personal perspective.

CIS celebrates it's 50th anniversary in 2017. 2017 is also the 40th anniversary of the class of '77. Does a comparison of the last 40 years of CS Education have any bearing or influence on what CS Education might look like in the (near) future? Note: this is a personal perspective and it is expected that the audience will disagree with some - or all! - of my presentation. The purpose of the seminar is to generate discussion on how CS Education may evolve for future generations of CS students.
Summer Break
20/7/2016
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Anabel Quan-Haase (University of Western Ontario)

"Oh Mom, Look it up on the Internet!" Seniors and Technology: Lifelong Readers, E-books, and Everyday Life

The extensive literature on the digital divide and media discourse suggests that seniors continue to lag behind in access to the Internet, digital skills, and engagement in various online activities. Much of the research, however, gains insight from large-scale survey research and neglects to examine the challenges and opportunities that digital seniors, those who are connected, experience in their everyday use of ICTs. We employed the theoretical lens of ICT use in the context of everyday life to inform our study. Through a survey and interviews with seniors we investigate how this population views their own digital skills, barriers to digital literacy, and who supports them in gaining literacy. Twenty-one digital seniors aged 60+ took part in semi-structured, in-depth interviews about how ICTs influenced routines and practices in their everyday life such as news consumption, library use, information seeking, and reading. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using grounded theory. Surveys were analyzed through descriptive statistics. Three key findings emerged. First, digital seniors are developing new practices and routines around their ICT use, these are novel and emerge out of ICTs' affordances. Second, digital seniors are creating hybrid practices, where they seamlessly combine traditional habits with new ones emerging from ICT use. Finally, digital seniors are recreating existing practices with digital means, i.e., the digital enhances or sometimes even replaces traditional practices. We find that agency is central to our understanding of digital seniors' adoption and use of ICTs, they critically consider various options, and make choices around their preferences, convenience of use, and affordability. For digital seniors, ICT use is not a binary because they want to have the flexibility to choose for themselves under what circumstances and for what purposes the use of ICTs is appropriate. Seniors recognize their age as a factor in the adoption of technology and they note differences between how they and younger generations use technology. Lack of skills and sometimes-limited support make it difficult for seniors to gain experience and comfort with technology. However, support systems such as family and peers can help mediate senior's experiences with technology. The Seniors Digital Literacy Paradox is proposed as a model for understanding the needs of seniors in gaining digital literacy.

25/5/2016
15:30
Room
LT908(!)
Neil Ghani (CIS)

A Compositional Approach to Game Theory

I will sketch an alternative approach to economic game theory based upon the computer science idea of compositionality: concretely we i) give a number of operators for building up complex and irregular games from smaller and simpler games; and ii) show how the Nash equilibrium of these complex games can be defined recursively from their simpler components. We apply compositional reasoning to sophisticated games where agents must reason about how their actions affect future games and how those future games effect the utility they receive. This forces us into a second innovation - we augment the usual lexicon of games with a dual notion to utility because, in order for games to accept utility, this utility must be generated by other games. Our third innovation is to represent our games as string diagrams so as to give a clear visual interface to manipulate them. Our fourth, and final, innovation is a categorical formalisation of these intuitive diagrams which ensures our reasoning about them is fully rigorous.

The talk will be general so as appeal to as wide an audience as possible. In particular, no knowledge of category theory will be assumed!

Tuesday
19/4/2016
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Andreas Abel (Chalmers)

Formal languages, coinductively formalized

Formal languages and automata are taught to every computer science student. However, the student will most likely not see the beautiful coalgebraic foundations.

In this talk, I recapitulate how infinite tries can represent formal languages (sets of strings). I explain Agda's coinduction mechanism based on copatterns and demonstrate that it allows an elegant representation of the usual language constructions like union, concatenation, and Kleene star, with the help of Brzozowski derivatives. We will also investigate how to reason about equality of languages using bisimulation and coinductive proofs.

30/3/2016
16:00
Room
LT1415

Dawn Hibbert (IS Customer Services)

Information session on HEFCE's policy

TBA
23/3/2016
16:00
Room
LT1415

Robert Atkey (CIS)

ThreadSafe: A static analyser for concurrent Java

ThreadSafe is a static analysis tool for finding bugs in concurrent Java code that has been used by companies across the world to analyse and find bugs in large mission industrial applications. I will talk about how ThreadSafe works, and our experiences in applying static analysis technology to the "real world".

ThreadSafe is available here.

16/3/2016
15:30
Room
LT908(!)
Neil Ghani (CIS)

Postponed

9/3/2016
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Laura Moss (NHS/University of Glasgow)

Knowledge Capture and Representation in the Intensive Care Unit Domain

Intensive Care Units (ICUs) can be considered as complex environments where optimum decision making in these environments is challenging: clinicians work in complicated, time-sensitive, stressful and interruption-laden environments and are expected to make life-critical decisions whilst affected by external factors such as long working hours and sleep deprivation. Critical care medicine is one of the most technology-led medical domains and an increasing use of technology to collect, store and manage patient information is leading to significant amounts of additional data being made available from numerous devices (e.g. physiological monitoring equipment). Whilst this data is potentially very valuable, to use it to support decision making, clinicians are required to acquire, process, distribute, integrate, search, and archive it - tasks which can be difficult to perform in a complex environment. Increasingly there is a role for computing research fields, such as artificial intelligence, to provide tools to support clinicians in this area. In this talk I will overview selected works I have been conducting in this medical domain, specifically projects exploring the capture, representation and subsequent refinement of medical knowledge for use in intelligent systems, the application of semantic web technologies for inference and generation of knowledge from patient data, and the use of argumentation logic for justification of clinical decision support systems.

2/3/2016
13:00/16:00
Room
LT14.15
Steven Buchanan (CIS)

Cancelled

Cancelled

24/2/2016
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Sotirios Terzis (CIS)

Exploring perceptions of user authentication schemes

User authentication plays a key role in securing computer systems. However, widely used schemes like passwords have well documented weaknesses. Research has shown that these weaknesses often result from user actions that undermine the security of the schemes. Although in some cases these actions are the consequence of poor usability design, recent research suggests that they often reflect a limit in the amount of security related actions users are willing to accept. Behaviour models like the technology acceptance model suggest that user perceptions affect their behavioural intentions and drive their behaviour. So, in order to fully understand user authentication behaviour and improve the design and application of the schemes, it is necessary to explore how the users perceive them and to identify the factors that shape these perceptions.

In this talk I will present the work I have been doing with some colleagues in this area. In particular I will present the design and results of a number of user studies we have conducted focusing on the perceived usefulness, ie perceived security, of different authentication schemes and the development of a model for user authentication security perceptions.

17/2/2016
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Frank Hopfgartner (University of Glasgow)

Improving Access to Personal Informatics: The Quantified Self Challenge

With more and more wearable devices and smartphone apps being released that are capable of unobtrusively recording various aspects of our life, we are currently witnessing the emergence of a new trend. Followers of this trend rely on these apps and devices to track their everyday activities and to gain insights into their personal well-being. In this presentation, I will give an introduction into challenges and opportunities that emerge when capturing and analysing personal data using wearable devices. Moreover, I will introduce NTCIR-Lifelog, an evaluation campaign that intends to encourage research and advances in organising and retrieving from such personal data.

10/2/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Jamie Stevenson (CIS)

Grey Areas: What aspects of design quality can be determined from the design alone?

Software design assessment is a highly subjective task. In recent years, there has been an increasing adoption of metrics to establish minimum quality bounds for software designs. Metric suites can identify common design problems, but can be difficult to interpret. More complex quality models are often not portable between systems. The question of how much of the design assessment can be automated remains open and contentious.

This work investigates the relationship between practitioner attitudes to design quality, the relevance of existing design guidelines, and the properties of software designs in the wild. Insights include - practitioner attitudes to design quality, relevance of design guidelines to current practice, characterising use of design elements (interfaces and inheritance), and discussion of the limitations of metric-based design assessment.

3/2/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Marc Roper (CIS)

Sorting Sheep from Goats - Automatically Clustering and Classifying Program Failures

In recent years, software testing research has produced notable advances in the area of automated test data generation. It is now possible to take an arbitrary system and automatically generate volumes of high-quality test data. But the problem of checking the correctness or otherwise of the outputs (termed the "oracle problem") still remains. This talk examines how machine learning techniques can be used to cluster and classify test outputs to separate failing and passing cases. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated and shown to have the potential to reduce by an order of magnitude the numbers of outputs that need to be examined following a test run.

This is joint work carried out with Rafig Almaghairbe.

27/1/2016
16:00
Room
LT14.15
David Manlove (University of Glasgow)

Matching in Practice: Junior Doctor Allocation and Kidney Exchange

Matching problems typically involve assigning agents to commodities, possibly on the basis of ordinal preferences or other metrics. These problems have large-scale applications to centralised matching schemes in many countries and contexts. In this talk I will describe the matching problems featuring in two such schemes in the UK that have involved collaborations between the National Health Service and the University of Glasgow. One of these dealt with the allocation of junior doctors to Scottish hospitals (1999-2012), and the other is concerned with finding kidney exchanges among incompatible donor-patient pairs across the UK (2007-date). In each case I will describe the applications, present the underlying algorithmic problems, outline the computational methods for their solution and give an overview of results arising from real data connected with the matching schemes in recent years.

20/1/2016
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Ian Ruthven (CIS)

Mesch: touching things in museums without being asked to leave the building

Mesch (Material EncounterS with digital Cultural Heritage), is an EU project which has the goal of designing, developing and deploying tools for the creation of tangible interactive experiences that connect the physical dimension of museums and exhibitions with relevant digital cross-media information in novel ways. In this seminar I will discuss some of the work of the ongoing mesch project and one of our evaluations within Museon, a museum for science and culture in The Hague, Netherlands. This seminar will contain references to beer mugs, teabags and heavy use of the word 'ongoing'.
Winter Break

2/12/2015
16:00
Room
LT14.15
John Levine (CIS)

An Ensemble Architecture for Generalised Video Game Playing

Generalised Video Game Playing (GVGP) is a field of research directed at creating artificial intelligent agents to be placed in unknown video game scenarios and still perform well. In 2014, a GVGP competition was created (by Diego Perez and others at the University of Essex) to encourage research and experimentation in this area. On the first run of this competition, Monte Carlo Tree Search was found to be highly successful at many games - however there were some games where it did not fare so well - ones involving long term goals, in particular. In more recent research on Atari 2600 games, the research group at Google Deep Mind applied deep reinforcement learning to a collection of 49 games. The research learns a reactive policy - for some games this works extremely well, but for others something is missing. Again, the missing element seems to be something that addresses long-term goals. In this research, we present an ensemble architecture for a decision making agent, consisting of multiple decision making components or "Voices". The voices used in this work include a short-range, reactive voice, a medium-range search voice based on simulation and a long-range voice based on an abstracted world and planning. These voices all report to a central arbitration component, which uses the advice given by the voices to make the final decision.

This is joint work with Damien Anderson and Phil Rodgers.

25/11/2015
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Diane Pennington (CIS)

Explorations in emotional indexing and retrieval of non-text documents


18/11/2015
13:00
Room
LT14.15
Thomas Selig (CIS)

Decomposing recurrent states of the Abelian Sandpile Model

The Abelian Sandpile Model (ASM) is a dynamic process on a graph, which has attracted a considerable amount of attention down through the years. One fundamental aspect of ASM research concerns the study of the recurrent states of the model; those states that appear infinitely often in the long-time running of the model. We present several new results for classifying recurrent states of the Abelian sandpile model on graphs that may be decomposed in a variety of ways. These results represent an enormous computational saving with respect to existing classification results.

11/11/2015
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Yunhyong Kim (Humanities Advanced Technologies Information Institute, University of Glasgow)

Is metadata a love letter to the future?

The talk presents a multi-faceted analysis of online communities based on HTML tags and associated attributes to propose heuristics for defining "designated communities" online and offline using the metadata they employ to express the technology they adopt, properties of knowledge organisation, and how they link to each other. Is metadata "a love letter to the future"? If so, what message are we sending our lover?

04/11/2015
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Conor McBride (CIS)

Mapping the Journey: Curriculum Graphs and Education Technology

We arrange our classes in a dependency graph. I find it useful to push the same sort of structure down a level, the better to organise the broad topics within a class, and even sometimes to structure the process of learning a topic. "Where am I in this picture?" is the question the students should ask themselves: we can make it easy for them to find the answer. I'll consider curriculum and topic maps as a source of structure for online teaching and assessment activities, with strong potential for enhanced analytics. I'll talk about and show a few things I'm already doing, and speculate about other things it would be good to do if we put our minds to it.

28/10/2015
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Elena Beratarbide (NHS Fife)

Longitudinal analysis of eHealth Governance within healthcare organizations as a critical factor in the adaptation to the Information Society in Scotland

The synopsis of the talk can be found here.
21/10/2015
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Andreas Komninos (CIS)

Making sense of social network data for smart city applications

The wide use of social networks and richness of interactions between users and their physical environments through these, has generated in the last few years a wealth of information that quantifies the citizens' and visitors' experience of their surroundings. Most of these data is easily accessible through publicly available APIs and in fact, several researchers have demonstrated in their work the value of this data in applications such as tourism or urban planning. There remain, however, several important problems with the use of such data, which have not been yet addressed in scientific research. The handling of redundant or obsolete data regarding venues that are no longer in operation, the fusion of data from multiple social networks, the exploration of causal relationships between data indicators, the semantics of captured data and the verification of the reliability of this data in terms of capturing urban dynamics, are hard issues that remain unexplored. The talk discusses some of the open issues in this field of research and preliminary steps towards addressing these, with the hope to stimulate an active discussion on ways forward for research.
14/10/2015
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Jessica Enright (University of Stirling)

Games on interval and permutation graph representations

We describe combinatorial games on graphs in which two players antagonistically build a representation of a subgraph of a given graph. We show that for a large class of these games, determining whether a given instance is a winning position for the next player is PSPACE-hard. In contrast, we give polynomial time algorithms for solving some versions of the games on trees.

7/10/2015
16:00
Room
LT14.15
Marco Piani (University of Strathclyde)

Dr. Strangecorrelations or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Entanglement

Quantum entanglement was famously described by A. Einstein as giving raise to a "spooky action at a distance". With the advent of quantum information processing, the status of entanglement as moved from weird - and potentially scary - quantum feature to that of resource to be characterized, measured, and manipulated. In this talk I will review some recent aspects of my research on the operational characterization of correlations, through which I learned to stop worrying and love entanglement as key concept to understand nature and quantum mechanics.
Summer Break

5/8/2015
15:00
Room
LT14.15
Katie Siek (Indiana University Bloomington)

"If You Build it"

We build systems, apps, and infrastructure that can change the world - but most do not even change the users' behaviors over a short period of time - never mind the world. Why not? What can we do to improve our designs that will lead to better appropriation? In this talk, I show how applying theories from psychology, design, and business to application design gradually improved acceptance and appropriation in underserved communities. I first briefly discuss how we used Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory to design a mobile application that empowers low literacy, chronically ill patients to manage their diet. I then discuss various theories and design methods we used with low socioeconomic status families to design an application to improve family snacking behaviors. Finally, I will show how we are building on the Ikea Effect to motivate low socioeconomic status children to create their own health monitoring technology. All of the methods can be easily adopted into an engineer's toolbox for designing applications that can potentially change the world.
Tuesday(!)
16/06/2015
11:00
Room LT14.15
Michael Olsson (University of Technology, Sydney)

Making Sense of the Past: the Information Practices of Field Archaeologists

This presentation describes the findings of a study of the information practices (Savolainen, 2007) of archaeologists, students and volunteers undertaking an excavation in the field. It focuses in particular on those practices by which participants made sense of the artefacts they uncovered, and through these, the site they were excavating. The findings show that these practices were both social and embodied in nature.

Monday(!)
15/06/2015
13:00
Room LT14.15
Parisa Eslambolchilar (Swansea University)

Attitudes towards Attention and Ageing: What differences between younger and older adults tell us about mobile technology design

Errors in interaction with digital devices are typically blamed on human factors such as poor attention. However, the influence of attention upon the quality of human-device interaction is commonly overlooked in product design. Developers rely on feedback about a product through user experience design, but do developers, typically younger adults, understand what an older user means, or experiences, in terms of "attention" and appreciate that fundamental conceptual and experiential differences may exist? We examine differences between older and younger adults' concepts of attention in relation to mobile-device use to inform future development. Two participant groups consisted of 11 younger adults (18-30 years) and 12 older adults (65+ years). Qualitative analyses revealed three themes 'personal understanding of attention', 'attention is dependent on...', and 'impact of ageing'.
20/05/2015
15:00
Room LT14.15
Tony Canning (Refugee Open Ware)

Employing Disruptive Techologies

Digital Manufacturing promises to disrupt current manufacturing standards. Having been presented as both the "democratisation of manufacturing" and "the third industrial revolution", digital manufacturing has certainly had it's fair share of hype.

The Refugee Open Ware mission is to employ disruptive technology to improve human rights fulfillment for both refugees and host communities in conflict zones. Together with a for-profit Jordanian company, 3DMENA, we have formed a local NGO called 3DMENA Social Innovation.
We are currently working with clients from the region who have suffered physical trauma to develop low-cost 3D printed prosthetics for below wrist amputees. We are also researching and developing low-cost bionics and other areas where 3D printing and programming of commonly used microcontrollers can be used as assistive technologies.

In addition to the above, we are making significant progress in establishing 3 digital fabrication facilities in Jordan. Each aims to address: Hardware acceleration for start ups - based in King Hussein Business Park. Medical innovation - in partnership with Royal Medical Services. Refugee needs - situated in Za'atari Refugee Camp. This event presents our work across these fields (~25mins) and welcomes questions about our project (~10-20 mins)
Friday(!)
08/05/2015
15:00
Room LT14.15
Svante Linusson (KTH Stockholm)

The probability of the Alabama paradox

There exists various possible methods to distribute seats proportionally between states (or parties) in a parliament. Hamilton's method (also known as the method of largest reminder) was abandoned in the USA because of some drawbacks, in particular the possibility of the Alabama paradox, but it is still in use in many other countries.

In recent work (joint with Svante Janson) we give, under certain assumptions, a closed formula for the probability that the Alabama paradox occurs given the vector p1,...,pm of relative sizes of the states.

From the theorem we deduce a number of consequences. For example it is shown that the expected number of states that will suffer from the Alabama paradox is asymptotically bounded above by 1⁄e. For random (uniformly distributed) relative sizes p1,...,pm the expected number of states to suffer from the Alabama paradox converges to slightly more than a third of this, or approximately 0.335⁄e=0.123, as m → ∞.

I will assume no prior knowledge of electoral mathematics, but begin by giving a brief background to various methods suggested and used for the distribution of seats proportionally in a parliament (it's all in the rounding).
29/04/2015
15:00
Room LT14.15
Uli Kraehmer (University of Glasgow)

Cyclic homology from mixed distributive laws

In pure mathematics, cyclic homology is an invariant of associative algebras that is motivated by algebra, topology and even mathematicial physics. However, when studied from an abstract point of view it turns out to be an invariant of a pair of a monad and a comonad that are related by a mixed distributive law, and I speculate that this could lead to some potential applications in computer science.

(based on joint work with Niels Kowalzig and Paul Slevin)
20/03/2015
15:00
Room LT14.15
Chris Heunen (Oxford)

Approximating transition systems

Classical computation, invertible computation, probabilistic computation, and quantum computation, form increasingly more sophisticated labelled transition systems. How can we approximate a transition system by less sophisticated ones? Considering all ways to get probabilistic information out of a quantum system leads to domain-theoretic ideas, that also apply in the accompanying Boolean logic. I will survey to what extent these domains characterise the system, leading with examples from quantum theory, in a way that is accessible to a broad audience of computer scientists, mathematicians, and logicians.
11/03/2015
15:00
Room LT14.15
Robert Rogerson (Strathclyde)

Research Opportunities in Future Cities

17/12/2014
15:00
Room LT14.15
Carron Shankland (University of Stirling)

A tale about an EPSRC sandpit: mathematics applied to healthcare

EPSRC use sandpit events to generate transformational research. Specifically, they want to is to stimulate adventurous new research and exciting (interdisciplinary) collaborations. Typically, there is a call for participation in a particular topic, and 10%-20% of applicants are successful. The sandpit itself is a five day residential interactive workshop, culminating in novel grant applications for the chosen topic with extremely high chance of funding. But it's not about the money (EPSRC catchphrase of the week). I went to a sandpit in September 2012. It was both one of the most stimulating and stressful events I've ever attended. I met some very interesting people from quite different backgrounds. I ended up successfully leading a project on modelling for brain cancer. This sandpit also generated a network on the topic "Predictive Modelling for Healthcare Technologies through Mathematics": we are recruiting network participants! I'll tell you a bit about the sandpit process from application to award, give an overview of the projects resulting from it, and encourage you to help us spend the money the network has.
24/09/2014
15:00
Room LT14.15
Lucas Dixon (Google)

Repressive Societies, interesting technologies, and Google Ideas

Google Ideas focuses technology's role in helping people facing instability, repression or conflict. I'll talk about a couple of projects we've worked on and then open the floor to some broader discussion on the challenges.