Joseph Sifakis (Turing Award 2007) - Professor at EPFL, Switzerland and Director of CRI in Grenoble, France
The Internet of Things – The Ultimate ICT Revolution
Abstract: The Internet of Things (IoT) is a vision born from the convergence between embedded systems, networks and intelligent systems. Reaching this vision challenges our capacity to design systems that are trustworthy and optimal. We advocate the need for rigorous system design techniques. We present the current state of the art and discuss three major scientific challenges: 1) linking physicality and computation, to study cyber-physical systems of collaborating computational elements controlling physical entities; 2) component-based systems engineering, in particular as the ability to build correct-by-construction systems from verified components; 3) intelligence, in particular as the ability of system adaptation in order to meet given requirements in the presence of uncertainty.
Realizing the IoT vision will have a tremendous societal, technological and scientific impact. In particular, it will reinvigorate research in Computing and enrich the discipline with new scientific foundations.

Biography: Joseph Sifakis is full professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the director of “Centre de Recherche Intégrative” (CRI) in Grenoble. His current research interests cover fundamental and applied aspects of embedded systems design. The main focus of his work is on the formalization of system design as a process leading from given requirements to trustworthy and optimized correct-by-construction implementations.
Joseph Sifakis is the founder of the Verimag laboratory in Grenoble, which he directed for 13 years. In 2007, he has received the Turing Award for his contribution to the theory and application of model checking, the most widely used system verification technique today.
Joseph Sifakis is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, a member of the French National Academy of Engineering and a member of Academia Europea. He is a Grand Officer of the French National Order of Merit, a Commander of the French Legion of Honor. He has received the Leonardo da Vinci Medal in 2012.
Francis Heylighen - Director of Global Brain Institute and Professor at Free University of Brussels, Belgium
The web as a self-organizing, distributed intelligence: towards a global brain
Abstract: Distributed intelligence is an ability to solve problems and process information that is not localized inside a single person or computer, but that emerges from the coordinated interactions between a large number of people and their technological extensions. The Internet and in particular the World-Wide Web form a nearly ideal substrate for the emergence of a distributed intelligence that spans the planet, integrating the knowledge, skills and intuitions of billions of people supported by billions of information-processing devices. This intelligence becomes increasingly powerful through a process of self-organization in which people and devices selectively reinforce useful links, while rejecting useless ones. This process can be modeled mathematically and computationally by representing individuals and devices as agents, connected by a weighted directed network along which "challenges" propagate. Challenges represent problems, opportunities or questions that must be processed by the agents to extract benefits and avoid penalties. Link weights are increased whenever agents extract benefit from the challenges propagated along it. My research group is developing such a large-scale simulation environment in order to better understand how the web may boost our collective intelligence. The anticipated outcome of that process is a "global brain", i.e. a nervous system for the planet that would be able to tackle both global and personal problems.

Biography: Francis Heylighen received his PhD in theoretical physics in 1987 from the Free University of Brussels (VUB). After his PostDoc there he become first a Senior Research Associate, then a research professor. He then created the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition research group and the Global Brain Institute, which he both directs. The main focus of his research is the evolution of complexity: how do higher forms of organization originate and develop? How do systems self-organize, adapt and achieve some form of cognition? He has worked in particular on the development of collective intelligence or distributed cognition, and its application to the emerging "global brain".
His work has received a wide international recognition from peers, students and the general public. This is shown by such indicators as his H-index (40), the number of citations of his work (over 5000) in the Google Scholar database of academic publications, and appearances in the national and international media. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, member of the Global Agenda Councils of the World Economic Forum, and his biography has been listed in Who's Who in the World, Wikipedia, and other international directories.
Steven Koonin - Director, Center for Urban Science and Progress, New York University, USA
Adventures in Urban Informatics
Abstract: For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas; in just a few more decades, the world's population will exceed 9 billion, 70 percent of whom will live in cities. Enabling those cities to deliver services effectively, efficiently, and sustainably while keeping their citizens safe, healthy, prosperous, and well-informed will be among the most important undertakings in this century. I will review how we are establishing a center for urban science and focus on bringing informatics to the study and operation of urban systems. I will touch on the rational, the structure, and the substance of the Center’s work and the ways in which it will enrich NYC and contribute to global issues. Taxis, lights, sewers, phones, and buildings will all enter into the discussion in novel ways.

Biography: Steven E. Koonin was appointed as the founding Director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress in April 2012. That consortium of academic, corporate, and government partners will pursue research and education activities to develop and demonstrate informatics technologies for urban problems in the “living laboratory” of New York City. He previously served as the U.S. Department of Energy’s second Senate-confirmed Under Secretary for Science from May 19, 2009 through November 18, 2011. As the Chief Scientist at BP from 2004 to early 2009, Dr. Koonin developed the long-range technology strategy for alternative and renewable energy sources. Steve joined the California Institute of Technology’s faculty in 1975, was a research fellow at the Niels Bohr Institute during 1976-1977, and was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow during 1977-1979. He became a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech in 1981 and served as Chairman of the Faculty from 1989-1991. Dr. Koonin was the seventh provost of Caltech from 1995-2004. In that capacity, he was involved in identifying and recruiting 1/3 of the Institute’s professorial faculty and left an enduring legacy of academic and research initiatives in the biological, physical, earth, and social sciences, as well as the planning and development of the Thirty-Meter Telescope project.
Gee-Wah Ng - Programme Director, DSO National Laboratories, Singapore
Exploitation of information
Abstract: The talk will cover the various research works in the area of exploiting information to achieve intelligence. These include unstructured text and image processing, video scene understanding and perception, brain-inspired computing, track before detection of target, multiple sources fusion, small data analytics, multi-modality entity resolution, and spatial and temporal reasoning. Key technical challenges and their potential applications will be presented.

Biography: Gee Wah NG received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), United Kingdom, in 1993 and 1996, respectively, in Electronics and Electrical Engineering. He joins DSO National Laboratories in 1997. Currently he is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff and Program Director for Information Exploitation Program at DSO National Laboratories. He was awarded the Defense Technology Prize in 2002, 2005, 2011.
In 2006 and 2007, he was a Research Associate in MIT and Visiting Scholar in Boston University, Boston, USA. His research at Boston University and MIT is on computational cognitive system. Since 2009 till now, he is an Adjunct Associate Professor in National University of Singapore, Engineering Science Program.
Gee Wah NG has been active in the fusion community since 1998. From 2003 to 2006, he was in program committee of the conference on Multisensor, Multisource Information Fusion: Architecture and Applications, USA Orlando, SPIE Defense and Security Symposium. Since 2003, he was involved in the technical program committee of The International Conference on Information Fusion and in the technical program committee of The IEEE International Conference on Cybernetics and Intelligent Systems. He was also the Special Issue Editor on High-level Information Fusion and Situation Awareness for the International Journal of MultiSensor and MultiSource Information fusion (2008). Gee Wah NG served as the General co-chair for the 2012 ISIF International Conference on Information in Singapore. He authored three technical books.
Sarit Kraus (AAAI, ECCAI and ACM Fellow) - Professor of Computer Science at Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland, USA
Computer Agents that Interact Proficiently with People
Abstract: Automated agents that interact proficiently with people can be useful in supporting or replacing people in complex tasks. The inclusion of people presents novel problems for the design of automated agents’ strategies. People do not necessarily adhere to the optimal, monolithic strategies that can be derived analytically. Their behavior is affected by a multitude of social and psychological factors. In this talk I will show how combining machine learning techniques for human modeling, human behavioral models, formal decision-making and game theory approaches enables agents to interact well with people. Applications include intelligent agents that help drivers reduce energy consumption, agents that support rehabilitation, employer-employee negotiation and agents that support a human operator in managing a team of low-cost mobile robots in search and rescue tasks.

Biography: Sarit Kraus (Ph.D. Computer Science, Hebrew University, 1989) is a Professor of Computer Science at Bar-Ilan University and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. Her research is focused on intelligent agents and multi-agent systems (including people and robots). She has also contributed to the research on homeland security, adversarial patrolling, social networks and nonmonotonic reasoning.
Kraus was awarded the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, the ACM SIGART Agents Research award, the EMET prize and was twice the winner of the IFAAMAS influential paper award. She is an ACM, AAAI and ECCAI fellow and a recipient of the advanced ERC grant. She also received a special commendation from the city of Los Angeles, together with Prof. Tambe, Prof. Ordonez and their USC students, for the creation of the ARMOR security scheduling system.
She has published over 350 papers in leading journals and major conferences. She is the author of the book “Strategic Negotiation in Multiagent Environments” (2001) and a co-author of the books “Heterogeneous Active Agents” (2000) and “Principles of Automated Negotiation” (2014). Kraus is a senior associate editor of the Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence Journal and an associate editor of the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. She is a member of the board of directors of the International Foundation for Multi-agent Systems (IFAAMAS).
Dominik Ślęzak - Professor at University of Warsaw and Chief Scientist of Infobright Inc, Poland
From Interactive Search to Interactive Data Exploration
Abstract: Data exploration is a general term for a variety of methods aiming at data extraction and processing for the purposes of, e.g. advanced reporting and decision support. In particular, data exploration is in the heart of web analytics applications, where the process of constructing web-related data models goes in pair with investigating relations and trends over attributes of entities stored in those models. Similarly, data exploration plays an important role in fields such as internet of things, enterprise analytics, risk management or knowledge discovery from biomedical and multimedia data sets.
The essential feature of data exploration tools is to make it possible for users to interact with data. Only humans can specify exploration goals which can change based on results obtained so far. With that in regard, there is an ongoing research on how to decompose the workflows of complex data mining processes onto smaller pieces whose outcomes can be iteratively browsed by users. Another related challenge is to produce those outcomes sufficiently fast to keep the users engaged and to translate their feedback into parameters of algorithms utilized at further stages of the process.
People interested in web intelligence will be quick to draw a parallel between the above aspects of interactive data exploration and the state-of-the-art techniques in a field of interactive search. On the one hand, a search space (a space of all searched entities versus a space of all data models and patterns) and a user profile (end-users of search systems versus data scientists and data modelling specialists) are quite different. However, on the other hand, the idea of presenting to the users examples or drafts of results and asking them to share their preferences remains analogous.
As an illustration, a rough-set-based framework aiming at interactive attribute selection is discussed. This framework is designed to visually assist users in browsing through a realm of possible subsets of attributes. Moreover, it utilizes information about users’ actions to refine the attribute extraction process. It will also be shown how to modify this method to support a new interactive environment which facilitates a kind of faceted search. Hopefully, this example can be regarded as an additional confirmation that interactive data exploration and interactive search have quite a lot in common.

Biography: Dominik Ślęzak received Ph.D. in 2002 from University of Warsaw and D.Sc. in 2011 from Polish Academy of Sciences. In 2005 he co-founded Infobright Inc., where he holds position of chief scientist. He is also associate professor at Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics at University of Warsaw. He used to work as assistant professor at University of Regina and in Polish-Japanese Institute of Information Technology. He delivered invited talks at over 20 international conferences. He co-edited over 20 books and volumes of conference proceedings. He is co-author of over 150 papers and co-inventor in 5 granted US patents. He serves as associate editor for several scientific journals including Intelligent Information Systems and Information Sciences. In 2014 he served as general program chair of IEEE/WIC/ACM Web Intelligence Congress in Warsaw. In 2012-2014 he served as president of International Rough Set Society. Currently, he serves as co-director of Polish National Centre for Research and Development grant PBS2/B9/20/2013 aiming at developing an integrated decision support framework for systems that monitor processes, devices and hazards.