EPSRC funding awarded to Dr Ramanujan Sridharan and Professor Graham Cormode
We are delighted to report that Dr Ramanujan Sridharan (PI) from the Theory and Foundations (FoCS) research theme at the Department of Computer Science and Professor Graham Cormode (Co-I, affiliated with FoCS) have been awarded an EPSRC Standard Research Grant, "New Horizons in Multivariate Preprocessing (MULTIPROCESS)".
This 4-year £540K project aims to advance the theory of preprocessing by designing novel multivariate preprocessing algorithms and extending their scope to high-impact big data paradigms such as streaming algorithms.
We are delighted to report that Dr Long Tran-Thanh has received a AIJ Prominent Paper Award for his first-authored paper, Efficient crowdsourcing of unknown experts using bounded multi-armed bandits, published in 2014 at Artificial Intelligence (AIJ), a premier journal in the field of artificial intelligence. The AIJ Prominent Paper Award recognises outstanding papers published in the journal in the last seven years that are exceptional in their significance and impact.
The paper developed the first comprehensive framework for the rigorous and principled mathematical analysis of task allocation algorithms in crowdsourcing systems. In addition, the paper proposed bounded bandits, a new sequential decision making model to solve task allocation problems with resource constraints. The work has had a significant impact on subsequent work carried out in both industry and academia. The award will be presented at IJCAI 2021, a top tier international conference in artificial intelligence.
Professor Mike Paterson presented with a 2021 Paul Halmos - Lester Ford Award
The Mathematical Association of America has presented Mike Paterson with a 2021 Paul Halmos - Lester Ford Award for an article of "expository excellence published in The American Mathematical Monthly". There were several unusual aspects to this paper: the title, "A head-ache causing problem"; the authors, "Conway, J.H., Paterson, M.S., and Moscow, U.S.S.R"; the sole reference in the paper is to itself; the main result is first disproved and then proved; and the acknowledgments make clear that Conway wrote the paper. Paterson previously received this award in 2010 (then the Lester Ford Award) for his "Overhang" article. More information can be found here.
The program focusses on using AI to address some of the world’s biggest societal challenges. Dr. Tran-Thanh’s project, titled Incentive Engineering and Truthful Mechanisms for Grassland Quality and Local Market Price Estimation in Africa, will address the problem of holistic grazing and pasture management in East Africa. The main objectives of the project are: (i) to identify the most efficient ways to evaluate the overall quality of different grazing areas; (ii) to develop a user friendly recommendation system that chooses the next best grazing areas for pastoralists, that takes into account the holistic aspect of pasture management; and (iii) to incentivise pastoralists to truthfully report their activities in order to further improve the system’s predictive ability. The project is a collaboration between the University of Warwick and AfriScout.
Each year, the University of Warwick's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine (SEM) funds a prize for the best Warwick-affiliated research output from an Early Career Researcher. Each department nominates a winner, or joint winners, out of the applications received after a judging process as determined by the Faculty.
Professor Yulan He, who led the Department's selection, commented:
Pavel's paper on quantile summary, co-authored with Professor Graham Cormode, was published in a top-tier conference on theoretical databases, Symposium on Principles of Database Systems (PODS) co-located with SIGMOD. The tight lower bound for quantile summaries proposed in this work is a deep theoretical exploration central to data management. The work led to a collaboration with Splunk, a US-based company that focuses on processing machine-generated big data. The follow-up paper has been accepted to the 2021 edition of the PODS conference. The result has a great potential for a broader impact. Josiah's work is on medical imaging. Together with Dr Sharon Collier and Professor Till Bretschneider, they proposed an enhanced 3D segmentation method (with a curvature-based enhancement term), which outperforms the best-of-breed random walker method in Dictyostelium image volumes. The work was published in a top journal, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, with an impact factor of 6.68. Josiah presented his method at the Actin 2020 meeting and was awarded a prize for best imaging in a talk by the Royal Microscopical Society and has been featured in an article in their inFocus magazine.
Ford Motor Company funding success for Dr. Tanaya Guha
Dr. Tanaya Guha (PI) has been awarded a research grant by Ford Motor Company through their Global University Research Program to develop the project "Multimodal Learning for In-Car Driver's Activity Monitoring". This 2-year project aims at developing an AI system that can monitor driver's and passengers' safety through audiovisual scene analysis integrated with short-term driving patterns. For example, by creating alerts when a driver is distracted. The project will be developed in collaboration with Ford's AI research at Michigan.
Shen Wang and Professor Feng Hao from the Systems and Security theme at the Department of Computer Science and Ehsan Toreini from Durham University, have had the paper ‘Anti-Counterfeiting for Polymer Banknotes Based on Polymer Substrate Fingerprinting’, published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, in which they propose a novel technique called Polymer Substrate Fingerprinting, which can identify each banknote’s own unique, unclonable fingerprint.
The researchers have found that every polymer banknote has a unique "fingerprint", which is caused by the inevitable imperfection in the physical manufacturing process, whereby the opacity coating, a critical step during the production of polymer notes, leaves an uneven coating layer with a random dispersion of impurities in the ink. This imperfection results in random translucent patterns when a polymer banknote is back-lit by a light source.