Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Pisa and attend the kick-off meeting of SoBigData, a project funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the EU. Aalto participates with two partners in the project – Santo Fortunato from the Complex Networks group and Aris Gionis from the Data Mining Group (to whom I owe my participation).
The consortium consists of many academic partners (from University of Pisa, ETHZ, CNR, TUDelft, Fraunhofer, Sheffield, IMT Lucca, King’s College London, Scuola Normale Superiore — and Aalto). Quite predictably, part of the project will be devoted to research in social data mining and related areas. What’s interesting, however, is that the largest part of the project will be devoted to integrating existing local research infrastructure (e.g. at national level) into a unified European ecosystem. The goal of the project is to build infrastructure to facilitate the sharing of datasets and research findings among European scientists.
Interesting fact about Pisa: with about 90,000 residents, it also hosts about 40,000 students – it’s a big college town.
In the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to attend a couple of conferences and make a research visit to Inria, Lille.
First, there was ICWSM, in Oxford. Géraud Le Falher presented his paper and Karmen Dykstra presented her poster from her summer internship with the Data Mining group. The conference was different than the ones I’d been to so far, as it was quite interdisciplinary, with many social scientists attending.
Then, there was ICCSS, in Helsinki. It was an event that I think impressed attendees with its excellent organisation and great line-up of keynote speakers (for those interested, the videos are online). I found the kind of works that were presented there very similar to ICWSM. (Fun fact: Géraud presented his ICWSM paper again at ICCSS, as did the other presenters in the same session).
And finally, thanks to a kind invitation by Géraud and the MAGNET group at Inria, Lille, I travelled to Lille for a research visit. It was an exciting trip, as the group has an extraordinary team of researchers and it was my first time to visit Inria and present some of our recent work there. I’m also hopeful that the visit will lead to published research and more collaborations in the near future.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the ICDE 2015 conference in Seoul and present our paper “Bump Hunting in the Dark – Discrepancy Maximization on Graphs“.
Our paper To put it concisely, the paper discusses techniques to identify large areas of a graph that are dense in nodes that exhibit a particular property. Yes, it’s quite technical. You can take a look at the poster or presentation, or even read the paper itself. We’ve also been invited to submit an extended version to TKDE.
The conference It was a nice conference, with quite a few people (about 600), including a few of the ‘big names’ from the database community. Michael Stonebraker, this year’s Turing Award winner, attended via Skype to discuss his 10-year paper award jointly received with Brown’s Ugur Çetintemel. His talk is available online, I found it a pleasure to watch.
The best paper award went to “Short Text Understanding Through Lexical-Semantic Analysis”, by Wen Hua et. al. It is an interesting choice, as it deviates a little from the core-database themes of the conference.
The city Seoul is a huge city that would require more than a week to see as a tourist. Thankfully I found some time to go around the city, try Korean food, and sit at a cafe or two. I was impressed by how clean the city is and how politely everyone treats you.