HIIT Update 2/2007

Headlines in this issue:

- FOREWORD
- NEW PROJECTS AND GRANTS
- NORDICHIP SEMINAR
- GOOGLE BUYS JAIKU
- CICERO-HIIT RESEARCHERS' DAY - Learning Spaces and Technologies
- FINLAND-ICSI CENTER FOR NOVEL INTERNET ARCHITECTURES LAUNCH AT ICSI
- "IN HIIT" BLOG LAUNCHED
- HIIT AUTHORS RECEIVE BEST PAPER AWARD AT MUM 2007
- HIIT ARRANGES WITH NOKIA THE WORKSHOP IMUx 2008 IN SYDNEY IN MAY 2008
- DIRECTOR OF DARPA VISITS HIIT
- SENIOR PERSONNEL NEWS
- FUTURE EVENTS

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FOREWORD

This issue of HIIT Update reports on the progress of HIIT during the second half of 2007. Once again, the institute has been successful in preparing new initiatives, securing new grants, launching international collaboration, and of course contributing to the progress of science in its fields of interest. We are especially pleased with the successful completion of the preparations of HIIT's first project in EU's 7th Framework Programme, the PSIRP project, as reported below - particularly as the project will allow us to undertake research in a novel direction. Another new form of work for HIIT is the research grant from NIH that was confirmed in Fall 2007 and will form a basis of long-term research in its domain. HIIT performed also strongly in the prestigious and competitive Open Call of Academy of Finland, with two accepted proposals. What makes this success especially satisfying was the fact that the proposals were prepared by post-doc level researchers who thus have gained a jump start for their independent research career build-up.

A large effort that occupied the second half of 2007 was related to the preparation of the national initiative Strategic Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technologies, or ICT SHOK for short. HIIT took lead in the planning of the Future Internet programme of the new SCoE, and participated actively in two other programmes. As a result, the institute is likely to have a central role in the SCoE when is is launched during the first half of 2008.

HIIT's outlook for 2008 is, therefore, very positive. This was reinforced with the strong commitment of the home universities to its continued success as demonstrated in the positive results of HIIT's funding negotiations for 2008 that resulted in a healthy increase of its basic funding. The new funding will make it possible to strengthen the research groups and programmes by hiring new senior and postdoc researchers, and also to maintain the research infrastructure and services at sufficiently high level.

The Government of Finland made on 21.11.2007 a decision on the principles of merging Helsinki University of Technology, Helsinki School of Economics, and Helsinki University of Arts and Design from 1.8.2009. The new university will be organised as a private foundation, with endowments coming from the government and industry. This is a dramatic change in the basic infrastructure of the Finnish university system, and also for HIIT. As such, it will offer major opportunities for organising research and for facilitating research-based innovations. We believe that HIIT is well prepared to take full advantage of this new major development.

Espoo, 17 December 2007

Martti Mäntylä
martti.mantyla(a)hiit.fi
Esko Ukkonen
esko.ukkonen(a)cs.helsinki.fi
Co-directors, HIIT

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NEW PROJECTS AND GRANTS

UBILIFE

TEKES has donated funding for the project UbiLife Foundations for two years from 1.7.2007. The objective of the project is to focus on the fundamental research problems of ubiquitous computing, deploy new ubi infrastructure, and to develop novel multi-modal ubi applications on selected problem domains e.g. education in the suburban area and public and commercial services of the city centre. HIIT belongs to the academic consortium coordinated by University of Oulu. For more information, please contact Dr. Sasu Tarkoma.

ADVANCED VIRTUAL ECONOMY APPLICATIONS (AVEA)

TEKES has awarded 2,5 year funding for the project Advanced Virtual Economy Applications (AVEA) from 1.10.2007. The project will study virtual economies: systems where millions of Internet users create and trade virtual items and currencies, often for real money. HIIT's industrial partners in the project are Nokia Research Center, CCP Games, Playdo, and SWelcom. The research will be carried out in co-operation with Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. For more information, please contact Vili Lehdonvirta.

PSIRP

The proposal Publish-Subscribe Internet Routing Paradigm (PSRIP), submitted in response to the first call of the ICT programme of EU's 7th Framework Programme, has completed the contract negotiations after clearing the highly competitive technical evaluation with good marks. The project will launch on 1.1.2008.

The project aims to solve present shortcomings of the Internet by proposing a fundamental reform of its paradigms and core technologies. A major flaw in the design of the Internet is its imbalance of powers in the favour of the sender of information: the network accepts anything that the sender wants to send and will make a best effort to deliver it to the receiver. This has led into increasing problems with spam mail and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, forcing companies and users to conceal their E-mail addresses and place their systems behind firewalls. The most severe consequence of this is that the possibilities offered by the Internet are not being utilized.

The project studies the use of the publish/subscribe paradigm (pub/ sub) as a remedy to these problems. In this approach, senders publish what they want to send and the receivers subscribe to the publications that they want to receive. Thus, only publishers need to have names. A new Internet architecture, derived from the pub/sub paradigm will be studied and experimented, leading into a redesign of all the layers. In the new Internet, multicast will be the norm and security and mobility are designed into the architecture, rather than added on as after-thoughts.

The new architecture is implemented and feedback from the implementation work is used to refine the architecture. We will make two different implementations: one where pub/sub is run as an overlay over IP (the evolutionary approach) and another, where also the lower layers are redesigned (the revolutionary approach). The architecture and its implementation will be validated by a “red team” working to break it. Also the economic drivers for the new architecture will be studied.

HIIT is the coordinator of the project. Other partners include RWTH Aachen University, British Telecom, Oy L M Ericsson Ab, Nokia Siemens Networks Oy, Institute for Parallel Processing at the Bulgarian Academy of Science and Athens University of Economics and Business. For more information, please contact Dr. Arto Karila.

USER PSYCHOLOGY AND USER-CENTRIC INTERACTION DESIGN (THESEUS)

TEKES has granted 2-year funding for the project Theseus: User psychology and user-centric interaction design. The project is coordinated by University of Jyväskylä, and its academic partners include VTT and HIIT. The main objective of the project is to raise the use of psychological user data in interaction design to a new level. The work is carried out through a series of case studies with products of participating companies. For more information, please contact Dr. Antti Oulasvirta.

WORK PRACTISES AND THE TRANSITION TO UBICOMP (AMOVEO)

Academy of Finland has granted four-year funding for the project Work Practises and the Transition to Ubicomp (AMOVEO). The consortium involves the HIIT UIx research group and VTT Systems Usability group. The goals of the project are 1) to study the transition of work practices in the face of ubiquitous computing automatization in three cases, 2) to describe social and human principles characterizing these new practices and 3) to inform the design of technology, instruction and training, and the organization of work environments. Methodologically it will be based on cross-disciplinary analysis of human practices combining psychological and ethnomethodological orientations with a technology construction goal. Apart from scientific contributions, the planned results include descriptions of new work practices, conceptual elaborations of the notion of practice, and implications to the design and organization of bicomp-oriented work. For more information, please contact Dr. Giulio Jacucci.

WHOLE GENOME ASSOCIATION ANALYSIS STRATEGIES FOR MULTIPLE PHENOTYPES

The project is part of an interdisciplinary research consortium called "Consortium for Neuropsychiatric Phenomics-Coordinating Center", which is funded by the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) for the period of 1 September 2007 - 31 August 2012. The partners are Heikki Mannila from HIIT together with Leena Peltonen-Palotie, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM and Nelson Freimer, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

The project will apply data mining approaches to identify new phenotypes in an existing neuropsychiatric database (the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966). This aim will involve analysis of an extensive phenotype database to identify previously unexplored correlations between different phenotypic features (both those that overtly assess neurobehavioral features and those that assess other features). We will use these composite phenotypes as complements of the initial phenotypes for whole genome association studies, and develop methods for the analysis of large numbers of novel phenotypes.

The results of the project may be used to identify genes involved in neurobehavioral features, giving additional possibilities for drug design. The computational methods can also be used in the analysis of other phenotypic databases.

COMPUTATIONAL DATA FUSION OF MULTIPLE BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION SOURCES AND BACKGROUND DATA (MULTIBIO)

TEKES has funded the project Computational data fusion of multiple biological information sources and background data (MultiBio) coordinated by Dr. Janne Nikkilä and Prof. Sami Kaski, originally submitted to Tekes open call on 28.2.2007. Other members of the consortium include Sakari Knuutila (HY), Jaakko Kangasjärvi (HY) and Alvis Brazma (European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton, UK). The project will develop new probabilistic models for finding dependencies between data sources and for finding and incorporating relevant background data to focus the models. A prime application is cancer studies, where genomic structural variation and gene expression are key sources of cues. More information can be seen at http://www.cis.hut.fi/projects/mi/multibio/index.shtml.

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NORDICHIP SEMINAR

HIIT organised on 9.10.2007 the NordicHIP seminar on themes of the Host Identity Protocol and the related internetworking concepts.

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GOOGLE BUYS JAIKU

Jaiku, a popular activity stream and presence sharing service that works from the Web and mobile phones, has been bought by Google in September 2007. The basic technology of Jaiku, the ContextPhone platform, was developed at HIIT and UH DCS in the Context project during 2002-2005. Jaiku Ltd., was founded in February, 2006 by Jyri Engeström and Petteri Koponen to commercialize the service. The service was released on the Web in July 2006.

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CICERO-HIIT RESEARCHERS' DAY - Learning Spaces and Technologies

HIIT organised together with CICERO Learning network a seminar where researchers from both HIIT and CICERO presented their research. CICERO Learning is a network for researchers and research groups on learning from different universities and research institutes in Finland. CICERO Learning network was established in 2005, and is coordinated by the University of Helsinki. The seminar has been followed-up by several internal meetings between CICERO and HIIT, where the units have been discussing co-operation possibilities in the near future.

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FINLAND-ICSI CENTER FOR NOVEL INTERNET ARCHITECTURES LAUNCH AT ICSI

The launch event of the Finland-ICSI Center for Novel Internet Architectures (FICNIA) was held in the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) in Berkeley, California on 27.9.2007.

The mission of the Center is to conduct fundamental research in novel Internet architectures, aiming at a significant contribution towards the future development of the Internet. The Center will combine and coordinate the research efforts at ICSI, led by Professor Scott Shenker, with those of HIIT and other Finnish reseachers, led by Professor Kimmo Raatikainen. It will operate through joint research activities, research visits, and events.

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"IN HIIT" BLOG LAUNCHED

A small (but probably growing) group of HIIT researchers have initiated a joint blog called "In HIIT". It is intended to offer a "non-official" and more personal platform for the interaction of HIIT and the wide world around it, discussing not just research but also the ethical, political, and societal issues raised by it. The blog will be written mostly in Finnish language, but occasionally also in English, and perhaps in other languages too. Please peek in at http://inhiit.blogspot.com/!

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HIIT AUTHORS RECEIVE BEST PAPER AWARD AT MUM 2007

The paper "Extending Large-Scale Event Participation with User- Created Mobile Media on a Public Display" by Peter Peltonen, Antti Salovaara, Giulio Jacucci, Tommi Ilmonen, Carmelo Ardito, Petri Saarikko and Vikram Batra received on 14.12.2007 the Best Paper Award in the MUM 2007 Conference. See http://www.mum2007.oulu.fi/.

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HIIT ARRANGES WITH NOKIA THE WORKSHOP IMUx 2008 IN SYDNEY IN MAY 2008

Already last year, HIIT arranged with Nokia a workshop called Improved Mobile User Experience (IMUx) in connection with the Pervasive conference. This year, the Second IMUx will be arranged in connection with Pervasive in Sydney in May 2008. The workshop brings together the following areas:
    * user interaction in mobile environments,
    * ubiquitous user modeling, and
    * mobile user experience.
The deadline for contributions is 25 January 2008. More information is available at http://www.hiit.fi/events/imux2008.

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DIRECTOR OF DARPA VISITS HIIT

Dr. Anthony J. Tether, Director, Dr. Robert Leheny, Deputy Director, Mr. Ronald Kurjanowicz, Chief of Staff, and Ms. Kimberly Garnett, assistant to the Director, all of the Defense Advanced Projects Agency visited HIIT. A brief seminar on Future Internet research was organised.

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SENIOR PERSONNEL NEWS

09.06.2007: HIIT researcher Teemu Roos defended his doctoral thesis "Statistical and Information-Theoretic Methods for Data Analysis" in a public debate held in the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki, on June 9 2007.

11.9.2007: Emil Aaltonen Foundation awarded a young researcher grant to Dr. Antti Oulasvirta of HIIT for the project Interruptions in Human-Computer Interaction. The grant is intended to facilitate promising post-doc level researchers in the launch of their independent research career.

12.9.2007: The Board of HIIT nominated Professor Tommi Jaakkola from MIT and Dr. Wray Buntine from NICTA and Australian National University in the position of HIIT Fellow for 2007-2010. A fellowship can be awarded to an internationally recognized senior researcher who co-operates closely with HIIT through regular visits and doctoral education. Professor Jaakkola plans to work closely associated with the Algorithmic Data Analysis programme and Dr. Buntine with the Probabilistic Adaptive Systems programme. The first fellowship had been awarded in 2003 to Dr. Jorma Rissanen.

25.10.2007: A HIIT research group led by Dr. Risto Sarvas received a special grant celebrating the 125th anniversary of Elisa Corporation from the HPY Research Foundation. The topic of the succesful grant proposal was From Snapshot Photography to Everyday Social Media.

2.11.2007: HIIT researcher Oriana Riva defended her doctoral thesis "Middleware for Mobile Sensing Applications in Urban Environments" in the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki. The opponent was Professor Olaf Drögehorn (University of Kassel) and the custos Professor Kimmo Raatikainen (University of Helsinki).

6.11.2007: The Scientific Council of the University of Industrial Arts and Design Helsinki (UIAH) nominated Research Scientist Giulio Jacucci as Affiliate Processor (docent) in Ubiquitous Interaction Technologies in the area of User-Centred Design.

9.11.2007: The Council of the University of Helsinki has decided to invite Senior Research Scientist, Aapo Hyvärinen in one of the floating 5-year professor positions ("pooliprofessuuri") that can be allocated on the basis of a new emerging field or a particularly prominent candidate on the basis of the individual performance, development of a succesful line of research, scientific and societal relevance, and the match with the overall strategy of the university.

1.12.2007: D.Sc. Kristiina Karvonen has been nominated as the Research Manager of the Future Internet research programme, following Dr. Oriana Riva who moved to ETH for her post-doc training. Dr. Karvonen will also act as the Coordinator of the Finland-ICSI Center for Novel Internet Architectures, as well as pursue her own line of research in usable security and trust.

14.12.2007: HIIT researcher Merja Oja presented her doctoral thesis "Methods for Exploring Genomic Data Sets: Application to Human Endogenous Retroviruses" in a public dissertation at the Helsinki University of Technology. The custos of the event was professor Samuel Kaski, and the opponent Professor Hiroshi Mamitsuka from Kyoto University, Japan.

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FUTURE EVENTS

5.4.2008: HIIT co-arranges the workshop Urban Mixed Realities: Technologies, Theories and Frontiers in association with the premier conference on interaction research, CHI 2008.

26.-30.5.2008: The Scientific Advisory Board of HIIT will meet to provide expert criticism and strategic guidance of HIIT's research.

HIIT arranges ICML, UAI, and COLT conferences:
- ICML 5.-9.7.2008 (local chair: Hannu Toivonen)
- UAI 9.-12.7.2008 (programme co-chair: Petri Myllymäki)
- COLT 9.-12.7.2008 (local chair: Jyrki Kivinen)

Each of the three international scientific conferences is the leading annual conference of its field. The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the most important annual event in machine learning, attracting annually about 500 participants from all over the world. The Annual Conference on Learning Theory (COLT) is the main conference in the field of computational learning theory, with some 100 participants annually. The Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI) has since 1985 been the primary international forum for presenting new results on the use of principled methods for reasoning under uncertainty within intelligent systems, attracting around 200 leading experts of the field every year. More information is available at http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/iuc2008/.

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