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Research Seminars

The department hosts a programme of research seminars by invited speakers and departmental staff. The seminars are open to all. The following seminars will be taking place at the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems (DCSIS), Birkbeck College, or London Knowledge Lab (LKL), Birkbeck College and Institute of Education.

If you are interested in presenting a seminar please contact

Academic Year 2012/13

Dr. William B. Langdon, Department of Computer Science, University College London.
Subject: Genetic Improvement of Source Code
Date: Wednesday, 8th of October 2014, from 16:30 to 17:30
Location: Room 151, Birkbeck Main Building
Professor Mariano Consens, Department of Information Engineering, MIE and CS, University of Toronto.
Subject: Publishing L2TAP Logs to Facilitate SPARQL Query-based Privacy Auditing
Date: Wednesday, 21st of July 2014, from 15:00 to 16:00
Location: Room 745, Birkbeck Main Building
Professor Frank Wolter, Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool.
Subject: Ontology-Based Data Access and Non-Uniform Constraint Satisfaction
Date: Wednesday, 19th of March 2014, from 16:30 to 17:40
Location: Room 745, Birkbeck Main Building
Dr George Fletcher, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands.
Subject: What we talk about when we talk about graphs
Date: Tuesday, 4th of March 2014, from 16:30 to 17:40
Location: Room 745, Birkbeck Main Building
Dr Ashley Montanaro, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol.
Subject: An introduction to quantum computing
Date: Wednesday, 19th of February 2014, from 16:40 to 17:40
Location: Room 745, Birkbeck Main Building
Dr Ron Peretz, Mathematics department, London School of Economics (LSE).
Subject: Hunter, Cauchy Rabbit, and Optimal Kakeya Sets
Date: Wednesday, 22nd of January 2014, from 16:30 to 17:30
Location: Room 160, Birkbeck Main Building

Abstracts

Genetic Improvement of Source Code

Dr. William B. Langdon, Department of Computer Science, University College London.

Room 151, Birkbeck Main Building - Wednesday, 8th of October 2014, from 16:30 to 17:30

Genetic Improvement of Source Code Abstract: Genetic programming can optimise programs including evolving test benchmarks, search meta-heuristics, protocols, composing web services, improving hashing and memory allocation, redundant programming and even automatically fixing bugs. There are many ways to balance functionality with resource consumption (eg time, memory, energy). But a human programmer cannot try them all. Similarly the easy to write software may not give the best floating point accuracy or give the best trade off between performance and solution quality. Also the Pareto optimal tradeoff may be different on each hardware platform and it may be dynamic, e.g. as usage changes. Possibly GP could automatically suggest a different balance between multiple objectives for each new market. Recent results include substantial speed up by generating a new version of a program for a special case. Short CV: Dr. Langdon gained his PhD at UCL after a career in real-time industrial control software and consulting. After positions in universities and research institutes at home and abroad, he has returned to UCL where he is applying genetic programming to optimising software. He has written 3 books on genetic programming, including "A Field Guide to Genetic Programming", which can be downloaded for free. He also maintains the genetic programming bibliography.

Home: http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/W.Langdon/ project:

http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/W.Langdon/gismo book:

http://www.gp-field-guide.org.uk/ GP-bib:

http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~wbl/biblio/

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Publishing L2TAP Logs to Facilitate SPARQL Query-based Privacy Auditing

Professor Mariano Consens, Department of Information Engineering, MIE and CS, University of Toronto.

Room 745, Birkbeck Main Building - Wednesday, 21st of July 2014, from 15:00 to 16:00

This talk describes a framework for publishing logs to support privacy auditing tasks that involve multiple auditors, an increasingly common requirement in the context of social computing and big data driven science. Our proposal is based on two ontologies, L2TAP and SCIP, designed for deployment in a Linked Data environment. L2TAP provides provenance enabled logging of events. SCIP synthesizes contextual integrity concepts and enables (SPARQL) query-based solutions for two important privacy processes (compliance and obligation derivation). The approach facilitates accountability and transparency among participants.

Bio:

Mariano Consens research interests are in the areas of Data Management and the Web, with a focus on linked data, graph data, analytics for semistructured data, privacy, XML searching, and autonomic systems. He has over 60 publications, including journal publications selected from best conference papers and several patents. Mariano received his PhD and MSc degrees in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. Consens is a University of Toronto faculty member and a Visiting Scientist at the IBM Center for Advanced Studies in Toronto. In addition, he has been active in the software industry as a founder and CTO of a couple of software startups, as well as a Visiting Scientist at Yahoo! Research.

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Ontology-Based Data Access and Non-Uniform Constraint Satisfaction

Professor Frank Wolter, Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool.

Room 745, Birkbeck Main Building - Wednesday, 19th of March 2014, from 16:30 to 17:40

Ontology-based data access is concerned with querying incomplete data sources in the presence of domain-specific knowledge provided by an ontology. A central notion in this setting is that of an ontology-mediated query, which is a database query coupled with an ontology. In this talk, we discuss several classes of ontology-mediated queries, where the database queries are given as some form of conjunctive query and the ontologies are formulated in description logics or other relevant fragments of first-order logic, such as the guarded fragment and the unary-negation fragment.

We then establish intimate connections between ontology-mediated queries and constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs) and their logical generalization, MMSNP formulas. These connections are exploited to obtain results regarding first-order and datalog-rewritability of ontology-mediated queries and P/NP dichotomies for ontology-mediated queries.

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What we talk about when we talk about graphs

Dr George Fletcher, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands.

Room 745, Birkbeck Main Building - Tuesday, 4th of March 2014, from 16:30 to 17:40

An old idea from the humanistic sciences has it that the language we use not only restricts the manner in which we view the world, but also, in a very real sense, shapes the world around us. Recently, my colleagues and I have been exploring the interesting ways in which this idea manifests itself in data management. In particular, we have been studying the expressive power of graph query languages with a focus on characterizing the ability of languages to restrict and shape concrete graph instances, purely in terms of the structure of the instances.

In this talk, I will start with a brief recap of the history of such structural characterizations of query languages. I will then introduce the theoretical framework we have been developing for reasoning over graph structured data, and discuss how we put the framework to work with the design of structural indexes for (RDF) graphs, to support efficient query evaluation over massive graphs. Finally, I will conclude with a discussion of broader applications of the framework in data management and indications for further research.

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An introduction to quantum computing

Dr Ashley Montanaro, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol.

Room 745, Birkbeck Main Building - Wednesday, 19th of February 2014, from 16:40 to 17:40

The model of quantum computation offers the prospect of using the principles of quantum mechanics to obtain dramatically faster algorithms for certain problems than are possible for any standard computer based only on the laws of classical physics. In this talk, I will give an introduction to the field and some of its principal results, as well as more recent work. In particular, I will discuss how ideas from quantum complexity theory can be used to prove hardness of many computational problems, some of which are apparently unconnected to quantum mechanics. This demonstrates that concepts from quantum computing can be useful even if large-scale quantum computers are never built.

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Hunter, Cauchy Rabbit, and Optimal Kakeya Sets

Dr Ron Peretz, Mathematics department, London School of Economics (LSE).

Room 160, Birkbeck Main Building - Wednesday, 22nd of January 2014, from 16:30 to 17:30

A Cauchy random walk will take us from a Hunter-Rabbit search game on the circle to the famous Kakeya problem and back.

Joint work with Y. Babichenko, Y. Peres, P. Sousi and P. Winkler.

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