Congress Keynotes

atiq21Title of talk:           Privacy and Transparency with Blockchain in the Era of Big Data, Machine Learning, IoT, and 5G


Elisa Bertino

Purdue University, USA


Abstract: Technological advances, such as IoT devices, cyber-physical systems, smart mobile devices, cloud systems, data analytics, social networks and increased communication capabilities, are making possible to capture, and to quickly process and analyze huge amounts of data from which to extract information critical for many critical tasks, such as healthcare security and cyber security. In the area of cyber security, such tasks include user authentication, access control, anomaly detection, user monitoring, and protection from insider threat. By collecting and mining data concerning user travels, contacts and disease outbreaks one can predict disease spreading across geographical areas. And those are just a few examples. The use of data for those tasks raises however major privacy concerns. Collected data, even if anonymized by removing identifiers such as names or social security numbers, when linked with other data may lead to re-identify the individuals to which specific data items are related to. Also, as organizations, such as governmental agencies, often need to collaborate on security tasks, data sets are exchanged across different organizations, resulting in these data sets being available to many different parties. Privacy breaches may occur at many different layers and components in our interconnected systems. In this talk, I first present an interesting privacy attack that exploits paging occasion in 5G cellular networks. Such attack shows that achieving privacy is challenging and there is no unique technique that one can use; rather one must combine different techniques depending also on the intended use of data. Examples of these techniques and their applications are presented. Then, I discuss the notion of data transparency – critical for fair and correct data use, and how blockchain technologies can support data transparency.

Bio: Elisa Bertino is Samuel Conte professor of Computer Science at Purdue University. She serves as Director of the Purdue Cyberspace Security Lab (Cyber2Slab). Prior to joining Purdue, she was a professor and department head at the Department of Computer Science and Communication of the University of Milan. She has been a visiting researcher at the IBM Research Laboratory in San Jose (now Almaden), at Rutgers University, at Telcordia Technologies. She has also held visiting professor positions at the Singapore National University and the Singapore Management University. Her main research interests include security, privacy, database systems, distributed systems, and sensor networks. Her recent research focuses on cybersecurity and privacy of cellular networks and IoT systems, and on edge analytics for cybersecurity. Elisa Bertino is a Fellow member of IEEE, ACM, and AAAS. She received the 2002 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award for “For outstanding contributions to database systems and database security and advanced data management systems”, the 2005 IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award for “Pioneering and innovative research contributions to secure distributed systems”, the 2019-2020 ACM Athena Lecturer Award, and the 2021 IEEE 2021 Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award.


atiq21Title of talk:           Achieving Cloud Data Security and Privacy in Zero Trust Environments


Robert H. Deng

Singapore Management University, Singapore


Abstract: This talk will provide an overview on the design and implementation of a system for secure access, search, and computation of encrypted data in the cloud for enterprise users. The system is designed following the “zero trust” paradigm to protect data security and privacy even if cloud storage servers or user accounts are compromised. This is achieved using end-to-end (E2E) encryption in which encryption and decryption operations only take place at client devices. However, encryption must not hinder access, search and even computation of data by authorized users. There are numerous academic publications in this area and the choice of which cryptographic techniques to use could have significant impact on the system’s scalability and usability. We will share our experience in the design of the system architecture and selection of cryptographic techniques with a consideration to balance security, performance, and usability.

Bio: Robert Deng is AXA Chair Professor of Cybersecurity, Director of the Secure Mobile Centre, and Deputy Dean for Faculty & Research, School of Computing and Information Systems, Singapore Management University. His research interests are in the areas of data security and privacy, network security, and applied cryptography. He received the Outstanding University Researcher Award from National University of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew Fellowship for Research Excellence from SMU, and Asia-Pacific Information Security Leadership Achievements Community Service Star from International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. He serves/served on the editorial boards of ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security, IEEE Security & Privacy, IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, Journal of Computer Science and Technology, and Steering Committee Chair of the ACM Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security. He is a Fellow of IEEE and Fellow of Academy of Engineering Singapore.


atiq21Title of talk:           Neurosymbolic Autonomy and the Quest for Smart(er) Decision-Making


Alvaro Velasquez

Information Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory ,USA


Abstract: Neurosymbolic Artificial Intelligence has experienced a renaissance and gained much traction in recent years as a potential “third wave” of AI to follow the tremendously successful second wave underpinned by statistical deep learning. This seeks the integration of neural learning systems and formal symbolic reasoning for more efficient, robust, and explainable AI. Such an integration holds much promise in areas like reinforcement learning and planning, where tremendous progress has been made in recent years, including great feats like the defeat of the world Go champion and powerful agents for real-time strategy games. However, the tremendous success of autonomous decision-making has highlighted its own shortcomings when it comes to data limitations, robustness, and trust, among other things. This talk presents some of these challenges and opportunities facing the development of neurosymbolic autonomy, how this differs from conventional neurosymbolic AI problems like classification and natural language processing, and potential implications to facilitating the broader adoption of autonomous solutions.

Bio: Alvaro Velasquez leads the machine intelligence sub-portfolio of investments for the Information Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in the United States. In this capacity, he manages and proposes new research directions and technology transitions for the Air Force in the fields of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. This entails close collaboration with both the academic and private sectors. Alvaro received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida and holds an interdisciplinary research record, including publications in artificial intelligence, combinatorial optimization, networking, cloud computing, and logic and circuit design. Alvaro is a recipient of numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) award, the University of Central Florida 30 Under 30 award, and best paper and patent awards from AFRL. He serves as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence and his research is currently funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.


atiq21Title of talk:           Redactable Blockchain: Technologies, Applications and Future Directions


Chonggang Wang

InterDigital, Inc., USA


Abstract: Blockchain and distributed ledger technology started as a decentralized infrastructure to enable and manage digital currency like Bitcoin without relying on a central authority. One of the attractive features provided by blockchain technology is it append-only “immutability” feature, which means the stored data cannot be modified or manipulated by any means once it is validated in the blockchain ledger. Such immutability helps traceability, auditing, and non-repudiation, which builds decentralized trust among untrusted parties. Despite that, immutability if misused could lead to the permanent existence of sensitive information and misinformation in the blockchain. Incidents like broadcasting illegal content have already taken their place in blockchain systems. Such incidents call for prompt solutions for mitigation. One emerging research theme, “redactable blockchain” provides approaches for modifying ledgers with certain controllability. This keynote will discuss the current research landscape about redactable blockchain. It will first describe the motivations behind redactable blockchain. Then, technologies for supporting redactable blockchain, including new blockchain structure will be explained. New applications that can be enabled by redactable blockchain and future research directions will be shared as well.

Bio: Chonggang Wang is currently a Principal Engineer with InterDigital, Inc., USA. He has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of wireless communications, networking, and computing, including research, development, and standardization. His recent research interests include blockchain and distributed ledger technology, blockchain-enabled future wireless, blockchain-enabled collaborative artificial intelligence, NextG wireless networks and system. He was/is the rapporteur of several blockchain-related work programs with ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) on Permissioned Distributed Ledgers (PDL). He is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Internet of Things Journal and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Network Magazine. He is a Fellow of IEEE.


atiq21Title of talk:           Cyber-Physical Engineering of Industrial Automation Systems


Valeriy Vyatkin

Aalto University, Finland & Luleå University of Technology, Sweden


Abstract: Flexibility and reconfigurability of factories are the key enablers of their market adaptability. As the production facilities are getting more and more IT- and software-intensive, the speed and quality of reconfiguration largely depends on the efficiency of changing the underlying software and ability of factory equipment to inter-operate, exchange software components between each other and interchangeably use hardware platforms of different vendors.
They often talk about Industry 4.0, 5.0, etc., developments, which include the use of wireless communication (5G, 6G, …), autonomous guided vehicles and collaborative robotics, embedded microcontrollers, empowered with artificial intelligence, distributed computing, and decentralized decision-making architectures. According to many sources the software development effort contributes to around 2/3 of the costs in modern automated production plants which makes the engineering of future factory systems the major technical and organisational challenge.
This talk discusses the concept of cyber-physical engineering (CPE) as an attempt to address the impending challenges in the design of automation systems having strong interdependencies between the physical and computational processes that do not allow to effectively model systems within classic paradigms of control engineering or computer science. One of the sources of such mutual influences is the increasing use of wireless communications for the interaction of components of industrial and other technical systems. Embedding miniature computing devices literally into processes also exposes them to various physical influences, e.g., temperature, vibration, radiation, battery charge, etc., due to which the results of calculations can vary. CPE assumes the use of languages and means of interdisciplinary modelling at all stages of design, analysis and operation of systems.
The CPE will be illustrated with some solutions and experiences achieved at the Aalto Factory of the Future and LTU AIC-cube labs in the context of recent European projects aligned with the Industry X.0 effort.

Bio: Valeriy Vyatkin, Professor of Information and Computer Engineering in Automation at Aalto University, Finland on joint appointment as Chaired Professor (Ämnesföreträdare) of Dependable Computation and Communication Systems, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden. He has been leading research projects related to software and systems engineering for cyber-physical automation systems, intelligent energy, logistics and transportation, addressing such aspects as dependability, distributed architectures and multi-agent systems applied in various industry sectors: SmartGrid, material handling, datacentres, building management systems and reconfigurable manufacturing, funded by the National Science Foundation (USA), Vettenskap Råd (Sweden), Academy of Sciences (Finland), various national and private agencies in Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Finland and the EU. Valeriy co-authored nearly 400 publications. He is an IEEE Fellow, currently serving as Vice-President for Technical Activities of Industrial Electronics Society of IEEE.



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