Adaptivity and Reliability in Communication Networks through the lens of Multimedia Systems

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 | 15:30 pm (CET) | Room: S.2.42 | Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt

Amr Rizk | Professor at the Department for Computer Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen

Abstract: This talk describes a vision of processing-centric networks that unify In-Network computation and programmable communication. This convergence of computation and communication enables a high degree of flexibility in the design and operation of distributed applications that run „on top“ or „within“ these networks. We specifically consider some of these applications that must adhere to given performance requirements, e.g., on timing, with a main focus on Multimedia Systems. Major challenges to the design and operation of processing-centric networks lie in the coupling of the programmable control of networks with application and network models that are fed with real-time feedback data. The aim of such coupling is to provide flexibility in combination with provable performance guarantees.

Bio: Amr Rizk received the doctoral degree (Dr.-Ing.) from the Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany, in 2013. After that he held postdoctoral positions at University of Warwick, UMass Amherst and the TU Darmstadt, Germany. From 2019 to 2021 he was an assistant professor at Ulm University, Germany.

Since 2021 he is a professor at the department for computer science at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.  He was a recipient of the Excellence in DASH Award at ACM MMSys 2016 and the Best Paper Award at ACM Middleware 2017 and ACM MMSys 2023. He is interested in performance evaluation of communication networks, stochastic models, and their applications to distributed systems.

 

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Constrained text generation to measure reading performance: A new approach based on constraint programming

Tuesday, February 13, 2024 | 10:00 am (CET) | Room: S.1.42 | Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt

Jean-Charles Régin| Professor at the Université Côte d’Azur and Chair for Decision Intelligence at the Interdisciplinary Institutes of Artificial Intelligence (3IA)

Abstract: This talk introduces a new approach to generate strongly constrained texts. We consider standardized sentence generation for the typical application of vision screening. To solve this problem, we formalize it as a discrete combinatorial optimization problem on words and show how constraint programming and multivalued decision diagrams (MDD), a well-known data structure to deal with constraints can be used to solve it. We show how part of the language is kept thanks to n-grams. Once the sentences are obtained, we apply a language model (LLM: GPT-3) to keep the best ones. We detail this for English and also for French where the agreement and conjugation rules are known to be more complex. We will also discuss about some possible improvements for a better integration of LLM into constraint programming.

(This presentation, does not require any knowledge in LLM or in constraint programming.)

Bio: JC Régin is an internationally recognized expert of Constraint Programming (CP). Innovation and ground-breaking research are a constancy in his career and his contributions are recognized internationally in the academic and non-academic worlds. He is one of the inventors of the global constraints in CP (i.e. algorithms to quickly eliminate incoherent values). His paper describing the All different global constraint is highly cited (> 1000 cit.). This constraint is now implemented in almost all CP solvers and routinely used in many applications by companies such as IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Google or SAS. The cited article, published in 1994, received the „Classical Paper Award“ in 2013 from the American Association on Artificial Intelligence: „For ground-breaking contributions to constraint programming via the development of one of the first propagators for global constraints.“

In 2013, he received the Association for Constraint Programming Research Excellence Award „in recognition of a program of seminal and outstanding scientific contributions to both the theory and practice of constraint programming“.

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Video Coding for Efficient HTTP Adaptive Streaming

Thursday, February 8, 2024 | 09:00 am (CET) | Room: S.2.37 | | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

Dr. Hadi Amirpourazarian BSc.MSc. | Department of Information Technology (ATHENA Christian Doppler (CD) Laboratory)

Abstract: The widespread adoption of video streaming applications has experienced a continual upsurge, necessitating advancements in underlying technologies to ensure a seamless user experience. Central to the realm of video streaming is video coding, a key element in the efficient transmission of multimedia content.

In the context of HTTP Adaptive Streaming (HAS), videos are encoded at multiple bitrate-resolution pairs, collectively forming what is known as the bitrate ladder. This approach allows users to adapt to varying network conditions and select the most appropriate bitrate-resolution pair for a given content, thereby enhancing the overall Quality of Experience (QoE). This research extends its focus beyond (i) enhancing individual bitrate-resolution pairs to also include (ii) optimizing the construction of the entire bitrate ladder. For the former, innovative solutions utilizing content-aware deep neural networks are proposed. The primary objective is to elevate the quality of single bitrate-resolution pairs through the application of advanced deep learning techniques tailored to the unique characteristics of the content.

In pursuit of the latter objective, solutions are sought to determine the number of bitrate-resolution pairs in the bitrate ladder and their corresponding encoding parameters, such as optimal bitrate and resolution. (i) Network-assisted or (ii) content-aware approaches may be employed to find the optimal number of bitrate-resolution pairs, while content-aware solutions can assist in determining optimal resolutions, frame rates, and other parameters for the selected bitrates. Attention is also given to online bitrate ladder constructions, addressing the latency challenges inherent in such scenarios.

Recognizing that video coding is incomplete without proper assessment of quality, efforts are directed towards integrating video quality and coding. Real-time quality metrics are identified, and key parameters influencing Quality of Experience (QoE) are considered. Additionally, solutions are explored in video coding and transcoding to reduce encoding time/costs and energy consumption while minimizing quality degradation. This holistic approach aims to contribute comprehensively to the enhancement of video streaming technologies.

Bio: Hadi Amirpour is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Christian Doppler (CD) Laboratory ATHENA, based at the University of Klagenfurt. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Klagenfurt in 2022. He holds two B.Sc. degrees in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, as well as an M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from K. N. Toosi University of Technology. Previously, he was part of the EmergIMG project, a Portuguese consortium focusing on emerging imaging technologies, funded by the Portuguese funding agency and H2020. His research interests encompass video streaming, image and video compression, quality of experience, emerging 3D imaging technology, and medical image analysis. Hadi has actively participated in standardization committees such as JPEG Pleno and MPEG. Currently, he serves as the co-chair of Qualinet TF7 since 2021.

Additionally, he has authored more than 80 publications and patents, including contributions to high-prestige journals such as IEEE  COMST, IEEE TIP, IEEE TMM, and IEEE TCSVT. He has also contributed to the organization of special sessions, workshops, etc., at international conferences, including ACM Multimedia 2022, IEEE EUVIP 2022, ACM MobiSys 2022, IEEE ICME 2023. Furthermore, he has contributed to the academic community by giving two tutorials at IEEE ICME 2023 and IEEE VCIP 2023.

 

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Invitation to the Next Klagenfurt Fireside Chat on Knowledge and Technology Transfer in Cooperation with the TEWI Colloquium

Friday, January 19, 2024 | 12:15 – 13:30 pm | Room: Z.1.29 | AAU Klagenfurt

Special Guest & Input Klaus Diepold (TU München)

Welcome & Chair Martina Merz, Christian Timmerer

Klaus Diepold is a professor at the Technical University of Munich and works in the School of Computation, Information, and Technology; he holds the Chair in Data Processing since 2002. He conducted research in the field of multimedia signal processing with a focus on the design of fast algorithms; today, he concentrates on machine learning, including the development of moral machines and the modeling and simulation of emotions for cognitive systems. At the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM), he is also involved in entrepreneurship education for students from all disciplines. Klaus Diepold will give a lecture on the topic „How to Connect, Educate and Empower the Innovators of Tomorrow“.

What Are the Klagenfurt Fireside Chats?

The fireside chats start with the question of how we can transfer knowledge and technology from the scientific communities into the economy and society. Special guests with experience in knowledge and technology transfer give an introductory speech. Afterward, scholars exchange ideas informally and openly in a small circle. The talks are intended to explore the potential for activities and cooperation in knowledge and technology transfer and generate surprising insights.

We are very much looking forward to your participation!
Martina Merz, vice-rector for research

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Invitation to the Next Klagenfurt Fireside Chat on Knowledge and Technology Transfer in Cooperation with the TEWI Colloquium

*** Cancelled ***

Monday, December 04, 2023 | 13:15 – 14:30 pm | Room: Z.1.29 | AAU Klagenfurt

Special Guest & Input Klaus Diepold (TU München)

Welcome & Chair Martina Merz, Christian Timmerer

Klaus Diepold is a professor at the Technical University of Munich and works in the School of Computation, Information, and Technology; he holds the Chair in Data Processing since 2002. He conducted research in the field of multimedia signal processing with a focus on the design of fast algorithms; today, he concentrates on machine learning, including the development of moral machines and the modeling and simulation of emotions for cognitive systems. At the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM), he is also involved in entrepreneurship education for students from all disciplines. Klaus Diepold will give a lecture on the topic „How to Connect, Educate and Empower the Innovators of Tomorrow“.

What Are the Klagenfurt Fireside Chats?

The fireside chats start with the question of how we can transfer knowledge and technology from the scientific communities into the economy and society. Special guests with experience in knowledge and technology transfer give an introductory speech. Afterward, scholars exchange ideas informally and openly in a small circle. The talks are intended to explore the potential for activities and cooperation in knowledge and technology transfer and generate surprising insights.

We are very much looking forward to your participation!
Martina Merz, vice-rector for research

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The Digital Transformation of Education: A Hyper-Disruptive Era through Blockchain and Generative AI

Monday, December 04, 2023 | 10:00 am (CET) | Room: B01.0.203 | Lakeside Park

Mag. Dr. Alexander Pfeiffer, MA, MBA | Universität für Weiterbildung Krems

Abstract: In his ignite talk „The Digital Transformation of Education: A Hyper-Disruptive Era through Blockchain and Generative AI,“ Dr. Alexander Pfeiffer delves into the intricate challenges and potential benefits associated with integrating blockchain technologies and generative AI into the educational landscape. He scrutinizes consensus algorithms and explores sustainable methods of operating blockchain systems, while also examining how smart contracts and transactions can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the educational sector. Alexander underscores the importance of establishing secure digital identities and ensuring robust data protection, while simultaneously casting a critical eye on potential risks and vulnerabilities. The topic of digital identities, facilitated through tokenization, forms a bridge between storing data using blockchain-based databases and the increasingly urgent need for content verification of AI-generated material.

Alexander explores the profound alterations occurring in teaching methodologies, assignment creation, and evaluation processes, shedding light on the hyper-disruptive impact these changes are having on both research and practical applications in education. The production of textual content by educators and students is analyzed with a focus on ensuring clear traceability of content sources and editors, and its proper citation, a critical aspect in the responsible use of AI. In addition to generative text and graphics, AI plays a crucial role in future learning and assignment practices, particularly through adaptive game-based learning and assessment. Alexander will provide a brief glimpse into his game „Gallery-Defender,“ a prototype demonstrating how AI and blockchain can be effectively implemented in serious gaming scenarios.

Furthermore, he emphasizes the imperative for ongoing education and professional development for educational personnel, advocating for a proactive stance in addressing the (legal) challenges associated with AI-generated images and text. This ignite talk aims to provide a balanced and critically reflective perspective on hyper-disruptive technologies, setting the stage for further discourse and exploration in the subsequent discussion.

AI Disclaimer: This text has been spell- and grammar checked using Chat GPT 4.0, Version Sept. 25.

Bio: Alexander Pfeiffer, a recipient of the Max Kade Fellowship, focused on the impact of blockchain technologies on game-based education at MIT’s Education Arcade. He has returned to Austria, where he leads the Emerging Technologies Experiences Lab at the University for Continuing Education Krems. He co-founded the tech start-ups Picapipe GmbH (Winner of the Austrian Blockchain Award) and B&P Emerging Technologies Consultancy Lab.

Dr. Pfeiffer holds a doctorate and a degree in social and economic sciences from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, a Master of Arts from the University of Krems, and an Executive MBA from Alaska Pacific University. He is eager to soon defend his doctoral thesis on smart contracts in education at the AI Department of the University of Malta.

PICTURE: Used Applications: Midjourney V5, Face Swapper and Adobe Photoshop Beta

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Lifelogging – A decade of research into interactive lifelog access & retrieval

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 | 04:00 pm (CET) | Room: Z.0.18 | AAU Klagenfurt

Prof. Cathal Gurrin | Dublin University

Abstract: The capabilities of modern sensing devices to gather large volumes of personal data has given us the ability to capture detailed lifelogs of a human’s daily experience. This talk will introduce research on lifelog search and retrieval and highlight progress over the last ten years, including real-world applications and state-of-the-art lifelog retrieval systems from the annual ACM Lifelog Search Challenge. We will end by highlighting some of the societal challenges of applying lifelogs.

Bio: Professor Cathal Gurrin is the Head of the Adapt Centre at Dublin City University. His research focus is on personal media analytics, user modelling and lifelogging. He is interested in building rich multimodal user models and deploying them to solve real-world challenges using AI.

He has secured over €5M funding from SFI, Enterprise Ireland, the EU and other international sources, with global collaborations in the EU, Asia and the US. Cathal has made extensive media appearances on the BBC, Discovery Channel, NHK, and other international periodicals and print media. He has been the general chair of many leading international conferences (ECIR’11, MMM’14, CBMI’19, ACM ICMR’20, MMM’22) and will chair ACM ICMR’24 and ACM MM’25 in Dublin. He is also the founder of the annual ACM Lifelog Search Challenge.

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A Game of Chess is Like a Swordfight: Melee Combat and the Dramatical Ideal in Contemporary Tabletop Gaming

Friday, June 30, 2023 | 07:30 pm (CET) | Room: O.0.01 (Stiftungsgebäude) | AAU Klagenfurt

Sen.-Scientist Dr. Felix Schniz, BA MA | AAU Klagenfurt

Abstract: The simulation of melee combat is central to many contemporary and traditional strategic games and simulations. In order to elevate this element of play from mere exercises of stats-comparison and dice rolling to a meaningful experience of play, strategy games rely on a rich plethora of cultural motives as deciding factors of their mechanic design. On the example of Samurai-themed skirmishing games, my talk elaborates on the impact that (popular) culture and other inspirations have on gaming experiences. It provides concrete examples from Japanese history, its traditional cinema, and postmodern Western reflections of Japanese cultural practices. Based on these insights, it compares four tabletop strategy games, muses on which phenomena they have adapted in their mechanics, and asks why or why not they may succeed in capturing a cultural essence via their rules.

Ultimately, this comparative approach shall serve to decipher the interplay of dice mechanics and aesthetic properties as the longing for a dramatic ideal in tabletop gaming and encourage participants to reflect on the idea in a subsequent, shared gaming experience.

Bio: Felix Schniz is the co-founder and programme director of the master’s programme Game Studies and Engineering at Universität Klagenfurt, Austria. His research focuses on experiences in virtual worlds, promenadology, genre theory, and the subjective quality of the medium videogame.

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Miniatures Design for Tabletop Games

Friday, June 30, 2023 | 07:00 pm (CET) | Room: O.0.01 (Stiftungsgebäude) | AAU Klagenfurt

Ben Calvert-Lee

Abstract: Exploring the development and production pipelines for miniatures in the tabletop wargaming industry. Including a look at the career route taken by the speaker, a case study on developing anatomical archetypes for consistent design outcomes, and a brief look at the various production methods available to the industry.

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From mind to Meta. How to Expand on a Game while Breaking the Mold

Friday, June 30, 2023 | 06:30 pm (CET) | Room: O.0.01 (Stiftungsgebäude) | AAU Klagenfurt

Skerolf Dickinger | Implementation Lead @ Takeda Manufacturing AG

Abstract: How does a development team expand on an already existing game?
We will look at the two community driven and committee led expansions to the abandoned Tabletop game ‚GuildBall‘ and explore the stages of development that the game went through. The art and lore driven approach employed will show us how rough sketches and concept ideas become a fully fledged ruleset and ultimately miniatures that can be put on the table. We will also explore pitfalls in rules design like over complicating abilities, the lack of streamlining across the game or simply creating expansions who break the game instead of the mold.

Bio: Computer and Information Sciences at Paris Lodron University of Salzburg.

Programmer and Business Analyst at KHG Software Regau and DBA / Local IT Support Lead at Infoscore Austria GmbH.

After 9 years Systems Analyst and development to Senior Systems Analyst (Baxter / Baxalta / Shire / Takeda) Implementation Lead (Digital Quality & EHS / Lab Systems) at Takeda Manufacturing AG since 2021 responsible for Agile Leadership for ongoing implementation projects, Implementation Coordination, Technical review of AWS environment and Onboarding of external agile project management resources.

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