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Invited Lectures

Medical Informatics Interfacing Smart Devices

and Clinical Research

Prof. Thomas M. Deserno

Dept. Medical Informatics, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, Germany


Smart devices combine battery-driven processing power with several options for sensing, visualizing, or transmitting of signal or image data. Smartphones, for instance, have already been broadly distributed and smart wearables are currently pushed on the marked by leading companies such as Google and Sony. In controlled clinical trials, signal- or image-based surrogates are substituting common endpoints, and the case report forms have been transformed from paper-based to electronic data capture (EDC) systems. Similarly in medical registers, photographs, for example, are taken to document the clinical situation of wounds and to capture additional recordings. Straightforwardly, we suggest mobile devices in support of medical research, integrating the sensing entities – which may also be connected externally to the smart phone using WiFi or NFR – into the data capture workflow and the cloud-based data repositories. When automatic image or signal analysis is performed directly on the device, using its build-in processors, diagnostic applications can be designed in both, online and offline modes. Assistant systems are obtained if such data-based classification systems are combined with a decision support that is suggesting actions to the user. Based on several examples of mobile health (mHealth) prototypes based on smartphones and smart wearables, the lack of interfaces and protocols for interconnectivity of smart devices and electronic data capture systems in clinical research is emphasized. Medical informatics, however, is providing knowledge and digital technology for mobile system integration satisfying the required data privacy and security issues. Hence in near future, mHealth applications will be well-established in clinical research, healthcare, and ambient assisted living.



Dynamic Reliability Modelling - from Theory to Applications

Prof. Radim Bris

VSB - Technical University of Ostrava,  Czech Republic


The presentation consists of two parts. In the first part basic problems of dynamic reliability calculations will be stressed and demonstrated on basic dynamic reliability test-cases. It will be mentioned that more conventional techniques, which are based on Boolean modeling, such as Fault Trees and Event Trees, are not suitable for modeling of dynamic systems because of statistical dependency between values of physical parameters and state of components The dynamic reliability approach takes into account changes (evolution) of the system structure (hardware). The evolution of the system can be modeled by modifications of values of so called process variables.

Second part of the paper is dedicated practical problems of dynamic reliability. One of the main problems in reliability assessment of a complex dynamic system from practice is to take into account dependencies of the system structure resulting from changes of its physical parameters. The aim of this part is to provide the mathematical model of actual natural gas compression station which is situated in the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic represents one of the European transit countries for distribution of natural gas in east-west directions. The model parameters are based on historical data, on the list of rules of possible human dispatcher performance changes behaviour and also on expert information from the gas network industry. An effect of change of the hardware configuration of the system by a human dispatcher and its corresponding change of the system availability is presented.



Principles of an Object-Oriented Programming Language

for Physarum Polycephalum Computing

Dr. Krzysztof Pancerz

University of Management and Administration in Zamosc, Poland


Physarum polycephalum is a one-cell organism that can be used for developing a biological architecture of different abstract devices, among others, the digital ones. One of the main goals of the collaborative Physarum Chip Project: Growing Computers from Slime Mould funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is to implement programmable amorphous biological computers in plasmodium of Physarum polycephalum. In the talk, a new object-oriented programming language for Physarum polycephalum computing will be presented. Within this language, we are going to check possibilities of practical implementations of storage modification machines on plasmodia and their applications. The proposed language can be used for developing programs for Physarum polycephalum by the spatial configuration of stationary nodes. Geometrical distribution of stimuli can be identified with a low-level programming language for Physarum machines. The created programming language uses the prototype-based approach called also the class-less or instance-based approach. There are inbuilt sets of prototypes corresponding to both the high-level models used for describing behaviour of Physarum polycephalum (e.g., ladder diagrams, transition systems, Petri nets) and the low-level model (distribution of stimuli).



Reliability of Power Systems Considering

Conventional and Alternative Sources of Energy

Prof. Marko Cepin

University of Ljubljana,  Slovenia


Several methods, tools and measures have been developed which highlight the questions about the power systems reliability each from its particular viewpoint. The objective is to review the selected methods in the field of electric power system reliability keeping in mind the complexity of the system and its features. Their review is performed in sense of applicability to conventional sources of energy and in sense of alternative sources of energy. Particular importance is placed to alternative sources of energy, which power depends on weather conditions such as solar power and wind power, which may require different approach regarding the control of the frequency and the voltage. If the conventional sources of certain power are replaced with the alternative sources with variable power depending on weather parameters, the reliability of the system may decrease, if the replaced power is not sufficiently large. Defined power replacement has to suit requirements about sufficient power, about sufficient energy and about reliability, which should not be reduced.



BioImage Informatics: The Challenge of Knowledge

Extraction from Biological Images

Prof. Paolo Soda

Biomedical University of Rome,  Italy

Bioimage Informatics is a rapidly growing research field that is giving fundamental contributions to research in biology and biomedicine aiming at facilitating the extraction of quantitative information from images. Great advances in biological tissue labeling and microscopic imaging are radically changing how biologists visualize and study the molecular and cellular structures. These devices nowadays produce terabyte-sized multi-dimensional images: how to automatically and efficiently extract objective knowledge from such images has become a major challenge. In this manuscript we analyze the state-of-the-art of Bioimage Informatics, with a special focus on neuroscience. 

We show that there are increasing efforts to deliver methods and software tools providing functionalities for visualization, representation, management and analysis of 3D multichannel images. Nevertheless, most of them have been applied on datasets with size of MVoxel or few GVoxel, where the variations in contrast, illumination, as well as object shape and dimensions are limited. The huge dimensions of new 3D image stacks therefore ask for fully automated processing methods, whose parameters should be dynamically adapted to different regions in the volume. In this respect, this manuscript deepens in a recent contribution that digitally charts the Purkinje cells of whole mouse cerebellum, corresponding to an image dataset of 120 GVoxels.




IT and climate change - the opportunities and challenges or

When Moore met Jevons

Prof. Colin Pattinson

Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

The increased capability and performance of electronic devices which been accurately predicted by Moore’s law since 1965, might have led to the same work being undertaken by fewer, more powerful devices. Instead, we have seen an example of Jevon’s Paradox: in which greater efficiency has increased the demand for resources, with new technologies and applications of those technologies being developed to meet an ever-growing range of uses.

The resultant proliferation of “IT” in its widest sense means that the IT industry is now seen as a significant contributor to the environmental changes generally referred to as “climate change”.  This presentation will address the implications of this, and also consider some of the ways in which the impact of IT resources can be managed or reduced.

However, IT can also allow individuals and organisations to behave in ways which reduce their energy consumption, and the benefits of “greening by IT” are apparent in a number of situations.

In this talk, I will introduce some of the research projects undertaken at Leeds Met addressing both greening of IT and greening by IT.




Combining Software Agents and Semantic  Technologies for Resource Management in Computational Grids

Dr. Marcin Paprzycki

Systems Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Warsaw, Poland



Years of middleware development have resulted in creation of multiple platforms for Grid computing (e.g. gLite, Globus, EGEE, Unicore, etc.). Furthermore, an attempt is currently under way to combine them within a single meta-system (the European Middleware Initiative; EMI). However, practical experiences show that neither of these approaches fully succeeds with the users.

The aim of the presentation is to outline our attempt at combining software agents with semantic technologies for development of a different meta-level computational Grid middleware. In our approach, software agents use their “semantic brain” to manage the Grid “brawn” (to reference a seminal paper: I. Foster,  C. Kesselman, N. Jennings, Brain Meets Brawn: Why Grid and Agents Need Each Other; 2004).





The role of ICT in Evolving SmartGrids

Dr. Hugh Melvin

National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland


Energy Systems are rapidly evolving, driven by a combination of factors, including cost, efficiency, environmental impact and security-of-supply, while being facilitated by increased deregulation. This complexity is facilitated by the rollout of complex ICT systems that will play a significant role in operating, managing, planning, and securing the energy infrastructure. SmartGrid is an umbrella term used to describe the broad scope of interdependent systems that make up this modernized grid. These systems cover the full life cycle of energy from generation (incl renewable and microgeneration), to transmission, distribution, and consumption. SmartGrid through use of ICT enables bidirectional flows of energy between these component systems and uses two-way communication and control capabilities to maintain efficiency, availability, and robustness. SmartGrid will bring about significant economic and environmental benefits to consumers, organisations, and countries, all facilitated by ICT.





Securing Critical Infrastructure from cyber attacks

Dr. Michael Schukat

National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland


Energy Systems are undergoing radical changes, driven by a combination of factors, including full economic cost, efficiency, environmental impact and security-of-supply, while being facilitated by increased deregulation. This complexity can only be dealt with effectively with the rollout of complex ICT systems that will play a significant role in managing, planning, and securing the energy infrastructure.

However, this ever-increasing complexity of energy and support ICT systems greatly increases the potential for cyber-security attacks. Modern energy systems are becoming increasingly coupled and interdependent and the move/convergence from heterogeneous protocols and systems to all-IP-based systems and open standards, whilst beneficial from many perspectives, increases the attack surface and scope, and thus raises many cyber-security challenges.

This presentation will provide an overview of the cyber threat landscape in smart grid infrastructure and discuss solutions / strategies for risk mitigation.





Deployed and tech support: Ing. Jozef Kostolny