Prof. Radu Prodan

Paper accepted in the Journal of Information and Software Technology (INSOF).

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Elsevier’s Journal of Information and Software Technology (INSOF) accepted the manuscript A Dynamic Evolutionary Multi-Objective Virtual Machine Placement Heuristic for Cloud Infrastructures”.

Authors: Ennio Torre, Juan J. Durillo (Leibniz Supercomputing Center), Vincenzo de Maio (Vienna University of Technology), Prateek Agrawal (University of Klagenfurt), Shajulin Benedict (Indian Institute of Information Technology), Nishant Saurabh (University of Klagenfurt), Radu Prodan (University of Klagenfurt).

Abstract: Minimizing the resource wastage reduces the energy cost of operating a data center, but may also lead to a considerably high resource over-commitment affecting the Quality of Service (QoS) of the running applications. The effective trade-off between resource wastage and over-commitment is a challenging task in virtualized Clouds and depends on the allocation of virtual machines (VMs) to physical resources. We propose in this paper a multi-objective method for dynamic VM placement, which exploits live migration mechanisms to simultaneously optimize the resource wastage, over-commitment ratio and migration energy. Our optimization algorithm uses a novel evolutionary meta-heuristic based on an island population model to approximate the Pareto optimal set of VM placements with good accuracy and diversity. Simulation results using traces collected from a real Google cluster demonstrate that our method outperforms related approaches by reducing the migration energy by up to 57 % with a QoS increase below 6 %.


This work is supported by:

  • European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement 825134, “Smart Social Media Ecosytstem in a Blockchain Federated Environment (ARTICONF)”;
  • Austrian Science Fund (FWF), grant agreement Y 904 START-Programm 2015, “Runtime Control in Multi Clouds (RUCON)“;
  • Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH) and Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST), project number, IN 20/2018, “Energy Aware Workflow Compiler for Future Heterogeneous Systems”.
Nishant Saurabh

Paper accepted in the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing (JPDC)

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The manuscript ”Expelliarmus: Semantic-Centric Virtual Machine Image Management in IaaS Clouds” is accepted for publication at the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing (JPDC) (

Authors: Nishant Saurabh (University of Klagenfurt), Shajulin Benedict (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Kottayam), Jorge G. Barbosa (LIACC, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto), Radu Prodan (University of Klagenfurt).

Abstract: Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) Clouds concurrently accommodate diverse sets of user requests, requiring an efficient strategy for storing and retrieving virtual machine images (VMIs) at a large scale. The VMI storage management require dealing with multiple VMIs, typically in the magnitude of gigabytes, which entails VMI sprawl issues hindering the elastic resource management and provisioning. Nevertheless, existing techniques to facilitate VMI management overlook VMI semantics (i.e at the level of base image and software packages) with either restricted possibility to identify and extract reusable functionalities or with higher VMI publish and retrieval overheads. In this paper, we design, implement and evaluate Expelliarmus, a novel VMI management system that helps to minimize storage, publish and retrieval overheads. To achieve this goal, Expelliarmus incorporates three complementary features. First, it makes use of VMIs modelled as semantic graphs to expedite the similarity computation between multiple VMIs. Second, Expelliarmus provides a semantic aware VMI decomposition and base image selection to extract and store non-redundant base image and software packages. Third, Expelliarmus can also assemble VMIs based on the required software packages upon user request. We evaluate Expelliarmus through a representative set of synthetic Cloud VMIs on the real test-bed. Experimental results show that our semantic-centric approach is able to optimize repository size by 2.3-22 times compared to state-of-the-art systems (e.g. IBM’s Mirage and Hemera) with significant VMI publish and slight retrieval performance improvement.


This work is supported by:

  • European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement 825134, “Smart Social Media Ecosytstem in a Blockchain Federated Environment (ARTICONF)”;
  • Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH) and Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST), project number, IN 20/2018, “Energy Aware Workflow Compiler for Future Heterogeneous Systems”
Christian Timmerer

QUALINET announces its recent White Paper on Definitions of Immersive Media Experience (IMEx)


With the coming of age of virtual/augmented reality and interactive media, numerous definitions, frameworks, and models of immersion have emerged across different fields ranging from computer graphics to literary works. Immersion is oftentimes used interchangeably with presence as both concepts are closely related. However, there are noticeable interdisciplinary differences regarding definitions, scope, and constituents that are required to be addressed so that a coherent understanding of the concepts can be achieved. Such consensus is vital for paving the directionality of the future of immersive media experiences (IMEx) and all related matters. Read more

ACM Multimedia’20: Relevance-Based Compression of Cataract Surgery Videos Using Convolutional Neural Networks


Authors: Negin Ghamsarian (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Hadi Amirpour (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Christian Timmerer (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Bitmovin), Mario Taschwer (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), and Klaus Schöffmann (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt)

Abstract: Recorded cataract surgery videos play a prominent role in training and investigating the surgery, and enhancing the surgical outcomes. Due to storage limitations in hospitals, however, the recorded cataract surgeries are deleted after a short time and this precious source of information cannot be fully utilized. Lowering the quality to reduce the required storage space is not advisable since the degraded visual quality results in the loss of relevant information that limits the usage of these videos. To address this problem, we propose a relevance-based compression technique consisting of two modules: (i) relevance detection, which uses neural networks for semantic segmentation and classification of the videos to detect relevant spatio-temporal information, and (ii) content-adaptive compression, which restricts the amount of distortion applied to the relevant content while allocating less bitrate to irrelevant content. The proposed relevance-based compression framework is implemented considering five scenarios based on the definition of relevant information from the target audience’s perspective. Experimental results demonstrate the capability of the proposed approach in relevance detection. We further show that the proposed approach can achieve high compression efficiency by abstracting substantial redundant information while retaining the high quality of the relevant content.

ACM International Conference on Multimedia 2020, Seattle, United States.


Keywords: Video Coding, Convolutional Neural Networks, HEVC, ROI Detection, Medical Multimedia.

BigMM’20: ComplexCTTP: Complexity Class Based Transcoding Time Prediction for Video Sequences using Artificial Neural Network


The Sixth IEEE International Conference on Multimedia Big Data (BigMM 2020)

Authors: Anatoliy Zabrovskiy (Alpen-Adria-Universitat Klagenfurt), Prateek Agrawal (Alpen-Adria-Universitat Klagenfurt, Lovely Professional University), Roland Matha (Alpen-Adria-Universitat Klagenfurt), Christian Timmerer (Alpen-Adria-Universitat Klagenfurt, Bitmovin) and Radu Prodan (Alpen-Adria-Universitat Klagenfurt).

Abstract: HTTP Adaptive Streaming of video content is becoming an integral part of the Internet and accounts for the majority of today’s traffic. Although Internet bandwidth is constantly increasing, video compression technology plays an important role and the major challenge is to select and set up multiple video codecs, each with hundreds of transcoding parameters. Additionally, the transcoding speed depends directly on the selected transcoding parameters and the infrastructure used. Predicting transcoding time for multiple transcoding parameters with different codecs and processing units is a challenging task, as it depends on many factors. This paper provides a novel and considerably fast method for transcoding time prediction using video content classification and neural network prediction. Our artificial neural network (ANN) model predicts the transcoding times of video segments for state-of-the-art video codecs based on transcoding parameters and content complexity. We evaluated our method for two video codecs/implementations (AVC/x264 and HEVC/x265) as part of large-scale HTTP Adaptive Streaming services. The ANN model of our method is able to predict the transcoding time by minimizing the mean absolute error (MAE) to 1.37 and 2.67 for x264 and x265 codecs, respectively. For x264, this is an improvement of 22% compared to the state of the art.

Keywords: Transcoding time prediction, adaptive streaming, video transcoding, neural networks, video encoding, video complexity class, MPEG-DASH

Paper “Scalable High Efficiency Video Coding based HTTP Adaptive Streaming over QUIC Using Retransmission” hs been accepted at EPIQ 2020


Authors: Minh Nguyen, Hadi Amirpour, Christian Timmerer, Hermann Hellwagner (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt)

Abstract: HTTP/2 has been explored widely for video streaming, but still suffers from Head-of-Line blocking, and three-way hand-shake delay due to TCP. Meanwhile, QUIC running on top of UDP can tackle these issues. In addition, although many adaptive bitrate (ABR) algorithms have been proposed for scalable and non-scalable video streaming, the literature lacks an algorithm designed for both types of video streaming approaches. In this paper, we investigate the impact of quick and HTTP/2 on the performance of adaptive bitrate(ABR) algorithms in terms of different metrics. Moreover, we propose an efficient approach for utilizing scalable video coding formats for adaptive video streaming that combines a traditional video streaming approach (based on non-scalable video coding formats) and a retransmission technique. The experimental results show that QUIC benefits significantly from our proposed method in the context of packet loss and retransmission.

Compared to HTTP/2, it improves the average video quality and also provides a smoother adaptation behavior. Finally, we demonstrate that our proposed method originally designed for non-scalable video codecs also works efficiently for scalable videos such as Scalable High EfficiencyVideo Coding (SHVC).

Keywords: QUIC, H2BR, HTTP adaptive streaming, Retransmission, SHVC

Conference: ACM SIGCOMM 2020 Workshop on Evolution, Performance, and Interoperability of QUIC (EPIQ 2020), August 10-14, 2020, Newyork City, USA.


ARTICONF’s paper, “Decentralized Social Media Applications as a Service: a Car-Sharing Perspective” accepted for publication at IEEE workshop on blockchain theory and applications (BRAIN 2020) in conjunction with ISCC 2020


Authors: Anandhakumar Palanisamy, Mirsat Sefidanoski, Spiros Koulouzis, Carlos Rubia, Nishant Saurabh and Radu Prodan

Abstract: Social media applications are essential for next generation connectivity. Today, social media are centralized platforms with a single proprietary organization controlling the network and posing critical trust and governance issues over the created and propagated content. The ARTICONF project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program researches a decentralized social media platform based on a novel set of trustworthy, resilient and globally sustainable tools to fulfil the privacy, robustness and autonomy-related promises that proprietary social media platforms have failed to deliver so far. This paper presents the ARTICONF approach to a car-sharing use case application, as a new collaborative peer-to-peer model providing an alternative solution to private car ownership. We describe a prototype implementation of the car-sharing social media application and illustrate through real snapshots how the different ARTICONF tools support it in a simulated scenario.


Natalia Sokolova

Paper “Pixel-Based Iris and Pupil Segmentation in Cataract Surgery Videos Using Mask R-CNN” was accepted at the workshop of the International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging


Authors: Natalia Sokolova, Mario Taschwer, Stephanie Sarny, Doris Putzgruber-Adamitsch and Klaus Schoeffmann

Abstract: Automatically detecting clinically relevant events in surgery video recordings is becoming increasingly important for documentary, educational, and scientific purposes in the medical domain. From a medical image analysis perspective, such events need to be treated individually and associated with specific visible objects or regions. In the field of cataract surgery (lens replacement in the human eye), pupil reaction (dilation or restriction) during surgery may lead to complications and hence represents a clinically relevant event. Its detection requires automatic segmentation and measurement of pupil and iris in recorded video frames. In this work, we contribute to research on pupil and iris segmentation methods by (1) providing a dataset of 82 annotated images for training and evaluating suitable machine learning algorithms, and (2) applying the Mask R-CNN algorithm to this problem, which – in contrast to existing techniques for pupil segmentation – predicts free-form pixel-accurate segmentation masks for iris and pupil.

The proposed approach achieves consistent high segmentation accuracies on several metrics while delivering an acceptable prediction efficiency, establishing a promising basis for further segmentation and event detection approaches on eye surgery videos.


Hadi Amirpour awarded the Best Engagement Award at ACM MMSys 2020

This year’s ACM MMSys was held as a fully virtual/online event and Slido was used for asking questions about keynotes and presentations including offline discussions with presenters. The interaction report provides some interesting key insights including the word cloud below which provides an overview of this year’s discussion items. Although ACM MMSys 2020 is over, everyone is welcome joining the MMSys Slack workspace where the discussion will continue until ACM MMSys 2021 (available soon!) and hopefully beyond.

Roland Matha

Excellence badge for Roland Mathá et al. recently published IEEE TPDS paper

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The IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS) paper “Simplified Workflow Simulation on Clouds based on Computation and Communication Noisiness”, published by Roland Mathá and Prof. Radu Prodan et al. got awarded the Code Reviewed Reproducibility EXCELLENCE Badge.