Title: ARTICONF Decentralized Social Media Platform for Democratic Crowd Journalism

Authors: Ines Rito Lima, Vasco Filipe, Claudia Marinho, Alexandre Ulisses, Antorweep Chakravorty, Atanas Hristov, Nishant Saurabh, Zhiming Zhao, Ruyue Xin, Radu Prodan

Social Network Analysis and Mining https://www.springer.com/journal/13278

Abstract: Media production and consumption behaviors are changing in response to new technologies and demands, giving birth to a new generation of social applications. Among them, crowd journalism represents a novel way of constructing democratic and trustworthy news relying on ordinary citizens arriving at breaking news locations and capturing relevant videos using their smartphones. The ARTICONF  project proposes a trustworthy, resilient, and globally sustainable toolset for developing decentralized applications (DApps) to address this need. Its goal is to overcome the privacy, trust, and autonomy-related concerns associated with proprietary social media platforms overflowed by fake news.

Leveraging the ARTICONF tools, we introduce a new DApp for crowd journalism called MOGPlay. MOGPlay collects and manages audio-visual content generated by citizens and provides a secure blockchain platform that rewards all stakeholders involved in professional news production.

Besides live streaming, MOGPlay offers a marketplace for audio-visual content trading among citizens and free journalists with an internal token ecosystem. We discuss the functionality and implementation of the MOGPlay DApp and illustrate four pilot crowd journalism live scenarios that validate the prototype.

Title: Beyond von Neumann in the Computing Continuum: Architectures, Applications, and Future Directions

Authors: Kimovski, Dragi; Saurabh, Nishant; Jansen, Matthijs; Aral, Atakan; Al-Dulaimy, Auday; Bondi, Andre; Galletta, Antonino; Papadopoulos, Alessandro; Iosup, Alexandru; Prodan, Radu

Abstract: The article discusses the emerging non-von Neumann computer architectures and their integration in the computing continuum for supporting modern distributed applications, including artificial intelligence, big data, and scientific computing. It provides a detailed summary of the available and emerging non-von Neumann architectures, which range from power-efficient single-board accelerators to quantum and neuromorphic computers. Furthermore, it explores their potential benefits for revolutionizing data processing and analysis in various societal, science, and industry fields. The paper provides a detailed analysis of the most widely used class of distributed applications and discusses the difficulties in their execution over the computing continuum, including communication, interoperability, orchestration, and sustainability issues.

Sahar Nasirihaghighi presented the paper titled “Action Recognition in Video Recordings from Gynecology Laparoscopy” at IEEE 36th International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems 2023.

Authors: Sahar Nasirihaghighi, Negin Ghamsarian, Daniela Stefanics, Klaus Schoeffmann and Heinrich Husslein

Abstract: Action recognition is a prerequisite for many applications in laparoscopic video analysis including but not limited to surgical training, operation room planning, follow-up surgery preparation, post-operative surgical assessment, and surgical outcome estimation. However, automatic action recognition in laparoscopic surgeries involves numerous challenges such as (I) cross-action and intra-action duration variation, (II) relevant content distortion due to smoke, blood accumulation, fast camera motions, organ movements, object occlusion, and (III) surgical scene variations due to different illuminations and viewpoints. Besides, action annotations in laparoscopy surgeries are limited and expensive due to requiring expert knowledge. In this study, we design and evaluate a CNN-RNN architecture as well as a customized training-inference framework to deal with the mentioned challenges in laparoscopic surgery action recognition. Using stacked recurrent layers, our proposed network takes advantage of inter-frame dependencies to negate the negative effect of content distortion and variation in action recognition. Furthermore, our proposed frame sampling strategy effectively manages the duration variations in surgical actions to enable action recognition with high temporal resolution. Our extensive experiments confirm the superiority of our proposed method in action recognition compared to static CNNs.

Speakers: Dan Nicolae (University of Chicago, USA), Razvan Bunescu (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA), Anna Fensel Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands), Radu Prodan (University of Klagenfurt, Austria), Ioan Toma (Onlim GmbH, Austria), Dumitru Roman (SINTEF / University of Oslo, Norway), Dr. Pawel Gasiorowski (Sofia University – GATE Institute, Bulgaria, and London Metropolitan University – Cyber Security Research Centre, UK), Jože Rožanec (Qlector, Slovenia), Nikolay Nikolov (SINTEF AS, Norway), Viktor Sowinski-Mydlarz (London Metropolitan University, UK and GATE Institute, Bulgaria), Brian Elvesæter (SINTEF AS, Norway)

Summer school organized by Academia de Studii Economice din București, in collaboration with the GATE Institute at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and the projects DataCloud, enRichMyData, Graph-Massivizer Project, UPCAST Project, and InterTwino.

Organizing team: Dan Nicolae, Razvan Bunescu, Dumitru Roman, Sylvia Ilieva, Ahmet Soylu, Raluca C., Iva Krasteva, Irena Pavlova, Cosmin PROȘCANU, Miruna Proșcanu, Anca Bogdan, Georgescu (Cretan) Georgiana Camelia, Dessislava Petrova-Antonova, Orlin Kouzov. Vasile Alecsandru Strat, Adriana AnaMaria Alexandru(Davidescu) Miruna Mazurencu Marinescu Pele Daniel Traian Pele Liviu-Adrian Cotfas Cristina-Rodica Boboc Oana Geman Alina Petrescu-Nita Ovidiu-Aurel Ghiuta Codruta Mare


We are thrilled to announce the official launch of Fire Totem Games GmbH, a dynamic and innovative game development company based in Austria. After years of dedicated work and passion, we are ready to set the gaming world ablaze with our creative endeavors.

The company founders are Sebastian Uitz, Michael Steinkellner, Manuel Santner, and Noel Treese. We are grateful for the fantastic support from University Klagenfurt, the Game Studies and Engineering master’s program, ITEC, build!, KWF, and EFRE for making this happen.

As Fire Totem Games GmbH, we aim to craft captivating and immersive gaming experiences that ignite players’ imaginations and leave a lasting impact. With a talented team of developers and a burning desire to push the boundaries of gaming, we are excited to embark on this journey and bring our unique vision to life.

21st USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 2024), APRIL 16–18, 2024, SANTA CLARA, CA, USA

Authors: Farzad Tashtarian (Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt),  Abdelhak Bentaleb (Concordia University), Hadi Amirpour (Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt)Sergey Gorinsky (IMDEA Networks Institute),  Junchen Jiang (University of Chicago), Hermann Hellwagner (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt)Christian Timmerer (Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt)

Live streaming of segmented videos over the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is increasingly popular and serves heterogeneous clients by offering each segment in multiple representations. A bitrate ladder expresses this choice as an ordered list of bitrate-resolution pairs. Whereas existing solutions for HTTP-based live streaming use a static bitrate ladder, the fixed ladders struggle to appropriately accommodate the dynamics in the video content and network-conditioned client capabilities. This paper proposes ARTEMIS as a practical scalable alternative that dynamically configures the bitrate ladder depending on the content complexity, network conditions, and clients’ statistics. ARTEMIS seamlessly integrates with the end-to-end streaming pipeline and operates transparently to video encoders and clients. We develop a cloud-based implementation of ARTEMIS and conduct extensive real-world and trace-driven experiments. The experimental comparison vs. existing prominent bitrate ladders demonstrates that live streaming with ARTEMIS outperforms all baselines, reduces encoding computation by 25%, end-to-end latency by 18%, and increases quality of experience (QoE) by 11%.

On 14.07.2023, Zahra Najafabadi Samani successfully defended her doctoral studies with the thesis on the title: “Resource-Aware Time-Critical Application Placement in the Computing Continuum” under the supervision of Prof. Radu Prodan and Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Klaus Schöffmann at ITEC. Her defense was chaired by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Timmerer and examined by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Fahringer (Leopold Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, AT) and Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Attila Kertesz (University of Szeged, HU).
During her doctoral study, she contributed to ARTICONF and DataCloud EU H2020 projects.
Zahra will continue as a Postdoctoral researcher at the Leopold Franzens-Universität Innsbruck.

The abstract of her disseration is as follows:

The rapid expansion of time-critical applications with substantial demands on high bandwidth and ultra-low latency pose critical challenges for Cloud data centers. To address time-critical application demands, the computing continuum emerged as a new distributed platform that extends the Cloud toward nearby Edge and Fog resources, substantially decreasing communication latency and network traffic. However, the distributed and heterogeneous nature of the computing continuum with sporadic availability of devices may result in service failures and deadline violations, significantly negating its advantages for hosting time-critical applications and lowering users’ satisfaction. Additionally, the dense deployment and intense competition for limited nearby resources pose resource utilization challenges. To tackle these problems, this thesis investigates the problem of resource-aware time-critical application placement with constraint deadlines and various demands in the heterogeneous computing continuum with three main contributions:
 1. A multilayer resource partitioning model for placing time-critical applications to minimize resource wastage while maximizing deadline satisfaction;
 2. An adaptive placement for dynamic computing continuum with sporadic device availability to minimize resource wastage and maximize deadline satisfaction;
 3. A proactive service level agreement-aware placement method, leveraging distributed monitoring to enhance deadline satisfaction and service success.

Authors: Juanjuan Li, Rui Qin, Cristina Olaverri-Monreal, Radu Prodan, Fei-Yue Wang

Journal: IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Vehicles

Abstract: As part of TIV’s DHW on Vehicle 5.0, this letter introduces a novel concept, Logistics 5.0, to address high complexities in logistics CyberPhysical-Social Systems (CPSS). Building upon the theory of parallel intelligence and leveraging advanced technologies and methods such as blockchain, scenarios engineering, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations and Operations (DAOs), Logistics 5.0 promises to accelerate the paradigm shift towards intelligent and sustainable logistics. First, the parallel logistic framework is proposed, and the logistics ecosystem is discussed. Then, the human-oriented operating systems (HOOS) are suggested to providing intelligent Logistics 5.0 solutions. Logistics 5.0 serves as a critical catalyst in realizing the “6S” objectives, i.e. Safety, Security, Sustainability, Sensitivity, Service, and Smartness, within the logistics industry


Title: A distributed and energy-efficient KNN for EEG classification with dynamic money-saving policy in heterogeneous clusters

Authors: Juan José Escobar, Francisco Rodríguez, Beatriz Prieto, Dragi Kimovski, Andrés Ortiz, and Miguel Damas

Abstract: Due to energy consumption’s increasing importance in recent years, energy-time efficiency is a highly relevant objective to address in High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems, where cost significantly impacts the tasks executed. Among these tasks, classification problems are considered due to their great computational complexity, which is sometimes aggravated when processing high-dimensional datasets. In addition, implementing efficient applications for high-performance systems is not an easy task since hardware must be considered to maximize performance, especially on heterogeneous platforms with multi-core CPUs. Thus, this article proposes an efficient distributed K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN) for Electroencephalogram (EEG) classification that uses minimum Redundancy Maximum Relevance (mRMR) as a feature selection technique to reduce the dimensionality of the dataset. The approach implements an energy policy that can stop or resume the execution of the program based on the cost per Megawatt. Since the procedure is based on the master-worker scheme, the performance of three different workload distributions is also analyzed to identify which one is more suitable according to the experimental conditions. The proposed approach outperforms the classification results obtained by previous works that use the same dataset. It achieves a speedup of 74.53 when running on a multi-node heterogeneous cluster, consuming only 13.38% of the energy consumed by the sequential version. Moreover, the results show that financial costs can be reduced when energy policy is activated and the importance of developing efficient methods, proving that energy-aware computing is necessary for sustainable computing.


Sebastian Uitz and Hannes Dermutz had an amazing time showcasing their highly anticipated game, A Webbing Journey, at the Level Up event at Messe Salzburg on July 1 and 2, 2023. The event was a vibrant gathering of game developers and enthusiasts, providing the perfect platform to connect with fellow game devs and experience many fantastic games.

At our booth, attendees had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of “A Webbing Journey” on the PC, Steam Deck, and Nintendo Switch. Players of all ages were captivated by the game’s endearing storyline and unique gameplay mechanics, embarking on a spider’s extraordinary adventure. The valuable feedback from the event-goers will be crucial in further refining and enhancing the game for its upcoming release.

In addition to the exhilarating gameplay experience, we had the privilege of sitting down for an insightful interview with the FM4 radio channel. It was an incredible opportunity to discuss the inspiration behind “A Webbing Journey” and delve into the game’s captivating features. We’re grateful for the chance to share our journey with a broader audience and promote the excitement surrounding our game.