Keynote Speakers


Stefano Ceri

Keynote Speaker:Professor of Database Systems,
Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria,
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Genomic Computing

Abstract: Genomic computing is a new science focused on understanding the functioning of the genome, as a premise to fundamental discoveries in biology and medicine. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) allows the production of the entire human genome sequence at a cost of about 1000 US $; many algorithms exist for the extraction of genome features, or "signals", including peaks (enriched regions), mutations, or gene expression (intensity of transcription activity). The missing gap is a system supporting data integration and exploration, giving a “biological meaning” to all the available information; such a system can be used, e.g., for better understanding cancer or how environment influences cancer development.

The GeCo Project (Data-Driven Genomic Computing, ERC Advanced Grant currently undergoing the contract preparation) has the objective or revisiting genomic computing through the lens of basic data management, through models, languages, and instruments; the research group of DEIB is among the few which are centering their focus on genomic data integration. Starting from an abstract model, we already developed a system that can be used to query processed data produced by several large Genomic Consortia, including Encode and TCGA; the system employs internally the Spark, Flink, and SciDB data engines, and prototypes can already be accessed from Cineca servers or be downloaded from PoliMi servers. During the five-years of the ERC project, the system will be enriched with data analysis tools and environments and will be made increasingly efficient. 
Most diseases have a genetic component, hence a system which is capable of integrating “big data” of genomics is of paramount importance. Among the objectives of the project, the creation of an “open source” system available to biological and clinical research; while the GeCo project will provide public services which only use public data (anonymized and made available for secondary use, i.e., knowledge discovery), the use of the GeCo system within protected clinical contexts will enable personalized medicine, i.e. the adaptation of therapies to specific genetic features of patients. The most ambitious objective is the development, during the 5-years ERC project, of an “Internet for Genomics”, i.e. a protocol for collecting data from Consortia and individual researchers, and a “Google for Genomics”, supporting indexing and search over huge collections of genomic datasets.



Rebecca Fox

Keynote Speaker: Professor, Academic Program Coordinator,
George Mason University, Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning
Coordinator, Teaching and Teacher Education
English as a Second Language PK-12
Foreign Language and Latin (PK-12)
PhD in Education and Human Development


International and Inter-disciplinary Professional Learning for Innovation for the Twenty-First Century

Abstract: Higher education institutions “serve as key change agents in transforming education and society” (UNESCO, 2005, p. 12). Universities today are more vital than ever and must respond to an increasingly urgent call to prepare world citizens for the upcoming decades of the 21 st century. Global engagement calls for professionals who are not only capable of working and living in a rapidly changing and globalized world, but who must also possess critical reflective capacity to promote content knowledge application in relevant, innovative, and entrepreneurial ways. To accomplish this goal, knowledge must extend beyond discipline-specific classroom application to knowledge activation in authentic settings; the importance of partnerships and inter-disciplinary work cannot be under-estimated. Coursework, of course, needs to begin with providing strong base skills, but it must include expanded understandings of a discipline in broader contexts and incorporate intercultural competence and international mindedness. Professional learning should then also include building inter- and cross-cultural capacity; research-based practices and scholarly work; hands-on, authentic learning; and relevant, contextual application of knowledge so that new global understanding, skills and concepts might be actively incorporated for the betterment of our world. If global engagement is one of the pillars supporting strategic educational opportunities for the future, we must create avenues for collaboration, expanded research, and innovative practices for university students and their faculties. This is where partnerships play a key role. The challenge is for universities to provide viable networking pathways between and among stakeholders so that the interface of program coursework, research skills and outcomes, and impact are clearly connected. How might this best happen? A research collaborative currently underway, established through funding by the U.S. Department of State, Islamabad, the Collaboration for Faculty Excellence in Teaching and Research (CFETR) (2015-17), is providing a case study of such an endeavor. This two year project involves the university faculties from two universities and is helping us understand the role that colleges of education can play as integral partners in international and inter-disciplinary work. Through strategic connections to the broader research and business communities at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA and the University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore, Mason and UMT faculty have committed themselves to collaborative work designed to promote students with equitable access to relevant coursework and promote critical thinking skills that include world perspectives. Multiple forms of research, including course-based inquiry and accompanying action plans, play a critical role in expanding faculty members’ deeper understanding of the complexity of the teaching and learning process and research capacity. This address will share essential aspects of the process and journey of the CFETR, including year one results and highlights. Critical questions that have emerged from a project that seeks to foster collaboration and strengthen our collective understandings of effective pedagogical practices and expand the research competencies of our university faculties include: How might we increase faculty effectiveness and positively impact student learning? How do we empower faculty to actively engage in inquiry at all levels of work, from program development to course learning outcomes? How might the two faculties draw from one another’s educational contexts and inquiries to lead education to new successes?


Malrey Lee

Keynote Speaker: Professor, Deptartment of Computer Science & Engineering,
ChonBuk National University, JeonJu, Korea
Post-doctoral Fellow University of Southern California
Center of Robotics (Supported by KOSEF)

An Intelligent Heathcare Data Management System

Abstract: In a healthcare environment, we usually get the patient’s health information in an idle state. The collected data is then managed and analyzed in the healthcare server, so that a care giver can study the patient’s physiological state. In order to get the patient’s health information while performing his daily tasks, we need a ubiquitous device. The goal of this thesis is to design an “Intelligent HealthCare Data Management System” for mobile environments that will handle the healthcare data of the patient and also converts it into a globally used standard for exchange of healthcare data and information.Intelligent healthcare data management system (IHDMS) has an intelligent algorithm similar to genetic algorithm that can find an optimal solution within an acceptable time, and is faster and more dynamic than greedy algorithms in assigning tasks. It processes and transmits sensor data in a waysuch that it minimizes the system endto-end delay, while guaranteeing required system battery lifetime and availability of the mobile device.  This system also converts raw data of the user from sensors to HL7 (Health Level Seven) format and transmits the encrypted HL7 data to a remote healthcare server.  The device battery lifetime is potentially increased by more than 200%, the memory usage is less than 100 KB and it processes all data by utilizing very few resources.  Apart from this, the system also reduces the time latencyin transferring the data and also server load on the healthcare center side by transferring data in HL7 format through a secured channel.  The IHDMS on a ubiquitous device is dynamic, efficient, fast, secure and reduces load on end systems compared to other system. It addresses most needs of the modern day ubiquitous devices in managing the patient’s healthcare data.



Ashiq Anjum

Invited Speaker: Professor of Distributed Systems,
University of Derby, U.K.

Big Data Analytics: An In-Memory Platform for High Performance Analytics in Clouds

Abstract: With an unstoppable growth in data collection, new platforms and approaches are needed that can process the huge amounts of data in relatively short spans of time. To achieve this objective, we have produced an In-Memory Analytics platform that can process large volumes of data by exploiting state of the art analytical engines. The platform offers a scalable, robust and high throughput cloud computing environment for performing automated analysis of thousands of datasets.The platform exploits a spark based in-memory environment and makes use of GPU mounted servers in a cloud environment. This cloud based solution offers the capability for an on-demand and on-the-fly analysis of datasets.  We evaluate the platform by storing and processing the video stream data that we have collected from a large deployment of video monitoring cameras.


The following are the main points of my talk:  Firstly, I willsummarize the architectural challenges to build a scalable, robust and high throughput cloud computing based solution that can perform quick analysis on thousands of stored/recorded video streams. Secondly, I will explain the steps carried out to automate the video analysis process so that no or minimal manual intervention is needed. Thirdly, I will present our findings so far to achieve high accuracy and performance in object detection and classification during the video analytics process. 


Muhammad Imran

Invited Speaker:Scientist at Qatar Computing Research Institute, 

Social Computing: A Lifeline During Mass Convergence Events

Abstract: Social Media platforms such as Twitter are invaluable sources of time-critical information. Information on social media communicated during mass convergence and emergency events convey timely and actionable information. For rapid crisis response, real-time insights are important for emergency responders. Although, many humanitarian organizations would like to use this information, however they struggle due a number of issues such as information overload, information vagueness, less credible and misinformation. In this talk, I will describe the role of social media and potential artificial intelligence computational techniques useful for humanitarian organizations and decision makers to make sense of social media data for rapid crisis response.


Waqar Mehmood

Invited Speaker: Professor and Director KICS,
University of Engineering and Technology
Lahore, Pakistan

Multimodal Sensing Enabled Real-Time Intelligent wireless Camera Networks

Abstract: Terrorism has become a global menace in recent times. Pakistan’s state and society have suffered huge economic, social, infrastructural and most importantly human losses due to militancy and terrorist activities. Integration of artificial intelligence for recognizing a terrorist activity and its automated timely communication to the concerned authorities can significantly curtail the overall loss. This premise has been the key motivation to conceive this project. 

As first step towards this goal, we focused on the target shooting events. To locate, track and respond to such events, we proposed a multi-modal sensing enabled solution, employing acoustic and camera sensors. The developed system locates the gunshot event using acoustic sensor node platform, which corroborates the camera node to locate the shooter in the video and track it in real time. The processed camera stream with tracking information is also made available to the responding authorities. We have proposed the camera handover for continuous tracking of the object of interest. 


Sharifullah Khan

Invited Speaker: Tamgha e Imtiaz, Associate Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS),
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST),
H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan

Foundations and Trends in Automatic Taxonomy Generation

Abstract: In today's digital era, the amount of data generating on everyday basis is huge. To get the most out of this data, it is necessary to process and convert it into valuable information. This information can further be structured in a way, so that certain information needs can be fulfilled effectively and accurately. Taxonomy is an effective mean of organizing, managing and accessing a large amount of information available in today's digital world. Manual generation of taxonomy is challenging, as it requires the availability of domain experts who are expensive to hire. Moreover, it is a tedious and cumbersome task. Various tools and techniques have been developed in the past two decades to generate taxonomy automatically or semi automatically.

This talk will explore the well-known automatic taxonomy generation techniques and will present a generalized perspective of taxonomy generation process. The talk will categorize the existing automatic taxonomy generation techniques along three dimensions: Generation, Evaluation and Representation. These dimensions and various categories and subcategories under them are represented in the form of taxonomy of automatic taxonomy generation techniques. The issues and challenges related to the quality and effectiveness of generated taxonomy will also be highlighted in this talk, so that existing automatic taxonomy generation techniques can be improved further.


Khalid Hussain

Invited Speaker: Professor, Muslim Youth University

Information Security Risks, Breaches and Countermeasures

Abstract: In recent years Information Security related threats escalated to unprecedented levels. It’s mandatory to analyze and inspect in detail such attacks and threats and for developing strategies for either reducing or altogether removing such threats. PwC UK conducts a yearly survey, analyze the impact of such threats on organization and later compile and publish an annual report. This work made use of PwC UK recent survey to identify the level of awareness within organizations regarding these threats, their impact and respective countermeasures. This study was conducted with multiple perspectives i.e. to highlight how breaches take place, impact of those breaches. There is an effort to point out types of countermeasures for mitigating such breaches. Finally a discussion regardinghow awareness of protection mechanism and secure system usage can play a vital role in minimizing data breaches. 


Adnan Mian Noor

Invited Speaker: Professor, Chairperson, Department of Computer Science,
Information Technology University (ITU), Lahore, Pakistan.

Internet of Things: Opportunities and Challenges

Abstract: Internet of Things (IoT) leads to new possibilities for networked devices but faces technology challenges such as low-power processing, lightweight communication, lossy links networks, and many others. The IoT devices are expected to perform multiple operations like sensing, processing, actuating, and communicating with other devices. 

In this talk, after presenting exciting new opportunities due to the IoT, I will go through different architectural layers of low-power and low-rate IoT networks and will describe how different IoT layers are different from the conventional network layers. For instance in such wireless networks, often IEEE 802.15.4 is used for communication. Placement of nodes and antenna orientation often effect the reliability of the wireless links. We have specific MAC protocols for medium access that focus on conservation of energy using duty cycles. Routing is done through RPL protocol. RPL is specially designed for IoT devices. Furthermore, due to the small size of devices and memory, often at transport layer uTCP/uUDP is used instead of full TCP/UDP. At application layer MQTT and CoAP protocols are quite popular for sending short data packets to the gateway nodes.  

I will talk about different issues in each IoT layer and  will also give an overview of the work we are doing in Technology and Research in Emerging Network and Distributed Systems (TRENDS) Lab in the Information Technology University, Lahore.



Haroon Rasheed

Invited Speaker: Professor, Electrical Engineering Department, Bahria University, Pakistan.

Millimeter wave beyond 5G

Abstract:Millimeter Wave (mmWave) especially the 60 GHz band, has been receiving much attention as a key enabler for the 5G cellular networks. In order to exploit millimeter wave bands for future communications, researchers are thinking differently about radio designs to effectively using reflectivity for in-room (to overcome directivity) and multi-room (to reduce path loss) designs. The use of mmWave frequencies for wireless communications offers channel bandwidths far greater than previously available, while enabling dozens or even hundreds of antenna elements to be used at the user equipment, base stations, and access points. However, integration of 60 GHz and above frequencies demand significant efforts and time to complete the air interface, device and network design which is shown to be quite different from the existing cellular design. It is also unclear how well spatial multiplexing with multiple streams will be suited to future mmWave mobile communications In this talk, we address some of the fundamental issues related to the use of mmWave bands for 5G communications, from propagation channel characteristics and modeling to the implications on system and network architecture design by exploiting lots of spectrum with high power limits and few incumbents



Fakhar Lodhi

Invited Speaker: Professor and Dean, Faculties of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering,
GIFT University Gujranwala.

Relational Databases Considered Harmful for Object-Oriented Programs

Abstract: Maintainability is one of the key characteristics of a good software system. Use of modules and data abstraction positively impacts the maintainability of a system. On the other hand, use of non-local/global variables result in programs that are difficult to understand and hence are difficult to maintain. Absence of encapsulation and abstraction encourages the use of non-local variables, resulting in reduced maintainability. Therefore object-oriented programs are supposed to be more maintainable than structured programs.In an object-oriented program, relational databases are typically used as the persistent store for the objects in the system. We claim that the use of relational databases for this purpose breaks encapsulation and hence it is a major contributor in reducing the maintainability of an object-oriented program. The talk highlights the mismatch between object-orientation and relational databases at two levels – the impedance and conceptual mismatch. This results in having pieces of code that are object-oriented in syntax but lack object-oriented design and are procedural in nature. Hence, many benefits of object-oriented programming and data abstraction are lost.



Sajid Sheikh

Invited Speaker: Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering,
National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.

Optical Wireless Communications

Abstract: During the last few years, we are seeing a large and steady growth of ultrafast broadband wireless access networks coming from the consumers in medical, educational, financial, commercial and entertainment sectors. There are two existing capable technologies offering these services which are radio and optical wireless communications. While radio offers mobility and ubiquitous feature for indoor and outdoor communications, it suffers from modulation bandwidth bottleneck, whereas optical wireless communications offers the flexibility in deployment, security as well as ultra-high modulation bandwidth. Recently, there is a considerable interest in both outdoor and indoor optical wireless communications.

Optical Wireless Communications is an evolving technology with applications ranging from infra-red operated remote controls (most sold devices) to inter-satellite high data rate laser based communications links. The application areas of optical wireless include optical interconnects, terrestrial links, Inter-satellite links, inter-high altitude platforms (HAP), inter-UAV, HAP-GEO links and links from HAP/aircraft to ground, visible light based LANs, high definition TV entertainment systems, and high speed communication within high-speed trains and passenger aircrafts.
This brief talk on Optical Wireless Communications will discuss the history, fundamentals and applications including the very important “Visible Light Communications”. It will sensitize the audience to the various possibilities and advantages of utilizing optical wireless links and cover the important aspect of terrestrial building-to-building high data rate medium distance free space optics (FSO) links. It will also talk of the limitations of these links in particular atmospheric attenuation and turbulence induced fading. The talk would also clarify that the most serious deterrent to the wide scale adaptability of terrestrial FSO is the aerosol based scattering in particular fog attenuation.
The second part of the talk would touch upon research in different aspects of Optical Wireless Communication systems including propagation modeling, channel modeling, coded-modulation techniques and the application of Network information theory to optical wireless networks. Interesting results in the domain would be discussed which shall challenge the commonly held misconceptions regarding wavelength selection to combat attenuation and building sway induced misalignment.


Farooq Ahmed

Invited Speaker: Associate ProfessorDepartment of Computer Science,
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology,
1.5 KM off Raiwind Road, Lahore, Pakistan

Modeling and Simulation of Improved Random Direction Mobility Model for Wireless Networks using Coloured Petri Nets

Abstract: The wireless networks have received increased attention of researchers due to its rich set of applications and ubiquitous communication facility. The underlying mobility model plays a key role in mobility management, which is a prominent communication mean in delivering services to mobile users accurately.  Random Direction is a synthetic mobility model which is widely used in simulators while simulation is a universally considered the most effective method for designing and analysis the characteristics of the mobility models. However, simulation is limited in its capabilities and it may generate unrealistic, error prone results and consume more time. Further, the random direction mobility model produces unrealistic movement patterns due to a sharp turn problem and it forces the mobile host to travel to the edge of the terrain. To alleviate the issues of random direction mobility model, this paper presents a coloured Petri net (CPN) based formal approach as an improved direction mobility model. Further, the proposed algorithm to tackle the sharp turn problem is implemented by using CPN formalism. The formal semantics of CPN allow the graphical, intuitive approach to design, simulate, execute and validation of the model.



Adeel Nawab

Invited Speaker: Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Lahore, Pakistan.

Mono- and Cross-lingual Paraphrased Text Reuse and Plagiarism Detection

Abstract:Text reuse is the process of creating new documents using existing ones. Among the different types of text reuse, plagiarism (the unacknowledged reuse of text) is a widespread problem. Easy access to online information has made it easier to plagiarise and in recent years cases of plagiarism have increased. Consequently, plagiarism and its detection is receiving attention within the research community. 

Text Reuse (and plagiarism) can be mono-lingual and cross-lingual. In the former case, both the source and suspicious documents are in the same language, whereas in the latter case, source document is in one language and the suspicious one is in another language. The text reused/plagiarised can be either used as verbatim (exact copy) or rewritten (for example, paraphrasing, summarization etc.)

This talk will discuss the current research on mono- and cross-lingual paraphrased text reuse and plagiarism detection. In addition, the potential future research directions will be presented.



Khurram Shahzad

Invited Speaker: Assistant Professor, PUCIT, Lahore, Pakistan.

Process Driven Enterprise Computing: Untangling the Journey of Rigor

Abstract:During the last two decades, the advancement in information technology has been the driving force behind the new wave of Business Process Management. This has enabled the development of tools for modeling processes, analyzing them, implementing them in Business Process Management Systems, and executing them. These days, process models are valuable artifacts of an organization because they explicitly represent the dependencies between activities of an organization. Since, more and more processes are being documented, organizations have to maintain process model repositories to management these large collection of models. While models have their strengths, recent studies have advocated the need for maintaining textual descriptions of these process models to make it usable for business professional i.e. those who actually conduct the various process tasks. For the last two years we have employed systematic to, a) generate a benchmark process model collection of process models that contains examples of process models with diverse features, b) generate a benchmark set of queries and human annotation to rigorously evaluate the evaluate the effectiveness of the matching techniques, c) evaluatethe effectiveness of existing process matching techniques. This talk will share our effort to untanglethe journey of rigor,formanaging process model repositories. It will specifically give audience a drive-through the systematic and rigorous procedures that lead to a forest of research directions.

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