AI Institute

First C2PS Symposium on Applied Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security Hosted at Khalifa University

September 25, 2019

At its first symposium on September 12, the Center for Cyber-Physical Systems (C2PS) convened center researchers, potential research partners, guest speakers from institutions around the world, and organizations involved in the AI industry to discuss applied artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

The projects undertaken at the center were proudly presented and framed in the context of how they respond to the major challenges of Industry 4.0, the exponential growth in the size of ambient data, particularly in the context of the Internet of Everything, and the need to ultimately shift from assisted to autonomous intelligence paradigms. Techniques for establishing trust relations among internet-of-everything (IoE) devices, edge processors, cloud-based applications, and other components of the cyber-physical systems (CPS) ecosystem were also highlighted.

“We aim to create understanding and empowerment through support and development of existing technological capabilities and responsibility for global standardization,” said Dr. Ernesto Damiani, C2PS Director. “In doing so, we are improving quality of life, as well as the cyber technology experience for users in the long term.”

After opening remarks from Dr. Arif Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President, and Dr. Steve Griffiths, Senior Vice President of Research and Development, explaining the university’s commitment to researching the complete range of technological areas underlying CPS and supporting the secure technological innovations required to achieve the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, Dr. Damiani opened the symposium with a presentation on the open problems in artificial intelligence and security.

“We are privileged to live in such a dynamic time where emerging technologies create endless opportunities for value creation,” he said.

“Looking back to the last decade, we can easily highlight the game changers—the discoveries that ushered in a new framework for thinking, spurred scientific enquiry, and revolutionized our lives. Thanks to such discoveries, we no longer assert that something is technologically impossible; we only wonder how long before it will fit in the hand of a child.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to add efficiency at all layers of our globalized society’s fabric. From industry, to business, government, and even entertainment, IT is going to change our lives for the better, enabling a smarter, sustainable future.”

Delegates were offered a glimpse of this future through many presentations, including that of key note speaker Dr. Fakhri Karray, Visiting Professor and Director of the Waterloo University’s Center for Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. Dr. Karray explained the advances in intelligent mobility and how the goal is to design more efficient, more intelligent, and safer transportation systems better suited to the latest advances in information and communication technologies. He laid out the challenges and opportunities in designing the next generation autonomous vehicles and building the more sustainable cities of the future.

Following Dr. Karray, Dr. Naoufel Werghi, Associate Professor at C2PS, introduced the concept of visual data representation and its importance in the process of facial identification. He explained that face recognition applications and distinguishing features within the spectrum of biometric modalities have been rigorously researched, but that there are new challenges to facial data that need to be researched. Dr. Werghi emphasized the vital role of face shape representation when dealing with 3D images and addressed the problem of people identification in fully arbitrary and extreme conditions.

Fellow Research Scholar in C2PS, Dr. Song-Kyoo Kim followed, introducing a framework for how to appropriately adopt and adjust machine learning (ML) techniques to construct electrocardiogram-based (ECG) biometric authentication schemes. The proposed framework can help investigators and developers on ECG-based biometric authentication mechanisms define the boundaries of required datasets and get training data with good quality.

Dr. Ibrahim Elfadel, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was joined by Dr. Rupesh Karn, Postdoctoral Fellow, to survey the field programmable gate array (FPGA) virtualization challenges, and the various solutions proposed by academia and industry to address them. They explained the pressing performance demands of AI workloads have led data centers and cloud service providers to deploy heterogeneous hardware fabrics, including CPUs, GPUs and FGPAs that offer users a wide spectrum of performance and cost options. They concluded that FPGAs provide more hardware flexibility, higher performance, and lower power footprint, but that they present distinct challenges to the deployment of a lightweight virtualization layer that does not hamper the advantages of their bare-metal usage.

Lunch was followed by a presentation from visiting professor Dr. Moataz Ahmed, Associate Professor of Information and Computer Science at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, on artificial lifts in the oil industry and how automation of their monitoring can improve performance and prevent financial losses. Importantly, he explained how just a one percent improvement in their performance could provide over half a million additional barrels of oil each day worldwide, and that various machine learning methods could be used to monitor conditions, detect anomalies, identify issues, and predict failures in artificial lift devices.

With the tremendous advances in ubiquitous computing, mobile crowd sourcing (MCS) has become an appealing part of IoT, explained KU’s Dr. Rabeb Mizouni, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering, and Engineer Menatella Abououf. They detailed how in MCS systems, workers collect data with a certain quality of service (QoS) and get incentivized in return, but that MCS systems are vulnerable to misbehavior, with workers submitting false or fake reports to degrade the QoS or maximize their profit with minimal costs. They presented a selection approach based on game-theory in their presentation, in which their model detects and eliminates misbehavior.

The final presentation was delivered by visiting scholar Dr. Emanuele Bellini, contributor to the European Virtual Institute for Integrated Risk Management. Dr. Bellini noted that it is cumbersome to evaluate the credibility of messages transmitted on an open and vast network, and that a decentralized trust management system, made possible through block chain technology, can authenticate the messages received from other systems. His talk focused on the adoption of block chain in trust and reputation management systems implementation, highlighting significant trends and providing valuable recommendations.

A panel discussion rounded off the event, with Dr. Damiani closing the symposium.

The C2PS Symposium brought together some of the most innovative minds in cyber-physical systems and computer technology sectors, reflecting KU’s commitment to creating an environment that encourages the sharing of ideas about key areas of science and engineering, which can lead to further innovation and useful collaborations.

Jade Sterling
News and Feature Writer
25 September 2019