Keynote Talks

Widecom 2021 Keynote Talks

Wednesday October 13, 2021

9:00 am - 10:30 am: Keynote I

Title: Software System Observability: Challenges and Opportunities

By Dr. Wahab Hamou-Lhadj
Computer and Software Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, Montreal, Canada

Biography : Dr. Wahab Hamou-Lhadj is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada. His research interests are in software engineering, software tracing and logging, system observability, model-driven engineering, and applications of AI to computing systems. He has been the principal investigator for several projects with various organizations including Ericsson, Ericsson Global AI Accelerator, CAE, Ubisoft, Marivent, Opal-RT, and Defence Canada. Several of the original tools that were developed in his lab (e.g., TotalADS and CommitAssistant) have been successfully transferred to the industry and are currently used by thousands of developers. His research project with Ubisoft was featured in major media outlets including The Globe and Mail, The Financial Post, Penticton Herald, Wired, and BNN Bloomberg. Dr. Hamou-Lhadjserved on the organization and program committees of major conferences in software engineering such as ICSE, SANER, ICPC, ICSME, MODELS to name a few. In 2020, he was the General Co-chair of the 12th ACM System Analysis and Modelling Conference (SAM). Dr. Hamou-Lhadj received his PhD from the University of Ottawa, ON, Canada. He is a senior member of IEEE, IEEE Computer Society, and ACM. He is also a frequent contributor to the Object Management Group (OMG) certification programs, OCUP 2 and OCEB 2.

Abstract : Modern computing systems expand on the challenges of traditional monolithic applications by relying on a combination of servers, embedded and sensory devices, diverse architectural models, and various communication mechanisms to drive new ways of creating value and stimulating growth in diverse sectors of modern society. The fragmented and distributed nature of these systems, combined with the current shift towards continuous delivery and agile processes, callfor advanced system analysis and fault diagnosis methods -timely detection and prevention of crashes and anomalies are of paramount importance. This has led to a revival of interest in techniques and tools that operate on runtime data with a particular emphasis on log data. Logs describe a vast range of events observed at runtime, which can be the only reliable data sources for detecting and predicting system anomalies, diagnosing runtime problems, detecting security breaches, and demonstrating compliance with applicable regulations. In this talk, I will start by discussing the concept of system observability, which I present as the umbrella field for the current research that aim to gain insight into runtime data (traces, logs, profiling metrics, etc.). I will then dive into the research opportunities and challenges in system observability using log analytics with an emphasis on three aspects: the practice of logging, log analytics using machine learning and deep learning, and log governanceand management. Finally, I will introduce the concept of Design for Observability, which reflects my vision on how to further improve the quality of contemporary software systems by bringing system observability to the early stages of the software development lifecycle.

3:15 pm - 5:00 pm: Tutorial I

Security Risk-Aware Resource Management of the 5G Cloudified Infrastructure

By Dr. Glaucio H. S. Carvalho,
Professor of Computer Science and Information Security
School of Applied Computing, Sheridan College, Oakville Campus, Canada

Biography : Glaucio H.S. Carvalho has a PhD in Computer Science from Ryerson University and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Federal University of Para (UFPA). He worked twice as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Ryerson University and as an Associated Professor at UFPA. He is currently a Cybersecurity Professor at the School of Applied Computing at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. He served as the Chair of the IEEE Toronto Section Signals and Computational Intelligence Joint Society. His research interests include network security, cloud security, wireless security, ethical hacking, critical infrastructure security and protection.

Abstract : 5G wireless networks will play a critical role in society by providing ubiquitous access to end users, supporting mission critical applications, and interconnecting other critical infrastructure systems. Given its criticality, cybersecurity should be taken by design to ensure the security of running services and compliance with Service Level Agreements (SLA). This tutorial addresses the problem of security-aware resource allocation of the 5G cloudified infrastructure aiming at minimizing the security risks while maximizing the dependability. To this end, a risk-aware edge-cloud mechanism in addition to three stochastic optimal controllers are proposed to efficiently manage the cloudified infrastructure to ensure the protection of services and applications as well as the protection of the infrastructure against cyber threats such as resource exhaustion due to flash network traffic, DoS attack, and SLA violations. To ensure a secure and SLA compliant operation of the cloudified 5G infrastructure, new and innovative cost structures are proposed to guide the optimal controllers towards a safe and sustainable operation where it is shown that they offset the cost of operationalizing the cloudified infrastructure by offering economic benefits related to the provisioning of secure and reliable services. Furthermore, we propose new security and dependability metrics that allows for the quantification of the perceived security risk of services, the probability of SLA violation, the probability of edge placement, the probability of cloud placement, and the probability of a DoS attack. Considering the risk-awareness of the proposed mechanisms, they can be successfully integrated into the proposed agile security framework, which is based on an offensive posture that allows for a rapid response to cyber threats that might endanger the operations of the cloudified 5G infrastructure. Last but not least, this Thesis emphasizes the application of stochastic process and stochastic optimization which are essential tools to capture the uncertainties in dealing with the security aspects of the massive infrastructure, the demand and workload characterization.

Thursday October 14, 2021

9:00 - 10:30 am: Keynote II

Aging at home : challenges, trans-disciplinarity, and smart homes

By Professor Sylvain Giroux
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Faculty of Sciences,University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec

Biography:Sylvain Giroux is a professor at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Montreal in 1993. His professional experience is well balanced between academic institutions and private corporations. As a result, Sylvain Giroux has contributed to the development of information systems in interdisciplinary contexts and domains as varied as distance learning, geophysics, electronic commerce, tele-medicine, task-support systems, cognitive assistance and smart homes. His current research interests are cognitive assistance, telemonitoring, smart homes, Internet of things, activity recognition, augmented reality, and cryptocurrencies.
He co-founded DOMUS, an interdisciplinary laboratory of the University of Sherbrooke. DOMUS has an extensive research background in using participatory design, pervasive computing, ambient intelligence, and living labs to design, explore, and evaluate a wide range of innovative solutions for cognitive assistance aimed to foster the autonomy of people with Dementia, Alzheimer disease, mild cognitive impairments, traumatic brain injury (TBI). Over the past 20 years, several cognitive orthotics were designed and implemented and evaluated at DOMUS. The resulting set of orthotics can support a wide variety of activities of daily living (ADL) to foster autonomy at home for people with cognitive impairments, for instance, meal preparation, early detection of Alzheimer disease, night wandering, and agenda management.

Abstract :Cognitive deficits and frailty have high human, social and economic costs. Who has never looked for their keys? Who has never forgotten a pot on the stove after a phone call? Taken in isolation, these memory and attention deficits have innocuous consequences. However, people suffering from cognitive deficits are confronted with them on a daily basis. And the consequences sometimes require them to live in a supervised home. These situations are also very burdensome for caregivers. Smart homes, by supporting their daily life, could help these people to age at home, while supporting on-line and off-line supervision by their caregivers. Caregivers and even elders with cognitive impairments are those with the knowledge to enable customization of smart-home technologies. A "do it yourself" (DIY) approach can leverage this knowledge to build more effective, adaptable intelligent domestic environments. How can we enable caregivers and people with cognitive deficits to design, install, use and evolve their own smart home through a do-it-yourself approach? This is a very complex challenge in terms of usability, knowledge (technology, health and design) and integration with healthcare and society at large. Over the years, we have developed an approach based on living labs, participatory design, and trans-disciplinarity in order to develop relevant assistive technologies and tele-monitoring services that are deployed in smart homes. Through various projects, we will illustrate how needs, processes, technology, privacy and ethics have shaped NEARS. NEARSis a functional kit that assists cares and elders throughout the design, the installation, the evolution, and the operation of their own customized AI-based smart home to foster independent ageing in place. The resulting distributed architecture and services relies on artificial intelligence (Internet of Things, ontologies, and activity recognition) and advanced user interfaces (3D semantic models of the home and augmented reality...).

2:40 - 4:40 pm: Tutorial II

Getting Started with Chaos Engineering

By Dr. Sherif Saad Ahmed
Department of Computer Science
University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada

Biography :Sherif is an assistant professor of cybersecurity at the University of Windsor and found of the WASP (Windsor Advanced Security and Privacy) research lab that develops innovative and usable security solutions for unconventional cybersecurity threats. His research interests include cybersecurity, applied machine learning, and software engineering. With WASP labs, Dr.Saad is leading several research projects with NRC, Canada DND, NSERC, MITACS, and other private organizations. He has published several articles in prestigious and top-tier computing and cybersecurity journals and conferences. Dr. Saad has 10+ years of industry experience in cybersecurity and applied machine learning. During these years, he had the following roles: software developer, application security engineer, software security architect, chief software architect, and director of engineering. He worked with many companies to develop security systems for clients in the defence and finance sectors. Some of those clients include MasterCard, American Express, US DoD, Booz Allen, RCMP, and DRDC.

Abstract: Chaos engineering is a new quality assurance practice that continuously tests complex distributed systems with faulty stochastic scenarios in production environments. The term chaos engineering was coined in 2014 by Bruce Wong at Netflix, while the practice of chaos engineering started in 2010 In chaos engineering, we intentionally trigger faults into systems in production, to observe their behaviours in a faulty environment. This will help in implementing fault tolerance strategies that reduce downtime while increasing resiliency. The primary motivation for this approach is to overcome uncertainties prevalent in complex computer systems. In this tutorial, we discuss the state of chaos engineering, the best practices to get started with chaos engineering, chaos engineering tools and platforms. Finally, a hands-on example on applying chaos engineering to test distributed systems.

Friday October 15, 2021

9:00 am - 10:30 am: Keynote III

Cryptography for IoT devices

Dipartimento di Informatica Giovanni degli Antoni,
University of Milan, Milan, Italy

Biography :Andrea Visconti received his Ph.D. from University of Milan in 2005. He has been contract professor at University of Insubria (2005), University of Trento (2015-2018), and guest researcher to NIST (Feb 2012). Since 2006, he holds a tenured position (assistant professor of Computer Science) at the University of Milan. His research interests focus on cryptography, blockchain technology, circuit minimization techniques, security against attacks, and error correcting codes. Andrea served as general chair of WIDECOM 2019, general co-chair of the workshop "Cryptanalysis a Key Tool in Securing and Breaking Ciphers" (ITASEC 2020) and TCP co-chair of WIDECOM 2020. He was guest co-editor for special issues on Internet of Things (Elsevier) and Security and Communication Networks (Wiley/Hindawi). Currently, he is serving as Topics Board Editor of Mathematics (MDPI) and Associate Editor of the Springer's Iran Journal of Computer Science. Andrea leads the Crypto and Coding Theory group (CLUB) at University of Milan.

Abstract : Resource-Constrained Devices are widely used in specific context such as sensor networks, healthcare, Internet of Things (IoT), and so on. In order to carry out some activities, these devices (1) have to be highly interconnected and (2) need to offload the execution and workload to powerful computers. Indeed, they have to address the well-known physical constraints of smart devices such as limited processing capabilities, limited battery lifetime, and limited storage capacity. Unfortunately, current cryptographic standards were developed to exploit the computational resources of desktops and servers, therefore usually do not fit into resource-constrained devices. Since 2007 several lightweight ciphers have been proposed - to date none of them is considered an international standard - and in 2018 NIST initiated a process of evaluation and standardization of lightweight cryptographic algorithms. In this talk we will introduce the issues addressed by researchers and some ciphers published in the literature.

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