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Project to develop quantum communication networks for European Defence

The project “Disruptive SDN secure communications for European Defence” (DISCRETION) was one of the 26 projects selected by the European Commission under the 2020 call of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).

The DISCRETION proposal, in which Professors Ricardo Chaves, researcher at INESC-ID, and Paulo Mateus, researcher at IT, participate by Instituto Superior Técnico, was even ranked first in the topic of “Cyber ​​situational awareness and defense capabilities, defense networks and technologies for secure communication and information sharing” of the EDIDP 2020 call for proposals (EDIDP-CSAMN-2020).

The “DISCRETION” project aims at integrating and combining the technologies of software defined network (SDN) and quantum key distribution. This combined with legacy optical networks will build a highly secure, scalable and resilient network control architecture for advanced tactical operation services and create a degree of autonomy for European defence forces.

Compared with the traditional approach, where the network configuration and management interfaces are typically proprietary and tied to a specific manufacturer, SDN represents a revolution that supports further network evolution, opening it to potentially disruptive technologies like Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and quantum technologies in general. This technology will reinforce the European Defence’s autonomy in secure communications and will enable European armed forces to also use Radio Spectrum for military activities.

The members of the consortium are Deimos (coordinator), Instituto Superior Técnico, Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), Altice Labs, Adyta Lda, Telefonica Investigación y Desarrollo S.A.U, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH and Nextworks.

The Técnico team is composed of professors Ricardo Chaves (INESC-ID researcher) and Paulo Mateus (IT researcher). “This project is an important step towards greater collaboration between industry, academia and the government for the improvement of Cybersecurity at national and European level”, stresses professor Ricardo Chaves, coordinator of the “DISCRETION” project at Técnico. Professor Paulo Mateus highlights the importance of the project, once “it allows the participation of Instituto Superior Técnico in the modernization of national and European defence” and “promotes cooperation between IST mathematicians and engineers”.

Experience shows the potential of the project

An application of these technologies was demonstrated in Lisbon on 30th June, with an experimental test supported by the General Staff of the Portuguese Armed Forces (EMGFA), and the National Security Office (GNS). Some of the Portuguese partners in DISCRETION – Deimos, IT, Instituto Superior Técnico and AlticeLabs – have set-up a pioneer experiment, consisting in the interchange of messages between two Portuguese Defence facilities (5km apart from each other) using a quasi-quantum link and fiber optics.

According to General Rocha, from EMGFA “this experiment allowed to demonstrate the national capabilities of the Portuguese industry, academia and defence internationally, and to start DISCRETION in a perfect time”. Admiral Gameiro Marques, Head of the Cybersecurity group – National Security Office, highlighted “the development of projects of this nature will enable Portugal – and Europe – to have its own technology in these areas, including encryption machines and the respective cryptographic key production processes”.

 

Adapted from Instituto Superior Técnico

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Interviews

Miguel Pardal

Short Personal Interview

 

 

Miguel Pardal was born in 1977, in Lisbon, Portugal. He is an INESC-ID Researcher since 2015, integrating the Scientific Area Distributed, Parallel and Secure Systems (DPSS). Miguel Pardal is also member of the Scientific Council of INESC-ID.

 

 

 

How did you get to INESC-ID?

INESC-ID has long been a beacon of quality research in the Técnico community, so when I adjusted my research area to cybersecurity applied to the cloud and the internet of things, it made perfect sense to join the team.

 

INESC-ID is…

top-quality research, through passionate hard work

 

Research project(s) under development (please indicate the name of the project(s)

SureThing

 

How would you explain in the most accessible and least technical language possible, what is the application / expected results of this (these) project (s)?

The SureThing project is developing new ways to quickly and reliably prove our presence at specific locations, both for mobile and for internet of things applications. This will make checking-in at a medical office and getting a absence justification automatic. It can also improve the experience of visiting new locations with systems that can reliably reward users for completing tours.

 

Tell us about your favorite project so far (or one of them)?

My favorite project so far has been SafeCloud (H2020), where we collaborated with colleagues across Europe to develop added-security solutions. The INESC-ID team contributed to the development of reinforced-security channels that can go beyond TLS (the Security in HTTPS) with route monitoring and multiple layers of encryption.

 

What are the biggest challenges of working in research in this area?

One of the biggest challenges of working in Cybersecurity is keeping up the new threats that appear every week. On the one hand, we have to develop new and groundbreaking security mechanisms, to improve the security of systems, in the medium and long-term. On the other hand, we have to respond to emergencies, in the short-term.

 

What book are you currently reading?

The Inversion Factor, by Linda Bernardi, Sanjay Sarma (my PhD co-advisor) and Ken Traub (MIT Press). It discusses how businesses can adapt to the many possibilities of the internet of things. The inversion refers to stop thinking about products and center the design in the novel user experiences made possible by the new technologies.

 

How would you explain to your child (or your parents or grandparents) what your job is? How do you explain what means to be a researcher in this area?

Unfortunately there are bad people doing bad things on the Internet, and we have to outsmart them and keep everyone safe, while still enjoying the advantages of digital technologies.

 

How do you see the mission of INESC-ID “ to produce added value to people and society, supporting the response of public policies to scientific, health, environmental, cultural, social, economic and political challenges, in the fields of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering”?

I see INESC-ID playing a very significant role in society, as we bring the future closer to the present reality, and use our technical expertise to improve the technology and provide guidelines and scientific advice to policy decisions. This role is also critical to the formation of the next generations of engineers and researchers. We need to prepare them today for the challenges the world will face tomorrow.

 

 

Academic Degree

Doctorate

 

Training / Research Area(s)

Computer Science and Engineering

 

INESC-ID Scientific Area

Distributed, Parallel and Secure Systems (DPSS)

 

Email

miguel.pardal@tecnico.ulisboa.pt

 

Linkedin Profile Link

https://www.linkedin.com/in/miguelpardal/

 

Twitter Profile Link

 

 

Categories
Interviews

Sandra Gama

Short Personal Interview

 

Sandra Pereira Gama was born in 1984, in Entroncamento, Portugal. She is an INESC-ID Researcher since 2008, integrating the Scientific Area Graphics and Interaction (GI).

How did you get to INESC-ID?

As an MSc student

INESC-ID is…

A research institution of excellence

Research project(s) under development (please indicate the name of the project(s)

GameCourse, VisBig

How would you explain in the most accessible and least technical language possible, what is the application / expected results of this (these) project (s)?

(GameCrouse) We are studying ways to enhance higher education courses to provide a personalized, rather than one-size-fits-all, learning experience. We leverage on game principles (gamification) to further engage students and improve success.

Tell us about your favorite project so far (or one of them)?

GameCourse

What are the biggest challenges of working in research in this area?

Nowadays, with the COVID pandemic, doing research in the area of interaction, generally speaking, proves more difficult because we need to get participants to our studies. However, we have relied on technology to help bridge this gap.

What book are you currently reading?

1Q84, Haruki Murakami (big fan!).

How would you explain to your child (or your parents or grandparents) what your job is? How do you explain what means to be a researcher in this area?

I work in making it easier for people to interact with computers through meaningful visual representations that gather their attention, personalize content in a way that it it aesthetically pleasing according to people’s preferences and needs.

How do you see the mission of INESC-ID “ to produce added value to people and society, supporting the response of public policies to scientific, health, environmental, cultural, social, economic and political challenges, in the fields of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering”?

INESC-ID has a very wide variety of projects going on, with team members that encompass different competences, making it a rich environment for the exchange of ideas. The development of these ideas has, and will most certainly continue to lead to extremely relevant results, with impact on a most ample range of activities on health, environmental, cultural, social, economic and political fields.

Academic Degree *

PhD

Training / Research Area

Graphics and Interaction

INESC-ID Scientific Area

GI- Graphics and Interaction (GI)

Email *

sandra.gam@gmail.com

Linkedin Profile Link

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandra-gama-971620170/

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Categories
Interviews

Daniel Gonçalves

Short Personal Interview

Daniel Gonçalves was born in 1974, in Tavira, Portugal. He is an INESC-ID Researcher since 2001, integrating the Scientific Area Graphics and Interaction (GI).

How did you get to INESC-ID?

As a prospective PhD student

Research project(s) under development

VisBig – Real-Time Visualization of Streaming Big Data

GameCourse – Improving University Courses through Gamification

How would you explain in the most accessible and least technical language possible, what is the application / expected results of this (these) project (s)?

To be able to effectively and efficiently visualize and analyze large amounts real-time data; Study how gamification can be used to increase the engagement of college-level students of different profiles.

Tell us about your favorite project so far (or one of them)?

GameCourse, where lots of very interesting results have been achieved so far, with high impact from a scientific point of view, and also in pedagogical terms. We study how gamification can be used to increase student engagement, and even to provide students of different profiles with a different learning experience, moving away from the centuries-old and rather outdated “one-size-fits-all” approach. This will bolster their learning and outcomes. It has also shown to be a resilient approach, even in challenging contexts, such as the current COVID19 pandemic and all the changes to the teaching paradigm it brough about.

What are the biggest challenges of working in research in this area?

The need to involve students and other users (a must, but it makes testing harder). Indeed, there is an important qualitative aspect to the research that can and is assessed, but makes reaching conclusions harder than mere quantitative methods common in several other engineering fields.

What book are you currently reading?

Shards of Earth (by Adrian Tchaikovsky)

How would you explain to your child (or your parents or grandparents) what your job is?

I teach Computer Science at Técnico, continuously trying to find novel and more interesting ways of teaching, and I am a researcher, coming up with new ways to help people interact with computers.

How do you see the mission of INESC-ID “ to produce added value to people and society, supporting the response of public policies to scientific, health, environmental, cultural, social, economic and political challenges, in the fields of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering”?

It covers, in a nutshell, the goals and values that INESC-ID actively pursues. In particular, I would point out the connection to the wider society, where we strive to have an impact, that will help bolster national and international knowledge and standards of living. This, I feel, is a very relevant part of what we, INESC-ID researchers, try to accomplish.

Academic Degree

Habilitation in Computer Science

Training / Research Areas

HCI, InfoVis, Gamification, Computer Science Engineering

INESC-ID Scientific Area

Graphics and Interaction (GI)

Email

daniel.goncalves@inesc-id.pt

 

Linkedin Profile Link

https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielgoncalves/

 

Twitter Profile Link

https://twitter.com/domiriel

Categories
Interviews

Arlindo Oliveira

Short Personal Interview

Arlindo Oliveira was born in 1963 in Negage, Angola. He is an INESC-ID Researcher since 1984 (then INESC), and integrates the Scientific Area Information and Decision Support Systems (IDSS).

Arlindo Oliveira is a Distinguished professor of Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), with the Computer Science and Engineering Department.

PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) from UC Berkeley in 1994, with a Fulbright fellowship. BSc (1986) and MSc (1989) in EECS from IST.

Arlindo Oliveira is also President of INESC Holding.

For you, INESC-ID is…

A nice place to perform research.

Research project(s) under development

INTAKE

DeepPathCovidX

How would you explain in the most accessible and least technical language possible, what is the application / expected results of this (these) project (s)?

Use machine learning to model and fight COVID-19.

Tell us about your favorite project so far (or one of them)?

INTAKE

What are the biggest challenges of working in research in this area?

Lack of good data

What book are you currently reading?

Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth

How would you explain to your child (or your parents or grandparents) what your job is?

Make machines learn from experience, like children

Academic Degree

PhD

Training / Research Area

Machine Learning

INESC-ID Scientific Area

Information and Decision Support Systems (IDSS).

Email

aml@inesc-id.pt

Website

http://arlindo.oliveira.cc/

Linkedin

https://www.linkedin.com/in/arlindo-oliveira-4119a1a/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/arlindooliveira

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/ArlindoOliveiraIST/

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Highlights News

Sentence End and Punctuation Prediction in NLG Text at SwissText2021

A group of researchers from INESC-ID, in partnership with Unbabel, are one of the winning teams of the Shared Task “Sentence End and Punctuation Prediction” at SwissText2021.

“This was a very competitive and in the end we are really pleased to be one of the winning teams! For our team this was the icing on the cake, after 1 year of collaboration on the topic of Automatic Rich Transcription (ART)”, mentioned Ricardo Rei, one of the INESC-ID researchers involved.

7 teams participated, with the “Unbabel-INESC-ID” team taking first place, along with 2 other teams.

The goal of the shared task was to build models for identifying the end of a sentence by detecting an appropriate position for putting an appropriate punctuation mark. Specifically, we offer the following subtasks:

Subtask 1 (fully unpunctuated sentences-full stop detection): Given the textual content of an utterance where the full stops are fully removed, correctly detect the end of sentences by placing a full stop in appropriate positions.

Subtask 2 (fully unpunctuated sentences- full punctuation marks): Given the textual content of an utterance where all punctuation marks are fully removed, correctly predict all punctuation marks.

Due to the extremely close results of the first three solutions, the evaluators decided to announce the first three high-performing systems as the joint shared task winners.

“We tried to look at the results from different angles, but couldn’t find any decisive criteria to select a single winner based on the scores. Congratulations to the HTW+t2k, Onpoint, and Unbabel-INESC-ID teams for their fine works” mentioned the organizers Don Tuggener and Ahmad Aghaebrahimian.

The Unbabel-INESC-ID team is made up of researchers Ricardo Rei, Nuno Guerreiro, Luisa Coheur and Fernando Batista.

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Highlights INESC-ID News

Digital Anatomy: Applications of Virtual, Mixed and Augmented Reality

New book brings together 2 INESC-ID researchers: Joaquim Jorge and Daniel Lopes and other specialists in a unique interdisciplinary work

 

 

The first book on digital anatomy, written in close cooperation between doctors, anatomists, and computer scientists, addresses Extended Reality applied to Clinical and Surgical Practice through Training and Teaching.

The book just published by Springer / Nature’s prestigious series of books “Human-Computer Interaction Studies”, edited by two INESC-ID/Tecnico Professors, Joaquim Jorge and Daniel Lopes of Department of Computer Engineering and INESC-ID / Lisbon, in collaboration with Professors Jean-François Uhl of the University Paris-Descartes and Pedro Campos (University of Madeira). The book clarifies the classic approaches with VR, AR, and MR; It presents recent VR, AR, MR systems, techniques, and methods for digital anatomy.

This book offers readers new insights into extended reality to digital anatomy, a new emerging discipline. The way teachers teach anatomy in the classroom is changing rapidly as new technology-based approaches become increasingly accessible. Recent studies show that Virtual (VR), Augmented (AR), and Mixed-Reality (MR) can improve retention andlearning outcomes.

“The book is aimed at the scientific, academic and professional research community. It can be used as a textbook, “survey” on the state of the art and seed for new research projects”, says Joaquim Jorge, one of the authors and researcher at INESC-ID.

Readers will find relevant tutorials on three-dimensional reconstruction techniques to perform virtual dissections. Several chapters serve as practical manuals for students and trainers in anatomy to update or develop their digital anatomy skills. We developed this book as a support tool for collaborative efforts around Digital Anatomy, especially in international and interdisciplinary distance-learning contexts. Our goal is to leverage the source material in this book to support new digital anatomy courses and programs in interdepartmental and interdisciplinary collaborations.

A work carried out by several hands that resulted in an unusual book that brings together specialists in Anatomy, Informatics and Medicine.

“The idea came from a collaboration with my colleague Jean-François Uhl that I had the opportunity to meet at a congress organized in Lisbon”, says Joaquim Jorge. “Me and my colleague Jean-françois Uhl were instrumental in exercising the network of contacts that each one of us has in their respective fields and collecting chapters. Daniel Lopes and Pedro Campos helped to recruit reviews and in the process of writing and editing some chapters ”, adds the researcher.

 

Joaquim Jorge also tells us how the idea for this book was born:

“This book came from an idea of mine. I organized the proposal given the experience of writing and editing books for Springer / Nature (it is already the 4th). The proposal was drawn up in 2018 and accepted in 2019. In 2019/2020 we have collected chapters around the world and 2020/2021 were spent on reviewing and reviewing chapters (where Daniel and Pedro Campos helped a lot). The book came out after a seven-month marathon (I planned to finish it on my sabbatical, but the pandemic delayed the process”.

The book was just launched and more information can be found at https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030619046

“I am very happy with the range of knowledge, skills and approaches that we have gathered in this book, with contributions of great technical level and thematic diversity, which I hope will stimulate / catalyze new lines of research and teaching”, pointed out Joaquim Jorge

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Highlights News

INESC-ID researchers are among the best scientists in the world in the field of Computer Science

5 INESC-ID researchers are among the world’s top computer scientists, according to the 7th edition of Top Scientists Ranking for Computer Science & Electronics, released by Guide2Research. Once again, the highest number of Portuguese scientists is affiliated with Instituto Superior Técnico.

Among the 24 Portuguese computer scientists affiliated with national institutions are 5 INESC-ID reseachers: Ana Paiva, Joaquim Jorge, Luís Rodrigues, Francisco C. Santos and Leonel Sousa. In the list we found another 6 Portuguese scientists affiliated with Instituto Superior Técnico: José Bioucas Dias (IT), Mário Figueiredo (IT), António Pascoal (ISR-Lisboa), José Santos- Victor (ISR-Lisboa),  Fernando Pereira (IT), José Rui Figueira (CEG-IST),

The list also includes four Técnico alumni: professors Manuela Veloso (Carnegie Mellon University- CMU), José MFMoura (CMU), Pedro Domingos (University of Washington) and João Marques-Silva (Institut Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse).

The first position of this year’s edition is held by professor Anil K. Jain (Michigan State University). Professors Yoshua Bengio (Université de Montréal) and Herbet Simon (CMU), hold the second and third position respectively.

Position in the ranking is based on each scientist’s influential contributions based on their h-index from Google Scholar. The h-index threshold for accepting a scientist to be examined is set to 40 provided that most of their publications are in the area of computer science and indexed in DBLP.

Guide2Research is one of the leading portals for computer science research providing trusted data on scientific contributions since 2015.

The list aims to highlight the major contributions on Computer Science and Electronics and to inspire researchers, entrepreneurs and decision-makers around the world.

Source: Adapted from Instituto Superior Técnico

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Highlights News

José Teixeira de Sousa was elevated to IEEE Senior member

IEEE recently elevated José Teixeira de Sousa to Senior Member of the organization, an honor bestowed only to those who have made significant contributions to the profession.

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

“Being elevated to Senior Member means recognition for more than 30 years dedicated to Electrical and Computer Engineering. During this long period of time, I have done quite a few things. Still, I highlight my early contributions to Integrated Circuit Yield Theory (fraction of chips fabricated without defects). Later, my work on reconfigurable hardware (making circuits by electrically programming them) gave rise to 4 international patents and 3 startup companies. I am thankful to many people, but especially to João Paulo Teixeira, who introduced me to Electronics, to Thomas Williams (IBM) and Vishwani Agrawal (Bell Labs) for joint work on Defect Level modelling, to Miron Abramovici (Bell Labs) for being my scientific mentor and dear friend, and finally to my co-worker Horácio Neto (INESC-ID) who is a Chess and Life Grandmaster.”, mentioned the researcher.

José Teixeira de Sousa is a researcher at the  High Performance Computing Architectures and Systems (HPCAS) at INESC-ID and Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Instituto Superior Técnico.