Keynote Speakers

Alexis Drogoul


Dr. Alexis Drogoul graduated in artificial intelligence from the University of Paris 6 (France) in 1990. He received his Ph.D. degree (multi-agent systems for problem solving and simulation) from the same University in 1993. Recruited in 1995 as an associate professor, he became full professor in 2000 and joined the IRD in 2004. He is currently senior researcher in the IRD UMMISCO research unit, in which he leads a french-vietnamese team, which focuses on  multi-agent and individual based simulation of complex systems. He is interested in the study, by modeling and simulation, of the emergence of spatial, temporal, behavioral, and/or social structures within natural systems. His research is thus covering a wide range, from the simulation of animal societies to the design of multi-robots systems, problem-solving systems, and agent-oriented methodologies. He is member of the program committee of the major conferences in these domains (IJCAI, AAMAS, SAB, etc.) and expert for the NSF and EEC on agent-based technologies.

More details about him are available at


Agent-Based Modeling for Environmental Decision-Support Systems

It is becoming more and more important, in modern environmental decision-support systems (EDSS) to incorporate and integrate models of the socio economic, biophysical and ecological aspects of environmental systems. The first reason is that their evolution is in fact the result of an intricate combination of processes that operate at multiple scales and organizational levels rather than, for instance, that of a linear relationship between well-known dynamics. The second reason is that, when using such models, managers should not be bound to a particular scale, and should be able to assess decisions that impact any of the entities or levels of organization of the target system. A new generation of models, able to provide for a “necessary complexity” of representation, is then claimed to be indispensable for maintaining, in EDSS, the characteristics of the target system that can become essential when evaluating a decision (such as emergent properties, multi-scale interactions, heterogeneity of entities, etc).

We will show in this talk that Agent-Based Models (ABMs) appear, for several reasons, to constitute a capable framework for representing the different levels of complexity required in an EDSS. We will also show, however, that their practical use still suffers from serious methodological, computational and experimental flaws. This will lead us to identify a number of important requirements and explain how they are fulfilled in the GAMA simulation platform, developed by the French-Vietnamese MSI team in the last 3 years. Some examples of its actual use in recent EDSS will be provided.

Mohan Kankanhalli


Mohan Kankanhalli is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science at the National University of Singapore. He is also the Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies at the NUS School of Computing. He obtained his BTech (Electrical Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and his MS/PhD (Computer and Systems Engineering) from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He is actively involved in the organization of many major conferences in the area of Multimedia. He is on the editorial boards of several journals including the ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, Springer Multimedia Systems Journal, Multimedia Tools and Applications, and the Pattern Recognition Journal. He is also the Director of Conferences for ACM Special Interest Group in Multimedia (ACM SIGMM).

His current research interests are in Multimedia Systems (content processing, retrieval) and Multimedia Security (surveillance, digital rights management and privacy).

More details are available at:


Design Issues in Multimedia Surveillance Systems

In spite of the development of various media sensors, multimedia (and computer vision) researchers have mostly adopted a video-centric approach to solve the automated surveillance and monitoring related problems. We look at the monitoring/surveillance problem from an information-centric perspective and advocate the use of diverse sources of information which enables the use of multiple correlated media. We discuss that the surveillance problem can be better posed as an "information-search" problem in which the user can query for the information of his/her interest.

We will motivate the multimedia systems approach by discussing three design issues. We will first discuss a design methodology for building systems which can explicitly take performance into account. This can aid in optimal selection and placement of multimedia sensors. Second, we will introduce novel notions related to multisensor coordination. Finally, we will highlight the use of multimedia fusion in surveillance systems. For each of these three design issues, we will present some aproaches and open problems arising from the information-centric way of looking at multimodal surveillance systems.

Wang Huaxiong


Wang Huaxiong received a PhD in Mathematics from University of Haifa, Israel in 1996 and a PhD in Computer Science from University of Wollongong, Australia in 2001. He Joined NTU in 7/2006 and is currently an associate professor in the Division of Mathematical Sciences. Prior to that, he was a senior lecturer (1/2004-7/2006) and a lecturer (1/2002-12/2003) in Department of Computing at Macquarie University, Australia; a senior research fellow (8/2005 - 2/2006) at City University, Hong Kong; a research fellow/Lecturer (1/2000 - 12/2001) in Department of Computer Science at University of Wollongong, Australia; and a research fellow (3/1999-12/1999) at National University of Singapore.

His research interests include cryptography, information security, coding theory, combinatorics and theoretical computer science. He has been supervising over 20 PhD students (9 completed). He is on the editorial boards of Designs, Codes and Cryptography (2006 -), Journal of Communications (JCM) (2006 - ) and Journal of Communications and Networks (2004 -) and was the Program Co-Chair of 9th Australasian Conference on Information Security and Privacy (ACISP'04) , Sydney, Australia, July, 2004 and 4th International Conference on Cryptology and Network Security (CANS05), Xiamen, China, December, 2005. He received the inaugural Award of Best Research Contribution awarded by the Computer Science Association of Australasia in 2004.


Private Information Retrieval

The widespread use of the World-Wide Web and Internet application make publicly accessible databases an indispensable resource for retrieving up-to-date information. However, accessing such databases poses significant risks to user privacy. Private Information Retrieval (PIR) is a cryptographic solution that allows a user to retrieve an item from a server in a database without revealing which item she is after. A trivial solution to the PIR problem is to send the entire database to the user. In this perfect privacy solution, the communication complexity is prohibitively large. For example, consider retrieval from a Web search-engine. One of the most significant goals of PIR-related research has been to minimise the communication overhead imposed by the privacy constraint.

Since the PIR problem was first formulated by Chor, Goldreich, Kushilevitz and Sudan in 1995, it has been an area of active research and various settings and extensions have been considered. In this talk, we will give a brief introduction to this exciting topic.