From the Web of Data to a World of Action

Speaker: Prof. Alan Dix (Lancaster University)
Title: From the Web of Data to a World of Action
Abstract: From human readable web pages, to formal semantics of linked data and the emergent social semantics of tags and folksonomies, we routinely look to the web as both a source of information and a place to put data. However, the web is also a locus of action: users want to get things done, whether booking a hotel room, or editing an online spread sheet.
The boundaries between web and desktop interaction are blurring. On the one hand, the traditional PC desktop is now inhabited by widgets such as the Mac Dashboard, web fast-download apps such as Java Web Start or Adobe Air, and expanded browser functionality such as Chrome. On the other hand, computation and applications that once were part of the desktop are now hosted on the web (for example word-processing with Google Docs), and various technologies enable web applications to function even when users have no connectivity to the internet. Furthermore, in emerging markets such as India and China, this convergence will be total, as the sole computing experience for many will be through mobile devices and predominantly the web.
This talk will explore the premise that this emerging web will be a place of action, not just information, and that the purpose of global data is ultimately to serve human needs.


It’s not where you work, it’s how you work – welcome to the Digital Workplace

Speaker: Mr Paul Miller
Title: It’s not where you work, it’s how you work – welcome to the Digital Workplace
Summary: We all know and understand the “Physical Workplace” but increasingly our working lives are spent in the “Digital Workplace” – intranets, virtual meetings, yammer style apps, social media inside and outside, self service HR and on.
It’s not where you work, it’s how you work. My new book “Digital Workplace” (being written now) describes how the world’s leading organizations are designing the workplace of the future. It tells the stories of a new style of worker in a new type of workplace.
Technology and a shift in work patterns and experiences is starting to re-shape the work environment. The “Digital Workplace” is re-shaping work and organisations for the good generally and it will profoundly impact where people live, work and allocate their time. More time with your family, time with your children, living anywhere you choose – autonomy, control and flexibility in how we work.
People judged on results and outputs. But what about the blurring of boundaries between work and life? What price will we pay for the new levels of trust and autonomy?


The enactment of significance: exploring the nature of information, systems and technology

Speaker: Professor Paul Beynon-Davies
Title: The enactment of significance: exploring the nature of information, systems and technology
Abstract: This talk introduces a new perspective which helps unpack the relationship between information, systems and technology within the nature of human organisation. We argue for an area of interest located at the intersection of signs and systems, which involves the enactment of forma, informa and performa. To demonstrate the utility of this perspective we deliberately consider a case from a different time, space and culture. We discuss the nature of human organisation amongst the Inka Empire and how this organisation was reliant upon the enactment of signs, particularly in relation to an artefact known as the khipu. We conclude with a discussion of the value of our framework in helping us understand the complex entanglement of information, systems and technology within human organisation. The talk summarises some of the major themes discussed in a new book to be published in December by Palgrave.
Paul Beynon-Davies is currently professor of organisational informatics at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University. Before taking up an academic post, Professor Beynon-Davies worked for several years in the Informatics industry in the UK and still regularly acts as a consultant to the public and private sector. He has published widely, having 11 books and over seventy refereed academic papers to his name.


Implications of Research on User Experience Design

Speaker: Ms Elisa del Galdo
Title: Implications of Research on User Experience Design
Abstract: Practitioners in the field of user experience design come from a variety of disciplines; ergonomics, computing science, psychology, interaction design, human-computer interaction, industrial engineering, just to name a few. Due to the variability in education, it is likely that a large proportion of today’s practitioners are not familiar with relevant foundational research and what implications it has for design. It is more likely that practitioners are aware of more mainstream ‘research’ that is more easily digestible, so even more recent empirical research may not be applied to their work. This talk briefly discusses a selection of foundational and recent research studies and their implications for design, with the objective of demonstrating the importance of research to the user experience practitioner.


Efficiency and scalability of the k-Means clustering method

Speaker: Dr. Giuseppe Di Fatta
Title: Efficiency and scalability of the k-Means clustering method
Abstract: One among the most influential and popular data mining methods is the k-Means algorithm for cluster analysis. Clustering is a classical unsupervised machine learning problem of the identification of groups of similar objects within a set, which is particularly useful in typical exploratory data mining applications. The scalability of the algorithms in terms of the input objects, the number of features and the number of clusters is crucial for very large sets of data. Techniques for improving the efficiency of k-Means have been largely explored in two main directions, sequential optimisation techniques and parallel processing. In the first case, the amount of computation in the sequential algorithm can be significantly reduced by adopting geometrical constraints, efficient data structures (e.g. multi-dimensional binary search trees) and partitioning strategies. This talk provides insights on the efficiency and scalability of the k-Means clustering method for both sequential and parallel implementations. In particular, it presents some recent work which improves the performance of the algorithm for very large data sets (millions of patterns) with high numbers of features and clusters.


Measuring Performance

Speaker: Mr. Sam Rakusen, CEO Raukusen Design FX Ltd
Title: Measuring Performance
Abstract: The premise on which Key Performance Indicators are used is that clients want their projects delivered to the highest possible standards of quality, cost and time while at the same time respecting the environment, the people involved in the project and those who use the completed work. The creation of KPI data means that both clients and suppliers can easily implement a system of measurement for these critical issues, can benchmark their performance and compare with the rest of their industry and then by using this information set improvement targets. Identifying weaknesses and addressing them without adverse impact in the areas of strength is the tight rope managers have to walk in order for their companies to remain sustainable, profitable and satisfy their market place.


Social rules as immanent and non-algorithmic imperatives

Speaker: Dr Ismael Al-Amoudi
Title: Social rules as immanent and non-algorithmic imperatives
Abstract: What kind of things are social rules? The paper starts from the critique of social rules articulated by ethnomethodologists and proposes an alternative conception of rules as situated, often tacit, imperatives. This ontological theorization borrows insights from critical realism and post-structuralism to explore general features of rules. For instance: they under-determine fields of legitimate actions, are prone to logical stratification, are anchored to desires and are inherently open to interpretation, though in a discursively structured way. Moreover, it is proposed that a rule is social if and only if it is internally related to a social relation. In turn, this helps to clarify and systematize how social rules relate to social positions and identities. The purpose of this ontological study is three-fold. Firstly, it attempts to articulate a realist conception of rules that avoids their dilution (as in the works of ethnomethodology) as well as their reification into codes or algorithms (as in the works of functionalist sociology). Secondly, it purports to initiate a dialogue with other authors writing on rules such as Giddens, Lawson and Searle. Finally, it aims to facilitate the development of empirical research on rules and related processes of legitimation, identification and subversion.


Research and innovation for energy efficiency in buildings in China

Speaker: Prof. Baizhan Li (PhD, MSc, BSc, FCIBSE,FRICS, CEng) Dean, Faculty of Urban Construction and Environmental Engineering, Chongqing University, China
Title: Research and innovation for energy efficiency in buildings in China


Does Modern Database Technology Solve the Problem of Conceptual Model instability?

Speaker: Mr Yasser Ades
Title: Does Modern Database Technology Solve the Problem of Conceptual Model instability?
Abstract: The seminar is a rebuttal of the claim that modern relational database technology has addressed the problem of malignant change in the conceptual database schema. It presents both empirical and theoretical evidence to suggest that it is impossible to absorb the consequences of conceptual database schema instability by means of technology. It suggests that so called Logical Data Independence is a misleading label.


Nevien Moawad's Seminar

Speaker: Ms Nevien Moawad who is an Egyptian part-time away PhD student of IRC.
Abstract: The current trend of the knowledge sharing and reuse often involves technologies of the multi-agent systems. Reuse in knowledge base system can reduce the cost and time. The most important components for sharing and reuse in knowledge base systems are ontologies and problem-solving methods. Both complementary components can be used to configure new knowledge base system from existing reusable components. This article shows an approach in which the knowledge sharing and reuse could be realized by designing a multi-agent system framework. This framework helps the developers in building a new knowledge-based system from reusable components and works as a specialized shell with pre-existing and robust libraries of knowledge. The implementation of the framework can lead to improved quality of knowledge–based systems.


The Transaction Pattern through Automating TrAM in Education & Practice

Speaker: Dr Simon Polovina
Title: The Transaction Pattern through Automating TrAM in Education & Practice
Abstract: Transaction Agent Modelling (TrAM) has demonstrated how the early requirements of complex enterprise applications can be captured and described in a lucid yet rigorous way. Using Geerts and McCarthy’s REA (Resource-Events-Agents) model as its basis, TrAM describes an enterprise architecture that captures the underlying ‘qualitative’ dimensions of business concepts and processes structured upon a transaction model that is emerging to be a design pattern. Key to underpinning the value of this transaction pattern however, the TrAM process needs to include automated model-checking. This automation tests the usefulness of the transaction pattern for enterprise systems applications across differing business domains. By simulating industrial practice that includes this automation through an experimental design conducted in an educational setting, the effectiveness of the transaction pattern is evaluated as an enterprise application, which we envisage as a multi-agent system in order to reflect the dynamic world of business activity. The study, which is still in progress, therefore assesses the value of TrAM to industry and enterprise systems education centred on the transaction pattern.