Blog of Random Thoughts and Pictures

Scientific papers and journals in the future

June 24th, 2008

So are Are Academic Journals Obsolete?
My last post highlights the question and here are some varying opinions
1) Interweb based debate, this Slashdot article appears to go along the lines of yes they’re needed as it a mechanism for “Peer review with Quality in mind”
2) Paper based debate, this paper by Bora Zivkovic provides a very interest prediction for research papers

scientific paper of the future will be a work in progress — with different people with different skills and talents contributing to a body of work sequentially: one has the idea, another turns it into a hypothesis, another designs the experiments, another runs them, another analyzes the data, another visualizes them, another interprets them, another places several such pieces of work together into a historical and philosophical context and finishes writing the “paper”.

B. Zivkovic, The future of the scientific paper, Journal of Science Communication, Volume 07, Issue 02, June 2008,
So this makes me wonder will Open Access Journals be some way to fulfil this prediction? I’ve seen an example of SRE before, here’s another one PLoS One.
Although in both cases the Computer Science papers submissions are quite low
as compared to the other sciences.
But in some ways will we just skip this and just pander to the YouTube generation for example

Research behind what really is behind the Diet Coke and Mentos physical reaction?

June 12th, 2008

Just picked up this interesting item from the NewScientist on the Science of Mentos-Diet Coke explosions explained which has taken its cue from the American Journal of Physics paper “Diet Coke and Mentos: What is really behind this physical reaction?”
According to the author, its not totally down to the chemical reaction of the ingredients in the sweets, and the ingredients in the Coke, its also got to do with microscopic dimply surfaces of the Mentos which disrupts the attractions between water molecules hence encouraging bubble cascading.

But didn’t the guys from MythBusters already solve this one? [1]
Well one explanation may be that research papers do not get published at Internet speed! The paper was received 7 June 2007; accepted 5 February 2008, published June 2008. The MythBusters show aired on August 9, 2006 ……… hmmmm hang on a second that doesn’t quite match up, but I see back in the comments field for this article the author is defending their work.
The paper looks at items:-

such as the importance of the speed with which the samples fall through the soda and the soda temperature. I also rigorously quantify the effects of surface roughness of the samples and the changing surface tension of the liquids, using nanoscale microscopes and contact angle measurements. I credit the Mythbusters in the paper for identifying the primary ingredients (and I love their show), but they did not really go into the WHY behind the reaction as much as I do in the paper.

Mores the point who would have thought a PhD dissertation on “Nanotribology Fundamentals: Predicting the viscous coefficient of friction” would lead to explaining this.
I’m a believer that the devil is in the detail.
Einstein in one of his early papers answered the simple question : How can you measure sugar molecules dissolved in a cup of tea? His formula for measuring the size of sugar molecules in a liquid was applicable to all molecules and provided much of the framework essential to his analysis of Brownian motion [pdf].
Okay okay I’ll finish .. it’s still interest though.
[1] Embedding disabled by request

I’s to the Future

April 5th, 2008

It’s massive and ICT 2008 comes to Lyon on November 25-27th 2008 ….. book your hotel now!
There are three main parts to this event, the speaker/panel based conference, the exhibtion and the networking session, and its important to make an impact on all three.
For the moment there are two main deadlines to consider
1) Call for exhibitors
2) Call for networking proposals
As for past events in 2004 the host city for IST 2004 was Den Hague with the overall theme of “Participate in your future”. We certainly did this as this is where our first in-roads on the Living Labs approach was made public …. with the help of our partners from CDT Lulea.
ICT 2004 in Den Hague
In the picture above we’re setting up the demo stand Touching Mobile Research.
ICT 2006 was held in Helsinki,
ICT 2006 in Helsinki:- Photo by CDT, Martin Vallmark

Photo by CDT, Martin Vallmark

With a theme of ‘Strategies for Leadership’, we took a big lead with Jim & Zeta hosting a very influencial Security Networking session
So here’s to looking forward to ICT 2008.

The 15 sessions of TridentCom ’08

March 22nd, 2008

TridentCom Logo
What a week, 2 tutorials, 1 massive demo session, 1 workshop, 2 key notes, 8 paper sessions and 1 special session later and I’m shattered … but it was worth it. TridentCom wasn’t so easy to get off the ground late last year but the Innsbruck event has ran extremely smoothly with many happy conference attendees and that’s all I could have hoped for.
Firstly the conference location in the Hotel Grauer Bar was excellent, right in the middle of the Innsbruck town, the conference rooms were spacious, the av equipment was in excellent working order, and the lunches and gala dinner scrumptious. I know these should be a given but ….. once you get to a location that’s not always the case, for the Hotel Grauer Bar it was all spot on.
While not everything was perfect, there were some great surprises from the conference, there were a number of international attendees, I mention this because even from Ireland Innsbruck is not the easiest to get to ….. I took the Cork (air) – Munich (train) – Innsbruck route. The other item that got me was that all papers were presented, even with some very late minute replacements …… now this really got me because I was fully expecting a couple of papers not to have presenters. This did have no knock-on event effect, the sessions in the evening ran fairly late.
And the next time ……… well …. I definitely need sometime to take a breather after all of this, and I must say there were some great lessons to be learned from this experience. You need interested and strong TPC co-chairs, I had this in Frank & Raheem, it was invaluable. You need a person understanding the fine detail in event coordination (Dorothy) , a very understanding web-chair (Eamonn), a shoulder to cry on, on the steering committee (Csaba), a publicity chair that’s willing to push your conference and to fill a gap with a special session (Peter) when called upon, a workshop chair that just helps out everywhere (Pablo), a local chair to handle regional specific tasks (Jens & Karin), a publication chair (Thomas) that makes sure all papers are in & copyright forms are complete, a Demo Chair (Sandor) with an excellent demo background and a Panel chair that can drive lively discussion (Ina).
The things I didn’t get right was the programme schedule, this should have been completed earlier than it was, and I didn’t appoint an overall session chair coordinator, now this item got handled in the end by Frank, but this is something I should have looked at much earlier also.
And so I leave Innsbruck with one quote (from John R) ringing in my ears

I don’t like going to conferences like this….. ……. I find so many interesting people and topics it triples my own research work load once I get back to the office.



March 6th, 2008

I was in Turin last week attending the final review of IST ENABLE..
The purpose of the project was to enable deployment of efficient and operational mobility as a service in large scale IPv6 network environments, taking into account also the transition from IPv4. The main areas of research included the enhancement of Mobile IPv6 to enable transparent mobility in large operational networks with multiple administrative domains, heterogeneous accesses and a rapidly growing number of users, enrichment of the basic mobility service provided by Mobile IPv6 with a set of “premium” features (fast handover, QoS, etc.)
and analysis of goals and design principles for the evolution beyond Mobile IPv6 in the long term.
Along with this research ENABLE has over 30 papers submitted and accepted at various conferences/journals, had strong contributions to IETF (RFCs and I-Ds) and produced a project booklet on these activities, which can be downloaded from the link on ENABLE Booklet.
We here at the TSSG carried out significant investigations on longer-term mobility approaches, such as the integration of SHIM6 with MIPv6 (M-SHIM6), which will be the basis our contributions to the IETF MEXT working group, and had a part to play in the assessment of solution alternatives for IPv4 interworking with MIPv6 and extension of Dual-Stack MIPv6 and in the investigation / design of a HA reliability solution.
At the end of the day, th project was very well recieved by the project reviewers and the EC, and in some ways it is sad to have such a project end …… officially ……. of course unofficially we will continue these activities for the foreseeable future.
ENABLE Review Team
In the attached picture, these are the project partner attendees at the successful review, however without John R., Niall C., Eamonn, Leigh, Niall D. and a number of others from the TSSG that touched the project … then it would never have been the success that it ended up to be.

Open Access Journal: Scholarly Research Exchange

March 6th, 2008

This week I received a call for papers from a new open access journal called Scholarly Research Exchange. Now I must admit when I first saw the email, I just didn’t click any of the embedded links as I wasn’t sure what type of site or what type of request this was.
This introduction from Open Access News helped a little to understand, and I’ve also been keeping an eye on the Science Commons project.
Its worth having a read of the SYREXE FAQ as there is cost for the author, and the peer review process is interesting in which

the author interacts directly with reviewers during the course of the peer review process. After submitting a manuscript, the submitting author will be asked to provide the names of up to 10 proposed reviewers.

These reviewers should not be affiliated with the same institution as the submitting authors, and should not have had any input into the submitted manuscript, or have had any collaboration with any of the authors during the last 3 years. The proposed reviewers should also be geographically dispersed (e.g., they should be based in at least 2-3 different countries).

I may look to see if this is a viable/possible avenue for research dissemination.

TridentCom 2008 is nearly upon me

February 22nd, 2008

The very last of the camera ready papers have been uploaded and now the count down to TridentCom 2008 has really begun.
March 17th – 20th and Innsbruck, Austria will be invaded by, not another set of skiers ….. but a set of researchers hell bent on forging the future internet.
The programme has really come together in the past couple of months ….. it hasn’t been easy but I must say the organizing committee, in Frank, Raheem, Pablo, Sandor, Peter, Thomas, Dorothy, Eamonn, Jens, Imrich, Thomas, Csaba & Laurens have just been brilliant to me, and will prove to be a hard act to follow in 2009.
I’ve put together a very ‘normal’ Welcome Note on the site, I thought I would try something different, but after many, many edits and what seemed like endless reviews, I played it safe …… maybe next time.
I meant to add I had uploaded TridentCom to, and found one other attendee …. I was excited that someone else from the conference may use this site …… but eventually it ended up being someone from the TSSG :-).
I also found Tridentcom already up on the Conffab site. Now I must admit I’m not 100% clear about the end goal purpose of this site, however I’ve signed up and have taken ownership of the conference. I will add the sessions and some comments and see if there are others at the conference that would be willing to give feedback through this site.

Making it into the New Year

February 19th, 2008

How appropriate that my very last blog entry of 2007 was on calendars …….. mine has been completely full since 17th Dec 2007 up until this week, where upon I took in New York (vacation), Dublin, Lisbon, Turin, London (soccer match) and Brussels. That’s 20,969km in 8 weeks, which can been seen on this map.
That’s a carbon foot print of well …… I don’t righly know to be honest. I think it’s about 14.7kg, but I just haven’t been able to find a site in which I can just add the figure 20,969km and it would show me the kg, or tonnes of CO2 emmitted (average of course). Ohh well I’ll still need to plant about 10 trees.
As for my future travel, I’m attempting to add a Dopplr badge to this blog so you can see where I’m heading in the future, just take a look to below.

Expansion for the European Network of Living Labs & Open Innovation

October 29th, 2007

I’ve been travelling that last couple of weeks and so its time to catch up on a couple of things, and the first item is my recent trip to Brussels for the expansion of the European Network of Living Labs and the Open Innovation workshops.
So this growth of the ENoLL from 19 to 51 members is a remarkable demonstration of how lively European innovators can be” as qutoed from the press release. Let’s hope so!
A big hit at the workshop was the Harmonization Cube. If you’re wondering what’s written on the “Service Creation” side of the cube just give Claire Fahy a buzz as she had a big part to play in getting this side completed.

Future Internet: Looking at the past looking at the Future

September 16th, 2007

Seriously can we design the Future Internet. Well one of the items we’re going to have to look at is ‘How’ people will use the internet in the future.
Well others have tried to predict future technologies and the next couple of videos are not a bad attempt.
From 1967 the Philco-Ford Corporation released the following video which holds some predictions for home computer use in 1999.

Now I must say this isn’t a bad attempt, and in looking at it, it may be too accurate, but the folks over at Boing Boing seem to confirm that it was a true release.
And Apple with all it’s latest iPod gadet releases have this FutureShock from 1987

Both these concept videos nearly hit the mark, while maybe a little off on the social aspects of ‘their’ tomorrow, and while overall we’re not quite in that future world, the point is we must imagine ‘again’ before we can deliver.