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A central insight from psychological studies on human eye movements is that eye movement patterns are highly individually characteristic. They can, therefore, be used as a biometric feature, that is, subjects can be identiﬁed based on their eye movements. This thesis introduces new machine learning methods to identify subjects based on their eye movements while viewing arbitrary content. The thesis focuses on probabilistic modeling of the problem, which has yielded the best results in the most recent literature. The thesis studies the problem in three phases by proposing a purely probabilistic, probabilistic deep learning, and probabilistic deep metric learning approach. In the ﬁrst phase, the thesis studies models that rely on psychological concepts about eye movements. Recent literature illustrates that individual-speciﬁc distributions of gaze patterns can be used to accurately identify individuals. In these studies, models were based on a simple parametric family of distributions. Such simple parametric models can be robustly estimated from sparse data, but have limited ﬂexibility to capture the differences between individuals. Therefore, this thesis proposes a semiparametric model of gaze patterns that is ﬂexible yet robust for individual identiﬁcation. These patterns can be understood as domain knowledge derived from psychological literature. Fixations and saccades are examples of simple gaze patterns. The proposed semiparametric densities are drawn under a Gaussian process prior centered at a simple parametric distribution. Thus, the model will stay close to the parametric class of densities if little data is available, but it can also deviate from this class if enough data is available, increasing the ﬂexibility of the model. The proposed method is evaluated on a large-scale dataset, showing signiﬁcant improvements over the state-of-the-art. Later, the thesis replaces the model based on gaze patterns derived from psychological concepts with a deep neural network that can learn more informative and complex patterns from raw eye movement data. As previous work has shown that the distribution of these patterns across a sequence is informative, a novel statistical aggregation layer called the quantile layer is introduced. It explicitly ﬁts the distribution of deep patterns learned directly from the raw eye movement data. The proposed deep learning approach is end-to-end learnable, such that the deep model learns to extract informative, short local patterns while the quantile layer learns to approximate the distributions of these patterns. Quantile layers are a generic approach that can converge to standard pooling layers or have a more detailed description of the features being pooled, depending on the problem. The proposed model is evaluated in a large-scale study using the eye movements of subjects viewing arbitrary visual input. The model improves upon the standard pooling layers and other statistical aggregation layers proposed in the literature. It also improves upon the state-of-the-art eye movement biometrics by a wide margin. Finally, for the model to identify any subject — not just the set of subjects it is trained on — a metric learning approach is developed. Metric learning learns a distance function over instances. The metric learning model maps the instances into a metric space, where sequences of the same individual are close, and sequences of diﬀerent individuals are further apart. This thesis introduces a deep metric learning approach with distributional embeddings. The approach represents sequences as a set of continuous distributions in a metric space; to achieve this, a new loss function based on Wasserstein distances is introduced. The proposed method is evaluated on multiple domains besides eye movement biometrics. This approach outperforms the state of the art in deep metric learning in several domains while also outperforming the state of the art in eye movement biometrics.

Parsing of argumentative structures has become a very active line of research in recent years. Like discourse parsing or any other natural language task that requires prediction of linguistic structures, most approaches choose to learn a local model and then perform global decoding over the local probability distributions, often imposing constraints that are specific to the task at hand. Specifically for argumentation parsing, two decoding approaches have been recently proposed: Minimum Spanning Trees (MST) and Integer Linear Programming (ILP), following similar trends in discourse parsing. In contrast to discourse parsing though, where trees are not always used as underlying annotation schemes, argumentation structures so far have always been represented with trees. Using the 'argumentative microtext corpus' [in: Argumentation and Reasoned Action: Proceedings of the 1st European Conference on Argumentation, Lisbon 2015 / Vol. 2, College Publications, London, 2016, pp. 801-815] as underlying data and replicating three different decoding mechanisms, in this paper we propose a novel ILP decoder and an extension to our earlier MST work, and then thoroughly compare the approaches. The result is that our new decoder outperforms related work in important respects, and that in general, ILP and MST yield very similar performance.

A common feature in Answer Set Programming is the use of a second negation, stronger than default negation and sometimes called explicit, strong or classical negation. This explicit negation is normally used in front of atoms, rather than allowing its use as a regular operator. In this paper we consider the arbitrary combination of explicit negation with nested expressions, as those defined by Lifschitz, Tang and Turner. We extend the concept of reduct for this new syntax and then prove that it can be captured by an extension of Equilibrium Logic with this second negation. We study some properties of this variant and compare to the already known combination of Equilibrium Logic with Nelson's strong negation.

In this work we tackle the problem of checking strong equivalence of logic programs that may contain local auxiliary atoms, to be removed from their stable models and to be forbidden in any external context. We call this property projective strong equivalence (PSE). It has been recently proved that not any logic program containing auxiliary atoms can be reformulated, under PSE, as another logic program or formula without them – this is known as strongly persistent forgetting. In this paper, we introduce a conservative extension of Equilibrium Logic and its monotonic basis, the logic of Here-and-There, in which we deal with a new connective ‘|’ we call fork. We provide a semantic characterisation of PSE for forks and use it to show that, in this extension, it is always possible to forget auxiliary atoms under strong persistence. We further define when the obtained fork is representable as a regular formula.

The objective and motivation behind this research is to provide applications with easy-to-use interfaces to communities of deaf and functionally illiterate users, which enables them to work without any human assistance. Although recent years have witnessed technological advancements, the availability of technology does not ensure accessibility to information and communication technologies (ICT). Extensive use of text from menus to document contents means that deaf or functionally illiterate can not access services implemented on most computer software. Consequently, most existing computer applications pose an accessibility barrier to those who are unable to read fluently. Online technologies intended for such groups should be developed in continuous partnership with primary users and include a thorough investigation into their limitations, requirements and usability barriers. In this research, I investigated existing tools in voice, web and other multimedia technologies to identify learning gaps and explored ways to enhance the information literacy for deaf and functionally illiterate users. I worked on the development of user-centered interfaces to increase the capabilities of deaf and low literacy users by enhancing lexical resources and by evaluating several multimedia interfaces for them. The interface of the platform-independent Italian Sign Language (LIS) Dictionary has been developed to enhance the lexical resources for deaf users. The Sign Language Dictionary accepts Italian lemmas as input and provides their representation in the Italian Sign Language as output. The Sign Language dictionary has 3082 signs as set of Avatar animations in which each sign is linked to a corresponding Italian lemma. I integrated the LIS lexical resources with MultiWordNet (MWN) database to form the first LIS MultiWordNet(LMWN). LMWN contains information about lexical relations between words, semantic relations between lexical concepts (synsets), correspondences between Italian and sign language lexical concepts and semantic fields (domains). The approach enhances the deaf users’ understanding of written Italian language and shows that a relatively small set of lexicon can cover a significant portion of MWN. Integration of LIS signs with MWN made it useful tool for computational linguistics and natural language processing. The rule-based translation process from written Italian text to LIS has been transformed into service-oriented system. The translation process is composed of various modules including parser, semantic interpreter, generator, and spatial allocation planner. This translation procedure has been implemented in the Java Application Building Center (jABC), which is a framework for extreme model driven design (XMDD). The XMDD approach focuses on bringing software development closer to conceptual design, so that the functionality of a software solution could be understood by someone who is unfamiliar with programming concepts. The transformation addresses the heterogeneity challenge and enhances the re-usability of the system. For enhancing the e-participation of functionally illiterate users, two detailed studies were conducted in the Republic of Rwanda. In the first study, the traditional (textual) interface was compared with the virtual character-based interactive interface. The study helped to identify usability barriers and users evaluated these interfaces according to three fundamental areas of usability, i.e. effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction. In another study, we developed four different interfaces to analyze the usability and effects of online assistance (consistent help) for functionally illiterate users and compared different help modes including textual, vocal and virtual character on the performance of semi-literate users. In our newly designed interfaces the instructions were automatically translated in Swahili language. All the interfaces were evaluated on the basis of task accomplishment, time consumption, System Usability Scale (SUS) rating and number of times the help was acquired. The results show that the performance of semi-literate users improved significantly when using the online assistance. The dissertation thus introduces a new development approach in which virtual characters are used as additional support for barely literate or naturally challenged users. Such components enhanced the application utility by offering a variety of services like translating contents in local language, providing additional vocal information, and performing automatic translation from text to sign language. Obviously, there is no such thing as one design solution that fits for all in the underlying domain. Context sensitivity, literacy and mental abilities are key factors on which I concentrated and the results emphasize that computer interfaces must be based on a thoughtful definition of target groups, purposes and objectives.

Although it has become common practice to build applications based on the reuse of existing components or services, technical complexity and semantic challenges constitute barriers to ensuring a successful and wide reuse of components and services. In the geospatial application domain, the barriers are self-evident due to heterogeneous geographic data, a lack of interoperability and complex analysis processes.
Constructing workflows manually and discovering proper services and data that match user intents and preferences is difficult and time-consuming especially for users who are not trained in software development. Furthermore, considering the multi-objective nature of environmental modeling for the assessment of climate change impacts and the various types of geospatial data (e.g., formats, scales, and georeferencing systems) increases the complexity challenges.
Automatic service composition approaches that provide semantics-based assistance in the process of workflow design have proven to be a solution to overcome these challenges and have become a frequent demand especially by end users who are not IT experts. In this light, the major contributions of this thesis are:
(i) Simplification of service reuse and workflow design of applications for climate impact analysis by following the eXtreme Model-Driven Development (XMDD) paradigm.
(ii) Design of a semantic domain model for climate impact analysis applications that comprises specifically designed services, ontologies that provide domain-specific vocabulary for referring to types and services, and the input/output annotation of the services using the terms defined in the ontologies.
(iii) Application of a constraint-driven method for the automatic composition of workflows for analyzing the impacts of sea-level rise. The application scenario demonstrates the impact of domain modeling decisions on the results and the performance of the synthesis algorithm.

Where girls the role of boys in CS - attitudes of CS students in a female-dominated environment
(2013)

The main objective of this dissertation is to analyse prerequisites, expectations, apprehensions, and attitudes of students studying computer science, who are willing to gain a bachelor degree. The research will also investigate in the students’ learning style according to the Felder-Silverman model. These investigations fall in the attempt to make an impact on reducing the “dropout”/shrinkage rate among students, and to suggest a better learning environment.
The first investigation starts with a survey that has been made at the computer science department at the University of Baghdad to investigate the attitudes of computer science students in an environment dominated by women, showing the differences in attitudes between male and female students in different study years. Students are accepted to university studies via a centrally controlled admission procedure depending mainly on their final score at school. This leads to a high percentage of students studying subjects they do not want. Our analysis shows that 75% of the female students do not regret studying computer science although it was not their first choice. And according to statistics over previous years, women manage to succeed in their study and often graduate on top of their class. We finish with a comparison of attitudes between the freshman students of two different cultures and two different university enrolment procedures (University of Baghdad, in Iraq, and the University of Potsdam, in Germany) both with opposite gender majority.
The second step of investigation took place at the department of computer science at the University of Potsdam in Germany and analyzes the learning styles of students studying the three major fields of study offered by the department (computer science, business informatics, and computer science teaching). Investigating the differences in learning styles between the students of those study fields who usually take some joint courses is important to be aware of which changes are necessary to be adopted in the teaching methods to address those different students. It was a two stage study using two questionnaires; the main one is based on the Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire of B. A. Solomon and R. M. Felder, and the second questionnaire was an investigation on the students’ attitudes towards the findings of their personal first questionnaire. Our analysis shows differences in the preferences of learning style between male and female students of the different study fields, as well as differences between students with the different specialties (computer science, business informatics, and computer science teaching).
The third investigation looks closely into the difficulties, issues, apprehensions and expectations of freshman students studying computer science. The study took place at the computer science department at the University of Potsdam with a volunteer sample of students. The goal is to determine and discuss the difficulties and issues that they are facing in their study that may lead them to think in dropping-out, changing the study field, or changing the university. The research continued with the same sample of students (with business informatics students being the majority) through more than three semesters. Difficulties and issues during the study were documented, as well as students’ attitudes, apprehensions, and expectations. Some of the professors and lecturers opinions and solutions to some students’ problems were also documented. Many participants had apprehensions and difficulties, especially towards informatics subjects. Some business informatics participants began to think of changing the university, in particular when they reached their third semester, others thought about changing their field of study. Till the end of this research, most of the participants continued in their studies (the study they have started with or the new study they have changed to) without leaving the higher education system.

A survey has been carried out in the Computer Science (CS) department at the University of Baghdad to investigate the attitudes of CS students in a female dominant environment, showing the differences between male and female students in different academic years. We also compare the attitudes of the freshman students of two different cultures (University of Baghdad, Iraq, and the University of Potsdam).

Detect me if you can
(2019)

Spam Bots have become a threat to online social networks with their malicious behavior, posting misinformation messages and influencing online platforms to fulfill their motives. As spam bots have become more advanced over time, creating algorithms to identify bots remains an open challenge. Learning low-dimensional embeddings for nodes in graph structured data has proven to be useful in various domains. In this paper, we propose a model based on graph convolutional neural networks (GCNN) for spam bot detection. Our hypothesis is that to better detect spam bots, in addition to defining a features set, the social graph must also be taken into consideration. GCNNs are able to leverage both the features of a node and aggregate the features of a node’s neighborhood. We compare our approach, with two methods that work solely on a features set and on the structure of the graph. To our knowledge, this work is the first attempt of using graph convolutional neural networks in spam bot detection.

This paper describes the proof calculus LD for clausal propositional logic, which is a linearized form of the well-known DPLL calculus extended by clause learning. It is motivated by the demand to model how current SAT solvers built on clause learning are working, while abstracting from decision heuristics and implementation details. The calculus is proved sound and terminating. Further, it is shown that both the original DPLL calculus and the conflict-directed backtracking calculus with clause learning, as it is implemented in many current SAT solvers, are complete and proof-confluent instances of the LD calculus.

Many formal descriptions of DPLL-based SAT algorithms either do not include all essential proof techniques applied by modern SAT solvers or are bound to particular heuristics or data structures. This makes it difficult to analyze proof-theoretic properties or the search complexity of these algorithms. In this paper we try to improve this situation by developing a nondeterministic proof calculus that models the functioning of SAT algorithms based on the DPLL calculus with clause learning. This calculus is independent of implementation details yet precise enough to enable a formal analysis of realistic DPLL-based SAT algorithms.

We define and study quantum cellular automata (QCA). We show that they are reversible and that the neighborhood of the inverse is the opposite of the neighborhood. We also show that QCA always admit, modulo shifts, a two-layered block representation. Note that the same two-layered block representation result applies also over infinite configurations, as was previously shown for one-dimensional systems in the more elaborate formalism of operators algebras [18]. Here the proof is simpler and self-contained, moreover we discuss a counterexample QCA in higher dimensions.

TrainTrap
(2020)

Companies develop process models to explicitly describe their business operations. In the same time, business operations, business processes, must adhere to various types of compliance requirements. Regulations, e.g., Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, internal policies, best practices are just a few sources of compliance requirements. In some cases, non-adherence to compliance requirements makes the organization subject to legal punishment. In other cases, non-adherence to compliance leads to loss of competitive advantage and thus loss of market share. Unlike the classical domain-independent behavioral correctness of business processes, compliance requirements are domain-specific. Moreover, compliance requirements change over time. New requirements might appear due to change in laws and adoption of new policies. Compliance requirements are offered or enforced by different entities that have different objectives behind these requirements. Finally, compliance requirements might affect different aspects of business processes, e.g., control flow and data flow. As a result, it is infeasible to hard-code compliance checks in tools. Rather, a repeatable process of modeling compliance rules and checking them against business processes automatically is needed. This thesis provides a formal approach to support process design-time compliance checking. Using visual patterns, it is possible to model compliance requirements concerning control flow, data flow and conditional flow rules. Each pattern is mapped into a temporal logic formula. The thesis addresses the problem of consistency checking among various compliance requirements, as they might stem from divergent sources. Also, the thesis contributes to automatically check compliance requirements against process models using model checking. We show that extra domain knowledge, other than expressed in compliance rules, is needed to reach correct decisions. In case of violations, we are able to provide a useful feedback to the user. The feedback is in the form of parts of the process model whose execution causes the violation. In some cases, our approach is capable of providing automated remedy of the violation.

While the maturity of process mining algorithms increases and more process mining tools enter the market, process mining projects still face the problem of different levels of abstraction when comparing events with modeled business activities. Current approaches for event log abstraction try to abstract from the events in an automated way that does not capture the required domain knowledge to fit business activities. This can lead to misinterpretation of discovered process models. We developed an approach that aims to abstract an event log to the same abstraction level that is needed by the business. We use domain knowledge extracted from existing process documentation to semi-automatically match events and activities. Our abstraction approach is able to deal with n:m relations between events and activities and also supports concurrency. We evaluated our approach in two case studies with a German IT outsourcing company. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Autonomy is an emerging paradigm for the design and implementation of managed services and systems. Self-managed aspects frequently concern the communication of systems with their environment. Self-management subsystems are critical, they should thus be designed and implemented as high-assurance components. Here, we propose to use GEAR, a game-based model checker for the full modal mu-calculus, and derived, more user-oriented logics, as a user friendly tool that can offer automatic proofs of critical properties of such systems. Designers and engineers can interactively investigate automatically generated winning strategies resulting from the games, this way exploring the connection between the property, the system, and the proof. The benefits of the approach are illustrated on a case study that concerns the ExoMars Rover.

teaspoon
(2018)

Answer Set Programming (ASP) is an approach to declarative problem solving, combining a rich yet simple modeling language with high performance solving capacities. We here develop an ASP-based approach to curriculum-based course timetabling (CB-CTT), one of the most widely studied course timetabling problems. The resulting teaspoon system reads a CB-CTT instance of a standard input format and converts it into a set of ASP facts. In turn, these facts are combined with a first-order encoding for CB-CTT solving, which can subsequently be solved by any off-the-shelf ASP systems. We establish the competitiveness of our approach by empirically contrasting it to the best known bounds obtained so far via dedicated implementations. Furthermore, we extend the teaspoon system to multi-objective course timetabling and consider minimal perturbation problems.

The course timetabling problem can be generally defined as the task of assigning a number of lectures to a limited set of timeslots and rooms, subject to a given set of hard and soft constraints. The modeling language for course timetabling is required to be expressive enough to specify a wide variety of soft constraints and objective functions. Furthermore, the resulting encoding is required to be extensible for capturing new constraints and for switching them between hard and soft, and to be flexible enough to deal with different formulations. In this paper, we propose to make effective use of ASP as a modeling language for course timetabling. We show that our ASP-based approach can naturally satisfy the above requirements, through an ASP encoding of the curriculum-based course timetabling problem proposed in the third track of the second international timetabling competition (ITC-2007). Our encoding is compact and human-readable, since each constraint is individually expressed by either one or two rules. Each hard constraint is expressed by using integrity constraints and aggregates of ASP. Each soft constraint S is expressed by rules in which the head is the form of penalty (S, V, C), and a violation V and its penalty cost C are detected and calculated respectively in the body. We carried out experiments on four different benchmark sets with five different formulations. We succeeded either in improving the bounds or producing the same bounds for many combinations of problem instances and formulations, compared with the previous best known bounds.

Regardless of what is intended by government curriculum
specifications and advised by educational experts, the competencies
taught and learned in and out of classrooms can vary considerably.
In this paper, we discuss in particular how we can investigate the
perceptions that individual teachers have of competencies in ICT,
and how these and other factors may influence students’ learning. We
report case study research which identifies contradictions within the
teaching of ICT competencies as an activity system, highlighting issues
concerning the object of the curriculum, the roles of the participants and
the school cultures. In a particular case, contradictions in the learning
objectives between higher order skills and the use of application tools
have been resolved by a change in the teacher’s perceptions which
have not led to changes in other aspects of the activity system. We look
forward to further investigation of the effects of these contradictions in
other case studies and on forthcoming curriculum change.

Computational methods for the design of effective therapies against drug resistant HIV strains
(2005)

The development of drug resistance is a major obstacle to successful treatment of HIV infection. The extraordinary replication dynamics of HIV facilitates its escape from selective pressure exerted by the human immune system and by combination drug therapy. We have developed several computational methods whose combined use can support the design of optimal antiretroviral therapies based on viral genomic data

We introduce and investigate input-revolving finite automata, which are (nondeterministic) finite state automata with the additional ability to shift the remaining part of the input. Three different modes of shifting are considered, namely revolving to the left, revolving to the right, and circular-interchanging. We investigate the computational capacities of these three types of automata and their deterministic variants, comparing any of the six classes of automata with each other and with further classes of well-known automata. In particular, it is shown that nondeterminism is better than determinism, that is, for all three modes of shifting there is a language accepted by the nondeterministic model but not accepted by any deterministic automaton of the same type. Concerning the closure properties most of the deterministic language families studied are not closed under standard operations. For example, we show that the family of languages accepted by deterministic right-revolving finite automata is an anti-AFL which is not closed under reversal and intersection.

Graded paraconsistency
(2000)

Significant inferences
(2000)

Circumscribing inconsistency
(1997)

Compressions and extensions
(1998)

One of the main problems in machine learning is to train a predictive model from training data and to make predictions on test data. Most predictive models are constructed under the assumption that the training data is governed by the exact same distribution which the model will later be exposed to. In practice, control over the data collection process is often imperfect. A typical scenario is when labels are collected by questionnaires and one does not have access to the test population. For example, parts of the test population are underrepresented in the survey, out of reach, or do not return the questionnaire. In many applications training data from the test distribution are scarce because they are difficult to obtain or very expensive. Data from auxiliary sources drawn from similar distributions are often cheaply available. This thesis centers around learning under differing training and test distributions and covers several problem settings with different assumptions on the relationship between training and test distributions-including multi-task learning and learning under covariate shift and sample selection bias. Several new models are derived that directly characterize the divergence between training and test distributions, without the intermediate step of estimating training and test distributions separately. The integral part of these models are rescaling weights that match the rescaled or resampled training distribution to the test distribution. Integrated models are studied where only one optimization problem needs to be solved for learning under differing distributions. With a two-step approximation to the integrated models almost any supervised learning algorithm can be adopted to biased training data. In case studies on spam filtering, HIV therapy screening, targeted advertising, and other applications the performance of the new models is compared to state-of-the-art reference methods.

We address classification problems for which the training instances are governed by an input distribution that is allowed to differ arbitrarily from the test distribution-problems also referred to as classification under covariate shift. We derive a solution that is purely discriminative: neither training nor test distribution are modeled explicitly. The problem of learning under covariate shift can be written as an integrated optimization problem. Instantiating the general optimization problem leads to a kernel logistic regression and an exponential model classifier for covariate shift. The optimization problem is convex under certain conditions; our findings also clarify the relationship to the known kernel mean matching procedure. We report on experiments on problems of spam filtering, text classification, and landmine detection.

Through the use of next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, a lot of newly sequenced organisms are now available. Annotating those genes is one of the most challenging tasks in sequence biology. Here, we present an automated workflow to find homologue proteins, annotate sequences according to function and create a three-dimensional model.

The Berlin Brain-Computer Interface (BBCI) project develops a noninvasive BCI system whose key features are 1) the use of well-established motor competences as control paradigms, 2) high-dimensional features from 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG), and 3) advanced machine learning techniques. As reported earlier, our experiments demonstrate that very high information transfer rates can be achieved using the readiness potential (RP) when predicting the laterality of upcoming left-versus right-hand movements in healthy subjects. A more recent study showed that the RP similarily accompanies phantom movements in arm amputees, but the signal strength decreases with longer loss of the limb. In a complementary approach, oscillatory features are used to discriminate imagined movements (left hand versus right hand versus foot). In a recent feedback study with six healthy subjects with no or very little experience with BCI control, three subjects achieved an information transfer rate above 35 bits per minute (bpm), and further two subjects above 24 and 15 bpm, while one subject could not achieve any BCI control. These results are encouraging for an EEG-based BCI system in untrained subjects that is independent of peripheral nervous system activity and does not rely on evoked potentials even when compared to results with very well-trained subjects operating other BCI systems

Interest in developing a new method of man-to-machine communication-a brain-computer interface (BCI)-has grown steadily over the past few decades. BCIs create a new communication channel between the brain and an output device by bypassing conventional motor output pathways of nerves and muscles. These systems use signals recorded from the scalp, the surface of the cortex, or from inside the brain to enable users to control a variety of applications including simple word-processing software and orthotics. BCI technology could therefore provide a new communication and control option for individuals who cannot otherwise express their wishes to the outside world. Signal processing and classification methods are essential tools in the development of improved BCI technology. We organized the BCI Competition 2003 to evaluate the current state of the art of these tools. Four laboratories well versed in EEG-based BCI research provided six data sets in a documented format. We made these data sets (i.e., labeled training sets and unlabeled test sets) and their descriptions available on the Internet. The goal in the competition was to maximize the performance measure for the test labels. Researchers worldwide tested their algorithms and competed for the best classification results. This paper describes the six data sets and the results and function of the most successful algorithms

A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a system that allows its users to control external devices with brain activity. Although the proof-of-concept was given decades ago, the reliable translation of user intent into device control commands is still a major challenge. Success requires the effective interaction of two adaptive controllers: the user's brain, which produces brain activity that encodes intent, and the BCI system, which translates that activity into device control commands. In order to facilitate this interaction, many laboratories are exploring a variety of signal analysis techniques to improve the adaptation of the BCI system to the user. In the literature, many machine learning and pattern classification algorithms have been reported to give impressive results when applied to BCI data in offline analyses. However, it is more difficult to evaluate their relative value for actual online use. BCI data competitions have been organized to provide objective formal evaluations of alternative methods. Prompted by the great interest in the first two BCI Competitions, we organized the third BCI Competition to address several of the most difficult and important analysis problems in BCI research. The paper describes the data sets that were provided to the competitors and gives an overview of the results.

The programmable network envisioned in the 1990s within standardization and research for the Intelligent Network is currently coming into reality using IPbased Next Generation Networks (NGN) and applying Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles for service creation, execution, and hosting. SOA is the foundation for both next-generation telecommunications and middleware architectures, which are rapidly converging on top of commodity transport services. Services such as triple/quadruple play, multimedia messaging, and presence are enabled by the emerging service-oriented IPMultimedia Subsystem (IMS), and allow telecommunications service providers to maintain, if not improve, their position in the marketplace. SOA becomes the de facto standard in next-generation middleware systems as the system model of choice to interconnect service consumers and providers within and between enterprises. We leverage previous research activities in overlay networking technologies along with recent advances in network abstraction, service exposure, and service creation to develop a paradigm for a service environment providing converged Internet and Telecommunications services that we call Service Broker. Such a Service Broker provides mechanisms to combine and mediate between different service paradigms from the two domains Internet/WWW and telecommunications. Furthermore, it enables the composition of services across these domains and is capable of defining and applying temporal constraints during creation and execution time. By adding network-awareness into the service fabric, such a Service Broker may also act as a next generation network-to-service element allowing the composition of crossdomain and cross-layer network and service resources. The contribution of this research is threefold: first, we analyze and classify principles and technologies from Information Technologies (IT) and telecommunications to identify and discuss issues allowing cross-domain composition in a converging service layer. Second, we discuss service composition methods allowing the creation of converged services on an abstract level; in particular, we present a formalized method for model-checking of such compositions. Finally, we propose a Service Broker architecture converging Internet and Telecom services. This environment enables cross-domain feature interaction in services through formalized obligation policies acting as constraints during service discovery, creation, and execution time.

Existing telecommunication networks and classical roles of operators are subject to fundamental change. Many network operators are currently seeking for new sources to generate revenue by exposing network capabilities to 3rd party service providers. At the same time we can observe that services on the World Wide Web (WWW) are becoming mature in terms of the definition of APIs that are offered towards other services. The combinations of those services are commonly referred to as Web 2.0 mash-ups. Rapid service design and creation becomes therefore important to meet the requirements in a changing technology and competitive market environment. This report describes our approach to include Next Generation Networks (NGN)-based telecommunications application enabler into complex services by defining a service broker that mediates between 3rd party applications and NGN service enablers. It provides policy-driven orchestration mechanisms for service enablers, a service authorization functionality, and a service discovery interface for Service Creation Environments. The work has been implemented as part of the Open SOA Telco Playground testbed at Fraunhofer FOKUS.

We study the complexity of two-person constraint satisfaction games. An instance of such a game is given by a collection of constraints on overlapping sets of variables, and the two players alternately make moves assigning values from a finite domain to the variables, in a specified order. The first player tries to satisfy all constraints, while the other tries to break at least one constraint: the goal is to decide whether the first player has a winning strategy. We show that such games can be conveniently represented by a logical form of quantified constraint satisfaction, where an instance is given by a first-order sentence in which quantifiers alternate and the quantifier-free part is a conjunction of (positive) atomic formulas; the goal is to decide whether the sentence is true. While the problem of deciding such a game is PSPACE-complete in general, by restricting the set of allowed constraint predicates, one can obtain infinite classes of constraint satisfaction games of lower complexity. We use the quantified constraint satisfaction framework to study how the complexity of deciding such a game depends on the parameter set of allowed predicates. With every predicate. one can associate certain predicate-preserving operations, called polymorphisms. We show that the complexity of our games is determined by the surjective polymorphisms of the constraint predicates. We illustrate how this result can be used by identifying the complexity of a wide variety of constraint satisfaction games.

It is proved that the number of components in context-free cooperating distributed (CD) grammar systems can be reduced to 3 when they are working in the so-called sf-mode of derivation, which is the cooperation protocol which has been considered first for CD grammar systems. In this derivation mode, a component continues the derivation until and unless there is a nonterminal in the sentential form which cannot be rewritten according to that component. Moreover, it is shown that CD grammar systems in sf-mode with only one component can generate only the context-free languages but they can generate non-context-free languages if two components are used. The sf-mode of derivation is compared with other well-known cooperation protocols with respect to the hierarchies induced by the number of components. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

The power of a language L is the set of all powers of the words in L. In this paper, the following decision problem is investigated. Given a context-free language L, is the power of L context-free? We show that this problem is decidable for languages over unary alphabets, but it is undecidable whenever languages over alphabets with at least two letters are considered. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Parsability approaches of several grammar formalisms generating also non-context-free languages are explored. Chomsky grammars, Lindenmayer systems, grammars with controlled derivations, and grammar systems are treated. Formal properties of these mechanisms are investigated, when they are used as language acceptors. Furthermore, cooperating distributed grammar systems are restricted so that efficient deterministic parsing without backtracking becomes possible. For this class of grammar systems, the parsing algorithm is presented and the feature of leftmost derivations is investigated in detail.

We define H- and EH-expressions as extensions of regular expressions by adding homomorphic and iterated homomorphic replacement as new operations, resp. The definition is analogous to the extension given by Gruska in order to characterize context-free languages. We compare the families of languages obtained by these extensions with the families of regular, linear context-free, context-free, and EDT0L languages. Moreover, relations to language families based on patterns, multi-patterns, pattern expressions, H-systems and uniform substitutions are also investigated. Furthermore, we present their closure properties with respect to TRIO operations and discuss the decidability status and complexity of fixed and general membership, emptiness, and the equivalence problem.

Iterated finite state sequential transducers are considered as language generating devices. The hierarchy induced by the size of the state alphabet is proved to collapse to the fourth level. The corresponding language families are related to the families of languages generated by Lindenmayer systems and Chomsky grammars. Finally, some results on deterministic and extended iterated finite state transducers are established.

We consider generating and accepting programmed grammars with bounded degree of non-regulation, that is, the maximum number of elements in success or in failure fields of the underlying grammar. In particular, it is shown that this measure can be restricted to two without loss of descriptional capacity, regardless of whether arbitrary derivations or left-most derivations are considered. Moreover, in some cases, precise characterizations of the linear bounded automaton problem in terms of programmed grammars are obtained. Thus, the results presented in this paper shed new light on some longstanding open problem in the theory of computational complexity.

We investigate the descriptional complexity of the nondeterministic finite automaton (NFA) to the deterministic finite automaton (DFA) conversion problem, for automata accepting subregular languages such as combinational languages, definite languages and variants thereof, (strictly) locally testable languages, star-free languages, ordered languages, prefix-, suffix-, and infix-closed languages, and prefix-, Suffix-, and infix-free languages. Most of the bounds for the conversion problem are shown to be tight ill the exact number of states, that is, the number is sufficient and necessary in the worst case. Otherwise tight bounds in order of magnitude are shown.

We investigate the decidability of the operation problem for TOL languages and subclasses. Fix an operation on formal languages. Given languages from the family considered (OL languages, TOL languages, or their propagating variants), is the application of this operation to the given languages still a language that belongs to the same language family? Observe, that all the Lindenmayer language families in question are anti-AFLs, that is, they are not closed under homomorphisms, inverse homomorphisms, intersection with regular languages, union, concatenation, and Kleene closure. Besides these classical operations we also consider intersection and substitution, since the language families under consideration are not closed under these operations, too. We show that for all of the above mentioned language operations, except for the Kleene closure, the corresponding operation problems of OL and TOL languages and their propagating variants are not even semidecidable. The situation changes for unary OL languages. In this case we prove that the operation problems with respect to Kleene star, complementation, and intersection with regular sets are decidable.

We investigate the operation problem for linear and deterministic context-free languages: Fix an operation on formal languages. Given linear (deterministic, respectively) context-free languages, is the application of this operation to the given languages still a linear (deterministic, respectively) context-free language? Besides the classical operations, for which the linear and deterministic context-free languages are not closed, we also consider the recently introduced root and power operation. We show non-semidecidability, to be more precise, we show completeness for the second level of the arithmetic hierarchy for all of the aforementioned operations, except for the power operation, if the underlying alphabet contains at least two letters. The result for the power opera, tion solves an open problem stated in Theoret. Comput. Sci. 314 (2004) 445-449

Parallel communicating finite automata (PCFAs) are systems of several finite state automata which process a common input string in a parallel way and are able to communicate by sending their states upon request. We consider deterministic and nondeterministic variants and distinguish four working modes. It is known that these systems in the most general mode are as powerful as one-way multi-head finite automata. It is additionally known that the number of heads corresponds to the number of automata in PCFAs in a constructive way. Thus, undecidability results as well as results on the hierarchies induced by the number of heads carry over from multi-head finite automata to PCFAs in the most general mode. Here, we complement these undecidability and hierarchy results also for the remaining working modes. In particular, we show that classical decidability questions are not semi-decidable for any type of PCFAs under consideration. Moreover, it is proven that the number of automata in the system induces infinite hierarchies for deterministic and nondeterministic PCFAs in three working modes.

Systems of parallel finite automata communicating by states are investigated. We consider deterministic and nondeterministic devices and distinguish four working modes. It is known that systems in the most general mode are as powerful as one-way multi-head finite automata. Here we solve some open problems on the computational capacity of systems working in the remaining modes. In particular, it is shown that deterministic returning and non-returning devices are equivalent, and that there are languages which are accepted by deterministic returning and centralized systems but cannot be accepted by deterministic non-returning centralized systems. Furthermore, we show that nondeterministic systems are strictly more powerful than their deterministic variants in all the four working modes. Finally, incomparability with the classes of (deterministic) (linear) context-free languages as well as the Church-Rosser languages is derived.

Computational Thinking
(2015)

Digital technology has radically changed the way people
work in industry, finance, services, media and commerce. Informatics
has contributed to the scientific and technological development of our
society in general and to the digital revolution in particular. Computational
thinking is the term indicating the key ideas of this discipline that
might be included in the key competencies underlying the curriculum
of compulsory education. The educational potential of informatics has
a history dating back to the sixties. In this article, we briefly revisit this
history looking for lessons learned. In particular, we focus on experiences
of teaching and learning programming. However, computational
thinking is more than coding. It is a way of thinking and practicing interactive
dynamic modeling with computers. We advocate that learners
can practice computational thinking in playful contexts where they can
develop personal projects, for example building videogames and/or robots,
share and discuss their construction with others. In our view, this
approach allows an integration of computational thinking in the K-12
curriculum across disciplines.