27 November 2015

Call for papers: “Big Data Management in the Cloud”

For a special issue of the International Journal of Services Technology and Management.

Big data has become an emerging paradigm for practitioners and researchers exploring the value of datasets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools. Cloud computing, as an emerging platform for delivering information infrastructures and resources as IT services, is driving the innovations of big data. Both technologies continue to evolve. It makes sense that cloud computing offers a cost-effective way to support big data technologies and the advanced analytics applications that can drive business value.

This special issue aims to foster the dissemination of state-of-the-art research in the area of datacentres and big data in the cloud. It will cover theory, architecture and utilities, particularly in relation to the use of cloud computing technologies to deal with big data. We invite the submission of high-quality papers describing future potential or ongoing work.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the Second International Conference of Cloud Computing Technologies and Applications (CLOUDTECH’2016), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conferences to submit articles for this call.

Subject coverage includes, but is not limited to, the followings:
  • Big data in the cloud
  • Cloud computing techniques for big data
  • Big data as a service
  • Big data in pervasive computing
  • Big data management
  • Security applications of big data
  • Big data for enterprise 

Important Dates
Original paper submission: 30 September, 2016
Notification of first revisions/acceptance: 30 November, 2016
Submission of revised versions by authors: 30 January, 2017
Final notification of acceptance/rejection: 28 February, 2017

Special Issue published: "Mobility Management and Wireless Access"

International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing 20(3) 2015

Includes extended version of papers presented at the 11th ACM International Symposium on Mobility Management and Wireless Access.
  • Candidate selection algorithms in opportunistic routing based on distance progress
  • Smart cross-layer protocol integration for efficient wireless communications
  • Improving sensor network performance with wireless energy transfer
  • Subject-independent human activity recognition using Smartphone accelerometer with cloud support
  • COME: cost optimisation with multi-chaining for energy efficient communication in wireless sensor networks
  • How to be an efficient asynchronous neighbourhood discovery protocol in opportunistic cognitive wireless networks

26 November 2015

Finding fake feedback

How can you, the consumer, trust the customer feedback posted at online shopping sites when hoping to make a purchasing decision? Conversely, as the company running the site, how can it protect its reputation from false negative feedback? Researchers in Australia hope to answer these questions with computer software that can detect false feedback and ensure the integrity of ecommerce trust management systems. They provide details in the International Journal of Trust Management in Computing and Communications.

Soon Keow Chong and Jemal Abawajy of the Parallel and Distributed Computing Lab at Deakin University, Geelong, Australia, explain that trust management is a vital component of any ecommerce site; it forms and maintains the relationships between trading partners. However, it relies on feedback proffered by the trading partners and as such is not infallible. There is always the potential for feedback to be manipulated strategically to the detriment of the site’s reputation on the small-scale and in the worst case scenario a site might undergo a “rating attack” that could cause serious damage to brand and company image.

The team has now successfully developed an algorithm that can identify and block falsified feedback being sent to a site’s trust management system and so make it more robust against rating manipulation attacks. The team points out that the algorithm can detect when an established, credible user who has built up trust on a system suddenly begins cheating or when a multitude of new users are pushing false feedback on to the site.

The team explains that the feedback verification scheme uses a clustering algorithm to group similar ratings together and define the majority rating. The trust value of the rater is based on his/her past behavior and the frequency of rating submissions. In order to determine the quality of a rating, the team uses a trust threshold which designates a minimum value required to establish the trust relationship. All ratings that fall within the majority cluster are combined with the trust value of the rater, the transaction frequency and the transaction value to determine the credibility of the ratings.

The algorithm then adds “weight” (credibility) depending on various factors: rating frequency, total submissions, low value versus high value transactions, total feedback on a given product and other parameters. It thus determines whether any given feedback falls below a set threshold for credibility and defines those that do as false and so avoids adding it to the trust management system, it also scores against the user’s individual trust value.

Chong, S.K. and Abawajy, J.H. (2015) ‘Mitigating malicious feedback attacks in trust management systems‘, Int. J. Trust Management in Computing and Communications, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp.1-18.

Original article: Finding fake feedback.
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25 November 2015

Companies being responsible on social media

Companies that attempt to use social networking to communicate ethical messages of corporate responsibility to consumers are wasting their human resources and money if they do not engage with users directly, according to research published in the International Journal of Business Information Systems.

Reza Jamali of Tarbiat Modares University (TMU), in Tehran, Iran, and colleagues have undertaken a qualitative study of documents in the public domain published by fifty Fortune global 500 companies. The analyzed the terms and statements that the companies used to describe their social responsibility policies and identified the types of social media they used as part of their efforts. The team also surveyed almost 1300 consumers who used at least one of those fifty companies for their interests and preferences.

Their results indicate that common “digital strategies” failed to meet the objectives of the companies in disseminating information about their corporate social responsibilities activities. Fundamentally, the team suggests that the main reason underlying this failure is that consumers are constantly bombarded by such messages but have little interest in them. Moreover, consumers seem to prefer video and photo messages whereas the majority of messages are coming from corporate websites and the company social network page. “Using social media without engaging users cannot be considered a success and should be considered an expense with no return,” the team reports.

At least three quarters of Fortune 500 companies are officially on Twitter and more than two thirds on Facebook page, the team adds, and yet, consumers do not perceive the presence of these companies as being effective in communicating with them, despite the companies themselves imagining that social media is an effective tool for them. Businesses that demonstrate social responsibility attract more supporters, that much is clear. However, the research suggests that companies in “broadcast” mode, simply churning out information is generally not listened to. The team concludes that a modern “digital strategy”, or in the parlance of the research literature, “social strategy”, must take into account the needs of customers almost at the individual level and must create interactions as if between friends or at the very least acquaintances, rather than between consumers en masse and the opaque company profile.

Jamali, R., Moshabaki, A. and Kordnaeij, A. (2016) ‘The competitiveness of CSR communication strategy in social media’, Int. J. Business Information Systems, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp.1–16.

Original article: Companies being responsible on social media.
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23 November 2015

Special issue: "Electrified Vehicles and Transportation Systems"

International Journal of Vehicle Design 69(1/2/3/4) 2015

  • Direct yaw moment control for electric and hybrid vehicles with independent motors
  • Vehicle stability and attitude improvement through the coordinated control of longitudinal, lateral and vertical tyre forces for electric vehicles
  • A ZCS buck excitation converter for electric vehicle with wound rotor synchronous motors
  • Thermal modelling for permanent magnet synchronous motors based on electrical and thermal characteristics
  • Stochastic dynamic programming for the energy management of a serial hybrid electric bus
  • Analysis and comparison of optimal power management strategies for a series plug-in hybrid school bus via dynamic programming
  • Development of an optimal control system for longitudinal and lateral stability of an individual eight-wheel-drive electric vehicle
  • Self-organising map based classification of LiFePO4 cells for battery pack in EVs
  • Multiple model adaptive backstepping control for antilock braking system based on LuGre dynamic tyre model
  • Design of dual winding permanent magnet synchronous machines for hybrid electric vehicle accessory drives
  • A heuristic-based electricity trade coordination for microgrid-level V2G services
  • Performance analysis of high-frequency isolated dual half-bridge three-level bidirectional DC/DC converter with dual-phase-shifting control
  • Design and optimisation of interior PM machines with distributed and fractional-slot concentrated-windings for hybrid electric vehicles
  • Multi-speed torque coupler of hybrid electric vehicle to exploit energy reduction potential
  • Design and analysis of plug-in hybrid electric school bus
  • Experimentations on the adaptive sliding mode control for a trajectory tracking applied on a bi-steerable car
  • Robust guaranteed cost state-delayed control of yaw stability for four-wheel-independent-drive electric vehicles with active front steering system
  • Electric drive system control strategies of articulated vehicles with four motor-driven wheels

20 November 2015

Tourism tweets

Twitter engagement in the tourism sector

Tourism and travel companies hoping to gain traction and credibility and likes on social media sites, such as Twitter, should take note of a new study from researchers in the UK. A team in the Business School at Brunel University London has analysed almost 3000 tweets – updates on the Twitter microblogging platform – from six major companies in the tourism sector (Booking, Hostelworld, Hotels, Lastminute, Laterooms and Priceline) and found that there are certain features of a tweet that will attract the most attention from users of the site and gain more retweets and “likes”.

The team reports that posts which contain pictures, hyperlinks, product or service information, direct answers to customers and brand centrality are more likely to be retweeted and favourited by users. Electronic word-of-mouth marketing has become increasingly important in the era of web 2.0 and online social networking, where a single comment can make or break a reputation should it gain traction among even just a small proportion of the hundreds of millions of users of such services. As such, company marketing departments must try to get themselves ahead of the game, generate their own content and push the positive message as and when they can.

Fundamentally, social media puts the individual user in a much greater position of power than ever before, with one-on-one interactions between user, whether wouldbe customer or current consumer, and a company representative now taking up a large amount of corporate time for marketing departments. The online conversations between customers and commerce and between different customers can have a significant effect on intention to buy.

An earlier analysis of the 500 million or so daily tweets as of the time of writing reveals a large proportion of those contain reference to a specific brand or company that might express positive or negative feelings about the products or services associated with that company. “Our findings show that, in terms of contextual characteristics, pictures, hyperlinks, hashtags and mentions are the most important drivers for electronic word-of-mouth,” the team says. The team points out, however, that of all the various factors, product or service information is the only attribute that significantly affects retweet and favourite rates. “This result suggests that customers pay more attention to posts and tweets that provide information about products or services,” they conclude.

Alboqami, H., Al-Karaghouli, W., Baeshen, Y., Erkan, I., Evans, C. and Ghoneim, A. (2015) ‘Electronic word of mouth in social media: the common characteristics of retweeted and favourited marketer-generated content posted on Twitter’, Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp.338–358.

Original article: Tourism tweets.
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17 November 2015

Special issue published: "The Evolution of Green Energy and Vehicle Technology"

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal 9(2) 2015

Extended versions of papers presented at the National Conference on ‘Evolution of Green Energy and Vehicle Technology’.
  • Experimental performance assessment of single glazing flat plate solar photovoltaic thermal (PV/T) hybrid system
  • Performance analysis of linear Fresnel reflector concentrating solar system with varying reflector width using analytical and ray trace techniques
  • Recent developments in solar energy-based absorption cooling systems
  • Thermodynamic analysis of different cycles for high-temperature concentrated solar power applications
  • Computational investigation of Savonius wind turbines with classical and novel blade configurations
  • Optimisation of process parameters of wet scrubbing of biogas from night soil and vegetable waste using historical and Taguchi design
  • Tar mitigation in biomass gasifiers using nano-structured Ni/SiO2 catalyst: an experimental study
  • Flexible charging time and geography independent dual thermal cycle based energy storage
  • Analysis on surface roughness in abrasive water jet machining of aluminium
  • Diesel engine performance improvement with suitable low cost technologies for tractor applications

13 November 2015

Special issue published: "Advanced Computing Services for Biomedical Image Analysis"

International Journal of Image Mining 1(2/3) 2015

Extended versions of papers presented at the 2014 Iberian Grid Infrastructure Conference.
  • A large-scale graph processing system for medical imaging information based on DICOM-SR
  • The ARTFIBio web platform
  • A cloud infrastructure for scalable computing on population imaging databanks
  • Fuzzy PGA filter technique performance on the mini-MIAS database of mammograms
  • Machine learning methods for breast cancer CADx over digital and film mammograms
  • Ensemble features selection method as tool for breast cancer classification
  • ALOE platform: an overview of a service-oriented architecture for research in breast cancer diagnosis supported by e-infrastructures
  • Performance analysis of machine learning algorithms for automated diagnosis using a dataflow-based approach on the grid

What is the Internet of Things, really?

The Internet of Things, IoT, the cloud, big data…buzzwords for the modern age. But, asks Won Kim, Jaehyuk Choi and colleagues in the Department of Software at Gachon University, in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea: Is the IoT actually anything new and how does it work? Writing in the International Journal of Web and Grid Services, the team offer some answers and a high-level view of the IoT from the perspective of its architecture.

“The IoT is defined as the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure,” explain the researchers. The “things” are smart devices with some kind of sensor and network communication functionality and can include anything from webcams and microphones to environmental gas sensors, medical diagnostics devices and infamously the smart refrigerator.

“In a sense, the IoT is not really new,” the team says. “All the components of the IoT have been around for some time: the Internet, smart embedded devices, sensors of various types and communication technologies that connect devices.” They point out that there have been available for some time services that collect data from sensors, transmit it to other devices or central servers for data processing and data mining and tools that actuate and manage remote devices, such as weather stations and even vacuum-cleaning robots and lawnmowers.

One thing that is perhaps new is that increasingly the smart devices that make up the IoT now usually require their own internet protocol, IP, address. Research suggests that by 2020 there will be 30 billion or so connected “things” each with a unique IP and the majority of those will be wireless devices. Such vast numbers and the vast quantities of data they will generate will almost certainly only be manageable with distributed “cloud services” and “big data” computer facilities.

“Although many IoT applications have come to the market, the big challenge is to develop IoT applications and business models that will fill the unmet needs and wants of users,” the team reports. Moreover, these solutions must be commercially viable. The trade press and early adopters are finding their way testing the smart devices and systems. However, the Internet of Things is yet to mature to match the hyperbole, energy requirements, applications, and costs must all shift substantially to allow us to recognize and realize what benefits the IoT will ultimately bring us.

Kim, W., Choi, J., Jeong, O-R., Han, W-J., Kim, C., Loh, W-K. and Yoo, J. (2015) ‘On the Internet of Things’, Int. J. Web and Grid Services, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp.410–426.

Original article: What is the Internet of Things, really?.
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Research Picks extra – November 2015

Indian balancing act

Researchers at Pondicherry (Central) University have investigated the issues surrounding the so-called work-life balance among dual-career couples in India, and specifically those people working in knowledge-based organizations. Earlier work suggested that balancing career and personal life offers a severe dilemma for couples. Now, the Pondicherry team has provided empirical evidence to support this finding and also shown that demographic characteristics affect the severity of the dilemma experienced by couples attempting to find balance. There are important differences related to gender and family structure, the team reports, in terms of personal satisfaction with one’s work-life balance and how this affects overall quality of life. “Dual-career couples in India are helplessly caught in the act of juggling between professional and personal lives as they cannot afford to compromise on one for the sake of the other,” the team concludes. Inability to manage time, improper delegation of work and home priorities, succumbing to the pressures of long work hours, physical and mental ill-health due to stressors are problems many dual-career couples in this preliminary study of 155 such couples in Chennai face.

Delina, G. and Raya, R.P. (2016) ‘Dilemma of work-life balance in dual-career couples – a study from the Indian perspective’, Int. J. Indian Culture and Business Management, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp.1–27.


Facial manipulation

Computer scientists in Taiwan have devised a new computer program that can seamlessly “morph” one face into another, a popular animation task for the entertainment industry and commonly used in pop music videos, fantasy and science fiction movies and TV shows and much more beside. The same software might also have application in education and other areas, such as demonstrating the evolution of the human face through prehistory or showing how a person might age. The team’s flexible approach provides users with control points and a guiding mode to allow one face to be morphed into a second more smoothly and more realistically than is possible with some other techniques. The team adds that the system has no limit to the shape, size, and plane rotation of the faces in both the source image and the target image and so can allow faces viewed from different angles to be morphed into each other.

Kao, Y-T., Yang, F-W. and Lin, H.J. (2015) ‘Flexible facial morphing’, Int. J. Computational Science and Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp.312–321.


All grapes, no wrath

There are several wine-producing nations with a long history, Italy among them. None of them seem to have a long-term vision of how this heritage might be exploited for tourism and to improve sales of wine and associated products. Now, Italian business experts have developed a scientific framework that could support the development of wine tourism by allowing the various ” stakeholders” to understand, design, and develop a wine tourism structured system based on service-dominant logic. The same framework could also offer insights for “New World” wine producers in California, Australia, South Africa and those in the developing nations of South America and Asia.

Festa, G., Vrontis, D., Thrassou, A. and Ciasullo, M.V. (2015) ‘A value co-creation model for wine tourism’, Int. J. Management Practice, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp.247–267.


Hijacked journals

A warning to the scientific community to be on the look out for fraudulent “hijacked” journals commissioning paid research papers comes from researchers writing in the International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning. The problem first detected in 2012 is different from the increasingly well-known concept of predatory journals established to piggyback in the advent of the open access movement in publishing. Instead, hijacked journals duplicate the website and details of a legitimate journal and then send spam email to potential paying “authors” in what amounts to a high-brow phishing attack on academics. There is a significant difference between them…hijacked journals are not academic journals at all, they use fake websites to make their fake journals appear authentic and essential defraud unwary academics out of their money on the pretext of requesting author charges for publication of a paper.

Dadkhah, M. and Maliszewski, T. (2015) ‘Hijacked journals – threats and challenges to countries’ scientific ranking’, Int. J. Technology Enhanced Learning, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp.281–288.

Original article: Research Picks extra – November 2015.

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