21 November 2018

Research pick: Your web browser is never private - "A comparative forensic analysis of privacy-enhanced web browsers and private browsing modes of common web browsers"

If you access the world wide web, you have used a web browser. But, how many of us consider our privacy when doing so, the information and data being harvested by the browser and the companies and organisations with whom we connect online? Moreover, even if one uses a so-called “incognito” mode, data is still being transferred back and forth to the various computers in the chain.

Ryan Gabet of Cisco Systems, Inc., in Morrisville, North Carolina, USA and Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar and Marcus Rogers of the Department of Computer and Information Technology, at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, have carried out a forensic analysis of web browsers that claim to be “privacy enhanced” and the “private browsing” modes of common web browsers. The privacy enhanced browsers in their study are: Dooble, Comodo Dragon, and Epic and the standard web browsers tested in private mode were: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox. They also looked at how well two forensic tools used by law enforcement FTK and Autopsy were at recovering data and information from these browsers.

Fundamentally, all of the browsers performed about the same as each other in so-called private mode against FTK, which was the better tool at retrieving information. “This study did not produce sufficient evidence to conclude enhanced privacy browsers do indeed provide better privacy,” the team reports in the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics.

That said, the team qualifies their conclusion for privacy-minded individuals who wish to search the web. They point out that Firefox in private browsing mode and Dooble produced the fewest number of recoverable browser “artefacts”; which might be of use in law enforcement. The might also be of use in espionage or other malicious application. Browsers based on the Chromium platform produced artefacts as well as viewable data as did Microsoft Edge.

Gabet, R.M., Seigfried-Spellar, K.C. and Rogers, M.K. (2018) ‘A comparative forensic analysis of privacy-enhanced web browsers and private browsing modes of common web browsers’, Int. J. Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp.356–371

20 November 2018

Special issue published: "Artificial Intelligent Techniques Applied to the Study of Engineering Applications: Part I"

International Journal of Reasoning-based Intelligent Systems 10(3/4) 2018
  • Exploiting ontology to map requirements derived from informal descriptions
  • Application of mutation inspired constrained factor PSO considering voltage stability and losses by locating and rating TCSC during N-1 contingency
  • Survey on data analytics techniques in healthcare using IOT platform
  • Octagonal picture languages
  • FlowForensic: flow rule enforcement for control plane attacks in software defined networking
  • Trusted computing in social cloud
  • Energy efficient data compression and aggregation technique for wireless sensor networks [TELOSB MOTES]
  • An intelligent neuro-genetic framework for effective intrusion detection
  • Cluster-based EA-PATM protocol for energy consumption in hierarchical WSNs
  • Real time implementation of multivariable centralised FOPID controller for TITO process
  • A novel feature extraction approach for tumour detection and classification of data based on hybrid SP classifier
  • Design and implementation of energy efficient reconfigurable networks (WORN-DEAR) for BAN in IOT environment (BIOT)
  • A high performance cognitive framework (SIVA - self intelligent versatile and adaptive) for heterogenous architecture in IOT environment
  • Encrypted image-based data hiding technique using elliptic curve ElGamal cryptography
  • Design of CMOS full subtractor using 10T for object detection application
  • An efficient raindrop parameter estimation using image processing
  • Grouping of users based on user navigation behaviour using supervised association rule tree mining
  • Integrated cloud-based risk assessment model for continuous integration
  • Fuzzy logics associated with neural networks in intelligent control for better world
  • A survey on resource allocation strategies in cloud
  • Mitigation of DDoS threat to service attainability in cloud premises

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Design Engineering

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Design Engineering are now available here for free:
  • Effects of microbus front structure on pedestrian head injury
  • Vibration buckling and fracture analysis of a cracked cylindrical shell
  • Synchronisation methods in graph-based knowledge representation for large-scale design process
  • Towards generative systems for supporting product design

Special issue published: "Business Models, Trust and Influence in Social Media and Web-Based Communities"

International Journal of Web Based Communities 14(4) 2018
  • Views versus subscriptions: which one matters to a YouTuber's monetisation success?
  • Long live friendship? Relationships among friendship, trust and brand loyalty: a study of Starbucks
  • Online social networking services and spam detection approaches in opinion mining - a review
  • Significant effects of online news on vote choice: a review
  • Maturity in decision-making: a method to measure e-participation systems in virtual communities
  • Patients' learning in cyberspace: a thematic analysis of patient-patient discussions in a chronic illness Facebook page

Research pick: Popularity contest - "What makes you popular: beauty, personality or intelligence?"

Researchers in Italy and the USA have asked the provocative question: “What makes you popular: beauty, personality or intelligence?”. They present their answer in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business.

Andrea Fronzetti Colladon, Elisa Battistoni, and Agostino La Bella of the Department of Enterprise Engineering, at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and colleagues Francesca Grippa of Northeastern University, Boston, and Peter Gloor of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, explored the determinants of popularity within friendship and advice networks. They investigated the effects of personality traits (such as extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism), self-monitoring, creativity, intelligence, energy, and beauty influence the development of friendships among some 200 college students.

Their results are perhaps not unsurprising: “Our results indicate that physical attractiveness is a key to develop both friendship and task-related interactions,” the team reports. “Perceived intelligence and creativity play an important role in the advice network,” they say. They add that this supports a kernel of truth in the stereotype that attractiveness correlates with positive social traits and successful outcomes. Of course, the detailed findings also suggest that the relationships between all these factors is rather complicated and confounded in many instances.

Nevertheless, while on average, being liked seems to be as important as being considered intelligent and competent, the team found that the way people look plays a key role in determining the attribution of competence.

Fronzetti Colladon, A., Grippa, F., Battistoni, E., Gloor, P.A. and La Bella, A. (2018) ‘What makes you popular: beauty, personality or intelligence?‘, Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp.162-186.

16 November 2018

Special issue published: "Modelling and Verification: Model Checking and Fault Tolerance: Part I"

International Journal of Critical Computer-Based Systems 8(2) 2018
  • Model-based specification and validation of the dual-mode adaptive MAC protocol
  • Fault diagnosis of discrete-event systems based on the symbolic observation graph
  • A formal model for the analysis and verification of a pre-emptive round-robin arbiter
  • Formal verification of intermittent fault diagnosability of discrete-event systems using model-checking
  • Using temporal logics for specifying weak memory consistency models

Special issue published: "Innovative Computational Intelligence for Knowledge Representation and Learning"

International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies 7(3/4) 2018
  • Fast training of adaptive structural learning method of deep learning for multi modal data
  • Time series classification using MACD-histogram-based recurrence plot
  • A generative model approach for visualising convolutional neural networks
  • Search performance analysis of qubit convergence measure for quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm introducing on maximum cut problem
  • Mining non-redundant recurrent rules from a sequence database
  • Acquisition of characteristic sets of block preserving outerplanar graph patterns by a two-stage evolutionary learning method for graph pattern sets
  • Characteristics of contrastive Hebbian learning with pseudorehearsal for multilayer neural networks on reduction of catastrophic forgetting

Research pick: How to dance to a synthetic band - "Development of a low-cost robotic pan flute"

Music plays an important role in most people’s lives regardless of the genre and in a wide variety of contexts from celebrations and parties to simply providing background while a task is being performed. Until very recently, music was only heard when musicians played it live, the ability to record music displaced that live performance to some degree, and then the invention of electronic musical instruments and digitisation changed our appreciation of music yet again.

Electronic music is incredibly popular and yet the subtle and not-so-subtle difference between musical sounds generated electronically and those played by a musician on a physical instrument are a barrier to appreciation for some listeners. Now, a team from Fiji and New Zealand, Praneel Chand of Unitec Institute of Technology, in Auckland and Kishen Kumar and Kishan Kumar of the University of the South Pacific, in Suva, are investigating the possibility of using robotics to allow non-expert musicians to play a musical instrument well. The idea would allow analogue music to be created on the instrument with the computer providing some of the requisite timing and tonal skills that might well be beyond the performer.

The team has demonstrated proof of principle with a robotic pan pipe. The low-cost prototype can produce the desired musical notes and has the ability to override variations in air flow that a non-expert player might produce during a performance. The team adds that the same software and approach might also be used to control robotic components for other Pacific island instruments such as the percussive Fijian lali.

Chand, P., Kumar, K. and Kumar, K. (2018) ‘Development of a low-cost robotic pan flute’, Int. J. Intelligent Machines and Robotics, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp.153-170.

15 November 2018

Research pick: Small but knowledgeable - "The economic role of small knowledge intensive firms in European member states"

The Europe 2020 Strategy sees micro and small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as the backbone of the European Union’s drive towards a smart, sustainable, inclusive, and growing economy. Diogo Ferraz and Elisabeth Pereira of the Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism (DEGEIT), at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, address the question as to the role of small knowledge intensive firms in the EU in this context.

Writing in the International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, the team explain how they have investigated the relationship between a set of variables that characterises small knowledge-intensive firms and gross domestic product (GDP). They have also looked at the importance of business expenditure on research and development. The research involved analyzing econometrics across 24 EU member states for the period 2008 to 2012 using panel data and cluster analysis. The team found that those nations with high growth values in such companies also have the biggest growth in GDP R&D expenditure.

The team’s findings lend support to the strategic decisions of Europe 2020 Strategy, they explain, reinforcing the relevance of SMEs as a key driver for economic growth, innovation, employment, and social integration. The researchers add that, “The relevance assumed by the European Commission about SMEs and the strategy of a competitive European economy based on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth leads to the importance of small knowledge-intensive firm in the European context.”

Ferraz, D.E. and Pereira, E.T. (2018) ‘The economic role of small knowledge intensive firms in European member states‘, Int. J. Knowledge-Based Development, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp.221-243.

14 November 2018

International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing to invite expanded papers from International Conference on Emerging Trends in Mathematical Sciences and Technology for potential publication

Extended versions of papers presented at the International Conference on Emerging Trends in Mathematical Sciences and Technology 2018 (20-21 December 2018, Jayaraj Annapackiam College for Women (Autonomous), Tamil Nadu, India) will be invited for review and potential publication by the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Multimedia Intelligence and Security

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Multimedia Intelligence and Security are now available here for free:
  • Vocabulary hierarchy optimisation based on spatial context and category information
  • Efficient password-authenticated key agreement protocol for smart cards based on ECC
  • A semi-fragile lossless digital watermarking based on adaptive threshold for image authentication
  • Camera detection through internet of video sensors
  • Performance analysis of secured video transmission over 3G networks based on H.264/AVC
  • Line covering method and its applications in steganography and steganalysis

New Editor for International Journal of Modelling in Operations Management

Dr. Weihua Liu from Tianjin University in China has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Modelling in Operations Management.

Research pick: Keep your friends close - "Friendship acceptance on Facebook: men prefer cold calls from attractive women while women favour unattractive friends"

Online social networks, such as the well-known Facebook, allow users to form connections with each other quickly and easily. A user might invite another to become their “friend”, “like” a page they have created on the system, or join a group that forms a community within the overarching community. Of course, it is implicit that one should only “friend” people one knows. But, there are millions if not billions of connections where a user may not be even a passing acquaintance in the offline world and yet well connected to another person in the online.

Researchers in Switzerland, David Weibel and Bartholom√§us Wissmath of the Department of Psychology, at the University of Bern, have investigated what inspires a person to accept a friendship request from another on Facebook. It seems that there is something of a stereotypical response: “men prefer cold calls from attractive women while women favour unattractive friends”, the team has found. The research builds on earlier work from Wang in 2010 that used fictitious user profiles to study what kinds of response to friendship requests might be seen in an online social network.

In the new work, the team sent out actual friendship requests to 800 Facebook users from male or female profile owners who were considered either attractive or unattractive. The study corroborated Wang’s 2010 finding and showed that approximately one in ten users responded to the cold calls, the unsolicited friendship requests from previously unknown users. They also demonstrated, as had Wang, the way in which men responded. However, they found that female users accepted invitations from unattractive profile owners rather than from attractive profile owners, regardless of the profile owners’ gender.

“Unlike our offline appearance, the shape of our online appearance is much more malleable and can be rapidly adapted in more subtle ways. Moreover, we believe that this study also raises in offline friendships,” the team adds.

Weibel, D. and Wissmath, B. (2018) ‘Friendship acceptance on Facebook: men prefer cold calls from attractive women while women favour unattractive friends‘, Int. J. Web Based Communities, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp.249-256.

13 November 2018

Research pick: BYOD - "Bring your own device: a survey of threats and security management models"

Bring your own device (BYOD) is now common in the workplace. Rather than the employer providing specific gadgets, such as smartphones, tablet computers, and laptops workers are allowed and even encouraged to use their personal device in the work environment. From the employee perspective this can simplify the transition between working at home and in the office, for instance. However, it has also led to an always-available attitude that means one’s work-life balance is distorted by the fact that work colleagues and one’s boss can almost always connect to you even when you are not officially working. Moreover, they expect to be able to connect out of hours too.

There is a putative price to pay for employers who facilitate BYOD and all its benefits of lower costs for IT infrastructure and 24/7 access to their staff and that is the so-called cyber-security risk. By allowing any device into the building and on to the network, a workplace must accede that a device compromised by external malware or one setup maliciously by an unhappy employee, for instance, might wreak havoc on an unprotected system, interfere with day-to-day business and potentially disrupt an entire enterprise.

Fabricio Rivadeneira Zambrano of the Universidad Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manabi, in Chone, Ecuador and Glen Rodriguez Rafael of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, in Lima, Peru, have looked at the differences between security in the BYOD environment as opposed to the employer-provided device approach. It has previously been shown that productivity is much greater in the BYOD environment, but the use of illicit file-sharing, social media, and other apps is commonplace too.

Their study shows that there are many technical solutions and policies that are implemented in the BYOD workplace and these are commonly addressed by the corporate IT department to protect servers from malware and to block inappropriate use of personal devices on the corporate network. However, one aspect that is rarely addressed is the human factor, malice or ignorance, for instance. This must be looked at more closely the issues faced to allow BYOD to thrive and to bring all of its benefits to the workplace without the problems.

Zambrano, F.R.R. and Rafael, G.D.R. (2018) ‘Bring your own device: a survey of threats and security management models’, Int. J. Electronic Business, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp.146–170.