by Annette Kik

A Belgian Hercules airplane crashed at Welschap Airport near Eindhoven, the Netherlands on 15 July 1996. Firemen extinguished the fire, unaware of the fact that over forty people were still inside. Thirty-four people did not survive. This is a sad example of human communication that went wrong in moments of stress. Would an automatic communication system have detected that essential information was missing? Within the Cybernetic Incident Management (CIM) project, CWI collaborated with universities and high-tech companies to improve communications in emergency situations.

by Harry Rudin

Digital-computer-based analysis and simulation have long been used to solve the most difficult scientific and engineering problems. As computer power hurtles along the performance curve predicted by Moore's Law these techniques have become more and more successful - and over an ever increasing spectrum of problems. Having a glimpse at these techniques success, highly parallel computer architectures (or super computers) have been developed to attack enormously complex problems. Super computers are even being used to improve super-computer technology. Here, as examples, a popular software package and progress in semiconductor analysis are discussed.

by Karl-Filip Faxén

Parallel programming is no longer optional. As improvements in processor clock frequencies have levelled out, the only way to increase performance is to place several processor cores on each chip. In contrast to increases in clock frequency, multiple cores do not automatically help existing programs, a problem addressed by a new multicore initiative from SICS.

by Olga Vybornova, Monica Gemo and Benoit Macq

A new method of multi-modal, multi-level fusion that integrates contextual information obtained from spoken input and visual scene analysis is being developed at Université Catholique de Louvain in the frame of the EU-funded SIMILAR Network of Excellence. An example for application is the "Intelligent diary", which will assist elderly people living alone to perform their daily activities, prolong their safety, security and personal autonomy, and support social cohesion

by Claudio Gennaro, Raffaele Perego and Fausto Rabitti

Searching for non-text data (eg, images) is mostly done by means of metadata annotations or by extracting the text close to the data. However, supporting real content-based audio-visual search, based on similarity search on features, is significantly more expensive than searching for text. Moreover, the search exhibits linear scalability with respect to the data set size. The European project SAPIR is currently addressing this problem.

by Jacco van Ossenbruggen

CWI teams up with an Amsterdam-based consortium to develop web services on open linked data in the domain of cultural heritage. The approach is gaining momentum, but remains challenging from both the researchers' and museum's perspective.

by Antonio Lova, Pilar Tormos and Federico Barber

A high degree of job satisfaction is an essential factor in the success of a company. A company's objectives, labour conditions and worker preferences must be optimized in a complex space of solutions. OPTIHPER (Optimización de Horarios de Personal - Employee Timetabling Optimization) is a computer-aided system able to efficiently assign employees to tasks while verifying a wide set of constraints and optimizing organizational objectives and employee preferences. The system is currently in use by leading commercial companies with very good results

Next issue: July 2021
Special theme:
"Privacy-Preserving Computation"
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