ITW 2010 : finishing up

Blogging conferences seems to have gone by the wayside for me, but some quick takes on things from ITW. It was a more coding-focused conference so there were fewer talks of active research interest to me, but I did get to catch up and talk shop with a few people, so that was nice.

Tali Kaufman (who seems to have no homepage) gave a plenary on “Local computation in codes” which looked at fast (sublinear time) algorithms for detecting if a binary vector is from a code, and fast ways to correct single bit errors. In particular, she was looking at these properties in the context of LDPC codes. It’s a nice place where information theory and CS theory look at the same object but with different intents.

Ueli Maurer gave a great talk on “A Cryptographic Theory of System Indistinguishability,” which started out kind of slow and then ended up at a breakneck speed. This was a way of thinking about crypto from the perspective of systems being able to simulate each other.

Rudolf Ahlswede talked a bit about strong converses and weak converses for channels with a rather generic “time structure.” Essentially this boils down to a difference between lim inf and lim sup, and he gave a rather short proof showing that capacities exist under very mild conditions and that the additivity of capacity (e.g. for two parallel channels) may hold in some settings but not others.

There were lots of other good talks that I enjoyed but I didn’t take particularly good notes this time (I blame the jet lag), so I don’t have much to say here. Tomorrow is the start of Allerton, so I might take better notes for that.


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