ITA Workshop 2012 : Talks

The ITA Workshop finished up today, and I know I promised some blogging, but my willpower to take notes kind of deteriorated during the week. For today I’ll put some pointers to talks I saw today which were interesting. I realize I am heavily blogging about Berkeley folks here, but you know, they were interesting talks!

Nadia Fawaz talked about differential privacy for continuous observations : in this model you see x_1, x_2, x_3, \ldots causally and have to estimate the running sum. She had two modifications, one in which you only want a windowed running sum, say for W past values, and one in which the privacy constraint decays and expires after a window of time W, so that values W time steps in the past do not have to be protected at all. This yields some differences in the privacy-utility tradeoff in terms of the accuracy of computing the function.

David Tse gave an interesting talk about sequencing DNA via short reads as a communication problem. I had actually had some thoughts along these lines earlier because I am starting to collaborate with my friend Tony Chiang on some informatics problems around next generation sequencing. David wanted to know how many (noiseless) reads N you need to take of a genome of of length G using reads of length L. It turns out that the correct scaling in this model is L/\log G. Some scaling results were given in a qualitative way, but I guess the quantitative stuff is being written up still.

Michael Jordan talked about the “big data bootstrap” (paper here). You have n data points, where n is huge. The idea is to subsample a set of size b and then do bootstrap estimates of size n on the subsample. I have to read the paper on this but it sounds fascinating.

Anant Sahai talked about how to look at some decentralized linear control problems as implicitly doing some sort of network coding in the deterministic model. One way to view this is to identify unstable modes in the plant as communicating with each other using the controllers as relays in the network. By structurally massaging the control problem into a canonical form, they can make this translation a bit more formal and can translate results about linear stabilization from the 80s into max-flow min-cut type results for network codes. This is mostly work by Se Yong Park, who really ought to have a more complete webpage.

Paolo Minero talked about controlling a linear plant over a rate-limited communication link whose capacity evolves according to a Markov chain. What are the conditions on the rate to ensure stability? He made a connection to Markov jump linear systems that gives the answer in the scalar case, but the necessary and sufficient conditions in the vector case don’t quite match. I always like seeing these sort of communication and control results, even though I don’t work in this area at all. They’re just cool.

There were three talks on consensus in the morning, which I will only touch on briefly. Behrouz Touri gave a talk about part of his thesis work, which was on the Hegselman-Krause opinion dynamics model. It’s not possible to derive a Lyapunov function for this system, but he found a time-varying Lyapunov function, leading to an analysis of the convergence which has some nice connections to products of random stochastic matrices and other topics. Ali Jadbabaie talked about work with Pooya Molavi on non-Bayesian social learning, which combines local Bayesian updating with DeGroot consensus to do distributed learning of a parameter in a network. He had some new sufficient conditions involving disconnected networks that are similar in flavor to his preprint. José Moura talked about distributed Kalman filtering and other consensus meets sensing (consensing?) problems. The algorithms are similar to ones I’ve been looking at lately, so I will have to dig a bit deeper into the upcoming IT Transactions paper.


Call for Papers : ICITS 2012

I am on the PC for this conference, so I figured I would advertise the CFP here for those readers who would be interested.

6th International Conference on Information-Theoretic Security
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 15–17, 2012

This is the sixth in a series of conferences that aims to bring together the leading researchers in the areas of information theory, quantum information theory, and cryptography. ICITS covers all aspects of information-theoretic security, from relevant mathematical tools to theoretical modeling to implementation. Papers on all technical aspects of these topics are solicited for submission.

Note that this year there will be two distinct tracks for submission.

Important Dates:

  • Conference Track Submission: Monday, March 12, 2012
  • Conference Track Notification: Friday, May 4, 2012
  • Proceedings version: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
  • Workshop Track Submissions: Monday, April 9, 2012
  • Workshop Track Notification: Monday, May 28, 2012

Note: ICITS (Aug. 15-17, Montreal) is the week before CRYPTO 2012 (Aug. 20–23, Santa Barbara).

Two Tracks: Conference and Workshop

The goal of ICITS is to bring together researchers on all aspects of information-theoretic security. To this end, ICITS 2012 will consist of two types of contributed presentations. The conference track will act as a traditional conference (original papers with published proceedings). The workshop track will operate more like an informal workshop, with papers that have appeared elsewhere or that consist of work in progress.

  1. Conference Track (with proceedings): Submissions to this track must be original papers that have not previously appeared in published form. Accepted papers will be presented at the conference and will also be published in the conference proceedings (which will appear in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series). We note that simultaneous submission to journals is acceptable, but simultaneous submission to other conferences with published proceedings is not.
  2. Workshop Track (no proceedings): To encourage presentation of work from a variety of fields (especially those where conference publication is unusual or makes journal publication difficult), the committee also solicits “workshop track” papers. Accepted papers will be presented orally at the conference but will not appear in
    the proceedings. Submissions to this track that have previously appeared (or are currently submitted elsewhere) are acceptable, as long as they first appeared after January 1, 2011. Papers that describe work in progress are also welcome. We note that the same standards of quality will apply to conference and workshop papers.

Conference Organization:

Program Chair: Adam Smith (Pennsylvania State University)
Program Committee:

  • Anne Broadbent (University of Waterloo)
  • Thomas Holenstein (ETH Zurich)
  • Yuval Ishai (Technion)
  • Sidharth Jaggi (CU Hong Kong)
  • Bhavana Kanukurthi (UCLA)
  • Ashish Khisti (University of Toronto)
  • Yingbin Liang (Syracuse University)
  • Prakash Narayan (University of Maryland)
  • Louis Salvail (Universite de Montreal)
  • Anand Sarwate (TTI Chicago)
  • Christian Schaffner (University of Amsterdam)
  • Adam Smith (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Stephanie Wehner (National University of Singapore)
  • Daniel Wichs (IBM Research)
  • Juerg Wullschleger (Universite de Montreal)
  • Aylin Yener (Pennsylvania State University)

General Chair: Juerg Wullschleger (Universite de Montreal)
Local Co-Chairs: Claude Crepeau (McGill University) and Alain Tapp
(Universite de Montreal)

Detailed instructions for authors can be found in the full CFP, available on the website.