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Understanding the Biomechanics of Injury
New ICICS member Peter Cripton is studying the biomechanics of the spinal cord in order
to prevent and reverse the effects of traumatic injury.
► Injury Biomechanics
► Spinal Cord Injury
► Implantable Surgical Devices
Understanding the effect of
mechanical forces that the body is
subjected to in a traumatic injury
will help lead to better prevention
and treatment. Mechanical engineer
and ICICS member Peter Cripton
is director of the Injury
Biomechanics Lab funded by CFI,
the BC Knowledge Development
Fund, NSERC, and the BC
Neurotrauma Fund. He and colleagues are studying how the effects
of compression, tension, shear, and
bending of the spinal cord during
trauma contribute to its injury. Their
work is crucial in the development
of new treatments and therapies
such as neural regeneration.
"For example, we want to
know how much the spinal cord is
compressed by the bone," says
Cripton. "Also, how fast is the bone
moving on impact, and how much
compression, bending, and shearing
are introduced at the time of injury?"
Continued on page 2
Spring 2005 Vol. 16, No. 1
Creating Dynamic E-Learning Environments 3 Encode Once—Stream Anywhere 8
Modelling the Physics of Motion 4 Decoding Digital Biomedical Images 9
Road Mapping Programmable Logic 5 Game Theory Tackles Real Problems 10
Security Under Pressure 6 Passing Notes 14
Modelling Geometry in Virtual Machining 7 ICICS
Director's Corner
In this expanded issue of FOCUS we
feature nine talented new ICICS members
from the Faculties of Science, Applied Science,
and Education, whose work spans the fields
of biomedical imaging, injury biomechanics,
and e-learning.
In Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Rafeef Abugharbieh is working with medical
professionals to develop imaging tools that
facilitate the analysis and interpretation of
data. Konstantin Beznosov is working to
provide safe and affordable software security
systems, improved security assurance methods,
and streamlined security administration.
Guy Lemieux's work in computer systems
architecture and programmable chips allows
hardware features to be added or removed
at the software level.
In Mechanical Engineering, Peter Cripton
is working to understand the biomechanics of
the spinal cord to help prevent and reverse the
effects of traumatic injury. Derek Yip-Hoi
uses geometric and solid modelling methods
in CAD systems to develop virtual machining
applications for the aerospace industry.
Recent Computer Science member Robert
Bridson combines computer graphics with
numerical methods to develop physics-based
photorealistic animation. Colleague Charles
(or "Buck") Krasic designs real-time systems
to improve the delivery of continuous multimedia over the Internet. Kevin Leyton-Brown
develops powerful algorithm portfolios and
uses game theory to solve online problems.
In the Faculty of Education, Don Krug is
researching the process and methods of
teaching and learning to improve the
development of educational technologies.
We hope you enjoy the profiles of our
recent ICICS members. Their work reflects
the innovative research and collaboration that
we strive to support.
Rabab Ward, ICICS Director
►   Cripton: Continued from page 1
Creating a Surrogate Spinal Cord
Studying the biomechanics of
spinal cord injury is difficult because
the human spinal cord is made of very
soft tissue that pulses with blood flow.
The mechanical properties of cadaveric
tissue degrade very rapidly, and spinal
cords not perfused with blood will
react differently than live tissue.
Current studies are done on animal
models; therefore, treatments under
development run the risk that they
might not work as expected in humans.
In collaboration with Dr. Tom
Oxland in the Faculty of Medicine,
Dr. Wolfram Tetzlaff at UBC's
International Collaboration on Repair
Discoveries (ICORD), and with funding from the BC Neurotrauma Fund,
Cripton and his lab are working to
develop an elastomeric surrogate spinal
cord to better model the biomechanical
effects of trauma.
Once the surrogate spinal cord
is complete, Cripton
and colleagues
will be looking
at developing
devices—a helmet
with cushioning
properties, for
prevent neck and
spinal cord injuries
common in hockey
and other sports.
"In order to know if the device will
work, we will need to use the surrogate
cord to be able to estimate the degree
to which the spinal cord damage is mit
igated," he says.
Cripton and ICICS member
Rafeef Abugharbieh will be collaborating to collect mechanical data relevant
to the future development of the
surrogate cord using novel imaging
methods with high-field MRI data.
"What we want to do is
improve the biofidelity, so
there is concordance between
injuries studied in animal
models and injuries
that happen in humans."
Cripton is also working with
companies like Archus Orthopedics
in Seattle on preclinical testing of
implantable devices, such as rods,
plates, and artificial vertebral discs
used in spinal surgery.
Improving Airbag Design and Testing
As an initiative of Partners for
Advancement of Collaborative
Engineering (PACE), Cripton has
worked with General Motors of Canada
to design better deployment technology
for airbags and to study debris projectiles and eye injury
in automobile
accidents. In one
aspect of this
research, he proposed alternative
methods for testing
the force of airbag
deployment that use
computer simulation and only the
parts of a crash test
dummy that would
interact with the
airbag (head, neck, upper torso).
"Crash test dummies are very
expensive—something like $100,000
with all the instrumentation," notes
Cripton. His methods may allow airbag
design modifications to be tested more
quickly and inexpensively.
Peter Cripton can be reached at
604.822.6629 or cripton@mech.ubc.ca
FOCUS Creating Dynamic E-Learning Environments
Education professor Don Krug is studying the processes and methods of teaching and learning
to develop educational technologies that enhance, rather than complicate, these processes.
► Pedagogical Interface Design
► Rich Media and Simulations
► Educational Technologies
Fulbright Award recipient and recent
ICICS member, Don Krug came to UBC
from the Ohio State University (OSU) in
2002 so that he could pursue his interest in
educational technologies and pedagogy—
or the art and science of teaching and
learning. This seems fitting, given that
Krug spent ten years teaching art education
and the integration of information and
communication technologies (ICT) at
OSU. As a public school teacher in the
early 80s, he was also one of the first to
use a computer in the classroom.
Interacting in Reality vs. Virtuality
Krug is now studying how best to
use rich media and educational technologies
in face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning
environments, whether it is a K—12
classroom, an online university course, or
professional development seminar. "My
research involves asking critical questions
about the social-cultural conditions of using
ICT in education to ensure that human
interaction remains part of the process of
teaching and learning," he says.
For example, how do people interpret
being in a virtual environment? Does it
change the way we interact or learn? Krug
doesn't believe we should dichotomize
between reality and virtuality. "We need
to understand that they are actually
"Most ICTs are designed for business, industry, or
entertainment and then are adapted for education.
We need to look at designing them for education based
on empirical research."
connected embodied experiences, and
that electronic spaces are social spaces,"
he says. "I am interested in how people
interact within those spaces and how we
can use them to improve the social,
cultural, and cognitive dimensions of
teaching and learning."
Improving Teacher-Student-
Computer Interaction
Existing online learning systems, such
as FirstClass and Blackboard, are organized
around a template-driven design,
Continued on page 11
Spring 2005 Modelling the Physics of Motion
Computer scientist Robert Bridson combines numerical methods with computer graphics to
develop physics-based photorealistic animation of natural phenomena.
► Geometric Modelling
► Scientific Computing
► Physics-based Animation
Computer animation has become a
ubiquitous part of our lives—from feature
films and video games to animation used
in modelling for medical and industrial
applications. While the industry strives
for more photorealistic effects, achieving
them is still an art form that computer
scientists are working to master.
"In traditional animation, the animator
controls all the parameters in a model over
time," says new ICICS member Robert
Bridson. "With some phenomena, however,
it is difficult to determine what exactly you
should be tweaking every few times per
"Most scientific computing is
focused on getting the right answer
from a realm of possibilities. In
animation, the definition of 'right'
is that it looks good."
Consider the challenge in modelling
the wrinkles and folds in clothing as it
moves with the body. This can involve
setting over 40,000 variables for each
frame, notes Bridson. By modelling the
physical properties of movement, such as
elastic forces and the friction of cloth
against the body, he develops numerical
algorithms that streamline the animation
process by allowing the computer to fill
in intermediate frames.
Bridson's methodology incorporates
both fine triangular mesh models and
level set methods, which use the relationship between moving interfaces and
computational fluid equations to deal
with problems where the interfaces (cloth
against skin, for example) develop sharp
corners or wrinkles, change topology, or
become very intricate. The advantage of
his approach over previous methods is
not only speed and efficiency, but also less
flattening of the modelled surface. The
use of advanced numerical algorithms
can also facilitate shape modelling and
motion processing.
Replicating Rodin
Digital sculpture, claymation, and
other graphic applications would benefit
from faster and cheaper simulations of solid
mechanics, such as elasticity and plasticity,
notes Bridson. He uses similar numerical
methods to provide better operators and
interfaces for interactive sculpting.
Continued on page 11
FOCUS New ICICS member Guy Lemieux works at the interface of
computer software and hardware, designing the complex
architecture of programmable computer chips.
With advances in deep submicron
technology (DSM), today's largest chips
contain 500 million transistors. If Moore's
law holds true and density continues to
double every eighteen months, a single
chip will soon contain a billion transistors.
The process of designing for these
advanced manufacturing technologies is
growing rapidly. As a result, in 2003,
only about 2,000 of the 50,000 new
chip designs were built as application-
specific integrated circuits (ASICs).
The rest use pre-designed programmable
chips called field programmable gate
arrays (FPGAs). "Only specialized
applications with very high product
volumes can continue to use custom-
manufactured ASICs," says Electrical
and Computer Engineering professor
Guy Lemieux.
FPGAs use programmable logic to
break up the logic functions into smaller
programmable blocks, or "gates," which
then must be reassembled in a predefined
grid. Lemieux compares it to designing a
congestion-free traffic network that will
still be efficient decades later, when many
commuters have moved residences or
changed jobs. Instead of roads and
intersections, he works with electrical
wires and switches—designing the road
map that interconnects over 1,000,000
gates automatically. He also designs
algorithms that compute the shortest
routes over a fixed network for all the
gates, or signals, without causing congestion.
Interconnecting Programmable Logic
As devices get smaller and the number
of transistors increases (consider the
palm-sized computer with cell phone,
Road Mapping
Programmable Logic
► Programmable Logic
► Interconnection Networks
► Computer Systems Architecture
camera, calculator, radio, etc.) designers
face the problem of scaling. When
transistors shrink below the 90-nanometre
size, the rules of physics change and
begin to play havoc with signal noise
and integrity.
Lemieux recently co-authored
Design of Interconnection Networks
for Programmable logic with David
Lewis of Altera Corporation. The book
presents cutting-edge research on merging
deep submicron technology with
programmable logic.
The Promise and Price of Programmability
Reconfigurable chips have several
advantages over custom-built ASICs.
With no manufacturing setup fee, upfront
design costs for an "off-the-shelf" FPGA
are around $10,000 versus $10-$100
million for an ASIC. In addition, the
design challenges posed by deep submicron
technology mean there is a high risk that
custom-designed chips won't work the first
time around. Fixes at that stage can cost
$ 1 million for new manufacturing costs
alone, and take up to three months to test.
For small to mid-size companies that
do not have high manufacturing runs or
deep R&D budgets, FPGAs provide an
affordable alternative to custom design.
Continued on page 11 "For consumers every type of software-
from air traffic control systems to e-mail
programs and cell-phone goodies—
becomes security critical."
As software systems become more complex and interconnected,
the crux and challenge of Konstantin Beznosov's research is keeping them secure and yet affordable.
When a company decides to invest in
security systems, one of the things it must
consider is the total cost of ownership,
says Konstantin Beznosov, professor in
Electrical and Computer Engineering and
and banking companies has given him an
inside view of looming security challenges.
These security challenges include
system interconnectedness and distribution
over the Internet and networked
new ICICS member. He likens it to buying      environments, dependability, and
a vehicle. Typically you want one that is
safe while also easy to drive and maintain.
Unfortunately, when it comes to security
systems, these days you can buy either a
Hummer or a bicycle.
"I am investigating how to build a
range of intermediary versions that would
provide a better choice and combination
of properties," says Beznosov, who has
authored two books on systems security. He
came to UBC from industry in August
2003, where his work with Baptist Health
South Florida, Hitachi Computer Products
(America), and with telecommunications
access control, particularly in large
organizations. Security designs
must also support the evolution of
a system—including changes in
users, policies, and applications. And
in large enterprises, the challenge is
to ensure that policies are consistently
enforced across different applications.
Separating Security
and Application Logic
Like the frame and foundation
of a building, software architecture
Under Pressure
► Distributed Systems Security
► Engineering Secure Software
► Usable Security
defines structure and provides strength,
or rigour. Yet in software security
systems, the architecture must be flexible
enough to accommodate changes in policy,
performance, scalability, and other
requirements. Separating security logic from
application logic is one way to support
flexibility. Beznesov is designing application
and security logic components that would
be separate and modularized but still able
to "speak to each other," so the system
could make application-specific decisions.
Agile Security Assurance
Traditional "waterfall" methods of
software development follow a plan-driven
approach, where each stage
is completed before the
subsequent stages. Today,
this "waterfall-driven"
approach to security
assurance is too expensive
and risky for companies
dealing with market
competition, changes
in requirements, and
new developments in
technology. More iterative
approaches to software
development, called Agile Methods,
are helping shorten the time to market for
non-critical software.
Continued on page 12
Spring 2005 Modelling Geometry in Virtual Machining
Mechanical Engineer Derek Yip-Hoi uses geometric and solid modelling methods in CAD
systems to advance virtual machining technology.
► Virtual Machining
► Layered Manufacturing
► Solid Modelling
What do automotive engines, plastic
bottles, and aerospace impellers have in
common? They all require metal removal
machining in some part of their manufacturing process—whether it is used to make
tools, moulds, or the entire part. Recent
ICICS member Derek Yip-Hoi is literally
working at the "cutting edge" of this
process. He uses geometric and solid
modelling methods to simulate the complex
and changing geometry between the
cutter and the workpiece.
Yip-Hoi and fellow ICICS member
Yusuf Altintas hold the junior and senior
Industrial Research Chairs in Virtual
Machining, a technology that incorporates
the science of metal cutting, machine tools,
and geometry to develop models that
accurately predict the machining process.
The benefits of virtual machining are
reductions in engineering time, error, and
machine wear and tear. It could also help
manufacturers more accurately determine
which processes to follow, as well as optimize equipment selection. Yip-Hoi and
Altintas are working with industry partner
Pratt and Whitney on virtual machining
applications for the aerospace industry.
Aerospace Machining—Simulating Metal
Removal with Solid Modellers
Yip-Hoi uses CAD methods to
calculate the geometric description of the
cutter-workpiece engagement to help
predict cutting forces. It is a difficult
and computationally expensive task. Not
only is the engagement changing as the
machining progresses, the 3-D workpiece
geometry being modelled must be
continually updated by removing complex
volumes generated from the cutting tool
motions. Accuracy requires numerous
updates and over 10,000 engagement
Many critical aerospace parts, such as
compressor housings and impellors, are
machined from a solid block of titanium
or aluminium for maximum strength. The
complex geometries require from 2 1/2 to
5-axis machining involving the three linear
x, y, and z axes and two optional rotational
axes to change cutting tool orientations.
One of the difficulties is that current
solid modelling techniques used to
represent 3-D objects are not yet robust
enough to handle the type of ill-formed
geometries that can be encountered
when simulating machining processes.
"In design, fewer solid modelling
operations are performed, and the designer
can intervene when problems occur.
This is not an option during machining
simulation," says Yip-Hoi.
Continued on page 12 Encode Once—Stream Anywhere
New ICICS member Charles (Buck) Krasic is developing real-time systems to improve the
delivery of continuous multimedia services over the Internet.
► Multimedia Streaming
► Real-time Systems
► Networking
Many of us can remember logging on to
the Internet for the first time. More than
a decade ago, it was a text-based, dial-up
experience, slow and cumbersome—but
exciting. Today's high-speed and wireless
systems enable us to send text, images,
audio and video clips almost instantly
around the world. The speed with which
technology has developed has not been
fast enough for computer scientist
Charles Krasic, however. "The idea of
real-time audio-video communication
has been around for years, but we are still
not there yet," he says.
With the anticipated convergence of
telecommunications and television over
the Internet, the problem that content
providers face is how to deliver real-time
performance with the Internet's best effort
service model. One approach has been to
try to change the way the Internet operates
to better support real-time audio and video.
Krasic believes the more realistic
approach is to design adaptive, time-
sensitive computing systems that make the
most of the existing internet infrastructure.
This means breaking with traditional
assumptions that video has one quality
level and one bit-rate requirement. "If you
represent video efficiently, its bit rate is
highly variable over time," he says. In
the video medium, an action sequence in
a movie or sporting event will have a much
more variable bit rate than a news anchor
speaking into the camera.
Not only is the data transmission rate
variable, the available bandwidth on the
Internet at any given time is highly variable
as well. "The Internet is a shared medium,
and more or less an on-demand service,"
says Krasic. Add the variability of mobile
technologies, where data reception and
transmission change over time and location,
and different types of user devices (home
theatre versus multimedia phone), and
we begin to see the conundrum he is
working to solve.
Streamlining Video with QStream
To enable adaptive video streaming,
Krasic developed QStream, a system that
adjusts video quality to match resources.
QStream's video compression component,
called SPEC (for scalable MPEG), allows
for multiple bit rates, and system network
protocols control how the video quality
adapts to available resources. Krasic's
goal is not only to design systems that
minimize video degradation when network
bandwidth decreases but also to increase
video quality when network connections
Continued on page 12 Decoding Digital Bi
Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Rafeef Abugharbieh works alongside medical
professionals to help them analyze and interpret data from an array of imaging technologies.
Biomedical Imaging
► Image Analysis
► Signal Processing
An expert in the processing, analysis,
and understanding of digital images,
Rafeef Abugharbieh joined UBC in
January 2004. Since then the new ICICS
member has become immersed in the
multidisciplinary research of biomedical
imaging. Along with Dr. Martin
McKeown, a clinical neurologist and
professor in the Faculty of Medicine,
Abugharbieh co-founded and now co-
directs the Biomedical Signal
and Image Computing Lab (BiSICL)
at UBC (http://bisicl.ece.ubc.ca).
"In recent years we have witnessed
rapid developments in imaging
technologies for biomedical applications,"
says Abugharbieh. MRI, CT, ultrasound,
and functional imaging like fMRI have
become integral tools for diagnosis,
therapy planning and evaluation, planning
and simulation of surgery, automation
of routine medical tests, and medical
However, medical professionals
face increased challenges in processing
and understanding burgeoning amounts
of data and in merging information
from different modalities. Effective
analysis and visualization is extremely
difficult and time consuming without
the use of automation. Abugharbieh's
work in computerized image analysis,
interpretation, and visualization is essential
for the fast, accurate, and reproducible
extraction of information buried within
the volumes of high-resolution
multidimensional data produced in
hospitals and clinics.
Dissecting the Digital Body
Medical images are very challenging
to analyze because anatomical structures
are usually non-rigid; they do not have
well-defined contours, and the size and
structure of the body's organs also
vary significantly among individuals.
In addition, data noise and occlusion are
common and result in poorly-defined
structures in images.
One of the core problems of medical
image analysis is the development of
automatic segmentation techniques. Given
the data complexity, the image variability,
and the variation in the shapes of
anatomical structures, the design of computerized techniques for segmenting and
reconstructing compact analytical shape
representations or models is very difficult.
Continued on page 13
Spring 2005 Game Theory Tackles Real Problems
Computer scientist Kevin Leyton-Brown studies the empirical behaviour of algorithms and uses
game theory to solve problems that arise on the Internet.
► Game Theory
► Computational Problems
► Combinatorial Auctions
In notoriously intractable NP-hard
problems, devising algorithms that can
quickly sort through potential solutions to
find the true solution is an ongoing
challenge, particularly in economic and
AI applications. One of the NP-hard
problems that new ICICS member
Kevin Leyton-Brown has worked to solve
is, Who is the winner in a combinatorial
This type of auction involves
numerous items and bidders, where items
become more valuable in combination than
individually. A key industry example that
Leyton-Brown worked on is the sale of
bandwidth spectrum by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in
the US for mobile communications.
"With all of these separate, partially
overlapping bids, it is very difficult for
the auctioneer to decide who won,"
he notes. "And using the best existing
techniques, the difficulty grows
exponentially with the number of things
you are selling."
Recently, Leyton-Brown has been
using machine learning to build models
that predict algorithm run-time. He also
uses these models to combine several
algorithms together into a portfolio that
can outperform its individual components.
Playing with Game Theory
Leyton-Brown's interest in computational problems arose from his core work
in game theory, a mathematical tool
for understanding a broad range
of interactions where two or
more individuals have
different or opposing
goals. It is easy to see
how game theory
might apply in network
applications where users share
computer time on the Internet
participate in peer-to-peer file sharing
systems such as Napster, or allocate
bandwidth between computing processes.
Leyton-Brown is using game theory to
determine what incentives would encourage
people to use a network in the most
efficient way.
Online auctions are
a key example. Here,
unfortunately, it is
easier for bidders to
collude than in many
conventional settings.
Continued on page 13
f ►   Krug: Con tinued from page 3
which draws on the metaphor of the
"screen as book" where users click on a
chapter and scroll for information. As
an associate of the Human-Computer
Interaction (HCI) group and the Media
and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre
(MAGIC), Krug is working with ICICS
colleagues Sid Fels and Brian Fisher on the
pedagogical interface design of virtual
education environments to enhance the use
of ICT. Krug notes that the interface must
also allow for serendipity, reflection, and
critical analysis—the precursors and
offshoots of creativity and discovery. "If we
as teachers can create interfaces that mirror
the kind of inquiry we want to undertake
as lifelong learners, the chances of students
engaging in these processes are much
Getty, Art 21, and Professional Education
In partnership with the Getty Center
for Education in the Arts, Krug authored
one of their most successful professional
development websites, Art & Ecology:
Interdisciplinary Approaches to
Curriculum. Together with the UBC
Faculty of Education, Davis Publications,
and Art 21: Art in the Twenty-First Century,
a PBS documentary series about contemporary visual art and the artists who make it,
Krug and colleagues are working to create
online courses
offered to local, national,
and international UBC
Krug and his team
of graduate students
are also helping UBC
elementary teacher
education students to develop
e-portfolios and an educational
Web portal called Seeds of Possibility.
The project is designed to facilitate critical
inquiry around issues of ICT literacy,
fluency, and integration, while encouraging
teachers to examine the use of ICT to
enhance student learning and achievement.
Don Krug can be reached at 604.822.5318
or don.krug@ubc.ca
►   Bridson: Continued from page 4
He likens his approach to that of
master sculptor Rodin, who, in the
1800s, produced a library of body parts
in different positions that he used in
a tactile "cut and paste" method.
"Current 3-D computer graphics don't
allow you to cut and paste in a natural
way," Bridson admits. "It seems that
3-D animation is just crying out for
Modelling Complex Materials
Objects and materials that involve a
lot of contact and collision are not well
described by either fluid or solid models
and have proved a major bottleneck in
scientific computing. Bridson is adapting
his animation algorithms to model these
complex interactions in granular materials
such as sand, grain, cement, and lava.
He is working with ICICS colleague Chen
Greif to break down the large linear
systems required to solve these materials
problems into smaller matrices to get
approximate answers. Defining these
numerical "pre-conditioners" provides
a road map to choosing the next
mathematical step, or direction, in order
to arrive at the "right answer" to these
types of problems as quickly and cheaply
as possible.
Robert Bridson can be reached at
604.822.1993 or rbridson@cs.ubc.ca
►   Lemieux: Continued from page 5
They also help accelerate product
development, reduce time to market, and
allow for easy product differentiation,
where hardware features can be added or
removed at the software level. FPGAs are
now widely used in high-end consumer
electronics such as HDTVs and the
next-generation of SmartPhones (PDA plus
cell phone). They are also increasingly
being used in lower-end products, such as
DSL modems, where hardware technology
is changing rapidly.
The downside of adding programma-
bility is that it increases chip size by 20 to
100 times over a custom ASIC. However,
with the next-generation of FPGAs coming
in at 65-nm, they will have reclaimed 16
times their area penalty simply by containing smaller transistors, notes Lemieux. He
is working to improve the density and per
formance of FPGAs even further.
"There are a lot of niche products,
such as medical instruments, that have
specific functions and a limited market,"
says Lemieux. "In places like Canada,
programmable chips allow small companies
to do the kind of product development
that wouldn't have been possible before."
Guy Lemieux can be reached at
604.822.0247 or lemieux@ece.ubc.ca
Spring 2005
11 ►   Beznosov: Continued from page 6
However, security concerns are
increasing as more companies adopt agile
methods that are difficult to verify, since
documentation is minimal. Bringing in
experts at each iteration of design is
prohibitively costly and time consuming.
Beznosov and ICICS colleague Philippe
Kruchten are studying ways to modify
security assurance to make it more
amenable to agile methods of software
"Hands-On" Security Administration
Beznosov is also working with ICICS
colleagues Sid Fels, Brian Fisher, and Lee
Iverson to apply human-computer interaction methods to improve administration of
complex security systems. In a university
system, for example, organizational policies
have regulations about access for instructors, students, courses, buildings, and
rooms. On the other hand, security administration uses information resources such as
files, users, directors, and database tables.
This causes a mismatch between high-level
organizational policies and the means of
implementing those policies.
Administrators have to bridge the gap in
their heads, with no way of validating
what they are doing. "We want to give
administrators better tools to make the job
more intuitive, in order to eliminate the
gap between these different models and
make it less error-prone," says Beznosov.
Konstantin Beznosov can be reached at
604.822.9181 or beznosov@ece.ubc.ca
►   Yip-Hoi: Continued from page 7
His work involves trying to simplify
the geometry by reducing the number of
intersections involved in order to increase
further by making assumptions about how
the geometry is changing on the workpiece,
then it reduces the amount of computation
required," he says. "However, you need to
build intelligence into your algorithms to
be able to do that."
Rapid Manufacturing and Tooling—
from CAD Design to Device
In Rapid Manufacturing and Tooling
(RM&T), additive processes have an
advantage over machining processes by
significantly reducing the engineering time.
Objects are built one layer at a time,
by curing of photosensitive materials,
robustness and decrease computational deposition of polymers, spraying, and
time. "If we can space the intersections out       sintering of metals, or through lamination.
Yip-Hoi recently received funding from
CFI, the BC Knowledge Development
Fund, the BC Innovation Council, and
several industry partners to develop an
RM&T research facility at UBC to
advance an integrated approach for rapid
product development. "With layered
manufacturing you can generate a tool
or final part fairly quickly by reducing
the hands-on engineering time," says
Yip-Hoi. The new facility will help give
Canadian manufacturers a competitive
edge by bringing innovative products to
market faster.
Derek Yip-Hoi can be reached at
604.822.5271 or yiphoi@mech.ubc.ca
►   Krasic: Continued from page 8
"We want to make sure they are 'future
proofed' so they can handle advancing
Krasic uses digital high-definition
television (HDTV) as an example.
"HDTV has been struggling for nearly
ten years to become mainstream," he says.
Meanwhile, basic communications
technologies—computing, storage,
networking, and displays—have been
advancing rapidly. Given those trends,
Krasic believes that current HDTV
standards may be at risk of becoming
"too little, too late."
And then there is the dream of the
"video phone." Surprisingly, the difference
between watching a stored video
(like a movie) and real-time conferencing
is not well understood, even by experts
in the field, Krasic notes. "My goal is to
provide the tools needed to simplify how
we put all forms of video online—from
high-definition movies to real-time video
Buck Krasic can be reached at
604.822.5628 or krasic@cs.ubc.ca
FOCUS ►   Abugharbieh: Continued from page 9
To help solve the segmentation problems,
Abugharbieh is developing novel intuitive
deformable models that incorporate
underlying geometrical and statistical
information about both natural and deviant
disparities in organ shape.
Signal Processing in Multiple Sclerosis
and Parkinson Disease
Functional and structural MRIs
are key diagnostic tools for Parkinson
disease and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Yet MRI data is very difficult to interpret.
Abugharbieh is collaborating with the
Pacific Parkinson's Research Center and
the MS MRI Group at UBC to devise
data analysis methods to quantify
findings in MRI data and to build those
methods into the imaging and diagnostics
pipeline. This will deliver statistically
significant information, automatically
query deviations from the norm, and
decrease errors from intra- and inter-
operator variability.
"We want to enable physicians to
interactively browse 3-D and higher
dimensional data and be able to efficiently and accurately inspect and query the
data in the whole image space."
"We want to automate the process
for clinicians," says Abugharbieh. "Give
us the data and we will align it, register
it, find the structures, identify changes,
and link this with clinical observations."
In other words, they will provide tools to
help clinicians visualize, quantify, and
interpret the data they are looking at in
order to facilitate patient diagnosis
and care.
Rafeef Abugharbieh can be reached at
604.822.6034 or rafeef@ece.ubc.ca
"We will use techniques from
artificial intelligence to develop
strategies for agent behaviour in
economic settings that are
too complex to analyse with game
theory alone."
►   Leyton-Brown: Continued from page 10
Leyton-Brown has used game theory
to determine what collusion protocols are
stable, or in other words, what would not
lead colluding bidders to lie to each other
or to the auctioneer. "It turns out that
self-enforcing collusion often doesn't
hurt the seller much because it still has
to allow competition among the bidders,"
he says. "An auction site
might be willing
to allow some collusion
in exchange for more
Getting More Players
with LEGs
"In traditional game theory, most
games involve two agents and two actions,
says Leyton-Brown. "But to model the
real world, we need to model many
actions for numerous agents in some
kind of compact representation."
Recently, he has developed a new class
of games called local-effect games (LEGs),
where each player's utility depends on
how many other players choose either
the same action or other actions which
"locally affect" the chosen action. He has
also developed a more general class called
action graph games (AGGs), which
compactly expresses a broader class of
large multi-player games.
Leyton-Brown sees two main ways
in which game theory and computer
science will affect each other in the
near future. "First, computer
i systems that involve multiple,
non-cooperative users, such
as networks and P2P file
sharing services, will be
designed in a way that takes users' incentives
into account," he says. "Second, we will use
techniques from artificial intelligence to
develop strategies for agent behaviour in
economic settings that are too complex to
analyse with game theory alone."
Kevin Leyton-Brown can be reached at
604.822.1453 or kevinlb@cs.ubc.ca
Spring 2005
13 Passing Notes:
ICICS Welcomes New CS Head
William A. Aiello, newly appointed head
of Computer Science, arrives at UBC from
AT&T Research Labs in New Jersey, where
he managed research into network security,
cryptography and data privacy. His research
interests include cryptography and complexity
theory. Welcome Dr. Aiello.
CS Professors Awarded $US 46,350
from Microsoft Research
Kris De Voider and Eric Wohlstadter,
members of the Department of Computer
Science's Software Practices Lab, have been
awarded a Microsoft Research University
Relations grant. De Voider and Wohlstadter
are developing programming rules to
improve software reliability.
First Dahl-Nygaard Prize Awarded
to Gail Murphy
Computer Science professor Gail Murphy
has been awarded the first Dahl-Nygaard
Junior Prize 2005 for her teaching and contribution to reducing software-system problems. The prize committee cited Murphy's
commitment to preparing a new generation
of researchers.
Two CS Professors Receive IBM Faculty
Awards for Innovation
Gail Murphy and Gregor Kiczales have
each received Faculty Awards for
Innovation of $27,000 from IBM for
research using open source technologies.
CFI New Opportunities Fund Awards
Mechanical Engineering professors Martin
H. Davy, Derek Yip-Hoi, and Peter
Cripton have received CFI New
Opportunities funding totalling over $1M.
Cripton is researching reducing injury
through biomechanics. Davy's research
centres around pollution and protection of
the environment while Yip-Hoi's research
focuses on manufacturing and processing
Funding for Biomedical Signal & Image
Computing Lab (BiSICL)
To equip BiSICL, ECE professor Rafeef
Abugharbieh and Department of Medicine
professor Martin McKeown have received
$791,000 from the CFI New Opportunities
Fund, BCKDF, ECE, the Brain Research
Center, and ICICS.
Funding for INTEGrated RAdio-
communication Lab (INTEGRAL)
INTEGRAL will get new equipment thanks
to five ECE professors—Lutz Lampe, Guy
Lemieux, David Michelson, Shahriar
Mirabbasi, and Vincent Wong who have
received a total of $1,290,000 from the
CFI New Opportunities Fund, BCKDF,
ECE, ICICS, and equipment vendors.
Clarence de Silva Appointed
Clarence de Silva has been appointed for a
three-year term as Director of the NUS-
UBC Applied Science Research Centre at
UBC by Michael Isaacson, Dean of the
Faculty of Applied Science.
Ian Cumming Publishes New Book on
Processing Synthetic Aperture Radar Data
ECE professor Ian Cumming's book
Digital Processing of Synthetic Aperture
Radar Data: Algorithms and Implementation
provides complete "how to" guidance on
digital processing of synthetic aperture
radar (SAR) data.
Outstanding Paper Award for Guy Dumont
ECE professor Guy Dumont was awarded
(with G. Stewart and D. Gorinevsky) the
IEEE Transactions on Control Systems
Technology 2004 Outstanding Paper Award
at the 43rd IEEE Conference on Decision
and Control.
Newly Elected IEEE Fellows
ICICS congratulates two new IEEE fellows
from the Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering: professor Vikram
Krishnamurthy "for contributions to
adaptive sensor signal processing" and
professor Tim Salcudean "for contributions
to haptic interfaces, teleoperation systems,
and applications."
•l»C»l»C»S» Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems www.icics.ubc.ca
UBC's Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) is an umbrella organization
that promotes collaboration between researchers from the faculties of Applied Science, Arts,
Commerce, Dentistry, Education, Forestry, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Science. ICICS supports the
collaborative computer-oriented research of more than 135 faculty members and over 500 graduate
students in these faculties. ICICS researchers attract approximately $15 million in annual grants
and contracts. Their work will have a positive impact on us all in the future.
ICICS, University of British Columbia
289-2366 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z4
Editor:    Jake Jacobs, ICICS Publications Coordinator
Gale Ross, ICICS Administrative Assistant
Writer:    Mari-Louise Rowley,
Pro-Textual Communications
Photos:    Janis Franklin, UBC Media Group
Design:    Jarret Kusick, Hitman Creative Media Inc.
Office:    University of British Columbia
289-2366 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4
Tel:    604.822.6894
Fax:    604.822.9013
E-mail:    info@icics.ubc.ca


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