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Information Forensics and Security Technical Committee

ICASSP 2013 IFS-TC Meeting Minutes

Friday 31 May 2013, 12:45 – 14:20 PM
At ICASSP 2013, Vancouver, Canada
Minutes prepared by G. Doërr and M. Wu

IFS-TC voting members: M. Wu, G. Doërr, P. Comesana Alfaro, Y. Sun, A. Kot, J. Huang, D. Florencio, P. Campisi, T. Filler, J. Li, O. Au, S. Rane, T. Furon (via Skype), Jay Kuo
Associate members: P. Moulin, F. Perez-Gonzalez
Guests: M. Stamm, S. Lai, S. Tomasin, S. Tubaro

1. M. Wu called for the meeting at 12:45pm

2. IFS TC Forensics Challenge
The challenge is co-organized by J. Huang, A. Rocha, and A. Piva. The challenge will start on June 1st and will run in two independent overlapping phases. In phase 1 (June-August), the objective will be to detect the presence of tampering. In phase 2 (July-September), the objective will be to localize tampering operations. The image corpus consists of 1,700 digital images that have been tampered with, nearly three times larger than the 700 images that were originally planned. Eventually, the dataset will be made available to the public for research purpose. The website hosting the challenge has been launched in May and is up and running. It may be mirrored if needed to balance the server load.
The contest has been advertised through several complementary routes: email campaign, SPS eNewsletter, IFS and WIFS websites, etc. A short presentation has been displayed during the IFS lecture session at ICASSP. The presentation will be circulated to the TC members and they are encouraged to advertise the contest at the relevant scientific events that they will be attending in the next few weeks.
Five awards will be handed out in the form of travel expenses being paid to attend WIFS’13 in Guangzhou. The winners and runners-up of each phase are anticipated to be rewarded, as well as the best forger. The awards are financially supported by grants from the IEEE Signal Processing Society and the European project REWIND.

3. WIFS 2013
J. Huang provides a status report of the organization on the next edition of WIFS, to be held in Guangzhou, China in November 2013.
Seventy individuals have been invited to join the technical program committee in order to reduce the review load and to enlarge the area coverage of the TPC (e.g. information theory). The members are rather well distributed geographically with 20 different countries being represented. The call for papers has been advertised in many forums: presentation and hardcopies in relevant conferences (ICASSP, IWDW, ICIP, ACM IHMMSec), advertisement in SPS publications (T-IFS, IFS website, SPS eNewsletter), email broadcast. EasyChair has been selected as the reviewing system and is ready to receive submissions. Four proposals have been received for tutorials and will be decided soon. No special session proposal has been received and therefore the only anticipated dedicated track will the one for the IFS challenge. The keynote speakers will be decided in the next two weeks. IFS TC members are encouraged to further participate to the publicity of the workshop.
The contract with the hotel has been signed. This is the best 4* hotel in Guangzhou. A good discount deal has been negotiated by the organizers for WIFS attendees. The registration system, locally managed by the university, has been installed and needs to be tested. G. Doërr mentions that special care should be taken about the coverage of credit cards, in particular American Express (AMEX) routinely assigned to corporate employees. The organizers are investigating opportunities to have a tour around Guangzhou. They are also in the process of applying for more funding to guarantee the financial health of the IFS TC flagship workshop. M. Wu reminds that the health of our workshop has been praised on many occasions in different boards of the Society.

4. WIFS 2014
Pedro Comesana has been appointed as the new Chair of the WIFS subcommittee. He will be supported by G. Doërr and F. Perez-Gonzalez in an advisory role. His first task will be to manage the next call for proposals. Although there is no strict rotation policy being enforced by the TC, WIFS’14 is foreseen to go back to North America, which raises the recurring question whether or not to run the workshop under the umbrella of GlobalSIP (Atlanta in 2014?).
M. Wu reports that she voiced the concerns of our technical committee (lack of coordination with the TC, lack of involvement of the TC in the vetting process of relevant symposiums, uncontrolled overlap of the submission dates, etc) at the meeting of the Technical Directions Board held during ICASSP. Most of the troubles experienced this year seem to be due to the late organization of GlobalSIP. It has been recognized that there have been glitches in the interaction with the TCs and there are on-going discussions to figure out what is the best formula to yield a better coordination. Historically, GlobalSIP is intended to host two types of symposiums: (i) small workshops for emerging new fields that are not yet covered by SPS events and (ii) legacy SPS workshops. The edition in 2013 focused on the first type of events due to late organization but it does not foretell anything about what will happen in the future.
The members of the TC then discussed the pros and cons of running WIFS jointly with GlobalSIP. On the bright side, it shifts most of the logistics burden to the organizers of GlobalSIP. Additionally, having the GlobalSIP umbrella may help foreign attendees to circumvent US visa limitations by not mentioning explicitly security in their application files. On the other hand, there are also several potential issues: there is the risk of losing WIFS’ identity, there is the risk of losing control over financial grants awarded to WIFS, there is the risk of not being able to have our own keynote speakers and social events since we would no longer have control over finances...
The fact that WIFS has been run in a healthy fashion for the last few years and that we would be the first TC to experiment with this recipe actually put us in a favourable position to negotiate with the organizers of GlobakSIP. All in all, it has been agreed to leave the opportunity to the bidders to come forward with a proposal being part of GlobalSIP. Such proposals will be asked to also investigate a fallback solution in case the organization of GlobalSIP is so much delayed that our TC will need to vote before they agreed on the details. On another front, M. Wu will liaise with the Conference Board to assess how much room there is for negotiation.
Y. Sun and S. Rane hinted that they may be interesting in exploring a proposal.

5. Awards and Nomination
Gwenaël Doërr has been appointed as the new Chair of the subcommittee.
Jay Kuo (past subcom chair) reports that there have been two nominations for Distinguished Lecturers in 2013: Alex Kot and Jan Allebach. Both nominations received strong support during the ballot and they are therefore endorsed by the IFS TC.
The Award nomination deadline has been moved forward by one month by the Society and G. Doërr will therefore circulate the call for nominations promptly after ICASSP. The same two-tiers ballot system as last year will be put in place: nominations that receive more than 2/3 support will be co-nominated by the IFS TC; nominations that receive more than 1/2 support will be endorsed by the IFS TC; nominations that receive less than 1/2 support will be returned to the nominator.
G. Doërr mentions that the Society introduced a new award for the Signal Processing Letters and modified the rules for conflict of interest avoidance. A Technical Committee can no longer nominate a paper co-authored by ones of its members. M. Wu and G. Doërr also indicated that a discussion period has been introduced before the ballot so that TC members can express strong concerns about a specific nomination. The details of the full process will be circulated to the whole TC at some point in June, after discussion within the subcommittee.

6. Elections
Yan Sun has been appointed as the new Chair of the subcommittee.
While the TC has a good industry/academic balance, it could improve regarding gender and area coverage. The subcommittee will liaise with the MMSP TC to get access and adapt the Excel spreadsheet that they are using for elections.

7. Education & Tutorial
Yun-Qing Shi has been appointed as the new Chair of the subcommittee.
M. Wu reports that there is no IFS-related tutorial yet on the new SPS online platform (slides+speech). For increased visibility in the Society, it is important that our technical community engages with this new initiative, possibly by involving the Distinguished Lecturers that were successfully nominated by the TC over the past few years. Tutorials given at WIFS could also be a good target.
There has not been a SPS-sponsored IFS Seasonal School yet too. Although the selection process is getting increasingly competitive, TC members are encouraged to come forward with proposals, possibly back-to-back with WIFS.
The SP Cup is another educational initiative that the TC may want to participate to. All in all, the Technical Committee is encouraged to come up with proposals/initiatives that promotes the interactions toward students. Another example, for instance, was the student luncheon at ICASSP this year.

8. Industry
Shantanu Rane has been appointed as the new Chair of the subcommittee.
SPS is still discussing the opportunity to create a Standard Standing Committee. There is a feeling that there have been some missed opportunities in the past. For instance, IEEE recently launched a standardization effort for subjective evaluation of stereo video content. However, due to a lack of clear entity in SPS, this initiative has been attached to the Computer Society. In a first step, the Society is in the process of inventorying all the standard activities in which SPS members are involved. They will then decide on the scope of what could be a Standards SC within SPS. The industry subcommittee will be charge of polling the IFS community for inputs.
G. Doërr reports on the Ambassador Program, an initiative recently launched by IEEE SPS Industrial Relations Committee. The feeling is that IEEE SPS conferences have drifted too far on the scientific side. The representatives from industry now largely reduce to a collection of individuals from research labs of big corporations. As a result, we no longer see signal processing practitioner (application engineers, start-ups, etc) attending SPS events. The Society is in the process of investigating how to fill the gap between this academic world and the industry. The Ambassador Program is intended to survey the expectations of the different parties and to come up with a number of practical initiatives. Knowing that SPS legacy big events are unlikely to be severely reworked, the objective is to make the new ESPA conference more successful.
Finally, G. Doërr points out that the subcommittee needs to make efforts to attract the interest of new companies. IEEE WIFS had the chance so far to be financially supported by a number of industry grants, but they mostly originate from watermarking companies (Civolution, Digimarc, Technicolor) or governmental bodies (EOARD). For long term sustainability, it is necessary to diversify our sources of support.

9. Website
Patrick Bas has been appointed as the new Chair of the subcommittee.
G. Doërr reports that the main structure of the IFS website is up and running but that it needs inputs from the IFS community to remain lively, e.g. news for the message board, openings for the jobs marketplace, and datasets/code for the resources repository. A major objective this year is to make a better use of social platforms e.g. LinkedIn. This is based on two observations (i) it is likely that more people check their LinkedIn wall rather than the IFS page, and (ii) newcomers are more likely to join a group recommended by a connection on LinkedIn.
S. Rane reminds the recurring issue of WIFS’ websites being hacked or lost. The subcommittee will put together a proposal (including budget for domain name and hosting) to have a dedicated separate website managed by the IFS TC. It is anticipated to provide a single access point to get to IFS events, e.g. WIFS, contests, seasonal schools, etc.

10. Technical directions
Teddy Furon has been appointed as the new Chair of the subcommittee.

11. Next Meeting
The next TC meeting will be held in Guangzhou, China, during WIFS 2013 (November 18-21, 2013).

The meeting was adjourned at 14:20 without objection.