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Information Forensics and Security Technical Committee

WIFS 2013 IFS-TC Meeting Minutes

Wednesday Nov. 20, 2013, 12:40-14:00 (GMT+8)
At WIFS’13, Guangzhou, China
Minutes prepared by G. Doërr and M. Wu

IFS-TC voting members: Gwenaël Doërr, Teddy Furon, Samson Cheung, Yun-Qing Shi, Alessandro Piva, Wenjun Zeng, Alex Kot, Anthony T S. Ho, Jiwu Huang
Skype: Shantanu Rane, Min Wu, Patrick Bas
Guests: Matthias Kirchner, Fernando Perez-Gonzalez, Mauro Barni, Jean-Luc Dugelay, Nasir Memon, Ton Kalker, Vicky Zhao

1. G. Doërr called for the meeting at 12:50

2. WIFS’13

J. Huang reported on the current edition of the Workshop on Information Forensics and Security. In comparison with previous editions, the workshop attracted fewer submission than usual (~100) due to unexpected competition from other events (GlobalSIP, IWDW, …). Nevertheless, the quality of the presented papers remains high, each paper receiving 4 reviews and the acceptance rate being around 35%, in line with previous editions. Encouragingly, the workshop reported record attendance: 134 attendees including local students.

The workshop featured two tutorials that were well attended (~100 attendees per tutorial). Three keynote talks will be given:
1. Jaap Haitsma (Civolution) walked the attendees through the technology transfer of a Matlab research prototype to a commercialized product deployed worldwide.
2. Pierangela Samarati (Università degli Studi di Milano) discussed security and privacy issues in the cloud, highlighting similar challenges in the signal processing and computer science arenas.
3. Nasir Memon (Polytechnic Institute of NYU) will give tomorrow a refreshing talk on the need for new paradigms for user authentication on emerging interfaces.

There will also be a special session to discuss the lessons learned from the first IFS challenge (see below). Finally, several social events have been interleaved throughout the program to facilitate discussions and further build up the IFS community (welcome reception, cruise, gala dinner).

3. IFS TC Forensics Challenge

A. Piva reported on the first IFS challenge on image tampering. About 10+ different research teams actively participated to the challenge. While it may not be as strong as could be expected, it is rather encouraging for a first edition. The first part of the challenge was targeting image tampering detection and raised interesting strategies. In particular, one research team identified very quickly that 2 bits in the file format were different for pristine vs. tampered image. This being said, even signal processing-based strategies yielded near perfect classification results. In contrast, the second part of the challenge was targeting image tampering localization. This second phase proved to be significantly more challenging with the best team achieving barely 40% accuracy. In contrast to similar challenges (BOWS1, BOWS2, BOSS), it means that the challenge has not been defeated and that the problem is still open.

WIFS’13 will feature a special session on the challenge including a brief introduction by the organizers, presentations by the different winners of the challenge, the award ceremony, and a panel discussion. Besides the file-base strategy, the participants essentially reused well-established strategies e.g. copy-paste detection, PRNU alteration detection, etc. The website will remain online and the dataset available to the public for further research. TC members discussed various potential follow-up actions e.g. organizing a 2nd edition, revisiting the contest to make it part of the next SP Cup. This being said, no decision has been taken and opportunities will be explored later in 2014.

4. WIFS 2014

P. Comesaña Alfaro reported on the next edition of the workshop. This year, the TC received a single proposal to organize WIFS and it received near unanimous support during the ballot (21: YES, 1: NO). As a result, the proposal is accepted and WIFS’14 will be hosted by GlobalSIP that will be hold in Atlanta, Georgia, USA in December 2014. One of the objectives motivating this new concept is to delegate the organizational logistics to GlobalSIP and thereby save the energy of the IFS team to focus on the technical program.
V. Zhao, who is part of the organization team, then provided further details. In particular, she announced that the general chairs already approached the organizers of GlobalSIP in order to discuss a number of points (finances, room booking, social events, etc). The goal is to obtain very quickly a list of pain points that may emerge and to devise mitigating strategies to tackle them. While the TC does not want to lose control over some fundamental elements, the objective is to also plainly participate to the concept of GlobalSIP in order to get our community further acknowledged. This induced that some compromises will need to be found. For instance, there may not be a dedicated IFS social event. Similarly, due to scheduling constraints, tutorials may be reduced to more focused overview talks that will be given over lunch breaks (lunch boxes provided). For reference, GlobalSIP registration fee this year was around $625 (slightly above WIFS historical figures).

All in all, there seems to be interesting avenues for synergies but the organization team will need to keep a careful eye on some key elements. To help them in this process, they will work in close relationship with the WIFS subcommittee of the TC.

5. Elections

G. Doërr reported on behalf of Y. Sun about the renewal of the Technical Committee. This year, the election attracted 23 candidatures while only 9 seats were available for renewal. All TC members then had to indicate their preference/approval votes in line with the procedures of the TC. For the first time, the members of the TC had a spreadsheet available (thanks to T. Furon for updating the MMSP model) to evaluate the impact of their ballots on some statistics about the TC representation e.g. gender, geographical, technical area balance.

The following individuals have been elected for the 2014-2016 term:
T. Charles Clancy, Jana Dittmann, Y.-W. Peter Hong, Tanya Ignatenko, Matthias Kirchner, Hitoshi Kiya, Negar Kivayash, Ashwin Swaminathan, and Marco Tagliacchi.
G. Doërr highlighted that this election is getting increasingly competitive and that unsuccessful are encouraged to engage with the activities of the IFS TC (reviews for WIFS/ICASSP/ICIP, publish/attend WIFS/ICASSP/ICIP, organize IFS events, etc) to raise their visibility within the TC. This has been shown to play a major role during the voting process.

The following members will retire in 2014:
Campisi, Teddy Furon, Alex C. Kot, Alessandro Piva, Shantanu Rane, Wade Trappe, Sviatoslav Voloshynovskiy, Ja-Ling Wu, Wenjun Zeng.
G. Doërr reminded that the IFS policy enforces at least a 1-year retirement period but that past members are more than welcome to apply again afterwards.

As usual, the duties within the TC will be reshuffled in 2014. In particular, M. Wu will pass the baton to G. Doërr who will become the new TC Chair. Members interested in chairing a subcommittee are welcome and should get in touch with the TC Chair and Vice-chair.

6. Awards

Supported by a the recommendation of the IFS TC, Alex C. Kot has been elected as a Distinguished Lecturer for 2014-2015. M. Wu reminded the very good track record of the TC with respect to such nominations.

G. Doërr then reported on the nomination process for SPS major awards. It was the first year that the new nominations policy was enforced: conflict of interest (CoI) rule that prevent TCs to nominate one of their members, 2-stage nomination process with possible direct nomination through the SPS Award Board, etc. The policy is still in progress and is currently being refined based on the experience gained this year. M. Wu detailed the approach that the IFS TC enforced based on the discussions at ICASSP’13 and received positive feedback. For the record, this year, there has been no request to vet a nomination that would have gone directly to the Award Board.

The TC received 8 nominations. G. Doërr reported that it was difficult to get nominations despite a stronger involvement of the area chairs this year. After coordination at the subcommittee level (mostly to accommodate the CoI rule) and the vote of the TC members, three nominations were moved forward eventually:

- 2 co-nominations (at least 2/3 support from the TC) for the TIFS Best Paper Award: E. A. Verbitskiy, P. Tuyls, C. Obi, B. Schoenmakers, and B. Skoric, “Key Extraction From General Nondiscrete Signals”, IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, 5(2):269-279, June 2010; M. Kirchner and R. Bohme, “Hiding Traces of Resampling in Digital Images”, IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, 3(4):582-592, November 2008.

- 1 endorsement (at least 1/2 support from the TC) for the SPL Best Paper Award: Z. Zhang, D. Yi, Z. Lei, and S.Z. Li, “Regularized Transfer Boosting for Face Detection Across Spectrum”, IEEE Signal Processing Letters, 19(3):131-134, March 2012.

The selected nominations have been forwarded to SPS Award Board for consideration.

7. Publications

G. Doërr reported on behalf of J. Kuo, Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security (TIFS). Statistics showed a steady increase of the number of submitted manuscripts that permitted to further reduce the acceptance rate of the transactions. In 2012, there were 757 articles submitted for publication and 110 were published with an acceptance rate of 16.8%. After a decrease of its ISI impact factor in recent years, TIFS is now regaining impact and is still highly competitive with respect to other security-related publications.

G. Doërr also reminded the new dual publication route (journal + presentation in a conference) for the IEEE Signal Processing Letters (SPL). As a result, it makes it a rather interesting venue for short publications.

Finally, G. Doërr and M. Wu mentioned the initiative SigPort, led by SPS Membership Board, which is currently being shaped. The objective is to build an ‘arXiv-like’ repository where researchers could publish technical reports, PhD theses and other technical documents for a small fee to self sustain the operation. Inputs are welcome and the specific business model in particular is in discussion.

8. Website

G. Doërr reported on behalf of P. Bas the on-going test trial to redirect the RSS feed of the IFS website to social platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) using HootSuite. There are still some corner cases but the system should go live in December. TC members were reminded that such architecture will prove useless if they are not fed regularly with content, including news, reference data sets, opening, etc. All members have been encouraged to contribute.

9. Growth of the IFS community

Figures indicate that the IFS presence is growing in all major SPS publication venues, namely WIFS, ICASSP, and ICIP. More and more papers are submitted and more and more delegates are attending these events. While this is a good sign, sustaining this trend needs continued effort, e.g. by organizing special IFS-related sessions at ICASSP and ICIP.

The TC then discussed how to engage and expand the community. For instance, how could we attract more affiliate members and, more critically, how to involve them? It appears that the TC is doing well at developing the research side of the community but that it could (should?) do better with respect to education and industry. Moreover, there were also discussions about the risk of low acceptance rates in the long term and the possible need for offer some less selective, though well-identifiable, routes for publication and participation in IFS venues.

10. Educational activities

While it has high importance at SPS level, the IFS visibility is rather limited. Several initiatives at society-level are currently on-going and the TC needs to engage more strongly. G. Doërr reminded that we should encourage Distinguished Lecturers, keynote speakers, and tutorial presenters to record their talks, when relevant, to publish them on SigView. Next year, the Challenge and Education subcommittees will also be investigating how the IFS TC could contribute to the SP Cup for undergrads (less research oriented, more like an undergrad project), and for Education committee, what could be the first IFS-focused Seasonal School.

11. Industry activities

The IFS TC historically had strong links with the copyright protection industry, and more particularly the watermarking companies. However, the scope of the TC is now much wider and it is necessary to involve other companies to better reflect the positioning of the TC. This is critical (i) to diversify the sources of financial support for IFS-related events, (ii) to provide a perspective beyond the PhD to students, and (iii) to avoid the IFS research from being disconnected of practical problems. In 2014, the Industry subcommittee will explore how to reduce the gap between IFS practitioners vs. IFS researchers.

12. Upcoming duties

ICASSP and ICIP reviews will take place over the next couple of months. All TC members are reminded to take all necessary steps to perform their reviews in a timely fashion.

13. Next meeting

The next TC meeting will be held in Florence, Italy, during ICASSP 2014 (May 4-9, 2014).
The meeting was adjourned at 14:00 without objection.