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Information Forensics and Security Technical Committee

WIFS 2014 IFS-TC Meeting Minutes

Thursday December 4, 2014, 12:00-13:30 (GMT+6)
At WIFS’14 @ GlobalSIP, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Prepared by Gwenaël Doërr and Min Wu

IFS-TC voting members (5):Gwenaël Doërr, Pedro Comesaña-Alfaro, Matthias Kirchner, Yan Sun, Min Wu
Skype: Patrick J. Flynn, Walter Scheirer
Guests & TC Alumni/Newcomers (10): Mauro Barni, Nasir Memon, Fernando Perez-Gonzalez, Hong Vicky Zhao, Wade Trappe, Avinash Varna, Teddy Furon, David Doermann

1. G. Doërr called for the meeting at 12:00 (GMT+6)

2. Roundtable for introductions

3. Elections Activities

G. Doërr reports on behalf of Chiou-Ting (Candy) Hsu who managed the elections this year. The TC received two candidatures for the Vice Chair position and 20 candidatures for Elected Member position. For the first time this year, the ballot used the online tool FluidSurveys recommended by the Society to manage the ballot. The experience has been smooth with no overhead and the TC is likely to re-use the tool in the future. The Nominations and Elections Subcommittee also provided a spreadsheet to help the TC members evaluating the impact of their vote on the balance of the TC with respect to various indicators such as male/female, academic/industry, junior/senior, IEEE region, etc. G. Doërr reminds the importance of preserving such a balance for the development of the Technical Committee in the long term.

Wade Trappe has been elected as Vice Chair. The following ten (10) candidates have been elected as Members of the TC: Marc Chaumont, Ann Dooms, Zekeriya Erkin, Patrick J. Flynn, Jiang Xudong, Fernando Perez-Gonzalez, Walter Scheirer, Avinash L. Varna, and Z. Jane Wang. G. Doërr stresses that the election is getting more and more competitive year after year and encourages prospective candidates to actively participate to IFS activities to raise their visibility in the TC before applying. He also mentions that he will invite a number of Associate Members to complement the current coverage of the TC and promote emerging areas.

G. Doërr then thanks Min Wu who will be retiring of the TC at the end of the year and who will move on to her new responsibilities as the Editor in Chief of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. He also thanks retiring Members for their continued service: Patrick Bas, Dinei Florencio, Anthony Ho, Jiwu Huang, Ching-Yung Li, Anderson Rocha, Husrev Sencar, Yun Q. Shi, and Yan (Lindsay) Sun. He reminds them that they have the opportunity to be elected for another term after a one-year retirement period, as demonstrated by the return of three (3) IFS alumni this year.

4. Conference Activities

G. Doërr first report on the health of the IFS tracks at ICASSP and ICIP. Due to the remote location of ICASSP that will be held in Brisbane (Australia) in Spring 2015, the IFS track only attracted 54 submissions i.e. the lowest number on our historical records. The reviewing workload is therefore low this year and TC members are reminded to provide their review in a timely manner (deadline in a few weeks). For ICIP, the Area Chairs have been assigned and the review process is anticipated to begin at some point in February 2015. G. Doërr indicates a number of IFS-related proposal submissions for special sessions or workshops, namely: W. Hamidouche and W. Puech – “Privacy and Security in the new Generation Video Coding System” at ICIP 2015; R. Merkel, J. Dittmann, and C. Vielhauer – “Multimedia Crime Scene Forensics for Fingerprint Acquisition and Processing” at ICME 2015; and S. Papadopoulos, M. Barni, A. Piva, and A. Hanjalic – “Workshop on Web Multimedia Verification” at ICME 2015. He also reports on a new SPS practice approved by the Conference Board: the organizers of SPS main conferences are now required to contact TC Chairs to get an approximate forecast of the number of submissions and an anticipated acceptance rate in view of the target location for the conference.

Y. Sun then reports on WIFS’14 which is hosted this year as part of the GlobalSIP conference. The workshop attracted 102 submissions this year in line with prior editions and 39 of them have been accepted for publication. The technical Program also includes two keynote talks and two overview presentations. This year, WIFS features a special track on Security and the Internet of Things led by N. Memon and R. Yu. The organizers managed to secure US$ 5.5k financial support from industrial partners and it helped planning some of the social functions e.g. speaker hospitality and special events. The social event comprises a tour of CNN studios and a gala dinner at the Sun Dial restaurant. G. Doërr notes that there is limited participation from Asia and that WIFS only marginally succeeded to leverage on its well-attended edition in China in 2013. Y. Sun then comments on the overall experience of organizing WIFS as part of GlobalSIP and balances pros and cons. While the beginning of the relationship has been rather rocky (management of competing proposals on security; slipping deadlines; responsibility dilution; website management; separate proceedings), the end result is rather positive. The main friction points relate to (i) the premium ticket which had been perceived as a ploy to attract additional money but which was necessary to finance some of the social functions, (ii) the deadlines which have been postponed resulting in a very much delayed call for demos and on-going works which only attracted a handful of submissions, and (iii) the lack of information on the conference website. G. Doërr mentions that some of these elements were out of our control this year but that some others can be addressed by the TC. In particular, he reminds that reviews by IFS TC Members should always comprise a couple of sentences in order to be useful to the authors (to improve their manuscript) and to the Program Chairs (to make their decision). He then opens the floor and collects additional feedback that will be forwarded to the newly created ad-hoc subcommittee in charge of improving the participation of TCs to GlobalSIP. The general feeling is a bit contrasted but there is a consensus that TC-run legacy workshops and ephemeral workshops at GlobalSIP should be managed in two completely different manners.

P. Comesaña-Alfaro then reports on the selection process for the next edition of WIFS. We received two proposals: Rome (Italy) led by P .Campisi and N. Memon and Delft (The Netherlands) led by Z. Erkin and Jan C. A. van der Lubbe. The ballot has been rather tight but the Rome proposal has been eventually selected. F. Perez-Gonzalez then briefly provides an overview of the proposal on behalf of the organizers. G. Doërr highlights that the conference venue offers the flexibility to run WIFS as a single track event or a dual track one and thus encourages all IFS members to contribute to success of WIFS’15 and submit proposals for special sessions or other additions to the technical program.

5. Awards Activities

M. Wu reports that there has been no nomination for Distinguished Lecturer this year. The subcommittee had identified a few potential candidates but they indicated that they were not available at this time due to other commitments.

M. Wu then indicates that the IFS TC Members decided by vote to endorse three nominations for 2014 SPS Major Awards:

  • Best Paper Award: “Information-theoretically Secret Key Generation for Fading Wireless Channels”, by C. Ye, S. Mathur, A. Reznik, W. Trappe, N. Mandayam, in IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, June 2010.
  • Sustained Impact Award: “Secure Spread Spectrum Watermarking for Multimedia”, by Ingemar J. Cox, Joe Kilian, F. Thomson Leighton, Talal Shamoon, in IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, December 1997.
  • Technical Achievement Award: Prof. Pierre Moulin.

She also mentions that a nomination for Young Author Best Paper Award has been forwarded for consideration to the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security to avoid a conflict of interest for one of the TC members. The results are expected to be announced at the beginning of 2015.

G. Doërr reports on an on-going discussion for uniform TC award procedure by the Society’s Technical Direction Board. The proposal details an anonymous review process prior to the nomination and recommends a voting procedure. Most of the suggestions are already implemented by the IFS TC and this new procedure is therefore expected to have limited impact on our TC. The proposal will be formally examined by the Conference Board on Friday evening.

6. Education Activities

G. Doërr reminds that M. Wu was considering submitting a proposal for the SP Cup on ENF forensics at ICASSP 2014 in Firenze, Italy. However, due to other commitments, she decided to postpone this initiative to next year and will try to strengthen the proposal by enrolling co-organizers from other research labs.

G. Doërr notes that there is still very limited participation to SigView. He encourages current and past IFS Distinguished Lecturers to post their talks on this streaming platforms and encourage WIFS organizers to approach their keynote speakers to do the same. He reinforces the message that active participation to Society-wide initiatives is instrumental to raise the visibility of IFS in SPS and to attract new researchers in our community.

G. Doërr reports that there has not been an IFS Seasonal School yet. He mentions to the organizers of WIFS’15 that they may consider organizing one back to back with WIFS. D. Doermann suggests that the IFS TC may consider simply organizing a PhD day where students talks about their research (research topic poster presentation in early years, overview oral presentation in late years). Besides offering improved value to attending students, it may be a means to attract additional delegates from the industry who want to know research students that will be soon available on the employment market. This practice has been shown effective in other computer/information science conferences.

7. Website Activities

G. Doërr reports that the social framework set in place by the Website subcommittee led by P. Bas has now been running for several months without any major glitch. He encourages IFS TC members to send inputs to the subcommittee to nurture this news feed (new books, IFS stories in the news, call for papers, IFS-related awards, etc). A publication framework without input will simply die on its own. The same comment holds for the Job Marketplace which has seen very few openings over the last year.

8. Publications Activities

G. Doërr formally announces that M. Barni is the new Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security.

Y. Sun reports on SigPort which is now in testing phase. This new publication platform is expected to be some kind of arxiv-like repository for SPS. The objective is to publish research results that may not be ready for publication in IEEE SPS journals e.g. master thesis, research reports, SP Cup reports, preliminary versions of an article, etc. Y. Sun will succeed M. Wu to lead the SigPort effort from January 2015.

9. Miscellaneous and Open Discussions

G. Doërr announces that the IFS TC will be reviewed during ICASSP in Brisbane, Australia. A quick poll suggests that there may be very limited attendance from TC Members this year.

G. Doërr mentions that the IFS Policies and Procedures have not been updated since 2010 and no longer reflect the practices of the TC. They will be updated in Q1 2015 prior to the TC review.

G. Doërr indicates that few members of the IFS community apply for IEEE Grade elevation. The IFS TC will collect information from IEEE MemberNET for researchers currently listed as affiliate/associate/elected/alumni members to contact individuals who could apply for Senior Grade elevation and identify candidate for potential Fellow elevation.

G. Doërr reports on feedback received from various sources about WIFS and the IFS community at large. For some people, there seems to be a lack of identity i.e. the glue connecting the different IFS research communities (beyond the shared security flavor). As a result, IFS is perceived in some cases as aggregate of disconnected clusters and it might hamper the development of the TC in the long term. He probes attendees for their own perception and asks whether it would make sense to write a manifesto that would clarify the scope of security and forensics in signal processing and the potential for cross-fertilization across various communities. Several researchers indicate that their feeling is that the situation is not as bad as reported. The IFS TC decides to postpone any action related to this but will closely monitor the situation.

M. Wu formally introduces D. Doermann, a new program manager of DARPA who is currently contemplating the opportunity of launching a research program on multimedia forensics in the US. D. Doermann then briefly describes the context of this effort and indicates that he will discuss with different IFS representatives during the week to gather relevant feedback.

10. Next meeting

The next TC meeting will be held in Brisbane, Australia during ICASSP 2015 (April 20-24, 2015).

The meeting was adjourned at 13:30 without objection.