Archives for September 2014


SmartWater for Europe

In Europe 3.500.000 km’s of water distribution networks exist (EUREAU, 2009). Water utilities face a number of challenges related to these distribution networks. In the next 10 – 30 years large parts of water distribution networks have to be rehabilitated. Based on their own experiences (Thames Water: € 1 billion/year; The Netherlands: € 270 mln/year), extrapolating these to Europe and taking into account the state and performance of distribution networks, Vitens and Thames Water estimate that € 20 billion/year are needed in Europe to upgrade the distribution networks. Prioritization and optimization of these investments is needed urgently. Furthermore, in many countries water quality needs improvement. Frequently, the European directive on drinking water is not met with respect to microbiological and chemical parameters, thus posing a threat to human health. Finally, resources for water production and water distribution need to be used more efficiently. Mostly water distribution networks and assets are not managed actively on a real time basis. Production, pressure management, water quality and leakage events are dealt with in a reactive way based on laboratory analysis, complaints from customers and signals of health authorities. Continuous optimization does not take place and hence, vast resources are spilt on: water leakage (water losses ranging from 5 – 50 % of total water produced; source EU); sub-optimal asset management and water production; sub-optimal pressure management (savings potential 10 – 15 % of energy usage for distribution; further savings: reduced number of leakages as high pressure and transients are a cause of leakages). The European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water) has recognized these challenges and established the following priorities of work related to the challenges in water supply distribution networks:

Thematic priorities: - Water and wastewater treatment including recovery of resources; - Water energy nexus;

Cross cutting priorities: - Decision support systems and monitoring; - Smart technologies.

SmartWater4Europe contributes to the EIP Water by speeding up innovations in the priorities of work that contribute to solving societal challenges, enhance Europe's competitiveness and contribute to job creation and economic growth. Furthermore, the supply and demand should be brought together to accelerate acceptance of innovations and speed up market introduction.
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CUbRIK is a framework for the development of search-based applications. Multimedia search processing done in CUbRIK (across query content analysis and relevance feedback processing) benefit from: - High level metadata gathered from crowdsourcing and as a by-product of playing from games with a purpose - Techniques for social web and community activity analysis and trust evaluation - A library of new and existing content processing components and algorithms certified and integrated on the platform - A reference data model for the logical structure of data to be processed, entities and relationships,configuration of the components in the system, information model for content providers, content owners, users and developers of search-based applications - Entity-based time and space awareness, supported by a knowledge base of spatio-temporal entities (locations, events, trends) correlated with rich semantic associations. CUbRIK works on enhancing the quality of search experience by augmenting the precision and the relevance of results when machine intelligence fails or is unable to remove uncertainty. The approach is not to emulate, but rather to incorporate human and social capabilities from feature extraction to search and validation of multimedia content: becausewe, the humans, still have a lot to teach machines  about semantic understanding of multimedia content! CUbRIK search-based applications are able to mix Crowd-based, GWAP-basedand pure-machine computation thanks to pipelines that describe programmable workflow of tasks allocated to executors (e.g. software components for data analysis, metadata indexing, search engines, presentation of results, or others) and able to combine different types of intelligence, according to the specific application requirements.   CUbRIK will prove the feasibility of its approach and the benefits of the integration of machine, human and social computation for multimedia search by showcasing Demonstrators and Vertical Application.
  • Demonstrators prove increased precision of multimedia search done the CUbRIK way
  • Vertical Applications exemplify selected use cases where machine-based processing is combined with human and social intelligence. Prototype developments are exploited  Fashion and Digital Humanities.
  The inspiring principle of CUbRIK is about creating a “white-box” version of a multimedia content & query processing system. The functionalities of query processing, content analysis and relevance feedback processing are unbundled into a set of search processing orchestrations (referred to as Pipelinesable to mix open source and third-party components, to instantiate algorithms and to aggregate Automatic Computation Jobs (automatic workflow or SMILA Workflow) and Human Computation (Crowd-enabled  or GWAP-enabled)Tasks. Metadata are extracted from media collections, using the software mix that best fits the need, and  specific components can be included to process multimodal queries or to analyze user’s feedback in novel ways. The architecture is an example of differential design: based on a SMILA underlying framework, modified to support programmable workflows and asynchronous task execution as it is required to mix automatic operations (Jobs) and human activities (Tasks) chained in a sequence. CUbRIK inherits and extends SMILA capabilities of easy integration of data source connectors, search engines, sophisticated analysis methods and other components by gaining scalability and reliability out-of-the-box.  
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The BPM4People project aims at designing and bringing to the market innovative methodologies, software tools, and vertical applications for the implementation of Social Business ProcessManagement (Social BPM), i.e., processes “collaboratively defined” and “collaboratively executed” by organizations and their stakeholders (employees, customers, citizens). The Project foresees the construction of simple, low-cost, high performance methodology, tool suite, and application portfolio that will help B2B organizations, especially SMEs, harness the flexibility of Social Business Processes design and deployment. The BPM4people project has received research funding from the European Union under the program SME Capacities of the 7th FP
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