Keynote Speakers

Keynote speaker 1:

Yuan F. Zheng
Winbigler Designated Chair Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210 USA

  • Title and abstract 

Reactions of Robot Critical Components to Nuclear Radiation

A typical robotic system includes a few key components, which are motor, speed reducer, drive, controller, power supply, and mechanical frame, in both robot manipulators and/or mobile robots (wheeled or legged). While all the components are necessary, three individuals are critical and stand out, which are speed reducer, motor, and battery (especially Lithium-ion battery), respectively. The reason for those is twofold: failure of any of them will fail the entire system, and the cost of the three takes more than 80% of the total cost. In the robotic field, we have seen numerous works studying/improving the performance of a robot at the system level but very few focusing at the component level, especially when a robot operates in the nuclear environment. Radiation damage to electronic devices (including H-bridge drives) has long been studied in both theory and experiment. The study on the three critical components has received much less attention. In this talk we report our current studies on the radiation impact to harmonic drive (a speed reducer used in high-end robotic systems), brushless DC motor, and Lithium-ion battery. Our studies have invented new approaches for evaluating the performance of individual components, and reveal how the radiation will affect the performance of the latter. Both theoretical and experimental studies will be presented. The degraded performance of the components may impact or even fail the entire system, regardless of it being a robot manipulator or a mobile robot. We will therefore discuss how to design and develop radiation-hardened components, which can endure a robot in radiation-filled environments.


Yuan F. Zheng received the MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio in 1980 and 1984, respectively. His BS degree was received at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China in 1970. From1984 to 1989, he was with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University, in Clemson, South Carolina. In that period, Professor Zheng received the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997. Since August 1989, he has been with The Ohio State University, where he is Winbigler Designated Chair Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Professor Zheng served as the Department Chair between 1993 and 2004, and was elected to IEEE Fellow in 1997. He was appointed as Dean of the School of Electronic, Information and Electrical Engineering at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, on the part-time basis, in 2004-2008. Professor Zheng has served IEEE Robotics and Automation Society in different capacities for many years including an AdCom member, the Vice President for Technical Affairs of the Robotics and Automation Society, and Program Chairs of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in 1999 and 2011, respectively.

Keynote speaker 2:

Jamal Bentahar
Information Systems Engineering
Concordia University

  • Title and abstract 

Multi-Cloud Service Communities: Formation and Trust Challenges

Cloud computing is the standard computing paradigm adopted not only in small and medium startups, but also in major companies in the prominent majority of industrial sectors. The rapid expansion in the use of cloud facilities is due to the flexible concept of services computing where applications, infrastructures, and platforms are offered as services. In this new reality, gathering cloud services within virtual communities has gained an increasing interest in the recent years. Communities of cloud services provide platforms that aim to facilitate the discovery and composition of services while supporting resource scaling. However, the existing community formation models have several limits at the architectural, business and security levels preventing their adoption as industrial solution. From the architectural perspective, the existing community formation models rely on a centralized architecture wherein a central entity is responsible for managing the community formation process. However, the fact that services are being hosted in different and geographically distributed cloud data centers requires a fully distributed community formation algorithm. From the business perspective, the current models ignore the market reality of deployed and offered services. In fact, services are owned by cloud providers that differ in their business capabilities, which demotivates the participation of the well-positioned services in such a process unless they receive some privileges. From the security perspective, the current approaches relay on classic monitoring solutions that work for small settings, but unable to scale up when the number of services goes beyond a certain threshold. In this talk, I will present recent solutions to these problems and developments conducted in my research lab involving graduate students and collaborators. Game theoretical models for dynamic and distributed formation of secured cloud communities against malicious services will be presented along with theoretical and simulation results using real datasets. I will capitalize on: 1) a model that classifies services as leaders and followers based on the strength of the cloud that they are deployed in and formalizes the community formation problem as a virtual trading market using a Stackelberg game model; 2) a trust establishment framework resilient to collusion attacks that occur to mislead trust results; and 3) a trust-based hedonic coalitional game that enables services to form trustworthy multi-cloud communities.


Jamal Bentahar is a Full Professor at Concordia University, Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Software Engineering in 2005 from Laval University, Canada, his Master in the same discipline from Mohamed V University, Morocco in 2001, and his Bachelor in Software Engineering from National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics, Morocco in 1998. From 2005 to 2006 he was Postdoctoral Fellow at Laval University, and then obtained the prestigious NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Simon Fraser University, Canada. He joined Concordia University as Assistant Professor in 2006 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2010 and to the rank of Full Professor in 2016. Dr. Bentahar has obtained many research grants of a total amount of $2.4M and published more than 180 journal and conference papers. He is appointed as a co-chair of the NSERCís Computer Science Evaluation Group for a two-year term 2016-2018 and as member for a three-year term 2015-2018. He was Invited Professor at Imperial College London (2007), University of Namur (2009), and Toulouse 1 Capitole University (2015). He is in the editorial board of four journals, program chair of three conferences, and serves as program committee member for many leading conferences. His research interests are specification and verification of intelligent systems with applications in avionics, and game theory with applications in service and cloud computing.


Keynote speaker 3:

Prof. Elhadj Benkhelifa, Staffordshire University, UK

  • Title and abstract 
Cybersecurity in the Cloud Era: Drawing Parallels between Nature and Cloud Computing For Enhanced Resilience and Survivability

The rapidly changing cyber-space landscape provides an explanation to the increasing complexity of current and future security challenges. With this increasing threats of cyber-attacks. As Organisations are increasingly adopting cloud-computing as the foundation for their IT infrastructure, the reliability of inherently complex cloud systems becomes under test. Despite the wider impact of security threats, the current practices for security countermeasures are still mostly reactive and following conventional approaches. In cloud computing, for instance, the robustness of the infrastructure and service and the overall survivability is enhanced, mainly, by creating redundancy for backup in times of fault, failure or attack. Biological systems are inherently much more complex, yet highly reliable. The strengths inherent in biological systems resides in the ability of autonomous entities to make local decisions, continuously coordinate and share information, while maintaining a global form of order. Furthermore, the challenges of attaining survivability have also been successfully addressed by nature, and effectively demonstrated in attributes of collaborative communities. This success in natural systems could provide inspiration for unconventional methods to solve unique problems in the computing continuum, generally, and in Cloud computing, more specifically. In this talk, I will shed some light on the changing cyber-space, emphasising more on the added complexity with the adoption of cloud computing, where I will provide an analysis of the State of the Art of Cloud security countermeasures and explain the need for unconventional approaches to tackle cyber-attacks. I will then draw parallels between capabilities in nature such as those demonstrated in multi-cellular biological systems and by the predation avoidance in primate in predator-prey communities, and capabilities in security systems in cloud environments.


Elhadj is a Reader at Staffordshire University, UK, with an extensive experience in working with industry on real world business problems. Elhadj was (2014-2016) the Faculty Director of the Mobile Fusion Applied Research Centre (45 PhD students and 15+ Staff). Over the past years, Elhadj has built a rich portfolio of attracting funding (about £2 million during the last 4 Years) and successful collaborative research projects . Elhadj is the Founding Head of the Cloud Computing and Applications Research Group, leading a team of 8 PhD Students and Research Staff. Elhadj has a strong research publications and dissemination track record and a co-founding chair of several pioneering conferences/workshops. Elhadj research is very contemporary to cover many aspects of Cloud Computing including security, Mobile Cloud, Software Defined Systems, Cloud Forensics, IOT and Cloud, Fog and Mobile Edge Computing, Cloud computing resilience, Social Network Analysis, Collaborative software development, security as a service, testing as a service to mention but the most recent work. He has served as a guest Editor of many journals Special Issues, such as the recent SI of the IEEE Trans Cloud Computing, on Mobile Cloud and co-chaired a number of international conferences and workshops. Elhadj delivered a number of keynote lectures at different prestigious venues. He is a Senior R&D Advisor to a number of companies in the UK and a member of several panels and committees within the UK and internationally.