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Professor V.L. Narasimhan

Srikar & Associates International Pty Ltd
29/16 Raju Naicken Street
West Mambalam
Chennai 600033
Cell/Mobile:  098402-42910

Prof. Lakshmi Narasimhan obtained his Bachelor's degrees in Physics and Electronics Engineering from the University of Madras and Indian Institute of Science respectively.  He also obtained his Master's and PhD degrees respectively from the Madras Institute of Technology (now part of Anna University) and The University of Queensland, Australia.  He worked at his alma mater in Australia as a lecturer and senior lecturer and was also the Director of the PA3SE (Parallel Algorithms, Architectures And Software Engineering) Research Laboratory.  In 1995 he moved to the Australian Defence and Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) as a Principal Research Scientist and was leading the program on Information Management and Information Fusion.  He has been instrumental in initiating several key computer information systems projects with strategic clients within the Australian Defense Force, which have since led to the deployment of several mission critical systems at various customer sites.  Later he moved to the USA, where worked as a full professor at the Computer Science Department, University of North Texas at Denton.  Since early 2003, he was the Professor and Chair of Software Engineering at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Presently he is a Professor of Software Engineering in the Department of Computer Science at East Carolina University, USA.

Prof. Narasimhan has published over 350+ papers in the areas of Software Engineering, Information security and Information Engineering.  In particular, his research interests are in computer architecture, parallel and distributed computing, software testing, text & audio processing and mining, E-Commerce, Software process, asset management systems and Standards, and information management & fusion.  His papers have appeared in such archival journals as the various IEEE Transactions and IEE Proceedings.  Prof. Narasimhan was the founding chair of the IEEE Computer Society, Queensland Chapter and initiated the International Conference series ICA3PP (IEEE International Conference on Algorithms And Architectures) and acted as its Inaugurating Chair.  He has also been the technical chair of two other conferences and has been on the technical panel of over 40 leading International Conferences.  He has won $8 million in research funding from various funding bodies, institutions and industries. Currently his research interests are the areas of data and information security, large-scale system engineering, testing & visualization, Agent technology for Decision Support System design and distributed object computing.  He has consulted to a number of industries and educational institutions on various IT and Software Engineering projects, including Boeing Aerospace, DoD in Australia and the USA and Assetricity Inc.  He is also associated with two Co-Operative Research Centres (CRC on Construction Innovation and CRC on Integrated Engineering Asset Management).  He was also the Director of the MESTEC Research Centre at the University of Newcastle, which specializes in the applications of mobile technology to medical information management and patient care.   Prof. Narasimhan is a Senior Member of the IEEE, ACM, Fellow of ACS, IEAust and IEE (UK). He is a Technical Member (representing USA) of the Expert Panel of ISO (International Standards Organization) and MIMOSA (Machinery Information Management Open Standards Organization, USA). Dr. Narasimhan is an ACM Distinguished Speaker and an IEEE Distinguished Visitor.


Software Test Data Generation
Software testing is an arduous and incomplete process.  Indeed the famous maxim goes, "Testing confirms the presence of errors, not their absence!"   Testing usually occupies more than 50% of the time and effort over the entire software development life cycle.  Therefore, in practice, testing is taken up with a purpose in mind and, when the purpose is accomplished, testing is usually terminated.  A number of techniques have appeared in the literature, which test software systems to various degrees and coverage levels.  In this seminar, we look at the testing problem in terms of generation of data in order to achieve (near-) complete test coverage.  We use a combination of symbolic computing and program instrumentation and convert the test data generation problem into a non-linear numerical constraint optimization problem.  The solution to this problem yields the right amount of test data for comprehensive testing of the given software.   Extension of the fundamental concepts to domain testing has also been addressed.  With appropriate conventions and practices for software development, it is found that full coverage can be achieved in linear time.  The entire system, called ADTEST, is over 70K lines of code and was originally developed for the Ada programming language.  The techniques have since been extended to other languages such as Pascal and C.

Whilst this approach has been applied extensively to large software systems, particularly for unit testing and system testing, it is currently being re-designed for testing OO software also.  Some extensions to class testing and class integration testing will also be presented in the seminar.

An off-shoot of the instrumentation process was the development of a software visualization system.  The visualizer offers a number of views (which can themselves be tailored to particular needs of a customer) to viewing the software.  These include: interface views, systems views, version control views, tracing views and more.  Current works in this area include (particularly for large scale information systems) automatic detection of languages, view instrumentation, view-rule distribution, distributed software management and maintenance.  Some applications to parallel and distributed software debugging are also envisioned (which was actually the motivation for this work).  An aspect of the visualizer has also been extended to visualizing of WWW sites and contents.
A part of the above work was sponsored by the Australian Defense Force (ADF).  An early part of the work appeared as a large paper in the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Sept.1997.  The latter work has been submitted to the same journal.

Agile Software Process and Comparison with Other Software Processes

Is agile software process any better than other software processes? Is agile profitable – in what sense? Is agile applicable to the development of any type of software system? In this seminar I will try to answer these questions.  I will give a quick overview of various software processes followed by the definition and characteristics of agile software process. I will also detail the issues in agile software process and the types of agile software processes.  I will discuss more issues, such as artifacts and the Scrum approach, followed by in-depth topics such as agile requirements elicitation, modeling, etc. I will then compare agile with other software processes and bring out the cost-benefit tradeoffs of the agile approach. The relevance of software quality and the impact of agile on issues on performance management, operational performance and developing confidence in decision making will also be outlined. I will draw useful conclusions, provide some success stories and offer some grand challenges in agile technology.

Keywords:  Adaptive software process, Types of agile process, Scrum approach, Applications of agile software process, Trade-offs in agile.


Intelligent Integrated Engineering and Digital Asset Management and Their Implications for Security and Health

Asset management is fundamental to the success of enterprises that manage large-scale operations – be in the engineering or digital arena. Organisations must make optimum use of their assets and monitor them on a sustainable basis in order to ensure that they are operating correctly, and will continue to operate effectively in the future.  A large number of IT asset management solutions have been developed, or under development in a number of asset-rich industries. This seminar analyses the past and present asset management issues and practices and, investigates future development of IT solutions and their commercial, legal and research potentials.
Several industrial Standards have also been developed to meet the challenges involved in condition-based maintenance and the development of various types of tools for decision support systems. In this seminar, I will address a number of issues in these regard. In addition, the seminar will extend these issues to identify the differences between engineering assets and digital assets and analyse the ways and manner in which Standards are evolving to meet the challenges involved in managing digital assets.  I will address issues that relate to security and health of assets and furthermore, I shall also touch upon issues relating to costing, ethics and legal that affect asset management industries across a wide spectrum.


Seeking, Sourcing, Managing and Exploiting Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) is a term used to explain the vast amount of background and on-going work performed by the business community in order to initiate, sustain and lead in their businesses. With the advent of computers, the Internet and other technologies, the process of seeking, sourcing, managing and exploiting business intelligence has changed by leaps and bounds. In this seminar, I shall explore the concept of business intelligence of various types, their application to various fields, domains and disciplines, and the impact of technology of various natures on business intelligence. I will outline the impact of BI on issues such as, business performance management, operational performance and developing confidence in decision making. The issue and relevance of data quality will also be outlined.  I shall also explore some aspects of Open Source Intelligence (OSI) also. Depending on the audience interest, I shall give detailed examples of systems, technologies, processes and (international) Standards that are being developed around the world.

Keywords:  Business Intelligence, Open Source Intelligence Engineering and Digital Assets and, Decision Support Systems

Embedded Computing Systems
An average person from the Western World uses around 14 embedded systems during a day! Examples of such systems include mobile phones, computer games, PDA, music systems and car/automobile.  Underpinning the success of these devices is their operating systems capable of performing a number of operations. This seminar/tutorial covers embedded systems and the design & practice of their operating systems.  Topics to be covered include, but not limited to: embedded systems hardware, process management, (various types of) threads control, mutual exclusion & synchronization, issues in scheduling, pre-emption & priorities, micro kernel design, deadlock detection & prevention, interrupts handling, communication and multiprocessing – all these very briefly.  The fundamental needs and requirements for reliability, fault tolerance and security for embedded applications and hence importance of raising these issues at the level of operating system design will also be covered.  Theoretical considerations for scheduling and other problems will also be considered briefly.

Illustrative examples will be drawn from various embedded systems such as POSIX 1003.1b, Embedded Linux, Windows CE, Palm OS, Pocket PC, JVM & embedded Java, DSP operating systems, guided missile systems, along with their comparisons.  Real case studies will also be discussed during the course of this tutorial/seminar. In particular, special examples will be drawn from the field of biomedical engineering.


This seminar addresses the issue of organizational genderization and impact of genderization in software development life cycle and how they could be used to improve several aspects of the lifecycle – from requirements engineering to software maintenance. These observations would be useful in addressing issues that arise in increasing the number of women in computing, software education and other related areas.

This seminar would be particularly useful for women in the computing profession and consequently, I encourage all women (and men also) to attend this seminar and participate in the surveys that might considerably aid their professional development.

Keywords:  Genderization, Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Women in computing, Software education.


Research Issues and Challenges in Cloud Computing – A Critical Perspective

Cloud computing is currently the ‘in buzz word' in computing. But what is cloud computing? Cloud computing radically changes the way computer applications and services are constructed, delivered, and managed. Cloud computing provides a new potential for corporate, enterprise and academic computing to consolidate their data and services over the WWW. Cloud computing shares the same original vision of grid computing articulated in the 1990s by several researchers, however, there are significant differences also.

Large data centers permit resource sharing across various applications, which leads to possible economies of scale at the hardware and software levels, whereby they can be hosted over a common platform that is available to everyone. Software services that can obtain seemingly infinite scalability and services level is now possible. Incremental growth to meet customers' varying demands is also possible. Several types of costing models, rapid provisioning and availability lead to more efficient resource utilization and reduced cost for utilization. Therefore, NEW TECHNIQUES for managing shared data in the cloud, fault-tolerance mechanisms, service composition, scheduling, metering and billing, protecting privacy, communication, and, more generally, sharing resources among applications under the control of diverse organizations, ARE NOW REQUIRED.

In this talk, I will detail what is Cloud Computing, challenges and opportunities in cloud computing, underlying technical issues in cloud computing and the dark side of cloud computing.  I will also provide cloud computing applications to several areas which include, but not limited to, information management, intelligence and value-adding thru' information extraction, process flow & workflow analysis, organiogram generation, economic analysis, medical & pharmaceutical intelligence, just-in-time management of health, manufacturing, environment. I will also give some examples of cloud computing to web intelligence (social network and mobile network).  However the multi-million dollar questions include, "Are you safe?  Is your privacy Protected?  Ethical & Legal Issues?" I will conclude the talk with some grand challenges that is inherent in Cloud Computing.

Keywords:  Cloud computing, Research issues and challenges in cloud computing, Lessons from distributed systems, peer computing and grid computing, Approaches to solutions.


Trends and Issues in Data Mining and Their Unusual Applications

Data Mining is a process employed to exploit the vast amount of data available in many sources (open, closed, public, internal and of various types) and convert them to useful information so that it can lead to better businesses strategies or improved decision making. With the advent of computers, the Internet and other technologies, the process of mining the vast datasets has changed by leaps and bounds. For example, small-scale statistics (e.g., mean, median, standard deviation) is not relevant in data mining, but one needs to employ large-scale statistics. In this seminar, I shall explore the processes involved in data mining, various algorithms for different operations therein and some example systems. In particular and depending on the audience interest, I shall give detailed examples of systems, technologies, processes and (international) Standards that are being developed around the world. Some of these applications are unusual and not commonly employed.

Keywords:  Data Mining, Clustering, Classification, Unknown pattern recognition, Open Source & Web Intelligence, Social Systems Exploration & Exploitation and, Decision Support Systems and Data mining applications.

Additional Potential Speaker Topics for  Professor Narasimhan

  1. Modern e-Business Strategies and Approaches
  2. Workshop on Conducting Research
  3. Workshop on Conducting Research Grant Writing
  4. Adaptive Computing for Sustainability
  5. Issues in Nanocomputing
  6. Computing for Medical Applications
  7. Workshop and Seminar on Real Time and Embedded Systems
  8. Medical Cost Functional Models
  9. Reconfigurable Systems for Mining Large Datasets
  10. Teams for Software Engineering
  11. Green Computing - What The Heck is This?
  12. A Comparative Analysis of American (ABET) and Other Engineering Accreditation Programs.
  13. Workshop on ABET (USA) Accreditation Program
  14. Workshop on NBA (India) Accreditation Program