Top Trends for 2013
IEEE Computer Society journals, magazines, and conferences are continually at the forefront of current technology trends. That's just one of the reasons that IEEE Computer Society is the community for technology leaders. As a technology professional, keeping on top of trends is crucial. Below are a list of technology topics that Computer Society magazines, journals, and conferences will be focusing on next year:
The Internet of Things is more than just the newest buzzword. The IoT promises to be the most disruptive technological revolution since the advent of the World Wide Web. Projections indicate that up to 100 billion uniquely identifiable objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020, but human understanding of the underlying technologies has not kept pace. This creates a fundamental challenge to researchers, with enormous technical, socioeconomic, political, and even spiritual consequences.
In recognition of the importance of IoT, Computer, the IEEE Computer Society's flagship magazine, is planning a special issue in February 2013. "The Internet of Things: The Next Technological Revolution" will offer a forum for highlighting what the IoT could bring to the end user. Recommended topics for this special issue include design and development methodology for a user-centered IoT; the dynamics of social media and connected objects; community programming for the IoT, including citizen science, citizen journalism, and social activism; opportunistic sensing, big data, and the IoT; and the impact of the IoT on the future networked society.
Recent technological advances in computing, communications, software, and hardware have enabled the significant growth of cyberspace, an important aspect of modern life that continues to transform the way citizens, business, and governments interact, collaborate, and conduct business. Our heavy dependence on various digital infrastructures has made them strategic national assets that must be protected to ensure economic growth, prosperity, and safety in the future.
Cybersecurity is an emerging area of intense activity that endeavors to provide innovative solutions to ensure uninterrupted communications and service availability. A special April 2013 issue of Computer, the IEEE Computer Society's flagship magazine, aims to disseminate the latest advances in cybersecurity that are critical in thwarting future threats, attacks, fraud, and damage. The articles will focus on effective techniques and approaches that have the potential to ensure a safe, trustworthy, secure, and resilient cyberspace.
We've entered a data-driven era, in which data are continuously acquired for a variety of purposes. The ability to make timely decisions based on available data is crucial to business success, clinical treatments, cyber and national security, and disaster management. Additionally, the data generated from large-scale simulations, astronomical observatories, high-throughput experiments, or high-resolution sensors will help lead to new discoveries if scientists have adequate tools to extract knowledge from them.
However, most data have become simply too large and often have too short a lifespan. Almost all fields of study and practice sooner or later will confront this big data problem. Government agencies and large corporations are launching research programs to address the challenges presented by big data. Visualization has been shown to be an effective tool not only for presenting essential information in vast amounts of data but also for driving complex analyses. Big data analytics and discovery present new research opportunities to the computer graphics and visualization community. This 2013 theme issue of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications aims to highlight the latest advancements in solving the big data problems via visual means. Computer magazine will also be publishing a special issue on big data in June 2013.
Cloud computing has emerged as a dominant paradigm, widely adopted by enterprises. Clouds provide on-demand access to computing utilities, an abstraction of unlimited computing resources, and support for on-demand scale-up, scale-down, and scale-out. Cloud platforms are also rapidly becoming viable for scientific exploration and discovery, as well as education. As a result, it is critical to understand application formulations and usage modes that are meaningful in such a hybrid infrastructure, the fundamental conceptual and technological challenges, and ways that applications can effectively utilize clouds.
The goal of this 2013 special issue of IEEE Computing in Science & Engineering is to explore how cloud platforms and abstractions, either by themselves or in combination with other platforms, can be effectively used to support real-world science and engineering applications. Topics of interest include algorithmic and application formulations, programming models and systems, runtime systems and middleware, end-to-end application workflows, and experiences with real applications.
It could be argued that two of the most important technological developments of the last few years are the emergence of mobile and cloud computing. By shifting the hardware and staffing costs of managing computational infrastructure to third parties such as Google, Microsoft, or Amazon, cloud computing has made it possible for small organizations and individuals to deploy world-scale services; all they need to pay is the marginal cost of actual resource usage. At the same time, the deployment of 3G and 4G networks, the rapid adoption of feature-rich smartphones, and the growing integration of computation into consumer products such as cars and home appliances, have brought mobile and pervasive computing into the mainstream.
This special issue of IEEE Pervasive aims to explore the intersections of these two trends. Mobile and embedded devices make it possible for users to access cloud-based services and data anywhere and anytime, extending their reach into everyday life. Simultaneously, cloud computing platforms are a natural fit to remedy the lack of local resources in mobile and pervasive devices, while enabling resource-intensive next generation applications. We invite original and high-quality submissions addressing all aspects of this field, as long as the connection to the focus topic is clear and emphasized.
The Internet is a battleground where fights for technical, social, and political control are waged, including between governments and their citizens, separate governments, and competing commercial interests. These fights take many forms, including Internet filtering versus circumvention, surveillance versus anonymization, denial of service attacks and intrusion attempts versus protection mechanisms, and on- and offline persecution and defense of online activists. These battles impact and are impacted by the Internet's technical structure. As the Internet continues to embed itself into our world, its structural changes will have an increasing effect on our social and political structures, and our social and political structures will have increasing impact on the Internet's technical structure. This special issue of IEEE Internet Computing will explore the technical, social, and political mechanisms and impacts of Internet censorship and control.
Recent trends show an increasing prevalence of interactive displays of varying sizes in public and urban life. With their prominent visibility and the integration of diverse methods for interaction, they can offer new opportunities to enrich user experiences beyond the personal sphere, for instance in public knowledge institutions such as museums and libraries, or integrated within public plazas or architectural facades. The public context with its social and cultural particularities and constraints provides a large variety of intriguing but challenging settings and use-case scenarios for interactive displays of varying sizes.
This special issue of IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications will focus on research that addresses the opportunities and challenges around public indoor and outdoor urban display installations. We in particular encourage submissions that approach the topic from a holistic point of view, including the design process as well as insights from field deployments "in the wild."
Ubiquitous, pervasive mobile computing is all around us. We use mobile computing not only when we interact with our smartphones to connect with friends and family across states and countries, but also when we use ticketing systems on a bus or train to work or home, purchase food from a mobile vendor at a park, watch videos and listen to music on our phones and portable music playing devices. In other words, mobile computing is not only the interaction of smart phones with each other. Any computation system that is expected to move and interact with end users or other computational systems despite potential changes in network connectivity—including loss of connectivity or changes in type of connectivity or access point—participates in mobile computing infrastructure, and the number of such systems is expected to grow significantly each year over the coming decades.
Many of these systems in urban areas take advantage of robust networking infrastructure, gigabit bandwidth backbones, high-speed relays, and unlimited power and recharging capabilities. However, many of these systems operate within degraded network, power, or computing environments, such as for first-responders in a catastrophe, mobile phone users in remote regions or in countries where communication infrastructure is degraded or even millions of people watching fireworks along a river and overwhelming the local networking infrastructure in a major metropolitan area. IEEE Software seeks submission of articles that explore the next generation of mobile computing within the contexts of mission-critical scenarios, quality-of-service differentiation, and resource constraints. The deadline is 30 June.
With the advances in sensing, transmission, and visualization technology, 3D information has become increasingly incorporated into real-world applications—from architecture to entertainment, manufacturing, and security. Integrating depth perception into such application can help present an even richer media interface. For example, in immersive telecommunication, spatialized audio and 3D parallax increases the effectiveness of communication; in medicine, 3D instrument tracking enables more precise and safer operations; and new low-cost 3D cameras are starting a new chapter in interactive gaming and human-computer interaction.
One of the fundamental requirements of these applications is the estimation of scene depth information. The extraction of 3D information has been studied in the field of computer vision for more than three decades, but it remains a challenging problem, in particular under unconstrained environments that can include variable lighting, specular and deforming scene surfaces, and occluded objects, among other things. Multimedia researchers must account for imperfect depth information when designing their systems, making this a unique research opportunity. This special issue of IEEE Multimedia aims to provide an overview of recent rapid advances in 3D acquisition systems and the many multimedia applications that can benefit from 3D integration and understanding.
In May/June 2013, IEEE Computer Society publications will take an unprecedented look at safety-critical systems with coordinated publication of special issues in IEEE Software and IEEE Security & Privacy. Safety-critical computer-based systems are woven into the fabric of our lives. These days, they can't be safe without being secure—yet security is just one of many challenges. These systems must be trusted to work adequately given user behavior, system interactions, changing environment and expectations, organizational turbulence, regulatory caution, routine component and operator failure, the complexity of international projects, and adaptation and refurbishment. In addition, there are the security-related issues such as intentional, malicious attacks and supply-chain risks.
Over the past decade, designers have sought after efficient design points with respect to power, performance and cost. Of these, power has undoubtedly emerged as a first-order design challenge. In the coming era, this challenge may be subsumed by the challenge of building robust and reliable systems. As technology advances, susceptibility of systems to transient errors, such as timing violations, parameter variations, aging and infant mortality, is steadily increasing. Without innovations in the areas of microprocessor and software reliability, future systems may face continuous failure. Thus, new computing paradigms are required that incorporate adaptive techniques at both the hardware and software layers to ensure robust and resilient execution. The system, as a whole, must dynamically detect and recover from errors to meet historically established high reliability standards without exceeding power budgets and cost constraints, and violating performance targets. To this end, IEEE Micro seeks original papers for its July/August issue on all topics related to reliability that span the spectrum of layers in the system stack, from device, circuit and architecture design to the role of software in enabling robust and reliable computing. The deadline is 8 January.
Robotic devices have been shown to be effective at delivering the intensive and repetitive therapy that is known to induce brain plasticity and foster restoration of motor coordination after stroke, spinal cord injury, and other neural impairments. Engagement of the sensorimotor system, including haptic feedback to the participant during rehabilitation, is an important factor in regaining motor control. Further, haptic feedback can enhance the natural control, utility, and efficacy of advancement of prosthetic and orthotic devices that restore mobility and manipulability to lower- and upper-extremity amputees. However, advanced prosthetic devices, for example, have decoupled the normal afferent-efferent loop and rely heavily on visual feedback to the amputee for control in the absence of haptics. The science and technology of haptics thus has great potential to affect the outcomes of rehabilitation and adoption of advanced prosthetic and orthotic devices. A special 2013 issue of IEEE Transactions on Haptics is about understanding the role of touch in sensorimotor coordination, including rehabilitation of motor deficits and use of advanced prostheses and orthoses.
As we enter an era of large multicores, the question of efficiently supporting a shared memory model has become of paramount importance. Massively parallel architectures lacking coherent shared memory have enjoyed great success in niche applications such as 3D rendering, but general programming developers still demand the convenience of a shared memory abstraction.
Efficiently using a message passing interface requires that the individual computation tasks must be relatively large to overcome the communication latencies, and it becomes difficult to use MPI at the fine-grained level when fast on-chip communication is available. Higher-level mechanisms like MapReduce or shard-based databases are popular in particular application domains but researchers have not yet efficiently applied them at the chip/node level.
This special October 2013 issue of Computer will focus on approaches to providing scalable, shared memory at the on-chip level, paramount in a future where individual nodes will have on the order of 1,000 cores each. Submissions are due by 1 March 2013.