CLOSED Call for Papers: Special Section on Security Challenges in Collaborative Computing: Models, Adversarial Behaviors, Architectures, and Implementations

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Submissions Due: 20 August 2021

Nowadays, the real-world computing environments that are emerging involve continuous interactions between humans and machines. In some cases, the parties have different affiliations, and they may have potentially diverging or even mutually conflicting interests, rendering their choices socially sub-optimal or even disadvantageous to other parties. The challenge is more pronounced when multiple parties are motivated to compute on jointly shared data collaboratively but do not necessarily fully trust each other. In other cases, humans and machines have common collaborative computing intents. Human and tools show symbiotic relationships, as for attackers and their reverse engineering and tampering tools. Advanced reasoning techniques enable machine-to-machine interactions at speed and scale far behind the human possibilities.

The modelling of these multi-party/agent interactions, be they human or machine, has been considered in various fields, including network and system science, security, economics, and social sciences. The adversarial modelling paradigm in security that focuses on a thorough analysis of the adversarial goals and capabilities and human-aware formulations in economics, mathematics, communications, and psychology has advanced substantially in recent years. Subsequently, there has also been a fusion of security and human-aware formulations for different application domains. Often these applications are critical. Therefore, emerging and future systems should be secure to adversarial threats amidst collaborative processing among loose coalitions of parties. However, while recent results on collaborative computing are imposing this new paradigm in more and more vital tasks, the research on the security and trustworthiness of these models has not progressed equivalently. The recent attacks targeting collaborative learning algorithms, which had detrimental effects on security and privacy, are the first insights into an emerging and potentially dangerous problem.

This special section solicits original papers of substantial technical contribution with particular focus on revisiting the state-of-the-art, existing scientific knowledge and formulation of open problems in the context of the security of collaborative computing, including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Foundations, such as paradigm-shifting, unconventional techniques and frameworks, and breakthrough research;
  • Real-world problems, such as new types of adversarial models, formal security notions for collaborative computing inspired by real-world incidents and issues, models of the trustworthiness of systems for the automatic reaction to attacks, vulnerability discovery, and exploit generation;
  • Emerging application domains, such as application of adversarial and collaborative paradigms to edge computing, quantum computing, and human-in-the-loop computing;
  • Original solutions, such as novel research results on long-standing open security problems or novel formulations of long-standing/thus-far ad-hoc approaches to open security challenges via collaborative computing;
  • Applied security analysis, such as evaluation of the security of computing environments, methods for circumventing AI-based techniques and predicting system resilience with concrete application to the collaborative computing security domain; and
  • Security modelling and its applications, such as models of the adversarial human brain, symbiotic relationships between human and tools, machine-to-machine interactions and reasoning for defensive or offensive purposes, and human-assisted security decisions and system reactions via mixing big data with human experience.

Important Dates

  • Deadline for submissions: August 20, 2021
  • First decision (accept/reject/minor revision, tentative): November 15, 2021
  • Submission of revised papers: January 15, 2021
  • Notification of final decision (tentative): March 1, 2022
  • Journal publication (tentative): second half of 2022

Submission Guidelines

Submitted papers must include new significant research-based technical contributions in the scope of the journal. Purely theoretical, technological, or lacking methodological-and-generality papers are not suitable to this special section. The submissions must include clear evaluations of the proposed solutions (based on simulation and implementations results) and comparisons to state-of-the-art solutions. Papers under review elsewhere are not acceptable for submission. Extended versions of published conference papers (to be included as part of the submission together with a summary of differences) are welcome, but there must have at least 40% of new impacting technical/scientific material in the submitted journal version, and there should be less than 50% verbatim similarity level as reported by a tool (such as CrossRef). As per TETC policies, only full-length papers (10-16 pages with technical material, double column – papers beyond 12 pages will be subject to MOPC, as per Computer Society policies) can be submitted to special sections. The bibliography should not exceed 45 items, and each author’s bio should not exceed 150 words.

Guidelines concerning the submission process, as well as LaTeX and Word templates, can be found on the Author Information page. While submitting through ScholarOne, please select this special-section option.


Contact the guest editors at

Guest editors:

Professor Raphaël C.-W. Phan, Monash University, Malaysia (IEEE Senior Member)
Professor Lin Chen, Sun Yat-sen University, China (IEEE Member)
Dr. Cataldo Basile, Politecnico di Torino, Italy (IEEE Member)

Corresponding TETC editor:

Professor Donatella Sciuto, Politecnico di Milano, Italy (IEEE Fellow)