Latest News

Scientists Develop 10X Faster Machine Learning Algorithm

Training of large-scale machine-learning models is extremely challenging because the training data is much more than the memory capacity. However, scientists at IBM and EPFL have collaborated to develop a novel scheme that enables the use of accelerators such as GPUs and FPGAs to speed up the training of machine learning models. They presented their findings at the 31st Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) in Long Beach, California.

Dynamic Safe Interruptibility: A Breakthrough in AI

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are finding new applications across industries. Many tasks that were performed by humans are now being handled by machines, adding efficiency to the output. But what would happen if AI crosses the threshold of human control and makes unilateral decisions? It is a frightening, but highly probable, scenario. In 2014, it prompted Google to consider the idea of a “big red button” to stop dangerous AI in an emergency. However, the challenge is not in being able to stop or interrupt an AI process but in preventing AI from biased learning due to such frequent interruptions. The biased learning can be extremely dangerous in multi-agent systems, where several machines are involved in an AI task.

Anastasia Ailamaki Elevated to IEEE Fellow

Anastasia Ailamaki, Professor and Lab Director at the Data-Intensive Applications and Systems Laboratory (School of Computer and Communication Sciences), has just added another feather to the cap of EPFL’s research excellence. IEEE has included her as IEEE Fellow in the Class of 2018.

Edouard Bugnion Named ACM Fellow

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named EPFL Professor Edouard Bugnion as ACM Fellow for 2017. This is ACM’s most prestigious member grade where only the crème de la crème of the computing research fraternity find admittance.

ACM Appoints David Atienza as “2017 Distinguished Member”

The digital revolution is now all-pervasive, charting breakthroughs in computing and information technology. Driving that change is a group of leading innovators across the world. Among them is David Atienza, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Embedded Systems Laboratory at the School of Engineering, EPFL. In recognition of his outstanding scientific contributions to computing, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has acknowledged him as a “pioneering innovator” and a “2017 Distinguished Member.”

Personalized and Efficient Streaming Is Now Possible, Say ESL Researchers

The widespread availability of video streaming services and the proliferation of smartphones have enabled users to do away with the need to download heavy content and thus save storage space on their devices. But the service provider—be it YouTube, Netflix, or any other—has to face serious challenges in offering a seamless experience to users. Two of the major concerns are storage space on their servers, and the resultant power consumption. Conversely, the user is confronted with challenges like bandwidth issues, unstable streaming flow, and video encoding issues. However, a solution is in the making to enhance the user experience and simultaneously minimize the worries of the service provider.

Breaking the Code: A New Frontier

Providers of payment systems and password-protected applications use advanced computation to ensure security of their services. It is generally accepted that if large numbers are used in developing a code, it becomes extremely difficult to solve the math and break the code. In this process, computation of discrete logarithms plays a crucial part. Until recently, the record for computing a discrete logarithm was in the multiplicative group of a 596-bit prime field. However that has now been surpassed in a collaborative research between EPFL and the University of Leipzig. The team has cracked an extremely lengthy code by using complex mathematical calculations. 

IC Researchers Scale New Frontiers in Computing

In April this year, researchers at EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) gained recognition for exemplary work in computer science. While Vasileios Trigonakis was awarded the 2017 Eurosys Roger Needham Doctoral Dissertation Award, Immanuel Trummer bagged Honorable Mention for the 2017 SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award.

The Move Toward a Decentralized Internet

All our conscious decisions are focused on the extent of control exercised by the stakeholders. This applies to developing a new project, nurturing a new company, or even building communities. Traditionally, the overarching drive in such activities has been the retention of centralized authority. But times are changing, and so is the Internet, with yeomen researches on the benefits of a decentralized system. At the forefront of such researches is the work of PhD scholar and EPFL researcher Lefteris Kokoris-Kogias. His outstanding work has earned him the IBM PhD Fellowship for 2017.

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