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EBSIS - Event Based Systems in Iaşi - A Twinning between Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iaşi, Université de Neuchâtel and Technische Universität Dresden

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EBSIS (EBSIS - Event Based Systems in Iaşi - A Twinning between Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iaşi, Université de Neuchâtel and Technische Universität Dresden)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2018-12-31

The EBSIS project is part of the European Commission’s Twinning actions addressing gaps in development between research institutions within EU member states with low performing research indices and internationally-leading counterparts at the EU level. The main objective of the EBSIS project is to strengthen the research capacity of the Faculty of Computer Science at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi (UAIC), Romania, the coordinating institution. For this purpose UAIC collaborates with the project partners: the Institute of Informatics, University of Neuchatel (UNINE), Switzerland, the Faculty of Informatics, Technical University of Dresden (TUD), Germany and ICTEAM Institute, Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium. The target of the project was set on developing the research field of event-based systems following three different directions: scalability, dependability and security. This collaboration created the ground for future competitive research in these research fields. The development of the research capacity of the coordinating institution in this field impacts many levels. These range from the ability to provide a wider area of subjects of interest in higher education and attract more students towards research, to an increase in the quality and appeal of the actual research output of the institution in timely topics of interest for the scientific community.
The objectives of the project were fulfilled through the activities executed over the three years while the Twinning action took place. A solid influx of knowledge on the targeted field of research was obtained at UAIC from the project partners. This created strong premises for co-authoring scientific papers, and opened the possibility of future collaboration on research projects. The project activities also led to creation of new contacts in external academic institutions, which should open new possibilities for collaboration also with partners outside the consortium. The academic curriculum of the coordinating institution also benefited from the knowledge transfer. Multiple course contents were expanded to cover elements in the targeted field of research. This created a favourable context for attracting senior students towards research in the technical area of the project. The project was, however, not limited only on raising the research profile of UAIC. The scientific and technological (S&T) capacity of all the institutions involved benefited from multiple of the project activities, which offered the proper ground for knowledge transfer between all partners.
The activities concluded in the project included: block lectures and seminars on latest topics of interest, co-supervision of master students involving guidance for initiating research, specialization sessions of research personnel either within the consortium or by attending external events, the organization of: three summer schools, one major conference in the technical field of the project and involvement in two more other conferences, two workshops in collaboration with local industry at the coordinator’s site. Following these activities one permanent course related to the targeted field was introduced in the master curriculum of the coordinating institution and one more is scheduled to be integrated closely after the project’s end date. Multiple master students got involved in research related to these new courses. Also, multiple scientific articles were initiated and some already published leveraging the gained expertise. The external contacts network of the coordinating institution increased and latest research work was disseminated in top conferences. Finally, a new consortium was formed towards the end of the project, and new applications for funding within the technical area of the project were initiated. This directly leverages the influx of knowledge received in the coordinating institution through the project activities and targets the exploitation of the increased research capacity.
A constant improvement was observed through the project years in respect to a set of defined impact indicators. These showed the steady increase in scientific publications and scientific activities that involved both staff from the coordinating institution as well as from the other project partners, young researchers, and collaborators outside the consortium reached through networking actions. All publications that appeared following the direct impact of project activities were disseminated in important conferences and acknowledged the project. The indicators defined in the project showed an almost double yearly increase in multiple categories of publications proving showing a consistent enhancement of the research capacity.
The impact of the project is clearly visible at its end date, with the following highlights. First, we could observe an increasing interest towards the topics addressed by the project: for instance, the number of students enrolled to the master course introduced in the area of the project increased yearly up to reaching around four times the number of the first year (approximately from 13 to 50 students). Following the support actions organized by the project, the coordinating institution reached the capability to have accepted peer-reviewed publications in several top ranked conferences or their associated workshops that were not targeted before (e.g. the IEEE/IFIP DSN conference, the ACM/IEEE CCGRID conference, the DAIS conference, etc). The most notable outcome following the knowledge transfer received during the project activities, was the presence of the coordinating institution in the most visible academic competition in the project’s targeted research area in two occasions: the ACM DEBS Grand Challenge 2017 and 2018. This competition addresses yearly a problem at the intersection of interests from industry and academia, within the field of event based systems. In particular, the 2017 edition targeted improvement of automatized production lines of manufacturing equipment by efficient detection of anomaly events appearing in these contexts. The 2018 edition addressed issues of optimization in naval transportation by analysis of data events generated by ships that include information on destination and time of arrival. It is notable to mention that the coordinating institution was awarded in both occasions with the prize for the solution that showed the best performance in solving the problems proposed. The broad area of application of the technology where the coordinator institution gained expertise and was able to produce results shows the strong potential of future wide positive impact in research targeting multiple problems.
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