PhD Defense in Digital Media: ”Towards Human-in-the-Loop Computational Rhythm Analysis in Challenging Musical Conditions”

Candidate:
António Humberto e Sá Pinto

Date, Time and Place:
September 8, 14:30, Sala de Atos FEUP

President of the Jury:
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto;

Members:
Magdalena Fuentes, PhD, Assistant Professor, Music and Audio Research Lab (MARL) and Integrated Design & Media (IDM), New York University (NYU);
Jason Hockman, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Computing and Digital Technology (DMT), Birmingham City University (UK);
Matthew Edward Price Davies, PhD, Senior Scientist,  SiriusXM/Pandora (USA) – (Supervisor);
Rui Pedro da Silva Nóbrega, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Informática, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
Aníbal João de Sousa Ferreira, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Eletrotécnica e de Computadores, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

The thesis was co-supervised by Prof Rui Luís Nogueira Penha, Coordinating Professor at ESMAE, and Prof Gilberto Bernardes de Almeida, Assistant Professor at FEUP.

Abstract:

“Music Information Retrieval (MIR) is an interdisciplinary field focused on the extraction, analysis, and processing of information from various musical representations.
Grounded on the automatic analysis of musical facets such as rhythm, melody, harmony, and timbre, MIR enables applications in areas like music recommendation, automated music transcription, and intelligent music composition tools. Rhythm, an integral element of music, provides a foundation for decoding music’s complex relational structures and layered depth. Computational rhythm analysis is thus central to MIR research. It encompasses a wide range of tasks, such as the pivotal beat tracking, which unlocks the use of musical time across many MIR systems. However, conventional beat-tracking methods have struggled when dealing with complex musical features, such as expressive timing or intricate rhythmic patterns. While specialized approaches demonstrate some degree of adaptation, they do not generalise to diverse scenarios. Deep learning methods, while promising in addressing these issues, depend heavily on the availability of substantial annotated data. In scenarios requiring adaptation to user subjectivity, or where acquiring annotated data is challenging, the efficacy of beat-tracking methods lowers, thus leaving a gap in the applicability of computational rhythm analysis methods. This thesis investigates how user-provided information can enhance computational rhythm analysis in challenging musical conditions. It initiates the exploration of human-in-the-loop strategies with the aim of fostering adaptability of current MIR techniques. By focusing on beat tracking, due to its fundamental role in rhythm analysis, our goal is to develop streamlined solutions for cases where even the most advanced methods fall short. This is achieved by utilising both high-level and low-level user inputs —- namely, the user’s judgement regarding the expressiveness of the musical piece and annotations of a brief excerpt —- to adapt the state of the art to abstract particularly demanding signals. In an exploratory study, we validate the shared perception of rhythmic complexity among users as a proxy for musical expressiveness, and consequently as a key performance enhancer for beat tracking. Building upon this, we examine how highlevel user information can reparameterise a leading-edge beat-tracker, augmenting its performance to highly expressive music. We then propose a transfer learning method that finetunes the current state of the art, hereafter referred to as the baseline, to a concise user-annotated region. This method exhibits versatility across varied musical styles and offers potential solutions to the inherent limitations of previous approaches. Incorporating both user-guided contextualisation and transfer learning into a human-in-the-loop workflow, we undertake a comprehensive evaluation of our adaptive techniques. This includes examining the key customisation options available to users and their effect on performance enhancement. Our approach outperforms the current state of the art, particularly in the challenging musical content of the SMC dataset, with an improvement over the baseline F-measure of almost 10 percentage points (corresponding to over 16%). However, these quantitative improvements require further interpretation due to the inherent differences between our file-specific, human-in-the-loop technique and traditional dataset-wide methods, which operate without prior exposure to specific file characteristics. With the aim of advancing towards a user-centric evaluation framework for beat tracking, we introduce two novel metrics: the E-Measure and Annotation Efficiency. These metrics account for the user perspective regarding the annotation and finetuning process. The E-Measure is a variant of the F-measure focused on the annotation correction workflow and includes a shifting operation over a larger tolerance window. The Ae is defined as the relative (to the baseline) decrease in correction operations enabled by the fine-tuning process, normalised by the number of user annotations. Specifically, we probe the theoretical upper bound of beat tracking accuracy improvement over the SMC dataset. Our results show that the correct beat estimates provided by our approach surpass those of the state of the art by more than 20%. When considering the full length of the files, we can further frame this improvement in terms of gain per unit of user effort, quantifying the annotation efficiency of our approach. This is reflected in the substantial reduction of required corrections, with nearly 2/3 fewer corrections per user annotation compared to the baseline. In the final phase, we evaluate our human-in-the-loop strategy’s adaptability across a range of musical genres and instances presenting significant challenges. Our exploration extends to various rhythm tasks, including beat tracking, onset detection, and (indirectly) metre analysis. We apply this user-driven strategy to three unique genres with complex rhythm structures, such as polyrhythms, polymetres, and polytempi. Our approach exhibits swift adaptability, enabling efficient utilisation of the state-of-the-art method while bypassing the need for extensive retraining. This results in a balanced integration of data-driven and user-centric methods into a practical and streamlined solution.”

Keywords: Music Information Retrieval; User-centric; Transfer Learning; Beat Tracking.

PhD Defense in Informatics Engineering: ”Scaling-up organization of document sets to facilitate their analysis”

Candidate:
Rui Portocarrero Macedo de Morais Sarmento

Date, Time and Place:
July 24, 14:00, Sala de Atos DEGI (L202A), FEUP

President of the Jury:
Carlos Manuel Milheiro de Oliveira Pinto Soares, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Members:
José Fernando Ferreira Mendes, PhD, Full Professor, Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro;
Bruno Emanuel da Graça Martins, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Electrotécnica e de Computadores, Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidade de Lisboa;
Pavel Bernard Brazdil, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto (Co-Supervisor);
Henrique Daniel de Avelar Lopes Cardoso, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto;
Sérgio Sobral Nunes, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

The thesis was supervised by João Manuel Portela da Gama, PhD, Full Professor at Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto.

Abstract:

“The summarization and organization of document production of an organization in an intuitive and scalable way for massive amounts of data is of great importance in supporting decision-making.

This thesis intends to develop a theoretical and practical study to solve these challenges. The contents of this thesis were born after developing a static software prototype to analyze and provide decision support from text documents and a network of authors of scientific documentation. Several advantages were proved from the use of this mentioned prototype. Nonetheless, there were some concerns regarding the prototype’s ability to cope with higher dimensional networks and also a massive amount of documents. The development case study considers the affinity between authors on a large scale and constantly evolving. The first challenge is to scale the representation methods of documents of the authors. The second challenge is to capture the temporal development of the organization. Considering this context, we developed and implemented streaming techniques for the characterization of each author and other sub-units of the organization. Thus, by integrating into affinity groups identified by keywords and relevance measures that characterize them. We have finished this work by testing several developed algorithms to minor the disadvantages of the original prototype and gathering a panoply of solutions for problems related to text streaming techniques, considering a large-scale approach for the corresponding analysis. Information Retrieval techniques were used, and the analysis of social networks and streaming data was necessary. We solved several associated issues with efficient text streams analysis, using several techniques from pure streams analysis techniques to evolving complex networks techniques. These techniques that served as a base to innovation and contribution with more than ten new algorithms proved to improve the prototype and solve the issues that initially drove us to improve and contribute to several related areas of text analysis and streams.”

keywords: Streaming; Text Mining; Social network Analysis; Social network Visualization.

PhD Defense Digital Media: ”Connect-the-Dots: Artificial Intelligence and Automation in Investigative Journalism”

Requested by:
Joana Rodrigues da Silva

Date, time and place
July 19, 14h30, room L119 DEMEC (FEUP)

President of the Jury:
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Members:
Teresa Isabel Lopes Romão, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Informática, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
Luís António Santos, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Ciências de Comunicação, Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade do Minho;
Miguel Ângelo Rodrigues Midões, PhD, Invited Adjunct Professor, Departamento de Comunicação e Arte, Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Viseu;
Helena Laura Dias de Lima, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Ciências da Comunicação e da Informação, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);
Alexandre Miguel Barbosa Valle de Carvalho, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Abstract:

After the COVID-19 epidemic and the consequent humanitarian crises that devastated the planet, there is a need to claim the role of investigative journalism as a watchdog and permeation system of social justice and democracy through public exposure. We are witnessing a sharp decrease in investment in this journalism specialty, either because of its impertinence in dealing with public management issues or because of the time spent on this type of investigation, which fundamentally takes longer than current journalism to produce results. In this sense, we perceive the influence of automation and artificial intelligence in information production processes to highlight all human tasks with the possibility of being carried out in less time by technological systems. Considering this possibility, there was an interest in studying, in-depth, how robotics and the application of artificial intelligence through platforms that support the usual procedure of journalism can help and even improve the global state of investigative journalism practice, nowadays. The Connect-the-Dots platform and the DODO assistant emerge as a hypothetical digital solution for some of the problems that investigative journalism currently faces. It could be a way to practically implement investigative journalism in its scope of innovation by integrating tools and open-source practices in a Design-Based-Research approach to knowledge archaeology.”

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Investigative Journalism, Design-Based-Research, Digital Media.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: ”Modelo para utilização da prosódia e da interacção no acesso às expressões matemáticas através da fala sintetizada para pessoas com deficiência visual”

Candidate:
Adriana Silva Souza

Date, time and place:
July 10, 10:30,  Sala de Atos FEUP

President of the Jury:
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Members:
Vitor Manuel Pereira Duarte dos Santos, PhD, Assistant Professor, NOVA Information Management School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
João Manuel Pereira Barroso, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Vice-Reitor para a Inovação, Transferência de Tecnologia e Universidade Digital, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro;
João Paulo Ramos Teixeira, PhD, Coordinator Professor, Departamento de Eletrotecnia, Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão do Instituto Politécnico de Bragança;
Maria Selene Henriques da Graça Vicente, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Psicologia, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto;
Maria do Rosário Marques Fernandes Teixeira de Pinho, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Eletrotécnica e de Computadores, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto;
Diamantino Rui da Silva Freitas, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Eletrotécnica e de Computadores, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (supervisor).

Abstract:

“The synthesized speech of mathematical contents still presents several challenges. For Mathematics to be understood by people with visual impairment, it needs to be verbalized in detail, which generates long outputs and causes cognitive overload; in addition, Mathematics has quite peculiar rules. Therefore, most of the time, prosodic limits such as pauses, and intonation are not adequately synthesized. This investigation proposes a model that uses prosody and interaction to access mathematical expressions to minimize the problems mentioned. We relied on the Design-Based Research methodology to develop the model and divided the study into four stages. In the first stage, a systematic literature review was carried out. We conducted an initial exploration investigation with interviews with students with visual impairments and braille teachers and analyzed the mathematics spoken by speech synthesizers. In the second stage of the investigation, a corpus of mathematical expressions spoken by math professors was created to support prosody research. Intonation and pauses were the investigated prosodic components. Although the studies have yet to go into intonation in-depth, we did some tests of prosodic modulation of the fundamental frequency, highlighting stretches of mathematical expressions according to the level in the MathML tree. Concerning pauses, we identified their main patterns in mathematical expressions. We also performed an eye-tracking experiment with sighted people to understand the cognitive processes surrounding mathematical expressions’ observation, analysis, and processing. In the third stage, a linear regression model which calculates the pauses for mathematical expressions dynamically was created and evaluated with visually impaired students. The results showed advances regarding the solutions found, perceived mainly when the mathematical expressions are unfamiliar to the students. The results of the eye tracking experiment showed that in addition to the complexity of the mathematical expression, it was necessary to propose a new formal concept that was called diversity, quantifying this subjective property of the structures of expressions because it was found that it also impacts during the cognitive processing of expressions. Data analysis provided clues for creating the interaction model that uses diversity to control the cognitive load in accessing mathematical expressions during the process. The evaluation of the model with visually impaired people showed an advance concerning existing works since students performed better when accessing mathematical expressions with the model. In the fourth stage, we made the final proposition of the model based on the assessment of people with visual impairments. The results achieved in this investigation allow greater autonomy in the reading of mathematical expressions; people with visual impairment can govern the interaction in the auditory access according to the need to reinforce their memory; in addition, it can reduce the time in the manipulation of mathematical expressions compared to traditional tools, improve the writing process, since reading is linked to writing and relieve the student’s memory. In addition to these contributions, we can also highlight the discovery of the new diversity parameter, which is strongly related to the cognitive processing of expressions. In general, these contributions make it possible to improve and develop mathematics education, particularly in the teaching-learning process of visually impaired people, making them more autonomous beings, which, in addition to scientific contributions, can also generate social and economic impacts arising from accessibility.”

Keywords: Synthesized Speech, Mathematics, Accessibility, Visual Impairment, Complexity, Diversity.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: “Location-Based Serious Games for Science Communication of Natural Heritage”

PhD Defense in Digital Media

Candidate:
Liliana Andreia da Rocha Santos

Date, time and place:
June 29, 14:00, Sala de Atos FEUP

President of the Jury:
Pedro Nuno Ferreira da Rosa da Cruz Diniz, PhD, Full Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Members:
Teresa Isabel Lopes Romão, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Informática, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
João Paulo Fonseca da Costa Moura, PhD, Assistant Professor, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro;
Paulo Simeão de Oliveira Ferreira de Carvalho, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto;
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);
Rui Pedro Amaral Rodrigues, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Abstract:

“Science Communication assumes increasing importance to encourage people to become more conscious about natural heritage, which is most important for a sustainable society.

This thesis proposes the use of location-based serious games as an effective digital media tool for science communication of natural heritage. We hypothesise that serious games can be an effective tool for science communication of natural heritage and that location-based serious games can further improve science communication of natural heritage by allowing that science communication message to occur in its respective physical context (in loco). With our research questions, we set out to find the role of serious games for science communication of natural heritage, how can location-based serious games contribute to science communication of natural heritage, and how we can help others design location-based serious games for science communication of natural heritage.

A systematic literature review helped to understand the possible roles of serious games in science communication. It revealed that serious games can raise awareness, enjoyment, interest, opinions and understanding of our natural heritage. We also identified different types of technologies, game mechanics and science communication contents that these games integrate.

This research follows the methodology of design science research. We developed three game prototypes to understand how location-based serious games can contribute to this area, thus answering the second research question. These games included a map with points of interest, the location from a Global Navigation Satellite System, geotagged information, contextualised mini-games, a collectables photo gallery, and content for the general public. They were developed within the context of a specific natural park, however, the concept can be adapted and applied to different parks, botanical gardens, and other green spaces.

The knowledge and experience obtained with the literature review and the creation of the prototypes helped develop a framework and guidelines for creating location-based serious games for science communication of natural heritage, thus answering the third research question. The framework includes the context, objectives, how to do it, the product and the responses. The guidelines further assist in the analysis, design, development and evaluation. A co-creation workshop for designing location-based serious games for an urban park was created to validate the framework and the guidelines.

Location-based serious games are an effective digital media tool for science communication of natural heritage, allowing communicating in a more contextualised way and further enhancing the visitor experience. Our main contributions are the framework and guidelines, for designing location-based serious games for science communication of natural heritage.”

Keywords: Serious Games, Location-Based Games, Science Communication, Natural Heritage.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: ”Research data description in multiple domains: supporting researchers with data management plans”

Candidate:
Yulia Karimova

Date, time and place
June 2, 14:00, Sala de Atos FEUP

President of the Jury
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with habilitation, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Members
Maria Manuel Lopes de Figueiredo Costa Marques Borges, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento Filosofia, Comunicação e Informação, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra;
José Luis Brinquete Borbinha, PhD, Full Professor, Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidade de Lisboa;
Irene Pimenta Rodrigues, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Informática, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Évora;
Maria Cristina de Carvalho Alves Ribeiro, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);
Carla Alexandra Teixeira Lopes, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Abstract
The growing amount of research data and the recognition of their value in the scientific community has led to the development of policies, infrastructures, tools and services. Researchers are encouraged to open their data and make them FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) to ensure the verifiability of results and transparency of research, while increasing their value. In this context, Research Data Management (RDM) becomes a vital component of high-quality research and a regular activity for researchers. The Data Management Plan (DMP), provision of quality metadata, repository selection, and data publication are some of the activities that researchers need to undertake when following the Open Science policies. However, these activities are time-consuming and not obvious to researchers, requiring specific knowledge, effort and experience. To support researchers, institutions are looking for solutions and developing workflows, tools, systems and services that aim to meet RDM requirements of both researchers and funding agencies. Implementing any information system, tool or service at a research institution requires their development, testing and evaluation, as well as adaptation to existing regulations. In this work, we present the development of a DMP support system that meets RDM requirements and researcher needs. We also propose its implementation in the institutional infrastructure and workflow. We explore various aspects related to the DMP support system development, namely RDM and DMP requirements and legislation at the international and national levels, institutional project management and RDM workflows, existing initiatives, recommendations and tools. We introduce a collaborative DMP-building method based on collaboration between researchers and a data steward. We describe its application to case studies from different scientific domains, analyze the results and propose its systematic evaluation. We also propose a path that simplifies the DMP creation process, to make plans more standard, high-quality, and detailed, by implementing controlled vocabularies in the DMP support system. To this end, we apply the collaborative method on projects from the same scientific domain, identifying specific aspects for this domain and proposing terms that can be used with controlled vocabularies and possibly contributing to the design of Domain Data Protocols. The proposed DMP support system also considers the existing mechanisms of automation and interoperability, namely the machine-actionable DMP (maDMP) standard. We analyze the maDMP standard and existing tools created according to this standard and propose a DMP structure and a DMP workflow that can help to make the DMP machine-actionable. Finally, we suggest the implementation of the DMP support system in the institutional RDM workflow, and the interface to support researchers in DMP creation and RDM activities in general. Moreover, this work concludes that the DMP support system can be implemented in any institution, and used for projects in different scientific domains. The results constitute a guide for institutions that are still at the beginning of the development of the RDM infrastructure. The feedback from researchers shows that they need support in DMP creation and monitoring, not only at the planning stage of the project but also during its course and sometimes even after. They are very positive about the implementation of the proposed system, highlighting its importance and necessity. Along with researchers, institutions also benefit from the implementation of such a system by providing support to researchers in RDM issues, reducing the time to create plans, improving the quality of DMPs and making projects comply with the RDM and funders’ requirements, thereby contributing to the prestige of the institution.

PhD Defense in Informatics Engineering: “Incentive Mechanisms and Policy Evaluation on Open Multi-Agent Systems: Towards Social-Aware Transportation Systems”

Candidate:
Zafeiris Kokkinogenis

Date, time and place
23rd September, 14:30, Sala de Atos FEUP

 

President of the Jury:

Carlos Manuel Milheiro de Oliveira Pinto Soares, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto

 

Members:

Alberto Fernandez Gil, PhD,  Associate Professor, Departamento de Ciencias de la Computación, Arquitectura de Computadores, Lenguajes y Sistemas Informáticos y Estadística e Investigación Operativa, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos;

Sandra Maria Monteiro de Melo, PhD, Main Researcher of the Business Unit INTELI – Policy & Intelligence for Sustainability, CEiiA – Centre of Engineering and Product Development;

Pedro José Ramos Moreira de Campos, PhD, Assistant Professor, Agrupamento Científico de Matemática e Sistemas de Informação, Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto;

Rosaldo José Fernandes Rossetti, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);

Ana Paula Cunha da Rocha, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

 

Abstract

Generally speaking, a large-scale socio-technical system is formed up of individual entities that are distributed along with the system’s space and act asynchronously in their decision making processes. Each of the individuals bears its own goals and tends to behave rather “selfishly” and “greedily” to maximise self-welfare utilities. However, this characteristic will generally affect negatively the global efficiency and the designed (expected) emergent behavior of the system. Indeed, private road transport imposes negative externalities on society, such as road capacity restrictions, accidents, congestion, etc. An efficient mobility model must take into account the real costs of transport, and its regulatory framework will need to produce the conditions for people to make sustainable transport choices. Economic theories offer two types of instruments for addressing the problem of transport externalities: command-and-control and incentive-based policies.

Command-and-control policies are government regulations which force users to change their behavior. In that sense, recent approaches to optimise the traffic network throughput and reduce traffic congestion basically rely on “road pricing”. However, this approach ends up penalising the user and creating social inequalities as it imposes a tax to be paid. Only those who are insensitive to the price will benefit. Also, a population may not be responsive to the defined penalties, and thus, the regulation may not be efficient.

On the other hand, an approach that has gained the community’s attention is based on the implementation and design of incentive schemes in public policy. Incentives are seen as those external measures that try to motivate a behavior change towards the objective of the system. It appears to be a “fairer” vision, as it does not discriminate the user but rather tries to bring the society into equilibrium.

The domain area on which this PhD thesis is focused concerns open and competitive multiagent systems, such as the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and the electricity markets. This thesis intends to address the issue of whether or not incentive-centred designs can favour the emergence of social-aware behavior in agents that have selfish tendencies for a (global) optimal evolution of a socio-technical system. Traditional transport planning tools using the four-step model combined with standard economic appraisal methods are not able to provide such analysis. Instead, a multi-agent system (MAS) social simulations can be used as it is argued in the literature of complex systems.

Keywords: Multi-Agent Systems, Incentive Mechanisms, Resource Markets, Policy Evaluation, Traffic Simulation.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: ”Acoustic ecology in artistic creation: re-discovering underwater soundscapes”

Candidate:
Francisca Santos Silva Rocha Gonçalves

Date, time and place
22nd September, 10h00, Sala de Atos FEUP

President of the Jury
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation at Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto

Members
Angus Carlyle, PhD, Professor at University of Arts London, UK;
Isabel Maria Antunes Pires, PhD, Invited Assistant Professor at Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
Raquel Maria Lemos e Castro, PhD, Researcher at Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias;
Rui Luís Nogueira Penha, PhD, Assistant Professor at Instituto Politécnico do Porto (Supervisor);
Gilberto Bernardes de Almeida, PhD, Assistant Professor at Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to connect people with underwater environments while creating awareness for the problem of anthropogenic noise pollution through artistic creation. This dissertation addresses the lack of information on underwater noise discourse, especially on the vibrational aspect of underwater sound. By asking how to convey the experience of underwater soundscapes and their human disruption, it proposes two major directions that inform and complement each other. First, several underwater soundscape recordings were realised. They provide an understanding of the ambience of places and allow attunement with the natural world. Second, six practice-based research artworks based on the soundscape recordings and methods from acoustic ecology and ecoacoustics, focusing on anthropogenic sounds aimed at improving inclusion with nature while creating awareness of the noise pollution problem. The revised strategies and concepts included place attachment, emotional affinity, nature-connectedness and ecology of æffect. These artworks provide the setting for challenging audiences to bond with underwater environments by listening to their soundscapes while revealing a particular aspect of underwater sound. Moreover, they explore creative strategies for developing sonic experiences with the introduction, experience and performance of underwater sounds in artistic creation. Additionally, the artworks introduce and approach a natural phenomenon related to underwater sound (Luciferina – bioluminescence; SINØ III – cymatics; #switchoffandlisten – noise awareness campaign; DIS_turbation – bioturbation; Munda – cavitation; 2182kHz – auditory masking). The insights from the artistic experiences proved critical to continue producing innovative contributions and to create knowledge while influencing the communities. The significance of this study is that it informs the theoretical understanding of noise pollution impacts on aquatic fauna and underwater acoustics by introducing a focus on the vibrational aspect of underwater sound: particle motion. In addition, it informs the empirical understanding of the practice-based research on developing the proposed artworks. The novelty lies in addressing biological phenomena as a creative resource to intervene in underwater noise dialogue, reveal hidden qualities of vibroscape ecology (such as particle motion) and translate them in a more grasping way through the artistic artworks. As underwater soundscapes are increasingly a topic of concern globally, they become crucial to fostering an emotional affinity between people and natural environments, promoting inclusion with nature.

Keywords: ecological sound art, acoustic ecology, underwater soundscapes, anthropogenic noise, vibroscape ecology, nature-connectedness, ecology of æffect.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: “Migration as movement – repurposing the voice/interface to explore aspects of human migratory movement through artistic research”

Candidate:
Terhi Tuulikki Marttila

Date, Time and place:
June 27, 10:00, Sala de Atos of FEUP

 President:

António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Members:

Anne Karhio, PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of education of Inland Norway, University of Applied Sciences;

Manuel José de Freitas Portela, PhD, Full Professor, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra;

Vitor Manuel Pereira Duarte dos Santos, PhD, Assistant Professor, NOVA IMS da Universidade Nova de Lisboa;

José Miguel Santos Araújo Carvalhais Fonseca, Professor Auxiliar da Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto;

Diamantino Rui da Silva Freitas, PhD, Associate Professor, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor).

Abstract:

In this artistic research we start from the idea that digital works can be utilized for imagining and playing with yet impossible realities, for asking questions, and for portraying aspects of life such that we can explore these from a distance. This dissertation consists of three browser-based artworks programmed by myself in HTML, Javascript and CSS. These art experiences unfold on the screen, asking the person to interact with them in order to complete their meanings. The works incorporate, among other things, voice interaction through synthetic speech and speech input, the uses of which form an essential component of the works meanings. Each work is concerned with very different types of questions around migration, but overall, and as a triptych, the works explore what the movement brought about by migration implies from a human standpoint. The themes encompassed extend from exploring perspectives on language, where movement results in linguistic accent which provokes a notion of the Other through external difference (in We cannot take them all), or exploring the movement induced by the tension between our body and our personal needs and desires, but that is governed by (shifting) borders (in Speak out) and finally, at exploring migratory movement through the ambivalent relationship between the here and the there, the simultaneous processes of (re-)rooting and of living with homesickness (in Transplanted). While this research may not depart from clear research questions, it nevertheless arrives at observations about the artistic strategies that emerge when migration is explored through notions of voice/interaction. The works themselves open up a space of contemplation about the respective themes, inviting participation through voice.

Keywords: migration, voice interaction, electronic literature, digital art, artistic research

PhD Defense in Informatics Engineering: ”An Agent-based Approach to Design Decentralized Cloud-Edge Data Analysis in Cyber-Physical System”

Candidate:
Jonas Felipe Pereira de Queiroz

Date, Time and place:
June 14, 14:00, Sala de Atos of FEUP

President:

Carlos Manuel Milheiro de Oliveira Pinto Soares, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Members:

Luís Filipe Santos Gomes, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Departamento de Engenharia Electrotécnica e de Computadores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa;

Maria Goreti Carvalho Marreiros, PhD, Coordinating Professor with Habilitation, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto;

Paulo Jorge Pinto Leitão, PhD, Full Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Eléctrica, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança (Supervisor);

Rosaldo José Fernandes Rossetti, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Abstract:

The 4th industrial revolution is characterized by the digitization of industrial environments, based on the use of Internet of Things, Cloud/Edge Computing and Artificial Intelligence technologies. This technological advances are pushed by the ever-changing market that besides posing new business challenges, further increase the already existing complexity and related issues faced by industries at the operational environments. In this context, Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) have been considered the new paradigm to develop the next generation of intelligent and distributed industrial automation systems that can achieve higher levels of flexibility and dynamic adaptation. Although data analysis has shown to be a key enabler of industrial CPS in the development of smart machines and products, the traditional Cloud-centric solutions are not suitable to attend the data and time-sensitive requirements. Aiming to cope with that, Edge Computing has been adopted to enable the data processing capabilities at or close to the physical components, complementing the Cloud solutions. However, defining what data analysis capabilities should be deployed along Cloud-Edge computational layers is not a straightforward task. Motivated by this challenge, this work proposes a conceptual framework that defines a modular agent-based architecture to design and develop cyber-physical components, together with a general guideline to support the system engineers to evaluate and determine the most suitable computing layer to deploy a given data analysis task. The proposed framework was implemented and evaluated considering some experiments based on a smart machine CPS testbed, and different scenarios that illustrate the benefits of distributing the data analysis capabilities along Cloud-Edge layers. The modular structure of the agent-based cyber-physical component architecture shown to be suitable, enabling to easily configure and distribute data analysis tasks along the CPS components and their deployment in the different computing layers, also providing a seamless and transparent interaction between the components. In addition, the proposed guideline and the Fuzzy Logic decision-making systems were used to recommend, in a less ad-hoc manner, the most suitable layer to deploy three data analysis tasks identified in the case study. 

Keywords: Cyber-Physical Systems, Data Analysis, Multi-Agent Systems, Edge Computing