This is the Newsletter of the Centre for Data Science and Systems Complexity (DSSC) at the University of Groningen. The DSSC Newsletter is issued every two months.

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Centre for Data Science and Systems Complexity (DSSC), University of Groningen

DSSC Newsletter


The DSSC steering committee has a new member: Prof. Dr. Scott Trager
New DSSC member: Dr. Vasilis Andrikopoulos
NWO programmes on Cyber-security to open in 2017
Best paper award for Artificial Intelligence group
External grants for DSSC researchers

Horizontal 2016 Data Science for Evolving Content, Processes, Behaviour and Societies 
Big Data: real time ICT for logistics
Energy System Integration and Big Data

Netherlands Platform Complex Systems:NPCS logo
Call for proposals: mini-workshops on complex systems
Horizon 2020     EC logo                                                                      

Study Group Mathematics with Industry, 23-27 January, Amsterdam
National Platform Complex Systems, 10 March, Utrecht
ICT Open, 21-22 March, Flint Amersfoort
Groningen Spring School on Cognitive Modeling, 3-7 April, University of Groningen
International Workshop on Statistical Modelling, 2-7 July, University of Groningen
Big Data Expo, 20-21 September, Utrecht

The DSSC steering committee has a new member: Prof. Dr. Scott Trager

Prof. Dr. Scott Trager, Director of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, has become a member of the DSSC steering committee. Prof. Trager shared with us a few details about his research interests and expectations from his mandate at the DSSC:  Trager photo

"My research interests are centred around understanding the formation and evolution of the most-massive galaxies in the Universe, primarily through their stellar content: the ages, chemical compositions, and number of stars in these galaxies.

My work requires spectroscopic observations of galaxies both in the local and distant Universe, and I build spectroscopic instruments for large telescopes to facilitate this work. I am currently building a new spectrographic survey facility for the William Herschel Telescope on La Palma in the Canary Islands, where we will acquire roughly 30 million spectra of more than 10 million objects (stars and galaxies) over a five-year period beginning in late 2018. By late 2023 we will have a repository of more than 1.5 x 10^15 pixels, with roughly 1 billion associated parameters.

I am therefore particularly interested in the use of machine learning and computer vision techniques applied to large databases of catalogues and (one-, two-, and three-dimensional) images to extract (often complex) physical information from astronomical data. I have worked for many years with the Intelligent Systems and Scientific Visualization groups in JBI on topics ranging from subspace selection in high-dimensionality catalogues to feature recognition in astronomical images.

My connection to the DSSC therefore covers all of its major topics, with a focus on Advanced Instrumentation and Big Data. I particularly look forward to DSSC making interdisciplinary breakthroughs on Big Data exploitation in the context of knowledge discovery through a variety of different techniques, and of course the application of these techniques to astrophysical problems. I'd like DSSC to continue to use its cross-disciplinary position to create a yet more vibrant meeting ground, where all those interested in Big Data, advanced instrumentation, adaptive models, and complex systems can find common research ideas."

New DSSC member: Dr. Vasilis AndrikopoulosAndrikopoulos photo

Vasilios Andrikopoulos received his PhD cum laude in 2010 from Tilburg University. His dissertation discussed the controlled evolution of software services. He worked as a post-doctoral researcher first for Tilburg University, and then at the University of Stuttgart, where he was leader of the Cloud Infrastructure group at the Institute of Architecture of Application Systems.

His work during that period focused on solutions for migrating existing applications and systems to the Cloud, either completely, or partially, with an emphasis on providing support to system stakeholders for informed and efficient decision making.

In his current position, Vasilios intends to expand upon these previous works and study the essential characteristics and building blocks of dynamically formed complex software-supported systems on different scales. In this respect, the envisioned work touches on all three research lines of DSSC, and can create positive synergies with all disciplines.

NWO programmes on cyber-security to open in 2017

Three new Cyber Security research programs will be launched by the NWO in 2017:

  • the National call for Cyber Security Research
This call, to be launched in the first quarter of 2017, will invite consortia of researchers and public and private partners to apply a joint research application.
  • the joint NWO-US Department of Homeland Security research call 
This call will be launched in 2017 and will address joint projects submitted by Dutch and US Cyber Security researchers.
  • the ‘Scientist on the Job’ call
This call will allow young scientists to be embedded in an organisation for a period of time to jointly work on research questions and gain insight in the motives and incentives of the organization.
More information about the three instruments will be announced at the NWO website.

Best paper award for Artificial Intelligence group
Auspicious end of the year at our Center! The paper Dynamic Parameter Update for Robot Navigation Systems through Unsupervised Environmental Situational Analysis, by Amir Shantia, Francesco Bidoia, Lambert Schomaker (DSSC co-chair) and Marco Wiering (DSSC pioneer), was awarded the best paper award out of more than 460 accepted papers at the Symposium Series on Computation Intelligence (IEEE SSCI 2016) held in Athens from 5-9 December 2016.

External grants for DSSC researchers
The DSSC would like to congratulate the two teams of researchers including members of our Centre that were awarded funding by the Netherlands eScience Center and the STW in December 2016:
  • The Scientific Visualization & Computer Graphics group of the Johann Bernoulli Institute (PI Prof. Jos Roerdink, DSSC co-chair) has been awarded an EUR 260,000 grant for the project "Visual Storytelling of Big Imaging Data" under the call "Disruptive Technologies (DTEC) / Joint eScience and Data Science across Top Sectors" of the Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC), NWO-EW, and Dutch Digital Delta. Partners in the project are the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and the University’s Centre for Information Technology (CIT).
  • The project "Integrating models and real-time data for zero-defect manufacturing control systems," led by Prof. Dr. B. Jayawardhana (ENTEG, member of the DSSC), has received funding under the STW program on Smart Industry 2016. The winning team included Dr. Pietro Tesi, also a DSSC member, Prof. Dr. Jan Post (Head Strategic Partnerships Philips) and colleagues from the University of Twente. With a budget of approx. EUR 980, 000 the project will design control systems based on a complementary use of real-time sensor data and model-based control approaches that will enable zero-defect and flexible manufacturing systems for high-tech products. The STW press release on the awarding of the STW Smart Industry 2016 program is available here.

Horizontal 2016 Data Science for Evolving Content, Processes, Behaviour and Societies

An aimed focused effort is needed in order to shift the boundaries of present data science and big data solutions, and to expand the algorithmic understanding of data semantics, computational complexity, data protection and human information overload. In order to achieve this, the call focuses on data science and dealing with evolving content, processes, behaviour and societies.

Applications must be aimed at dealing and supporting changing data within the horizontal themes of data handling and data analytics, and the connection with more than one of the COMMIT2data vertical subprogrammes is desirable. Moreover, from the proposal it should be clear that results are applicable to at least two application domains, e.g. through partaking companies.

Proposals for funding of research in Data Science, analytics and handling are always submitted by a researcher on behalf of a consortium consisting of at least one private partner and at least two research institutes, possibly in collaboration with TNO.

Deadline: 21 February 2017 14:00; More information is available on the NWO website.

Big Data: real time ICT for logistics
NWO invites researchers and industrial partners to jointly submit a consortium application for the research programme Big Data: real time ICT for logistics. The call is divided into two compartments. Compartment 1 focuses on the issues concerning a collective infrastructure. In compartment 2, the focus is on research into the big data challenges in the logistics sector.

A proposal can be submitted by the principal applicant on behalf of a consortium that includes at least several researchers from one or more knowledge institutions and at least one public or private partner. Funding can be requested for the salary costs of personnel to be appointed to the research project.The total contribution (cash and in kind) of the private partners is at least 30% and at most 50% of the total project costs and at least half of this contribution is in cash. The cash contributions will be disbursed via NWO as part of the funding to the university/universities that submit the application.

Deadline: For Compartment 1 - 28 february
For Compartment 2 - 28 March

More information is available here.

Energy System Integration and Big Data
With this call for proposals, NWO is promoting public-private partnerships within scientifically innovative subjects in the area of energy system integration. For this an integrated view on the whole energy system is crucial. With this call, NWO supports the Topsector-crosscutting KIA ICT and the Topsector Energy. Projects will become part of the Commit2Data programme (part of the KIA ICT).

The main applicant should work mainly in one of the exact or technical disciplines (such as computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, architectural/built environment engineering, mechanical engineering). Each application involves at least one public/private partner and at least one university/research institute.

Private partners, public partners (such as ministeries, energy cooperations) and researchers of other research institutes (such as HBO's and TNO) can be members of consortia. They however are not eligible for financing by NWO. As consortium partners they have access to the knowledge, and support the research with an in cash and/or in kind contribution.

Deadline pre-proposal: 16 March 
Deadline full proposal: 24 August

More information is available here.

Netherlands Platform Complex Systems: Call for proposals for mini-workshops on complex systems

The NPCS funds mini-workshops on complex systems aiming at encouraging new scientists to the field of complexity. 

The purpose of NPCS’s mini-workshops is to promote the research field of complex systems. This is done by encouraging the organisation of a small two-day workshop in order to build up a new cooperation between 1) a scientist with a scientific, practical or societal problem  where the field of complex systems can greatly contribute to its solution, and 2) an expert in complex systems. 

Who can apply

A couple of two scientists, one of whom is a theoretical scientist working in complex systems and another scientist that has a scientific, practical or societal problem in analysing or understanding the data. The two scientists are at PostDoc level or higher and one of them (the PI) has a position at a university or knowledge institute in the Netherlands (NWO, KNAW, NCB Naturalis, etcetera) and the other at a university or knowledge institute in the Netherlands or abroad.

What can be applied for

The application is for a workshop of two days in the Netherlands.  The location can be chosen by the applicants. Each awarded workshop will receive a maximum financial support of € 2000,- . Financial support can be used for costs of travelling, accommodation of speakers, or catering.

Submissions: now for the 12 January 2017 deadline; Starting in May before the deadline of 12 August.

For more details, please contact NPCS management office, Marja van der Linden, 06-10461363,

Horizon 2020

EE-07-2016-2017: Behavioural change toward energy efficiency through ICT 
Deadline: 19 January 2017

EE-20-2017: Bringing to market more energy efficient and integrated data centres 
Deadline: 19 January 2017

MG-5.2-2017: Innovative ICT solutions for future logistics operations .
Deadline: First stage: 26 Jan. 2017
Second stage: 19 Oct. 2017

MG-5.4-2017: Potential of the Physical Internet .
Deadline: First stage: 26 Jan. 2017
Second stage: 19 Oct. 2017

ART-01-2017: ICT infrastructure to enable the transition towards road transport automation .
Deadline: First stage: 26 January 2017
Second stage: 27 September 2017

SC1-PM-15-2017: Personalised coaching for well-being and care of people as they age 
Deadline: 31 January 2017

LCE-01-2017: Next generation innovative technologies enabling smart grids, storage and energy system integration with increasing share of renewables 
Deadline: 14 February 2017

LCE-04-2017: Demonstration of smart transmission grid, storage and system integration technologies with increasing share of renewables.
Deadline: 14 February, 2017

LCE-05-2017: Tools and technologies for coordination and integration of the European energy system .
Deadline: 14 February, 2017

SFS-05-2017: Robotics Advances for Precision Farming.
Deadline: 14 February, 2017

LCE-01-2016-2017: Next generation innovative technologies enabling smart grids, storage and energy system integration with increasing share of renewables.
Deadline: 14 February, 2017


Study group mathematics with industry
23-27 January, Amsterdam Science Park
SWI (Study Group Mathematics with Industry) is a combined industrial–academic week-long workshop sponsored by NWO and STW. 50-80 mathematicians work in groups on problems submitted by companies. Companies present a selection of problems on Monday. The participants devote the entire week to studying these problems in smaller groups, and presents their results on Friday.

More information is available here.
ICT Open
21-22 Mar. 2017, Flint Amersfoort

The ICT.OPEN event is organised annually by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Technology Foundation STW under the auspices of ICT research Platform Netherlands (IPN). The themes of the meeting are: 

  • Cyber Security
  • Data Science
  • Machine Learning
For more information, please visit the website.
Groningen Spring School on Cognitive Modeling
3-7 April, University of Groningen

The Spring School will cover four different modeling paradigms: ACT-R, Nengo, PRIMs, and Accumulator models. It thereby offers a unique opportunity to learn the relative strengths and weaknesses of these approaches. Each day will consist of four theory lectures, one on each paradigm. Each modeling paradigm also includes hands-on assignments. Although students are free to chose the number of lectures they attend, we recommend you to sign up for lectures on two of the modeling paradigms, and complete the tutorial units for one of the paradigms. At the end of each day there will be a plenary research talk, to show how these different approaches to modeling are applied. 

The Spring School will be concluded with a keynote lecture (Sander Bohte) and a conference dinner.

Registration is available here.

National Platform Complex Systems
10 March, Utercht

The programme will feature keynote speeches (Prof. Andreas Flache, University of Groningen; Prof. Wilhelm Huck, Radboud University Nijmegen) and presentations by NWO and TNO on their activities related to complexity, by many institutes in the Netherlands regarding their work on complexity, and by the NPCS on the activities planned regarding research, society and teaching. The presentations will be aimed at a general audience in complexity science.

Registration is available here.

International Workshop on Statistical Modelling 
2-7 July, University of Groningen

IWSM is one of the major activities of the Statistical Modelling Society, founded with the purpose of promoting and encouraging statistical modelling in its widest sense, involving both academic and professional statisticians and data analysts. Since its first edition, the spirit of the workshop has always been to focus on problems motivated by real life data and on solutions that make novel contributions to the subject.

The atmosphere of the workshop is friendly and supportive, with no parallel sessions, with the aim of stimulating the exchange of ideas and experiences related to statistical modelling. Papers focusing on applications with important substantive implications as well as methodological issues are welcome. Submissions by students and young researchers are particularly encouraged.

Registration is available here.
Big Data Expo
20-21 September, Jaarbeurs, Jaarbeursplein, Utrecht

Big Data Expo is the largest Big Data event in the Netherlands that brings together data science and business. The keynote programme includes a wide variety of talks on topics such as Big Data in Science, Big Data in Retail, or Big Data and Privacy. The panel sessions will address other topics. The event addresses CEO's, CIO's, Marketing Managers, Marketing Intelligence Managers, Business Intelligence Managers, Marketing Analists, Data analists, Business Analists, Data scientists, Database Managers, Technology Planners, IT Managers, Informatie Managers, Systeem Analisten.

Registration is available here.
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Centre for Data Science and Systems Complexity · Nijenborgh 9 · Groningen, Gr 9747 AG · Netherlands

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