Anthony Finkelstein

CAPSA: A Technical Review OR Physician Heal Thyself

This seminar reviews the technical and decision-making processes by which the Cambridge Financial System came into being. The talk outlines the history of the CAPSA project and discusses key issues arising from the system development. The application of software engineering practice in the implementation of large Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems is discussed and some research issues signalled.

Richard Durbin

Computing for the Genome Project

Tim Harris

Practical Lock-Free Data Structures

Through careful design and implementation it's possible to build data structures that are safe for concurrent use without needing to manage locks or block threads. These "lock-free" data structures can increase performance by allowing extra concurrency and can improve robustness by avoiding problems such as priority inversion. However, many existing designs are extremely intricate and make unrealistic assumptions that render them effectively unusable. In this talk I'll introduce the topic and present some of the work that we've been doing on practical designs for lock-free data structures, on their implementation and on their evaluation within real systems. The subject is one of broad appeal, encompassing both checking the algorithms' correctness and handling the implementation issues that emerge on modern processors with relaxed memory ordering.

Simone Teufel

Information Access to Scientific Articles

I will discuss my work on the summarisation of scientific articles which is based on a robust model of the discourse structure of this text type. Training from surface linguistic and non-linguistic clues, it is possible to identify sentences of a certain rhetorical status -- goal statements, criticism of previous work or statements of research predecessors. These pieces of information help to situate one given article in the scientific field, and to distinguish it from similar articles, in a far more informative way than a large citation index could do. One of the challenges for the future lies in the production of coherent, flexible summaries from the extracted sentential material. One interesting starting point for this task will be the relationships between sentences from the same article which are of the same rhetorical status.

Part 1B Group Project Presentations

Richard Gold

Overlaying and Undermining IP

We examine situations where the typical IP network layer model lacks certain functionality that certain applications desire: namely content location and support for different routing styles. We describe the approaches that we have taken to overcome these limitations. We overlay IP to provide content location and undermine IP to allow the expression of alternative routing paradigms. Overlaying entails the construction of additional routing structures on top of the existing IP infrastructure. This allows us to create an overlay network which consists of a subset of the IP network nodes. The result of this is that it allows us to take control of the routing infrastructure and thus make decisions which IP is unable to take. A natural consequence of such an approach is better network support for overlay networks. We propose the usage of an underlay network (i.e., a virtual network below IP) for such tasks. In joint work with Christian Tschudin from Uppsala University, we present the SelNet underlay network and describe its ability for allowing the creation of overlay networks and we propose the basic component of the overlay network: the "tunnel" as a core networking abstraction and show how it can be used to create various styles of routing.