Monthly Buzz – n°2

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This month was a very interesting month for Tech related news. I would have loved to talk about the new Jolla’s phone and the ‘Other Half’, the XBOX ONE, Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo, BBC’s Perceptive Radio or even Google I/O.
But instead I will write about the rise of Instant Messaging Apps.

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What’s wrong with IT?

© Richard Stallman
© Richard Stallman

Common questions heard around IT:
Is IT a science? an engineering domain? Is it a source of profit or a deep endless hole for money? What’s the map of job types in the domain?

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Monthly Buzz – n°1



One of the biggest news of the month was the announcement and release of Facebook Home. For those of you who haven’t heard about Facebook Home, it’s an Android Launcher replacement. What does it do? It basically replaces your lock screen and home screen with your Facebook newsfeed. Is it good? Well, apart some privacy concern (your newsfeed appears on your lock screen without the need to unlock the phone), it is as good as your friends are, meaning that if you have a lot of friends who love Hello Kitty, your phone will be an Hello Kitty Phone.
But what Facebook Home shows, is that Android is a very customizable platform that can be tailored to specific needs, even by removing all Google’s services (e.g.: Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook).

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Big Data Paris 2013

research center Euranova BLEU_EFFETS


The Big Data Paris 2013 conference was held on April 3rd and 4th. I was quite disappointed by this event. Of course, I knew it was neither a scientific nor an ACM or IEEE event. I was thus coming with a solid mental preparation, ready to see marketing and business presentations.

But what I saw was incredibly far from what I expected. In order to keep this post objective, I will quickly skip the amazingly (Yes, I think this is the right term) poor level of the panel discussions and the talks. Instead, I want to summarize my overall feeling in this post.

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TEDx Louvain-la-Neuve

© TEDxLouvainLaNeuve
© TEDxLouvainLaNeuve

For the first time a TEDx event was hosted in Louvain-la-Neuve last 23 march 2013. It was the 4th anniversary of TEDx and plenty of conferences were organized around the world at this occasion. Like all TED conferences, the spirit of this conference was based on the motto “ideas worth spreading”. Sixteen speakers were invited to give twenty minutes talks on various subjects going from artistic cooking, to collective awareness over politics and bad managements practices in companies. The day was divided in four parts of four talks and between the parts we had the opportunity to discuss with the speakers and the audience on an informal way.

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Euranova Academical Research 2012 Vintage

In total this academical year, five Master Theses and one internship have been conducted in collaboration with 3 different academical institutions in Belgium: Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Université de Liège (ULg) and Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). Let’s here quickly review their goals and contributions.

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Large graph mining: recent developments, challenges and potential solutions

With the recent growth of the graph-based data, the large graph processing becomes more and more important. In order to explore and to extract knowledge from such data, graph mining methods, like community detection, is a necessity. The legacy graph processing tools mainly rely on single machine computational capacity, which cannot process large graphs with billions of nodes. Therefore, the main challenge of new tools and frameworks lies on the development of new paradigms that are scalable, efficient and flexible. In this paper, we review the new paradigms of large graph processing and their applications to graph mining domains using the distributed and shared nothing approach used for large data by internet players.


Sabri Skhiri, and Salim Jouili, Large Graph Mining: Recent Developments, Challenges and Potential Solutions, presentation during the European Business Intelligence Summer School (eBISS 2012) organized by the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Ecole Centrale Paris, Brussels, Belgium, July 2012.

Click here to access the paper in its preprint form.

Trust-based recommendation: an empirical analysis

The use of trust in recommender systems has been shown to improve the accuracy of rating predictions, especially in the case where a user’s rating significantly differs from the average. Different techniques have been used to incorporate trust into recommender systems, each showing encouraging results. However, the lack of trust information available in public datasets has limited the empirical analysis of these techniques and trust-based recommendation in general, with most analysis limited a single dataset.

In this paper, we provide a more complete empirical analysis of trust-based recommendation. By making use of a method that infers trust between users in a social graph, we are able to apply trust-based recommendation techniques to three separate datasets. From this, we measure the overall accuracy of each technique in terms of the Mean Absolute Error (MAE), the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) as well as measuring the prediction coverage of each technique. We thus provide a comparison and analysis of each technique on all three datasets.

Daire O’Doherty, Salim Jouili, and Peter Van Roy, Trust-based recommendation: an empirical analysis, proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGKDD Workshop on Social Network Mining and Analysis SNA-KDD, Beijing, China, ACM, July 2012.

Click here to access the paper.