SIGBED FY'04 Annual Report

July 2003 - June 2004
Submitted by: Janos Sztipanovits, SIGBED Chair

SIGBED was established in May 2003 and started operation as a provisional SIG. During the past year, SIGBED achieved all its initial goals and started providing services for the embedded computing community.

Embedded Computing

Embedded computing continues to be an extremely active area of information technology. It has strategic importance for the future of systems industry from mobile to home systems and from automotive, to avionics and manufacturing. Embedded computing technology transforms products, creates new markets and disrupts the status quo. Embedded computing challenges the research community with fundamental problems emerging from the integration of physical and computational objects, and from the need of developing ever mode complex, interdependable, secure systems.

The importance of embedded computing research has been widely recognized by government and industry. Embedded computing was listed third in the overall research priorities of the European Commission; it receives continued research support in the US from NSF and other agencies and the industrial interest is demonstrated by the appearance of embedded software and systems in the largest industry supported meetings such as DATE in Europe.

The primary challenge of SIGBED is to serve as an interface between the profession and the rest of society: government, industry, and education.

Conferences

At the October 2003 meeting, the SIGBED Board accepted the following long-term goals for embedded computing conferences:

  1. Consolidation of smaller conferences to a Fall and Spring Joint Conference model.

  2. Increasing industrial participation and involvement in conferences.

With the active participation and help of the SIGBED Board members, we established an initial conference portfolio via sponsorship arrangements. After the first year of operation, the list of SIGBED sponsored meeting is the following:

  1. International Conference on Embedded Software (EMSOFT) The focus of EMSOFT is principles of embedded software development. 100% SIGBED Sponsorship.

  2. International Conference on Hardware Software Codesign and System Synthesis (CODES+ISSS)

    The focus of the conference is in the design of embedded systems hardware, software and tools. (10% SIGBED Sponsorship)

  3. Compilers, Architecture and Synthesis for Embedded Systems (CASES) The CASES conference provides a forum for emerging technology in embedded computing systems, with an emphasis on compilers and architectures for embedded systems. (33% SIGBED Sponsorship)

  4. International Symposium on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN) The focus of IPSN covers physical device design, signal processing and networking and middleware aspects of sensor network development. (50% SIGBED Sponsorship)

  5. Conference on Languages, Compilers and Tools for Embedded Systems (LCTES)

    The focus of the conference is integrated hardware and software solutions for achieving performance goals in resource limited embedded system platforms. (50% SIGBED Sponsorship)

  6. International Workshop on Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control (HCSS) The focus of the workshop is modeling, analysis, and implementation of dynamic and reactive systems involving both discrete and continuous behaviors. (SIGBED Sponsorship has been initiated)

During the last year, all of the meetings above reported increased number of submissions with average acceptance rate of 25-35%. Our next step in moving toward the Fall and Spring Joint Conference model will be the organization of a "Summit" for Steering Committee representatives on discussing the feasibility of and the actual process for migrating toward the new model. We have started preparations for the meeting, which is expected to be organized under NSF sponsorship. At this point, the first concrete result is the co-location of EMSOFT and CODES+ISSS in 2005.

We expect that the following development will foster increased interaction between the embedded computing research community and industry:

  1. DATE 2005, the largest design automation conference in Europe with very strong industrial participation, established an Embedded Software Topic Area, where Janos Sztipanovits (SIGBED Chair) and Joseph Sifakis (Member of the SIGBED Board) will serve as Program Committee co-chairs. We expect that this meeting will significantly increase the industrial visibility of SIGBED in Europe.

  2. OMG has established the Model Integrated Computing PSIG for standardizing some aspects of embedded software design and design tools. SIGBED members participate in this industrial forum and help the establishment of technical interaction between research groups and major end-user industry (automotive and avionics).

  3. Under the sponsorship of US government agencies and industry, a new non-for-profit organization, the ESCHER (Embedded System Consortium for Hybrid and Embedded Research) Institute has been established for operating an open, quality controlled repository for the results of government funded research.

Journals

The embedded computing community has two ACM transactions, where SIGBED members serve in leadership role.

ACM Transaction on Embedded Computer Systems (ACM TECS)
Editor: Prof. Wayne Wolf (Member of the SIGBED Board)

ACM Transaction on Sensor Networks (ACM TOSN)
Editor: Dr. Feng Zhao (Member of the SIGBED Board)

The two transactions play fundamental role in building up a body of archival publications in the emerging fields of embedded systems and sensor networks.

Newsletter

SIGBED has started up the publication of a newsletter, the SIGBED Review. This electronic newsletter, edited by Dr. Tarek Abdelzaher, Dr. Sandeep Neema and Dr. Oleg Sokolsky, is a peer-reviewed quarterly publication, which provides a dissemination forum for research on embedded computing.

Future Challenges

SIGBED is serving an extremely active technology area, which is, to a large extent, in the formation phase to becoming a new discipline. The largest future challenges for the SIG are the followings:

  1. Accelerating the convergence toward the Joint Fall and Spring Conference model with strong industrial participation.

  2. Development of new services for SIG members beyond the SIGBED Newsletter and SIGBED Web Portal.

  3. Extending the Committee Structure of SIGBED and gradually assuming operation with a larger volunteer group.

  4. Preparation for the election of the new SIGBED leadership.

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