Thursday, 30 June 2016

iSchool Research Seminar - MEM0R1ES: Memory-based Information Systems

MEM0R1ES: Memory-based Information Systems

Dr. Michele Catasta
EPFL, Switzerland

Thursday 7th July | 12 noon (coffee from 11.30am) | Room 204, Information School, Regent Court

In this talk I will discuss the feasibility of memory-based information systems, namely, systems that take into account the idiosyncrasies of human memories. Departing from classical integrated
infrastructures providing static views over heterogeneous sources, we propose to mimic the way our brain stores and accesses information in order to provide a more natural extension of our cognitive functions when it comes to tap into the chaotic piles of digital information that we generate daily.
First, I will present our effort in redefining 3 fundamental information systems, taking into account the way in which human memories work. Namely, we rethought a search architecture over personal data, we devised a new crowdsourcing paradigm (leveraging the Transactive Memory paradigm), and we envisioned a novel Database Management System. In the second part, I will briefly introduce our long-term efforts to gain insights on the human memories in a non-invasive way, by developing appealing software applications that could reach thousands of users. Such work-in-progress has a fundamental importance when it comes to design novel information systems, because it allows us to rank the information based on its memorability. In what is currently called the “information era”, showing only what is memorable to the user could become the key feature to tame the deluge of data we are exposed to daily.

Michele Catasta is a research scientist and lecturer in Data Science at EPFL, Switzerland. During his PhD (EPFL, 2015), he let human memories and information systems have their first dance. To make this debut happen, he added new bells and whistles (human computation, machine learning, psychology) to his original researcher hat (big data analytics, information retrieval, semantic technologies). Michele was in the founding team of, the largest Semantic Web search
engine (now SIREn Solutions). He also worked for MIT Media Lab, Google and Yahoo Labs. In the past years, he received several awards and recognitions - among them, a focused grant from Samsung Research USA.
This event is free and there is no need to register.

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