Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Software Languages Lab (VUB) – Belgium

The VUB's Software Languages Lab (SOFT) is the merge of the former Programming Technology (PROG) and System and Software Engineering (SSEL) labs of the VUB. It is headed by Profs. Drs. Theo D'Hondt, Viviane Jonckers and Wolfgang De Meuter and is part of the Computer Science Department. SOFT has a head count of 35 including 3.8 professors, 9 senior post-doc researchers, and 22 pre-doc researchers. The lab has a long tradition in both teaching and researching software languages and has grown into an internationally acknowledged player in object, aspect and ambient software development research. Active collaborations with other research units, entreprises and governmental institutions ensure that our research is validated in real-world situations such as smart city contexts. This has led to over 45 PhDs and a multitude of high-end publications at international conferences and journals. Since 2008, the lab has begun to focus its attention very seriously on sustainability issues, culminating in the establishment of the BrusSense subteam in 2009 (www.brussense.be). The BrusSense team works to continue and extend the NoiseTube project, which investigates participatory techniques for monitoring noise pollution. The team has implemented several case studies in urban areas to validate and fine-tune this approach while investigating technological, analytical and social techniques to improve upon and deal with gathered data. Special attention is given to comparing participatory sensing data with simulated modelling approaches, the traditional approach to pollution mapping. Currently BrusSense is looking into extensions of their approach towards atmospheric pollution.

Role in the project

VUB's role in the i-SCOPE project is concerned with the noise mapping & simulation scenario, in particular in terms of software and know-how for real-time participatory noise mapping, i.e. through mobile phones to be carried on in the context of WP4. Furthermore VUB will extend the CityGML Noise ADE to include the functionalities requested by the project. VUB will ensure the interoperability of the NoiseTube client and server software with other components of the project's larger architecture. The team will guide at the levels of data collection, compatibility with OGC standards and running of the noise mapping service in the actual pilots.

Key Staff involved in the project

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang De Meuter holds a M.Sc. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Sciences from the VUB. Since 2007 he is professor at the VUB's Computer Science Department, where he is actively involved in shaping and organising the curriculum. He is founder and head of the internationally recognised ambient-oriented programming subgroup at SOFT, and has received the prestigious Dahl-Nygard prize in 2008 for his research in this area. Next to core computer science courses he teaches several specialised courses on distributed and ambient-oriented topics. With his group he is anactive publisher at several international fora. He is also program chair ofCoordination2011, has successfully promoted 4 PhDs and is currently promoting 10 running PhD projects.

Dr. Ellie D'Hondt is a post-doctoral researcher at the VUB's computer science department. She holds degrees in physics, computer science and mathematics and has a keen interest in multidisciplinary research. She received her Ph.D. in 2005 from the VUB, co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Prakash Panangaden of McGill University, for being one of the instigators of the development of programming languages for distributed quantum computation. Recently she decided to contribute to the global sustainability effort by aligning her research with it. She obtained a fellowship of the Institute for the encouragement of Scientific Research and Innovation of Brussels (Innoviris), She is currently investigating the accuracy of pollution maps created through participatory measuring campaigns, a new, scalable approach almost orthogonal to the current governmental and EU-regulated techniques for pollution mapping, which rely on simulation models. She has implemented case studies in the Antwerp and Brussels area with the aim of improving living conditions in the city. She has published papers at prestigious conferences and in ISI-indexed journals and was a visiting researcher at Canada's University of Ottawa and McGill University and at the University of Oxford. Matthias Stevens holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from the VUB and a Bachelor's degree in Applied Computer Science from University College Gent (Hogeschool Gent). He is currently a Ph.D. student at the Computer Science department of the VUB with a grant of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders (FWO). Matthias worked as a research trainee at the Sony Computer Science Lab (CSL) in Paris where he was involved in the NoiseTube project. He has published several conference papers and a journal paper on the topic. Additionally, Matthias has been involved with the artist collective Nogo Voyages from Paris to create novel locative storytelling experiences. His principal research interests are participative sensing, citizen science, ubiquitous computing, location-based services, geographical information systems and locative art and storytelling.