Notes from the Editor (IEEE Supplement 2014)

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Supplement: IEEE 2013 Conference on Technology for Homeland Security: Best Papers
Homeland Security Affairs is proud to again publish the best papers from the IEEE Conference on Technology for Homeland Security. The 2013 conference selected one paper as the “best” overall, plus one “best” paper from each of four tracks: Attack Prep, Biometrics and Forensics, Borders and Maritime Security, and Cyber Security.

The award for best conference paper overall went to “Analysis of the Effects of Image Transformation, Template Selection, and Partial Information on Face Recognition with Time-Varying Expressions For Homeland Security Applications” by Iliana V. Voynichka and Dalila B. Megherbi. The authors study the impact of various reduction techniques and partial image captures on the accuracy of facial recognition in the presence of facial expression and other uncertainty. Broadly accessible to a general technical audience, this paper provides a strong overview of facial recognition that positions the paper well, but selects a specific exemplar experiment that could be broadly applied across other aspects of facial recognition with similar complexity.

In the Attack Prep track, the award for best paper went to Paul A. Belella and Bethann Rooney for “A Customized Modeling and Simulation Tool for Port and Airport Evacuation and Recovery.” This paper presents a tool to simulate the evacuation of the Port Newark/Elizabeth Marine Terminals (PNEMT) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in the event of a disaster, and the recovery of normal operations at PNEMT. One of the greatest features of the paper is the holistic nature of its application, considering multi-model movement that accounts for pedestrian, car, shuttle, bus, train, truck, and other traffic modes and a holistic system. The authors summarize the performance metrics measured, input details, and provide example outputs to demonstrate suitability for use during real-life, actual-scale scenarios, rather than just a proof-of-concept.

Recent Developments in Voice Biometrics: Robustness and High Accuracy,” by Nicolas Scheffer, Luciana Ferrer, Aaron Lawson, Yun Lei, and Mitchell McLaren received the award for best paper in the Biometrics and Forensics track. This paper provides an overview of recent work to improve speaker recognition technologies. The authors highlight the improvement of individual techniques, particularly with non-ideal recording conditions.

In the Borders and Maritime Security track, the award went to Anthony L. Hutcheson, Bernard F. Phlips, Eric A. Wulf, Lee J. Mitchell, W. Neil Johnson, and Byron E. Leas for “Maritime Detection of Radiological/Nuclear Threats with Hybrid Imaging System.” This paper show how the authors solved an end-to-end problem in their analysis of the Super MISTI stand-off detection system for maritime environments and its operation, providing an example of how their solution could work.

Finally, Pradeep Ramuhalli, Mahantesh Halappanavar, Jamie Coble, and Mukul Dixit were awarded best paper in the Cyber Security track for “Towards A Theory of Autonomous Reconstitution of Compromised Cyber-Systems.” The authors present a framework to develop and evaluate concepts for effective autonomous reconstitution of compromised cyber systems to keep critical infrastructure operational in the face of an intelligent adversary. The paper describes a mathematical foundation and a theoretical basis for reconstitution and then goes on to describe reconstitution as an optimization process. It applies real formal methods and mathematics to cyber problems, stepping the reader through the mathematical equations and concepts and tying them together.

We would like to thank the IEEE for the opportunity to publish this important research in Homeland Security Affairs.

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