TU/e PhD candidates win ICT.Open award with Visual Analytics system 'Eventpad'
Every year the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research NWO organizes the ICT.OPEN conference for researchers to share their accomplishments and work in ICT research with industry. Besides poster and paper presentations the event also encourages researchers to pitch their technology and show its potential for industry during the event.
Bram Cappers and Josh Mengerink, both PhD candidates at Eindhoven University of Technology, took on this opportunity to demonstrate their system called Eventpad to quickly discover patterns and analyze large event collections. With the pitch, Cappers and Mengerink won the Award for Best Demo at ICT.OPEN 2018.
PhD research project
The Eventpad system is the result of the NWO SpySpot project, where Cappers is developing a new type of antivirus software to visually detect (or aid in the detection of) cyber espionage and targeted malware inside computer networks. Under supervision of prof.dr.ir. Jack van Wijk and prof.dr. Sandro Etalle this led to the development of Eventpad: a “notepad editor” for event data.
Eventpad is a visual analytics system that enables the rapid and cost effective discovery of patterns in event collections. Users can visually inspect system events (shown as blocks on a screen) for patterns. Just like a notepad editor, find&replace functionality and conditional formatting can be used to quickly search and highlight outliers in the data. The general character of Eventpad makes it possible to be used also outside the security domain. Besides the analysis of network traffic the system has been successfully used for the detection of fraud in Voice Over IP telephony, the analysis of bottlenecks in patient treatments, and the discovery of smuggling routes in vehicle travel patterns.
According to NWO, the demos were assessed based on several criteria. Besides the presentation skills of the presenters and the quality of the pitch, NWO also looked at the impact that the technology can have for the ICT community and industry. Given the successful application of the system in Security, Healthcare and Data Science domains, the jury was convinced that the system has much potential in different areas of ICT. The Eventpad system is available for download and is published in the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.
This is not the first time the Eventpad technology has won a prize. Earlier Cappers won the IEEE Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST) Challenge 2017 by rapidly discovering illegal dumping activity in a wildlife preserve. In addition, this year KPN announced the Eventpad technology as a "new perspective for Cybersecurity" in their annual security report (expected in mid April).