Guest editorial: Contemporary ICT Research Trends Emerging from South-East Europe

This special section of Computer Science and Information Systems Journal hosts extended versions of selected papers presented at the 6th Balkan Conference in Informatics (BCI 2013), held in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 19th to 21st September 2013. The main objective of the BCI conference series is to be the leading conference of South-East Europe in Informatics. BCI provides a forum for dissemination of research accomplishments and promotes interaction, discussions and collaboration among scientists from the Balkan and the rest of the world. Traditionally, BCI conferences call for papers dealing with theory and/or applications in wide areas of ICT.

Initially, more than a hundred papers were considered for presentation in the BCI’13 Conference, out of which 30% were accepted and published in the ACM International Conference Proceedings Series. Five extended and improved versions of these papers went through a new rigorous, anonymous, peer review process and are published in this special issue of ComSIS.

The first paper “Efficient data abstraction using weighted IB2 prototypes” by Stefanos Ougiaroglou and Georgios Evangelidis presents an effective prototype selection data reduction technique which improves the efficiency of k-Nearest Neighbor classification on large datasets. The paper proposes an improved variation of IB2, namely AIB2, that generates new prototypes instead of selecting them.

Sonja Ristić, Slavica Aleksić, Milan Čeliković and Ivan Luković in their paper “Generic and Standard Database Constraint Meta-Models” present one generic meta-model, and one standard physical database schema meta-model which are used for representing existing (legacy) information systems into a higher level of abstraction in order to facilitate their migration to new, updated environments.

Costin Badica, Nick Bassiliades, Sorin Ilie, and Kalliopi Kravari in “Agent Reasoning on the Web using Web Services” introduce a system that provides reasoning services over the Web, which is based on an extension of the EMERALD framework for agent based reasoning services with a Web service interface.

Eirini Christinaki, Nikolas Vidakis, and Georgios Triantafyllidis present a research study in their paper “A Novel Educational Game for teaching Emotion Identification Skills to Preschoolers with Autism Diagnosis” that deals with the use of an educational computer game developed for helping young children with autism to learn how to identify facial expressions.

The last paper “A Distributed Near-Optimal LSH-based Framework for Privacy-Preserving Record Linkage” by Dimitrios Karapiperis and Vassilios S. Verykios, presents a methodology for addressing the Privacy-Preserving Record Linkage problem which is based on a distributed framework. The methodology presented for linking disparate data sets in order to identify accurately common real world entities is both very efficient and preserves privacy of the underlying data.

As editors of this special section we would like to express our gratitude to the Editor-in-Chief of ComSIS, Prof. Mirjana Ivanović, for giving us the opportunity to organize this special section, for her guidance and continuous support. We would also like to thank all the authors for their cooperation and their efforts to improve the extended versions of their papers. Finally we express our special thanks to the reviewers for their valuable feedback, which significantly helped authors to fine-tune their papers.

Guest Editor
Petros Kefalas,
International Faculty, City College,
Thessaloniki, Greece,

Guest Editor
Demosthenes Stamatis,
Department of Information Technology,
Alexander Technological Educational Institute (ATEI) of Thessaloniki, Greece,

Guest Editor
Konstantinos I. Diamantaras,
Department of Information Technology,
TEI of Thessaloniki, Greece,