Originstamp – Trusted Timestamping using Bitcoin
OriginStamp is a web-based, trusted timestamping service that uses the decentralized Bitcoin block chain to store anonymous, tamper-proof time stamps for any digital content. OriginStamp allows users to hash files, emails, or plain text, and subsequently store the created hashes in the Bitcoin block chain as well as retrieve and verify time stamps that have been committed to the block chain. OriginStamp is free of charge and easy to use and thus allows anyone, e.g., students, researchers, authors, journalists, or artists, to prove that they were the originator of certain information at a given point in time. The procedures maintain complete privacy of your data. Common use cases of OriginStamp include proving that:
- a contract has been signed or a tasks was completed prior to a certain date.
- a photo or video has been recorded prior to a certain date.
- an idea for a patent already existed prior to a certain date, e.g., prior to signing a NDA.
The idea of timestamping is not new. Even before computers existed, information could be encoded and the code could be published, for example, in a newspaper. However, we use the block chain of the crypto currency Bitcoin as a decentralized, tamper proof, and cost-efficient timestamping authority.
To see the OriginStamp project for yourself, please visit: www.originstamp.org.
CitePlag – Citation-based Plagiarism Detection
CitePlag is the first plagiarism detection system to implement Citation-based Plagiarism Detection (CbPD) – a novel approach capable of detecting also heavily disguised plagiarism in academic texts.
Existing software only examines literal text similarity to detect plagiarism, and thus typically fails to detect disguised plagiarism forms, including paraphrases, translations, or idea plagiarism. CbPD addresses this shortcoming by additionally analyzing the citation placement in the full-text of documents to form a language-independent semantic “fingerprint” of document similarity.
CitePlag implements several citation-based algorithms to analyze the citation patterns of publications. The screenshot shows two publications visualized in the CitePlag prototype. Matching citations are highlighted and connected in a central column for quick document examination. The documents share no literal text similarity: the left publication is in English and the right in Chinese. However, one can see that the overlap of citations is high, and the order in which sources are cited is nearly identical in several paragraphs.
Docear (previously “SciPlore Mindmapping”)
The GSM-Guardian Angel (2000 – 2004 “Jugend Forscht” competition)
“Every year approximately 7000 people die in car accidents in Germany. Studies estimate t
hat 10% of these people could be saved if emergency services had been notified immediately. Bela Gipp had the idea to develop a system that automatically detects accidents, determines the location, and notifies the emergency services. Together with Jöran Beel and Lars Petersen, he developed a prototype capable of detecting automobile accidents by integrating a microcontroller and an acceleration sensor into a mobile phone. Sophisticated detection algorithms eliminate false alarms, for example, if the phone is dropped. In case of an accident, the emergency services are notified automatically. The location is determined using triangulation in the GSM network. In the future, the Global Positioning System (GPS) could be used to improve precision. Alternatively, if the car has airbags, their deployment could be used to trigger the emergency response. The presented system also features a software that displays the accident location on a map, and if enabled, the GSM-Guardian Angel transmits patient data, including blood group and allergies to medication.”
In 2002 the project won the 1st place in the state level competition and the 2nd place in the national level competition, in which 7,800 participants competed. This link opens the award ceremony with the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder.
We continued the research project after the Jugend Forscht competition, and sold the product in 2004. The idea has since been adopted, as eCall in Europe and as GM’s OnStar service in North America.
Scienstein Publication Recommender (2008 – 2011)
Scienstein is a hybrid recommender system for research papers that uses both text analysis and citation analysis to identify relevant publications. Instead of asking users to enter keywords only, users can upload entire documents, including reference lists as the input and make implicit and explicit ratings to improve recommendations. The recommender system is accessible via a user-friendly GUI.
Mobile GPS Locator (2001 – 2002)
In 2001 GPS receivers were slowly becoming smaller, and it seemed likely they would soon be integrated into mobile phones. At the time, they were still around the size of the mobile phone itself! However, in anticipation, we developed ‘Mobile GPS Locator’ – a software to geo-locate mobile devices or PDAs from other mobile devices or from a desktop PC. The system allows pinpointing the location of your friends, co-workers, or any product running the software by simply using your cell phone. Use of the system only requires a cell phone with a compatible GPS receiver and support for Java’s J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition). Infineon Technologies AG demonstrated the software at the 2002 CeBIT to give an outlook on the future of mobile developments.
AccessAngel (2003 – 2011)
AccessAngel is a software that enables your computer to automatically lock itself when you leave your workspace ensuring that no unauthorized access is made to your data. The software achieves this by monitoring the Bluetooth connection between your cell phone and your computer. If the signal gets weak, e.g. when leaving the room, the computer locks itself automatically and unlocks itself upon returning.
The High-Tech St. Bernard (1998 – “Jugend Forscht” competition “Der High-Tech Bernhardiner”)
Every second counts in avalanche search and rescue missions. In the past, avalanche dogs were called to the rescue. Today, in a time of mass-tourism, avalanche rescue must make use of technology. Béla Gipp, Jan-Olaf Stiller and Florian Krüger had the idea to develop just such an intelligent system. By using the images of an infrared camera mounted on a remote controllable helicopter, the system can detect temperature differences between snow and human bodies. The helicopter then transmits this data and the images to a control system. For navigation, the helicopter uses a second true-color camera, a Global Positioning System (GPS) and an ultrasonic device for flying in poor visibility conditions. The system and all data collected while patrolling over the snow can be controlled and evaluated using a program over the Internet that the young inventors wrote themselves.Text translated into English from the 1999, statement of the National Jury of ‘Jugend Forscht’ on the project “Der high-tech Bernhardiner” (“High-tech St. Bernard”). The project placed 1st at state level.
More projects can be found on the website of my research group at the University of Konstanz.