|The various areas of
research appear below in approximate time order with the
most recent first. There has been considerable overlap
between projects at various times.
Theory of Mind
This area of research has been a long collaboration with
Sam Adams in IBM Research. The problem we attacked
was how to model a theory of mind in which a General
Artificial Intelligence (AGI) system is assumed to be
embodied, i.e., it has internal and external sensory input
and it is in constant active interaction with a changing
world. We also took the position that AGI is not possible
without modelling "emotion" (i.e., affect), and
"superstition" and "forgetfulness." (Those words are in
quotes because they are only approximations of the more
formal properties we actually modeled.) This work
was presented by Sam Adams at the 2007
Singularity Summit in San Francisco, Sept. 8-9,
presentation (talk #22), and commentary
are on line.
- Adams, S.S. & Burbeck, S. Beyond the Octopus: Towards
a human like mind. A Chapter in Theoretical
Foundations of Artificial General Intelligence
(by Pei Wang and Ben Goertzel) Atlantis Press, Paris,
2012, ISBN: 9789491216619. For those who do not have access
to the book itself, a relatively late draft of the chapter is
- Latta, C., Alvarado, N., Adams, S.S., & Burbeck,
S. An expressive system for
animating characters or endowing robots with
affective displays. In L. Canamero & R.
Aylett, (Eds.), Animating Expressive Characters for
Social Interactions. UK: Advances in Consciousness
Research Series, John Benjamins Publishing.
- Adams, S.S., Alvarado, N., Burbeck, S. & Latta,
C. (2002). Bootstrapping
semantics in an autonomic computing system.
Fourth International Workshop on Computational
Semiotics for Intelligent Systems, Joint Conference on
Information Systems (JCIS), Chapel Hill, NC. An
expanded version will be published as a chapter in a
book based on the proceedings, edited by A. Meystel,
to be published by John Wiley & Sons.
- Alvarado, N., Adams, S.S., Burbeck, S. & Latta,
C. (2002). Beyond
the Turing Test: Performance metrics for evaluating
a computer simulation of the human mind.
Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on
Development and Learning (ICDL02), Cambridge, MA, IEEE
- Adams, S.S., S. Burbeck, N. Alvarado, and C. Latta.
Project Joshua Blue: common sense via common
experience, IBM Research, USA, in AAAI Fall
Symposium on Anchoring Symbols to Sensor Data in
Single and Multiple Robot Systems,
Online Proceedings, October, 2001
Archiving Digital Records
From 2006 through 2008 I worked with the Collaborative
Electronic Records Project (CERP), a joint effort of the
digital archiving groups at
The Rockefeller Archive Center and the
Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Historical archives differ from corporate email archives.
Historical archives must be preserved for much longer,
they must deal with messages generated by a much more
diverse set of email systems, and records must be
preserved in a way that they can be interpretable decades
hence. We designed and built a working prototype system
that converted email in the common .mbox format to an XML
representation conforming to the Mail-Account
schema, a general XML schema co-developed with the
North Carolina State Archives. The code, which is in
Squeak Smalltalk, is open source and freely available here.
Archiving Conference Presentations
The CERP project was completed December, 2008. The work
has been presented at:
Archiving E-mail, Spring Meeting of the Society
of North Carolina Archivists, Raleigh, NC, March 7,
- More Than One Way to Meet the Challenge: Systematic
Approaches to the Capture and preservation of Complex
Digital Artifacts, The Midwest Archiving Conference
2008 Annual Meeting, Louisville, KY, April 17-19,
- Workshop on Digital Dilemmas: Archiving E-Mail,
Association of Canadian Archivists, Annual Conference,
June 10, 2008 - Fredericton, New Brunswick
- Society of American Archivists Annual Conference,
Capturing the E-Tiger; New Tools for Email
Preservation, August 30, 2008.
The Interface Between Biology and Computing
As many have noted, computing systems and biological
systems exhibit similar characteristics (see for example,
National Academy Report). Both fields are especially
relevant these days, as is the interface between them.
Researchers in each field find metaphors from the other
field useful. Biologists increasingly use computers in
their work. The new biological area called "Systems
Biology" is strongly dependent upon computational
techniques. And insights about how very complex biological
systems are architected can give computing researchers
ideas about how to design and manage complex computing
especially those immersed in the Web.
- Burbeck & Jordan, K. An assessment of
the role of computing in systems biology. In the
IBM Journal of Research and Development,
on Systems Biology, K. Jordan & S. Burbeck,
Guest Editors. Volume 50, Number 6,
Complexity and the Evolution of Computing, 2004
- Burbeck, Brown, P., Brown, K., Chamberlin, D.,
Eckman, B., Kriechbaum, W., Rice. J. & Tenner, J.
Database Directions for Systems Biology. IBM Academy
of Technology Workshop Report, AR#161, June, 2003.
- Burbeck. Evolution of Multicellular Computing:
Parallels with Multicellular Life (pdf). Seminar
presentation, Department of Computer Science,
University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK, Dec, 21,
- Jordan, K. & Burbeck. What is Systems Biology:
an Opportunity for Computational Science, Math and
SIAM-SMB Conference on the Life Sciences,
Raleigh, NC., July 31 - August 4, 2006.
TII/Vanguard Conference on
The Challenge of Complexity, Los Angeles,
September 27-28, 2004
- Burbeck. An assessment of Computational Systems
Biology from a computing perspective
Genentech/CMEA Ventures Symposium on Systems Biology,
San Francisco, June, 2003
- Catalyzing Inquiry at the Interface of Computing and
Biology, J. C. Wooley & H. S. Lin, The National
Academies Press, 2005. Preface and Table of Contents
here (pdf). Discussion of the multicellular metaphor
- Bio-2003, Published by Burrill & Co., San
Architectures (SOA), Web Services and Peer-to-Peer (P2P)
To some this juxtaposition of topics may seem strange.
What they share is that they are different varieties of
distributed (what I now call multicellular) systems. SOA
and Web Services seem at first to be much more structured
than P2P software. But they simply exploit different kinds
of structure. Tim O'Reilly
a similar case. The messaging between P2P nodes is
quite structured even though the identity of the
collaborating systems is unknown in advance. My earliest
work on this topic was at IBM Research where I
investigated the scaling properties of a random forwarding message architecture
for distributing information in randomly connected
networks. That work was done in 1997, before P2P file
sharing burst upon the scene.
- Burbeck, Peer-to-Peer Computing, IBM Academy of
Technology Workshop Report, July 16, 2001
The tao of
e-business services. IBM DeveloperWorks website, October, 2000
- Burbeck & Steve Graham,
Creating target-rich environments
in a service-oriented architecture, IBM
DeveloperWorks website, December, 2000
- Burbeck & Sam S. Adams.
Resource allocation in a fully decentralized market of agents:
the mini-mart approach. (Internal IBM Whitepaper),
- O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer Summit, San Francisco,
September 19, 2000. -- invited participant. Some raw
notes from that summit are available here.
- Intel Peer-to-Peer Working Group (San Jose,
October, 2000) -- Speaker
- World Internet Center "Thinktank on Peer-to-Peer"
(Palo Alto, March, 2001) Keynote Address
- European Conference on Peer-to-Peer (Amsterdam,
February, 2001) -- Speaker
- O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer Conference (San Francisco,
February 14-16, 2001) -- Program Committee and Panel
- THESEUS International Management Institute
Conference on Peer-to-Peer Software (Sophia Atipolis,
France, March, 2001) Speaker
- O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer Conference (Washington DC,
November, 2001) -- speaker (
see third photo)
- Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive
Technologies, Andrew Oram, Nelson Minar & Clay
Shirky, O'Reilly & Associates, 2001
Open-Source Software (OSS)
A great deal of credit for IBM's current good standing in
the OSS community is due to the two guys
James Barry and Yen-Ping Shan, who in 1998 formed the
alliance between IBM and Apache. That very successful
project became the existence proof that getting IBM to
participate in OSS was possible, if far from easy. As it
turned out, Shan took so many arrows in his back that he
left IBM soon thereafter.
The Apache deal was a tactical move that was driven in
large part by the fact that IBM's own Web Serving software
was losing out to both Microsoft's IIS and Apache. I was
one of the small group of very early leaders within IBM
(where there's never just one leader) arguing that it
would be strategically advantageous for IBM to
fully embrace open-source software and fold it into IBM's
business wherever possible. I participated in the
Corporate Task Force that formed IBM's Linux strategy and
led the group in 1999 (together with Dan Frye under the
auspices of the Corporate Technology Council), that
developed the corporate strategy and the business case for
IBM to embrace Open Source software. It was bad form then,
and perhaps even now, to explicitly acknowledge that the
strategy was aimed primarily at Microsoft and, to some
degree, at Sun. However, since I instigated and led the
strategy team and wrote the majority of the resulting
report to the CTC, I can confirm that
the 2002 ZDNet story had it mostly right when they
said, "Open-source, widely viewed as a way for the
development community to participate in the evolution of
software that's owned by nobody but shared by everyone,
was now a competitive weapon..." Much of the rest of that
article is accurate too.
Getting IBM to take a bold strategic leap is a bit like
mating with a female Black Widow spider. The anecdotes in
last section of this Salon story give the flavor of the
infighting and misunderstandings that the OSS revolution
stirred up within IBM. It mentions just a few of the
players and tends to get their roles wrong to boot. But
IBM is so large, riven by rivalries, and confused that it
would be a massive undertaking to reconstruct an accurate
history. Now that Open Source has completely remade the
landscape of the Software Industry, everyone who could
possibly make a claim to be involved fancies that their
efforts, or their executive decisions, were instrumental
in that success. Credit tends to be attributed to those
with access to the biggest megaphone: IBM's corporate PR
- Burbeck, Capek, P., et al. Open-Source
Software: Implications for IBM. IBM Academy of
Technology Report (IBM Confidential), September, 1999.
My interest in Smalltalk and Object-Oriented Software
began in 1985 when a small group I led at the Linus
Pauling Institute ported Xerox PARC's Smalltalk-80 to the
IBM PC-AT. We then spun out a little company called Softsmarts
(long since defunct) to commercialize that port. One thing
led to another and it became a central focus for my work
until the late '90s
- Burbeck & S. G. Graham. Implementation of a Design
Virtual Machine. IBM Technical Report, 1998.
- Burbeck & S. G. Graham. A design
virtual machine for static analysis of Smalltalk.
IBM Technical Report, 1998.
Real-Time Complexity Metrics for Smalltalk Methods. IBM Systems
Journal, 35(2), pp. 204-226, 1996
Using Signatures to Improve Smalltalk Productivity
and Reuse, 1995.
- Adams, Sam S., & Burbeck. Software Assets by
Design. Object Magazine, October, 1992.
- Burbeck. Collecting the Garbage: An Annotated
AppleLink Discussion. Frameworks, 3(4), 1989,
- Burbeck. What is Object-Oriented Programming (OOP).
Apple Developer's Group Newsletter, 7, 1989,
- Burbeck. MacApp: Apple's Object-Oriented Toolbox. APDAlog,
Winter 1989, 14-18.
- Burbeck. Applications programming in Smalltalk-80:
How to use Model-View-Controller (MVC). Softsmarts,
Inc. 1987/1992. (available at: http://st-www.cs.uiuc.edu/users/smarch/st-docs/mvc.html
A Russian language
translation is available.
- OOPSLA-86 (the first ACM Conference on Object
Oriented Programming) -- Executive Committee
- OOPSLA-87 -- Program Committee, Technical Reviewer
- MacWorld (Boston '88 and 89, and San Francisco '89)
-- Conference Faculty
- SCOOP '89 -- "OOP: Past, Present & Future"
- Software '89 -- Object-Oriented Programming panel
- SCOOP '90 -- Workshop on OO Analysis and Design
- C++ at Work '90 -- Workshop on OO Analysis and
- Software Development (Santa Clara '92) -- Speaker
- ObjectExpo (New York City '92) -- Speaker
- IBM International Conference on Object Technology
(San Francisco, June 1996) Speaker
- Object-Oriented Information Systems. David Taylor.
John Wiley & Sons, 1992.
- Developing Object-Oriented Software for the
Macintosh: Analysis, Design, and Programming. Neal
Goldstein & Jeff Alger. Addison-Wesley Publishing
- Object-Oriented Analysis. Peter Coad & Edward
Yourdan. Yourdan Press, 1991.
- Object-Oriented Design. Peter Coad & Edward
Yourdan. Yourdan Press, 1991.
- Programming with MacApp. David A. Wilson, Larry S.
Rosenstein & Dan Shafer. Addison-Wesley Publishing
From 1980 to 1988, I directed the scientific computing
group at the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and
Medicine in Palo Alto, CA. That group helped to pioneer
techniques for computerized quantitative analysis and
identification of proteins separated in 2-D PAGE gels --
what is now a part of the field of Proteomics. I also
Dr. Emile Zuckerkandl on DNA sequence analysis research
(unpublished) using novel Fourier Analysis techniques. We
sought to find repetitive short sequence motifs at the
period of the nucleosome (165 - 200 bp) in regions of the
genome containing human globin genes. However the
globin DNA sequences available at that time were too short
to obtain reliable results. Recently
such periodicity has been found by "wet lab" techniques. I also
collaborated with other LPI researchers on several other
- Leavitt, J., Sun-Yu Ng, Varma, M., Latter, G.,
Burbeck, Gunning, P. & Kedes, L. Expression of
Transfected Mutant beta-actin genes: Transitions
toward the stable tumorigenic state. Molecular and
Cellular Biology, 7, 1987, 2467-2476. (PubMed)
- Ross, M., Latter, G., Burbeck, & Leavitt, J.
Reduced area two-dimensional gels for direct digital imaging of
radioactive protein profiles. Electrophoresis,
8, 1987, 249-250.
- Leavitt, J., Sun-Yu Ng, Aebi, U., Varma, M.,
Latter, G., Burbeck, Kedes, L., & Gunning, P.
Expression of transfected mutant beta-actin genes:
Alterations of cell morphology and evidence for
autoregulation in actin pools. Molecular and
Cellular Biology, 7, 1987, 2457-2466. (PubMed)
- Burbeck. The complexity of computerized
microdensitometry: Implication for the design of a
2D-gel workstation. Invited paper presented to the
EMBL 2D-Gel Workshop, European Molecular Biology
Laboratory, Heidleberg, Germany, March 1986.
- Leavitt, J., Latter, G., Lutomski, L., Goldstein,
D. & Burbeck. Tropomyosin isoform switching in
tumorigenic human fibroblasts. Molecular and
Cellular Biology, 6, 1986, 2721-2726. (PubMed)
- Goldstein, D., Djeu, J., Latter, G., Burbeck, &
Leavitt, J. Abundant synthesis of the transformation-induced
protein of neoplastic human fibroblasts, plastin, in normal lymphocytes.
Cancer Research, 45, 1985, 5643-5647.
- Burbeck, G. I. Latter, E. Metz & J. Leavitt.
Neoplastic Human Fibroblast Proteins are Related to
Epidermal Growth Factor Precursor. Proc. National Academy of
Sciences. USA, 81, 1984, 5360-5363
- Latter, G., Burbeck, Fleming, J. & Leavitt, J.
Identification of Polypeptides on Two-dimensional Electrophoresis
Gels by computerized Amino Acid Analysis. Clinical
Chemistry, 30(12), 1984, 1925-1932.
- Latter, G., Burbeck, Fleming, J., Metz, E. &
Leavitt, J. Measurement of amino acid composition by
computerized microdensitometry: An aid in the
identification of proteins on 2-D gels. Paper
presented to the 4th annual conference on 2-D
Electrophoresis, Argonne National Laboratories, June,
Direct digital imaging of radio-labeled 2-D gel beta emissions
using micro-channel plate image enhancement. Electrophoresis,
4, 1983, 127-133.
- Burbeck, G. I. Latter, E. Metz & J. Leavitt.
Simultaneous Amino Acid Analysis of 100 Polypeptides
in 2-D Gels by Computerized Microdensitometry. Paper
presented at Electrophoresis '83, Boston, 1983.
- G. I. Latter, E. Metz, Burbeck & J. Leavitt.
Measurement of amino acid composition of proteins by computerized
microdensitometry of two dimensional electrophoresis
gels. Electrophoresis, 4, 1983, 122-126.
- R. Marcuson, Burbeck, R. L. Emond, G. I. Latter,
& W. Aberth. Normalization and reproducibility of
mass profiles in the detection of individual
differences from urine. Clinical Chemistry,
28, 1982, 1346-1348.
Mathematical Cognitive Psychology
This was the field of my PhD dissertation under
Professor R. Duncan Luce
at UC Irvine and Harvard University. My
coursework and dissertation writing occurred at UC Irvine.
The experimental portion of the research was done at
Harvard with Duncan Luce and Dave
Green (in wonderful William James Hall). I developed
novel statistical techniques for using hazard functions to
analyze reaction time distributions. For an up-to-date
list of references to that work, Google [Burbeck Luce
hazard "Reaction time"].
- Burbeck. Recovering decision latency distributions
from reaction time experiments. Paper presented to the
Acoustical Society of America, Pennsylvania State
Univ., University Park, Pennsylvania, June 1977.
Upon finishing a BA in mathematics at California State
University, Long Beach, I joined a research project (the
Urban Disorder Project) that was investigating the
internal dynamics of the large scale urban race riots in
the '60s, e.g., the Watts Riot in Los Angeles. That
research involved mathematical modeling and statistical
analysis of census data and detailed spatial/temporal data
on many of the individual "riot events" such as arson,
looting, rock throwing, etc. See Clark McPhail's review
for background and a short description of the results of
this project in the section titled "Temporal and Spatial
- Burbeck, W. J. Raine, M. J. Abudu Stark. The
dynamics of riot growth: An epidemiological approach.
Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 6, 1978,
- M. J. Abudu Stark, W. J. Raine, Burbeck, & K.
K. Davison. Some empirical patterns on a riot process.
American Sociological Review, 39, 1974,
- S. M. Moinat, W. J. Raine, & Burbeck. Black
ghetto residents as rioters. Journal of Social
Issues, 28, 1972, 45-62
- W. J. Raine, M. J. G. Abudu, Burbeck, & K. K.
Davison. Black ghetto violence: A case study inquiry
into the spatial patterns of four Los Angeles event
types. Social Problems, 19, 1972, 408-426.
Method and system for synchronizing code with design. Filed
December 19, 1996, Granted March 16, 1999. Patent No.
Apparatus and method for categorizing services using canonical
service descriptions. Filed January, 2001,
Published July 4, 2002. Coauthors: Hondo, M. Casler,
J.B. Boubez, T.T., Graham, S.G.
Content Trackingin Transient Network Communities. Filed March
27, 2002, Granted, June 27, 2006. Coauthor: Wesley,
A., Patent No.7,069,318.
Persisting node reputations in transient network communities.
Filed March 27, 2002, Granted, February 13, 2007.
Coauthor: Wesley, A., Patent No.7,177,929.
Interminable peer relationships in transient communities.
Filed March 27, 2002, Granted, February 20, 2007. Coauthor:
Wesley, A., Patent No.7,181,536.
Method and apparatus for processing workflow through a gateway.
Filed July 24, 2002, Granted September 12, 2006.
Coauthors: Casler, J.B., Boubez, T.T., Graham, S.G.,
Miller, S., Patent No. 7,107,333.
Broadcast tiers in decentralized networks. Filed March 27, 2002,
Granted November 28, 2006. Coauthor Wesley, A. Patent
Persisting node reputations in transient network communities.
Filed March 27, 2002, Granted February 13, 2007.
Coauthor Wesley, A. Patent No. 7,177,929.
System for sharing ontology information in a peer-to-peer network.
Filed June, 2004. Published February 9, 2006.
- System and method for performing service discovery
using non-deterministic fallible forwarding. Filed
June, 2000. Coauthors: Adams, S. S. & Graham, S.
- Apparatus and method for ebusiness service
brokerage. Filed September, 2000. Coauthors: Hondo,
M., Casler, J.B., Boubez, T.T., Graham, S.G.
Apparatus and method for verifying categorization of services
using canonical service description tests. Filed
January, 2001. Coauthors: Hondo, M., Casler, J.B.,
Boubez, T.T., Graham, S.G.
Service taxonomy crawler apparatus and method related applications.
Filed January, 2001, Granted July 4, 2002.
Coauthors: Hondo, M., Casler, J.B., Boubez, T.T.,
Graham, S.G. Patent No. 20020087374