| 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
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 modeling
"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.
audio of 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. A relatively
late draft of which is available
- 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 Computer Society.
- Adams, S.S., S. Burbeck, N. Alvarado, and C.
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
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
Archiving Conference Presentations
The CERP project was completed December, 2008. The
work has been presented at several archiving
conferences. Examples include:
Digital Dilemmas: Archiving E-mail, Spring
Meeting of the Society of North Carolina
Archivists, Raleigh, NC, March 7, 2008.
- 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, 2008.
- Workshop on Digital Dilemmas: Archiving
E-Mail, Association of Canadian Archivists,
Annual Conference, June 10, 2008 - Fredericton,
- Society of American Archivists Annual
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, this 2005
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
Special Issue on Systems Biology, K.
Jordan & S. Burbeck, Guest Editors. Volume 50, Number 6, 2006.
Complexity and the Evolution of Computing,
- 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, 2009.
- Jordan, K. & Burbeck. What is Systems
Biology: an Opportunity for Computational
Science, Math and Engineering. Joint
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,
- Burbeck. An assessment of Computational
Systems Biology from a computing perspective (presentation
pdf). 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 available
here (pdf). Discussion of the
multicellular metaphor here.
- Bio-2003, Published by Burrill & Co., San
Architectures (SOA), Web Services and Peer-to-Peer
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 makes
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
- 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
- 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 Speaker
- 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 &
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
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 the
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 machine.
- Burbeck, Capek, P., et al.
Open-Source Software: Implications for IBM. IBM
Academy of Technology Report (IBM Confidential),
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
- 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,
- Burbeck. Collecting the Garbage: An Annotated
AppleLink Discussion. Frameworks, 3(4),
- Burbeck. What is Object-Oriented Programming
(OOP). Apple Developer's Group Newsletter,
7, 1989, 21-25.
- 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
A Russian language
translation is available.
- OOPSLA-86 (the first ACM Conference on Object
Oriented Programming) -- Executive Committee
- OOPSLA-87 -- Program Committee, Technical
- MacWorld (Boston '88 and 89, and San
Francisco '89) -- Conference Faculty
- SCOOP '89 -- "OOP: Past, Present &
- Software '89 -- Object-Oriented Programming
- SCOOP '90 -- Workshop on OO Analysis and
- C++ at Work '90 -- Workshop on OO Analysis
- Software Development (Santa Clara '92) --
- 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 Co., 1992.
- 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 Co., 1990.
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 collaborated with 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 bioinformatics
- 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,
Reduced area two-dimensional gels for direct
digital imaging of radioactive protein
profiles. Electrophoresis, 8,
- 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.
- 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
- Leavitt, J., Latter, G., Lutomski, L.,
Goldstein, D. & Burbeck. Tropomyosin isoform
switching in tumorigenic human fibroblasts. Molecular
and Cellular Biology, 6, 1986, 2721-2726.
- 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,
- Burbeck, G. I. Latter, E. Metz & J.
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. &
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, 1984.
- Burbeck. Direct
digital imaging of radio-labeled 2-D gel beta
emissions using micro-channel plate image
enhancement. Electrophoresis, 4, 1983,
- 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.
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
- 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 Variation."
- Burbeck, W. J. Raine, M. J. Abudu Stark. The
dynamics of riot growth: An epidemiological
approach. Journal of Mathematical Sociology,
6, 1978, 1-22.
- M. J. Abudu Stark, W. J. Raine, Burbeck,
& K. K. Davison. Some empirical patterns on
a riot process. American Sociological Review,
39, 1974, 865-876.
- 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. 5,884,081.
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.,
Content Trackingin Transient Network
Communities. Filed March 27, 2002,
Granted, June 27, 2006. Coauthor: Wesley, A.,
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 No. 7,143,139.
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. G.
- Apparatus and method for ebusiness service
brokerage. Filed September, 2000. Coauthors:
Hondo, M., Casler, J.B., Boubez, T.T., Graham,
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