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communication, information & navigation research areas

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Information Science & Technology

Information Science & Technology

Synthetic Environment Applications Laboratory

Communication, Information & Navigation (CIN) | information science & technology (ist)

IST - Img 4The Information Science and Technology (IST) research emphasis conducts nationally competitive multi-disciplinary innovative research in information science and technology for conceptualization, design, analysis, deployment, and efficient operation of distributed and intelligent dynamic systems for the DoD, Government, business, and education sectors.

Established in 1997, IST formed the National Information Infrastructure Testbed (NII), a ten year university/industry partnership funded by DARPA. The NII Testbed has developed several advanced sensor network and information sharing tools for prognosis and mitigation of material damage in operating machinery.

IST has three research thrusts:

Analytical Modeling
Information fusion is defined as a process in which information from disparate sources is efficiently combined into a single overarching source thus providing more information about an event that would not otherwise be possible using individual sources. The Sensors and Control Laboratory provides support to Information Fusion research by providing advanced networks of wired and wireless heterogeneous sensors. Current application of interest in Information Fusion includes associating video surveillance data with biological, chemical, infrared, acoustic, and positional data for TTL (tagging, tracking, and locating) of human subjects in a busy urban environment. The idea is to associate chemical, biological, and biometric signals emanating from a target to the corresponding video data stream by utilizing computational mechanics and symbolic dynamic methods. Computational mechanics employs ε-machines (probabilistic finite state machines) to determine underlying patterns in data streams. By utilizing ε-transducer (probabilistic finite state transducers), the underlying pattern in one sensor data stream can be associated to patterns in other sensor data streams.

Intelligent Control
The Intelligent Controls Department researches and develops innovative architectures, algorithms, and related technologies for the situational awareness and adaptive control of distributed autonomous and highly nonlinear systems. Intelligent control is multidisciplinary, incorporating research in software engineering, formal control theory, formal language theory, information and complexity theory, and signal analysis. Applications include computational languages for distributed autonomous control of robotic devices or nanoparticles, behavior discovery for situation awareness and control adaptation, and multiobjective mission planning for dynamic undersea scenarios.

Distributed Systems
The Distributed Systems Department conducts advanced research in the design and applications of real and non-real time systems that have multiple and spatially distributed resources that communicate over scalable and multi-technology networks. Our primary focus is on systems that use autonomous mobile and stationary platforms that have heterogeneous sensors and actuator to support military, industrial and civilian applications that require persistent monitoring and control of the operating environments. Our research also spans utilizing contemporary distributed computing technologies such as the SoA, Semantic Web and the Ontology of distributed autonomous systems. Since a distributed autonomous system is subject to failures due to software, hardware and external cyber attack, the group also conducts research in survivability modeling and cyber security.

The IST Division maintains state-of-the-art testbeds and computing frameworks for prototyping or simulating innovations in wireless mobile robotic networks, sensors and controls, and augmented reality smart spaces.

  • Information Systems Collaboratory provides the distributed infrastructure for laboratories and testbeds focused on research of dynamic control and coordination of complex interacting processes and distributed decision automata with real-time and/or transient information.
  • The Mobile Robotics Laboratory emphasizes robotic networking, logical control and interactive behavior to design, implement and test mobile robotics systems for real world applications.
  • The Sensors and Control Laboratory supports advanced research in sensor fusion, wireless sensor networks, distributed control theory, hierarchical control systems, and hybrid control architectures.
  • The Augmented Reality Smart Space Laboratory, using sensing, actuation, and distributed processing, brings reality into cyberspace enabling human computer interaction, cybersecurity, environmental monitoring, mobile code, and detection of airborne pathogens.
  • The Smart Urban Sensors Network Laboratory, using live and virtual sensors collaboratively disseminating their data over wired and wireless networks, provides a testbed for research in network design and control to support improved dynamic sensor fusion for enhanced detection and tracking of critical events in the complex and volatile urban environment.

Some of our projects: