Early Fall 2012 Research Awards

Publish Date: 11/21/2012

Congratulations to CS Faculty who were awarded research funding in the early part of the fall 2012 semester from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Department of the Army.

Dr. Wenjing Lou, and her colleagues Hanif Sherali (Industrial & Systems Engineering) and Tom Hou (Electrical & Computer Engineering) received an NSF grant for their project "Transparent Coexistence for Multi-Hop Secondary Cognitive Radio Networks: Theoretical Foundation, Algorithms, and Implementation."  Dr. Lou describes the project: "Recently, the idea of simultaneous activation (or transparent coexistence) of secondary and primary nodes is being explored. Under this new paradigm, secondary nodes are solely responsible for canceling their interference with the primary nodes so that the primary nodes do not feel the presence of the secondary nodes. Although this new paradigm has the potential of offering much greater spectrum efficiency and network capacity than those under the existing interference avoidance paradigm, it is still in its infancy and current results are only limited to very simple network settings. The goal of this project is to make a fundamental advance in the transparent coexistence paradigm for multi-hop secondary networks. Specifically, this project aims to study the following important problems in the context of multi-hop networks: (1) developing new analytical models for the transparent coexistence paradigm; (2) exploring performance bounds and theoretical limits for multi-hop secondary networks; and (3) developing distributed algorithms for multi-hop secondary networks that can offer performance approaching that of a global optimal solution.  The findings from this project are expected to make a timely contribution to the research community by removing some fundamental barriers associated with the transparent coexistence paradigm. An important educational activity of this project is to develop new cross-disciplinary course materials for wireless networking, particularly efficient sharing of the radio spectrum. This project also has plans to involve undergraduates and under-represented students in wireless networking research."

The Department of the Army (ARO) has funded Dr. Ing-Ray Chen's research project entitled "Dynamic Hierarchical Trust Management of COI in Heterogeneous Mobile Networks."  Dr. Chen describes the project: "We design and validate a scalable, reconfigurable, and survivable Community of Interest (COI) hierarchical trust management protocol (COI-HiTrust) for managing COI mission-oriented task groups in heterogeneous mobile environments. The primary objective of COI-HiTrust is to provide a subjective yet accurate assessment of "trust" of COI nodes and demonstrate the utility of the trust protocol with practical Army COI applications including misbehaving node detection, trust-based survivability management, and trust-based secure routing. Untreated in the literature, COI-HiTrust can learn from past experiences and adapt to changing environment conditions (e.g., increasing misbehaving node population, evolving hostility and node density, etc.) to enhance agility and maximize application performance for security applications built on top of COI-HiTrust. The work will lead to understanding of the best way to compose trust out of novel social trust, quality of information (QoI) and quality of service (QoS) trust metrics, as well as the best way to aggregate, propagate, and form trust for Army COI applications. The end product is a trustworthy and agile COI for successful mission execution in the presence of failure, disconnection and maliciousness of mobile COI nodes with diverse QoS and social behaviors."

Dr. Leanna House (Principal Investigator, Statistics), Dr. Scott Leman (co-PI, Statistics), Dr. Chris North (co-PI, Computer Science), Dr. Naren Ramakrishnan (co-PI), and Kathryne McConnell (co-PI, Office of Assessment and Evaluation) received NSF funding for their proposal entitled "Critical Thinking with Data Visualization (CTDV)."  A description of the project: "Innovations in pedagogy and curriculum development for introductory, undergraduate Data Analytics (DA) have not paralleled the dramatic advancements in data collection technology. To learn from data, it takes both 1) DA skills to access, process, summarize, and interpret large, unruly datasets and 2) comprehensive critical thinking skills to compartmentalize large problems into manageable pieces, formulate and evaluate solutions with quantitative and/or qualitative rigor, make judgements that assimilate current information with new data, and reflect upon the objectiv- ity and/or constraints of those judgements. Granted the success of this proposal, first and second year college students with varying backgrounds, interests, and talents will have the opportunity to gain all of the skills necessary to learn from data.

Intellectual Merit: A new course is proposed called, “Critical Thinking with Data Visualisation” (CTDV). This course is unique in that it uses novel interactive data visualization software (and techniques therein) as a platform for students to build from what they know and construct their understanding of 1) how to think critically, 2) the role of data in critical thinking, and 3) the mathematical and computational methods taught in class to summarize high-dimensional data. Crucially, DA and critical thinking are taught in tandem so that students do not need to master complex quantitative methods before experiencing how to use data for problem solving.

The interactive data visualization software will be designed, developed, and tested for usability. The software is based on methods developed by PI’s of this proposal called Bayesian Visual Analytics (BaVA). BaVA enables domain experts, e.g., students, to incorporate their domain knowledge within quantitatively rigorous data characterizations, without technical training in statistics nor computer science. For this reason, BaVA fosters creative, critical thinking with data."

Dr. Mark Gardner (PI), and his co-PIs Dr. Steven Ellington (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Dr. Ben Knapp (Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology, CS), and Dr. Eugene Brown (Mechanical Engineering) received NSF funding for "An Advanced Scientific Collaboration Environment and DMZ."  They describe the project: "Collaboration in scientific discourse is as much about building community as it is about data sharing. It is about discipline-specific web portals to ease data discovery and to facilitate access. It is about validated tools for working with the data and about the means for replicating results. It is about data curation and management. It is about controlling access to the data in order to obey regulatory requirements. And it is about the social interactions between scientists. Successful collaborations already address these issues, but in ad hoc ways. New collaborations must tackle the same challenges over and over gain. It would be much more productive if a standard infrastructure existed for building and hosting collaboration environments and communities.

The Advanced Scientific Collaboration Environment and DMZ (ASCED) is a standardized infrastructure, based upon open source components, for building and hosting scientific communities. It is built upon the Science DMZ, an infrastructure for efficiently sharing data, by including a private cloud for hosting collaboration environments. It supports role-based access control, facilitates data management, and provides PIs with tools for abiding by regulatory requirements. It is a standard base upon which scientific communities can be built, allowing future proposals to focus on the specifics of their research.  It is also envisioned that ASCED will be used as a platform for educators to engage students at all levels. And it can be a platform for engaging the public, both in the dissemination of results and in participating in research."