The emergence of pervasive sensing, high bandwidth communications and inexpensive data storage and computation systems makes it possible to drastically change how we design, monitor and regulate very large-scale physical and human networks. Performance gains in the way we operate these networks translate into large savings. There are many critical challenges to create functional monitoring systems, such as data reliability, computational efficiency and proper system design, including choices of sensors, communication protocols, and analysis approaches.
In this talk I present a framework to design a monitoring system, deploy it, maintain it and process the incoming heterogeneous sources of information, resulting in new applications. The framework is being applied to urban traffic monitoring, road infrastructure sensing and patient safety. We have developed various state of the art statistical inference algorithms, computed performance guarantees and studied some of the fundamental limits of the proposed ideas. I illustrate the methodology using experimental deployments we have built and that are currently in use.