Profs. de Veciana and Vikalo Receive NSF Grant to investigate Visibility and Interactive Information Sharing in Collaborative Sensing Systems

Monday, October 22, 2018 - 8:45am

Prof. Gustavo de Veciana and Prof. Haris Vikalo of Texas ECE have received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate visibility and interactive information sharing in collaborative sensing systems. The proposed research effort will "advance the state-of-the-art in collaborative sensing systems which are expected to benefit the field and society more broadly, through planned efforts in education innovation, achieving diversity, engaging the community and industry, and disseminating results to a wider public."

"Self-driving vehicles and mobile robots have the potential to deliver transformative technological and societal changes. In order to make autonomous decisions, nodes need to have a reasonable degree of situational awareness achieved through recognition and tracking of entities in dynamic environments.  This may not be possible in partially occluded environments, where individual nodes may have limited visibility, unless nodes participate in collaborative sensing, i.e., share sensed information. Sharing raw/processed real-time sensing data with centralized resources in the cloud or at the network edge poses potentially high communication/computational burdens, particular in safety critical settings requiring low latency. This motivates the need to study distributed collaborative sensing frameworks leveraging powerful algorithms for tracking and deep learning models for reliable recognition/classification tasks. Of particular interest is a characterization of what collaborating sensors can ``see'' in occluded environments and how one should realize information sharing in resource constrained settings to fairly optimize what nodes ``know'', i.e., their situational awareness. The proposed research effort will advance the state-of-the-art in collaborative sensing systems which are expected to benefit the field and society more broadly, through planned efforts in education innovation, achieving diversity, engaging the community and industry, and disseminating results to a wider public."

Prof. de Veciana and Prof. Vikalo are both members of the Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG) in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. WNCG is an interdisciplinary center for research and education with an emphasis on industrial relevance.