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CESG Teleseminar: Mixed Centralized/Decentralized Decision Protocols for Multi-Agent Systems

CESG Teleseminar: Mixed Centralized/Decentralized Decision Protocols for Multi-Agent Systems

March 2 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract Multi-agent systems arise in diverse fields, including power systems, robotics, cyber-physical systems, and the Internet of Things. Coordinating these systems is often done using decentralized interactions, in which each agent only communicates with a small number of others. Decentralized algorithms offer several benefits, though they may have difficulty accommodating some performance demands, such as user privacy requirements. Toward addressing such challenges, I will present recent work on mixed centralized/decentralized decision protocols for multi-agent systems. Motivated by the availability of cloud computing, a centralized cloud computer is added to networks of agents in order to gather global information, perform centralized computations, and broadcast the results. As this happens, the agents continue to execute a decentralized behavior. The centralized nature of the cloud means it will be slower than the agents, though its slow, occasional transmissions do indeed enable multi-agent systems to handle various practical challenges. To this end, I will present mixed centralized/decentralized coordination algorithms that tolerate asynchronous information sharing and user privacy requirements, while still enabling strong theoretical guarantees of performance. In the asynchronous case, I will present an algorithm that allows each agent to perform useful work even if the agents have conflicting information about the network. For privacy, the framework of differential privacy is used, giving rise to a novel stochastic optimization algorithm. These algorithms draw from primal-dual optimization techniques and the theory of stochastic variational inequalities, and solve coordination tasks that are stated as convex optimization problems. The end result is a flexible coordination framework that tolerates an array of practical challenges, all while solving constrained coordination problems for teams of agents, regardless of whether an agent is a robot, a self-driving car, or any other physical entity. In addition to theoretical results, I will present robotic implementations of this work to demonstrate its applicability in practice. Bio Matthew Hale is a Ph.D. Candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2012, he received his B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the GRASP Lab. He received his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2015, and was awarded the Colonel Oscar P. Cleaver Outstanding Graduate Student Award by the same department in 2013. His research interests include optimization and control for multi-agent systems, differential privacy, and hybrid systems. His work applies methods from these areas to cyber-physical systems and teams of robots.

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CESG Teleseminar: Improving Cyber Security through Cyber Insurance and Data Analytics

CESG Teleseminar: Improving Cyber Security through Cyber Insurance and Data Analytics

March 3 @ 4:10 pm - 5:10 pm

Parinaz Naghizadeh, University of Michigan Attempts to improve the state of cyber security have been on the rise over the past decade. In addition to enhancing existing software and infrastructure, there is a parallel need for incentivizing the adoption of these improved security practices by end users and organizations. My research aims to design such incentive mechanisms, and to leverage advances in data analytics for informed cyber-policy design. In this talk, I will first discuss the design of cyber insurance contracts, with an emphasis on users’ unobservable security decisions (moral hazard) and their interdependence in security. I will demonstrate the role of cyber insurance in instilling commitment towards improved cyber security by leveraging users’ interdependence. In addition, I will describe how predictive analytics based on machine learning techniques can be used as a tool for improving the design of these cyber-insurance contracts, and also for regulating security information sharing agreements. Further, I will present a game-theoretic framework for understanding individual users’ decisions towards security investments, and in particular, the effects of the network structure on the outcomes of their interactions. I will discuss how our findings extend several existing results in the literature, as well as their applications in other domains, including the study of spread of research and innovation, financial markets, and environmental pollution reduction policies. Bio: Parinaz Naghizadeh is a postdoctoral research fellow in EECS at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include cyber security, game theory, network economics, optimization, and data analytics. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 2016, M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics, both from the University of Michigan, in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran, in 2010. She was a recipient of the Barbour scholarship in the 2014-15 academic year.

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ECE Leaders and Innovators Speaker Series and TEES Tech Talk

ECE Leaders and Innovators Speaker Series and TEES Tech Talk

March 10 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

New Frontiers of Information Networks: Opportunities & Challenges Dr. John D. Matyjas Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate Abstract: After a brief orientation on the Air Force Research Laboratory, this talk will focus on the innovation, development, and maturation of secure communications,  networking, and information management technologies. A timely, reliable, and mission-responsive Air Force network is critical to the translation of sensory data into actionable information and for assuring tailored communications globally. To build future elastic network capabilities that can respond to the mission and threat environment, we cannot rely solely on a data-neutral network. The future lies in affordable, extensible, interoperable communications architectures that intelligently distribute information in a robust way and enable shared situational awareness and timely decision-making, ultimately, to assure the mission. These desired attributes will be discussed in the context of broadly parallel consumer and industry demands for autonomous vehicle (ground and airborne) operations and human/machine-to-machine communications. Bio: Dr. John D. Matyjas received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from State University of New York at Buffalo in 2004. Currently, he is serving as the Tech Advisor of the Computing & Communications Division at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, NY. His research interests include dynamic multiple-access communications and networking, software defined RF, spectrum mutability, statistical signal processing and optimization, and neural networks. Dr. Matyjas was inducted as an AFRL Fellow in 2016. He is the recipient of the 2015 Air Force Association ‘Technology Manager of the Year’ Award, 2015 AFRL ‘Scientist of the Year’ Award, 2012 IEEE R1 Technology Innovation Award, and the 2010 IEEE Int’l Communications Conf. Best Paper Award. From 2012-2014, he served on the IEEE Trans. on Wireless Communications Editorial Advisory Board. He is an IEEE Senior Member, Secretary of the IEEE Mohawk Valley Section, chair of the IEEE Mohawk Valley Signal Processing Society, and member of Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu Engineering Honor Societies.

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CESG Teleseminar: From Brain Biometrics to Brain Hacking: Convergence of Neuroscience and Cyber Technology

CESG Teleseminar: From Brain Biometrics to Brain Hacking: Convergence of Neuroscience and Cyber Technology

March 23 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Zhanpeng Jin Department of ECE, Binghamton University Room 333 Wisenbaker Engineering Building (fishbowl)   Abstract: Cryptographic systems often rely on the secrecy of cryptographic credentials; however, these are vulnerable to eavesdropping and can resist neither a user’s intentional disclosure nor coercion attacks where the user is forced to reveal the credentials. Conventional biometric keys (e.g., fingerprint, iris, etc.), unfortunately, can still be surreptitiously duplicated or adversely revealed. To this end, we argue that the most secure cryptographic credentials are ones of which the users aren’t even aware. On the basis of this argument, our research seeks to investigate a new psychophysiological approach for secure and trustworthy user authentication via reproducible, unique, non-volitional components of the electroencephalogram (EEG) brainwave responses, named “brainprints.” Moreover, we systematically evaluate how robust the cognitive brainprinting is to various cyber-attacks, particularly psychological and computational vulnerabilities. The preliminary results have proved the resistance of the brainprint authentication system to brainwave entrainment and impersonation. This research holds the potential to transform existing authentication systems into more secure, disclosure-resistant solutions; critical for high-security applications, as well as to strengthen our understanding of the unique cognitive and psychological secret of the human brain. “Brainprint” research has been reported by over 50 media outlets and named as one of the “future technology: 22 ideas about to change our world.”   Bio: Dr. Zhanpeng Jin is an Assistant Professor in Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering, and Director of Cyber-Med Lab at State University of New York at Binghamton. Prior to joining SUNY-Binghamton, He was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include emerging biometrics, cognitive neuroscience, cyber-physical security, neuromorphic computing, mobile health, and low-power sensing. He has served as the Associate Editor for the journals of Computers and Electrical Engineering, Computers in Biology and Medicine, and BioMedical Engineering Online, as well as served on the Technical Committees for many conferences. He received the BU ECE Outstanding Faculty Researcher Award in 2015, Best Paper Award in BHI’17, and Best Paper Award Nominee in ASP-DAC’17. His research has been supported by NSF, AFOSR, AFRL, SUNY Research Foundation, and a number of industrial companies. He is a senior member of IEEE.

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CESG Seminar: Exo-Core — Software-Defined Hardware-Security

CESG Seminar: Exo-Core — Software-Defined Hardware-Security

March 24 @ 4:10 am - 5:10 pm

Mohit Tiwari – University of Texas at Austin Abstract: Confinement is a fundamental security primitive. The ability to put private data in a box and ship the box to run untrusted code in an untrusted data center can transform systems security and expand the use of cloud services to regulated data. However, untrusted applications are hard to confine — we show that using only meta-data about the computation, a malicious process can leak secrets at hundreds of kilo-bits per second on machines today. Closing such leaks in the past has followed a piece-meal approach of closing individual channels. In this talk, we propose that exposing the micro-architecture to software can enable flexible defenses to a large class of vulnerabilities, and show that software solutions can implement efficient and verifiable solutions to hardware-security problems.   Bio: Mohit Tiwari received his PhD from UCSB (2011) and joined UT Austin as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2013. His research enables privacy for end-users through information leak-free containers — such containers can be used to create trustworthy computing services using untrusted data centers and vulnerable applications — and through anomaly detection across the computing stack. Professor Tiwari’s research has received the NSF Career Award (2015), Best Paper Awards (ASPLOS’15, PACT’09), IEEE Micro Top Picks (2010, 2014 Honorable Mention), and industry research awards from Google and Qualcomm.

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CESG TELESEMINAR: “Collaborative Road Freight Transport”

CESG TELESEMINAR: “Collaborative Road Freight Transport”

March 30 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

“Collaborative Road Freight Transport” Karl H. Johansson –  KTH Royal Institute of Technology   Abstract: Freight transportation is of outmost importance for our society. Road transporting accounts for about 26% of all energy consumption and 18% of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. Goods transport in the EU amounts to 3.5 trillion ton-km per year with 3 million people employed in this sector, whereas people transport amounts to 6.5 trillion passenger-km with 2 million employees. Despite the influence the transportation system has on our energy consumption and the environment, individual long-haulage trucks with no real-time coordination or global optimization mainly do road goods transportation. In this talk, we will discuss how modern information and communication technology supports cyber-physical transportation system architecture with an integrated logistic system coordinating fleets of trucks traveling together in vehicle platoons. From the reduced air drag, platooning trucks traveling close together can save more than 10% of their fuel consumption. Control and estimation challenges and solutions on various level of this transportation system will be presented. It will be argued that a system architecture utilizing vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication enable optimal and safe control of individual trucks as well as optimized vehicle fleet collaborations and new markets. Extensive experiments done on European highways will illustrate system performance and safety requirements. The presentation will be based on joint work over the last ten years with collaborators at KTH and at the truck manufacturer Scania.   Bio: Karl H. Johansson is Director of the Stockholm Strategic Research Area ICT The Next Generation and Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He received MSc and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Lund University. He has held visiting positions at UC Berkeley, Caltech, NTU, HKUST Institute of Advanced Studies, and NTNU. His research interests are in networked control systems, cyber-physical systems, and applications in transportation, energy, and automation. He is a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society Board of Governors and the European Control Association Council. He has received several best paper awards and other distinctions, including a ten-year Wallenberg Scholar Grant, a Senior Researcher Position with the Swedish Research Council, and the Future Research Leader Award from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. He is Fellow of the IEEE and IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.

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