Professor John S. Baras (ECE/ISR), on October 3, 2011, gave an invited three hours tutorial at the 14th International Symposium on Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications (WPMC'11), http://www.wpmc2011.org, held in Brest, Bretagne, France, October 3-7, 2011. The WPMC symposia series were inaugurated in 1998 at Yokosuka Research Park, Japan, as a global platform which aims at enabling collaboration in the field of wireless information and multimedia communications. Held in Asia, Europe and America, WPMC has established itself as a unique global conference dedicated to wireless multimedia convergence. In the conference, more than 120 papers were presented on the following topics: MIMO, OFDM, propagation and channel modelling, cognitive radio, hardware and software radio, radio resource management, optical wireless communications, trials on 3G/4G networks, MAC, relay and cooperative communications, ad-hoc networks, multihop networks, sensor networks, sensors: location and event detection, video transmission, broadcast and multicast, energy-efficient networks, communication and network technologies for new services.
Dr. Baras’ tutorial was entitled “Wireless Information Infrastructures and the Future Internet: Protocol Components, System Architectures, Security and Privacy”, and can be downloaded from the tutorial section at http://www.wpmc2011.org. Dr. Baras covered several topics critical to Broadband Communication Infrastructures, which are expanding rapidly and are becoming ubiquitous. He presented a new methodology to design wireless communication network protocols based on the decomposition of protocols into fundamental components and the use of optimization techniques for tradeoff analysis and synthesis. The new formal and model-based approach allows a systematic study of network performance and cross-layer analysis and design of routing, scheduling, MAC and PHY layer protocols. This approach, called Component Based Networking (CBN), combines and extends ideas and methods from component-based software engineering, formal models, performance models, optimization and trade-off analysis, compositional synthesis.
Trust and reputation are critical concepts in networks – communication, control, computer, social, web-based, economic, biological. Trust evaluation leads to the development of relations and collaborations. These evaluations are based either on direct ‘communal’ monitoring and inference by the nodes, or on indirect references and credentials. Dr. Baras described new fundamental ways for analyzing and evaluating trust in autonomic networked systems. The indirect evaluation process is modeled as a path problem on a directed graph, where nodes represent entities, and edges represent trust relations. He described a novel formulation of trust computation as ‘linear’ iterations on partially ordered semirings, and demonstrated how this theory can be used to analyze several key problems on the performance of trust algorithms. He presented the methodology of constrained coalitional dynamic games that he has developed for studying the effects of trust on collaboration.
He described and solved various problems of wireless network security, information assurance and trust in dynamic wireless networks. These included detection and defense against attacks, detection of propagating viruses, evaluation of intrusion systems, attacks at the physical, MAC and routing protocols, trust establishment-dynamics-management. Authentication is the process where claims of identity are verified. Most mechanisms of authentication (e.g., digital signatures and certificates) exist above the physical layer, though some (e.g., spread spectrum communications) exist at the physical layer often with an additional cost in bandwidth. Dr. Baras introduced a general analysis and design framework for authentication at the physical layer where the authentication information is transmitted concurrently with the data. He described further extensions to OFDM and multicarrier wireless devices. He also described several other methods for authentication and security at the physical layer including the use of signal characteristics to authenticate mobile wireless devices, the discovery of unshakable physical characteristics in fingerprint sensors, the use of special-purpose trusted chips for increasing the security of portable computers and wireless devices and the use of hardware-based security towards establishing compositional security schemes.
Social networks over the web are also becoming ubiquitous and pose a unique set of challenges stemming primarily from the interactions of humans and technological networks. Dr. Baras described new approaches in modeling and analysis of social networks and their dynamics including geometric and algebraic models, security and trust, privacy, reputation systems. Again the emphasis was on an integrated systems perspective and the need for appropriate model-based analytics. He closed with an integrated model of the communication, information and cognitive layers of future networks and a description of certain foundational problems it implies for networked systems.
Date: October 3, 2011
Place: Brest, Bretagne, France.
Professor John Baras (ECE/ISR) gave the invited plenary lecture at the 19th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, (MED2011) in Corfu, Greece, June 22.
The MED conference series, through its technical program, provides a unique opportunity for the academic and industrial communities to address new challenges, share solutions and discuss future research directions. A broad range of topics is covered, following current trends of combining control/systems theory with software/communication technologies. For up-to-date information on MED’11, as well as previous conferences in this series, please visit: http://www.med2011.org
Baras spoke on “Cooperative Networked Systems: Multiple Graphs, Coalitional Games, New Probabilistic Models” The theme of his talk was the challenges and opportunities for the development of new foundational principles and methodologies for the emerging discipline of networked systems.
In his lecture, Baras considered networked systems from various domains including control, communications, sensing, sociology, economics and biology. He described a general model he has developed for such systems that involves several interacting dynamic multigraphs, and identified three fundamental research challenges underlying these systems. He then introduced the framework of constrained coalitional games and showed that it captures in a fundamental way the basic tradeoff of benefits vs. cost of collaboration, in networked systems.
Baras demonstrated that various simple models of constrained coalitional games can explain network formation and the emergence or not of collaboration. He then proceeded to investigate the interrelationship between the collaboration and communication graphs in networked control systems and the role of the communication topology, among the collaborating agents, in improving the performance of distributed algorithms on graphs, such as convergence speed. He showed that Small World graphs emerge as a good tradeoff between performance and efficiency in consensus problems, where the latter serves as a prototypical coordination problem.
Baras then discussed extensions to expander graphs and presented several results on designing communication topologies for collaborative control, some inspired from biology. Finally, he took a fresh look at the probability and information models that can support the analysis and synthesis of distributed, networked multi-agent systems operating with at least partial asynchrony. He demonstrated that such systems cannot support probability models based on Kolmogorov-type models including cartesian products of the same. The probabilities needed have to be built on a logic model that is based on observables and on the geometry of subspaces of finite dimensional Hilbert spaces rather than the logic of subsets of sets.
Baras showed that with new probability models and the associated information models, several difficult problems in distributed inference and control of networked systems become convex optimization problems.
Date:June 22, 2011
Place: Corfu, Greece.
Photos courtesy of INRIA: "The laboratory of excellence COMIN Labs' Communication and Information Science Laboratories was officially launched Wednesday, June 8, at INRIA Campus de Beaulieu, University of Rennes 1. Over 100 participants attended the day. The morning began with an opening by officials, including the prefect Michel Cadot of Britain and President of the UEB Guy Cathelineau. It was followed by a panel discussion moderated by journalist Anne Chevrel. The afternoon was devoted to scientific presentations, with in particular the intervention of John Baras, University of Maryland."
Professor John Baras (ECE/ISR) visited INRIA, Rennes Bretagne Atlantique on June 8, 2011, where he participated in the kick-off meeting of the new center of excellence Labex Comin Labs. Baras gave the invited keynote address and also participated as one of the panelists in a panel discussion on the social impact and industrial collaboration programs of Comin Labs.
The CominLabs are an initiative selected as part of the “Laboratoires d’Excellence” program by the French ministry of research and education. It gathers the best teams from Bretagne and Nantes regions in the broad area of telecommunications, from electronic devices to wide area distributed applications “over the top.” The scope of CominLabs covers research, education, and innovation. While being hosted by academic institutions, the CominLabs build on a strong industrial ecosystem made of large companies and competitive SMEs.
The Director of the new Comin Labs is Albert Benveniste, who is a member of the ISR Strategic Advisory Council. Baras was also selected to be the chairperson of the International Advisory Board of Comin Labs. It is expected, and indeed planned, that Comin Labs and ISR will collaborate in several technical areas.
Baras’ lecture was entitled “Challenges and Opportunities for Future Broadband Networks: From Physical to Services to Social”, and its theme was broadband communication infrastructures and their affecting of every aspect of life and work. He described major challenges and opportunities in this critical area, from an integrated systems perspective. He described how hardware and physical layer advances will make possible new programmable types of networks and services. In the wireless arena physical layer advances mitigate interference and will provide energy and bandwidth efficient and reliable communications. Services over the Future Internet and associated architectures are rapidly expanding and are increasingly interacting and integrated. Yet viewing these developments from a systems synthesis perspective lies in the future.
A major challenge is to be able to synthesize communication and information networks so as to meet in a predictable manner specifications. Key to the proposed research is the systematic development of components, component architectures and associated validation methodologies. Social networks over the web are also becoming ubiquitous and pose a unique set of challenges stemming primarily from the interactions of humans and technological networks. The emphasis of his lecture was on an integrated systems perspective and the need for appropriate model-based analytics.
He closed by presenting an integrated model of the communication, information and cognitive layers of future networks and a description of certain foundational problems this model implies for networked systems.
Date:June 8, 2011
Place: Comin Labs.
Professor John Baras (ECE/ISR) gave the invited keynote address at the 2nd Army Research Office Special Workshop on Hardware Assurance, held in Washington, D.C. The workshop focused on the new and emerging area of using hardware techniques to enhance communication, computer and network security.
Baras has obtained several innovative results recently in this area, including the use of signal characteristics to authenticate mobile wireless devices, the discovery of unshakable physical characteristics in fingerprint sensors, the use of special-purpose trusted chips for increasing the security of portable computers and wireless devices and the use of hardware-based security towards establishing compositional security schemes.
Baras’ lecture, “Physical Layer Security and Trust Mechanisms: Critical and Indispensable” emphasized that allocating some of the security functions to hardware and the physical layer is not only considerably strengthens the security of many wireless devices and networks, but is rapidly becoming a necessary component in the overall security architecture of complex distributed systems.
The keynote address covered security and trust in broadband wireless; physical layer security, including signal processing, TPM, MTM, TCN, biometrics, PUFs and the integration of combinations; and universally composable security, including security aware network protocol design. Baras also gave example applications in distributed estimation, fusion and trust, and smart grid cybersecurity. He closed with an overview of gaps and challenges.
Date: April 11, 2011
Place: Washington, D.C.
Professor John Baras (ECE/ISR) gave an invited distinguished lecture to the Department of Electronic Engineering of Tsinghua University, in Beijing, China. Tsinghua University is the premier science and technology University of China. The lecture, “Component-Based Networking and Design of Wireless Network Protocols,” was part of the Tsinghua Information Forum.
On the same day, Professor Baras gave an invited distinguished lecture in the Institute of Systems Science (ISS) of the Chinese Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science (AMSS), in Beijing, China. The title of his lecture was “Network Science Principles and Cooperative Networked Systems” The Institute of Systems Science is a world-recognized research center of excellence in systems science, and is mainly engaged in basic research in systems science, mathematics and interdisciplinary subjects related to systems science as well as application oriented basic research.
During both of these visits Professor Baras met with faculty, researchers and students and discussed collaboration programs between ISR and the University of Maryland with both institutions. As a result of his efforts, ISR is in the process of completing collaboration agreements with both Tsinghua University (the Departments of Automation and Electronic Engineering will be the major participating units) and the Chinese Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science (the Institute of Systems Science will be the major participating unit). These collaboration agreements will facilitate exchange visits by faculty, researchers, postdoctoral fellows and students, as well as the undertaking of joint research and educational programs.
Date: March 23, 2011
Professor John S. Baras (ECE/ISR) gave the invited plenary lecture on March 21, 2011 at the First IEEE International Conference on Cyber Technology in Automation, Control and Intelligent Systems (IEEE-CYBER 2011), held in Kunming, China, from March 20-23, 2011.
IEEE-CYBER is a newly established international conference focusing on intelligent cyber systems in automation and control. Today’s automation systems are increasingly equipped with sophisticated sensors and network interfaces to facilitate real-time monitoring and control through the cyber space. As networking technology continues to increase in bandwidth and decrease in price, this trend is expected to grow by leaps and bounds as new generations of internet-friendly automation systems become increasingly interconnected to provide not only fast and cost-effective, but also advanced intelligent control to a wide variety of disciplines such as healthcare, homeland security, energy, telecommunications, environment, transportation, and manufacturing. IEEE-CYBER 2011 hosted leaders and visionaries from both industry and academia who disseminated their latest research results in intelligent cyber systems, including new scientific theories, computational algorithms, information technologies, and engineering techniques that enable the rapid development and integration of advanced automation systems with internet, networks, and computational intelligence.
Dr. Baras’ lecture was entitled “Component-based Architectures for the Synthesis of Intelligent Networked Systems” and its theme was the need for the development of new methodologies and design environments for complex engineered systems. Advances in Information Technology have enabled the design of complex networked systems, with large number of heterogeneous components and capable of multiple complex functions. These advances have at the same time increased the capabilities of such systems and have increased their complexity to such an extent that systematic design towards predictable performance is extremely difficult if not infeasible today. This is especially manifested in the area of cyber-physical systems, of all scales, that have become ubiquitous. In addition, the need for systems that can rapidly adapt to new situations and change their structure and behavior accordingly has also increased dramatically. Dr. Baras presented his research on new foundational methodologies that show promise in addressing these challenges. They include model-based systems engineering, component based synthesis and architectural design towards efficiency and adaptability. He demonstrated their effectiveness in various applications: collaborative robotics, collaborative heterogeneous sensor networks, cybersecurity of critical infrastructures, human-machine teams and organizations, and composite trust.
Date: March 21, 2011
Place: Kunming, China