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Embedded Systems

Embedded systems are computer systems that perform dedicated functions while being parts of a larger system. Our research targets primarily heterogeneous many-core System on a Chip (SoC) platforms where communication happens via the network-on-chip. These SoCs should be designed to meet aggressive performance requirements, while coping with limited battery capacity, thermal design power, and real-time constraints. Over the years, we have considered deterministic, probabilistic, and statistical physics-inspired design paradigms. Lately, our research targets machine learning approaches (e.g., imitation and reinforcement learning) for performance and energy optimization and resource management in heterogeneous SoC platforms.

Epidemics

Viral outbreaks spread throughout networks of people via transmission events. We aim to combine human mobility data, network science, and machine learning to inform and mitigate the disease dynamics for COVID-19. Furthermore, we aim to build an always-on social sensing system to improve a population’s resilience to a novel virus.

Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) represents a paradigm shift from the traditional Internet and Cloud computing to a new reality where all “things” are connected to the Internet. Indeed, it has been estimated that the number of connected IoT-devices will reach one trillion by 2035. Such an explosive growth in IoT-devices necessitates new breakthroughs in AI research that can help efficiently deploy intelligence at the edge. Given that IoT-devices are extremely resource-constrained (e.g., small memory, low operating frequencies for energy efficiency), we focus primarily on challenges related to enabling deeplearning models at the edge.

Cyber-Physical Systems

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) refer to a new generation of networked embedded systems that bring together sensing, computation, communication, control and actuation in order to sustain a continuous interaction with the physical world (e.g., processes taking place on electrical power grids, transportation and traffic roads, communication and financial networks, medical devices, smart buildings, etc.). Physical processes are predominantly non-stationary in nature and require time-dependent models for understanding their behavior. Our research focuses on accurate modeling physical processes to better understand the theoretical foundations of CPS design and optimization.

Social Networks

Objective social media exhibit rich yet distinct temporal dynamics which cover a wide range of different scales. We are able to identify the compositional structures that can accurately characterize the complex social dynamics from these two social media. We further show that identifying these patterns can enable new applications such as anomaly detection and improved social dynamics forecasting. We aim to uncover new insights on understanding and engineering social media dynamics and their consequences on offline behaviors.

Model Compression & Optimization

Model compression has emerged as an important area of research for deploying deep learning models on IoT devices. However, model compression is not a sufficient solution to fit the models within the memory of a single device; as a result we need to distribute them across multiple devices. This leads to a distributed inference paradigm in which communication costs represent another major bottleneck. To this end, we focus on knowledge distillation and ‘teacher’ – ‘student’ type of architectures for distributed model compression, as well as data independent model compression.

Biological Networks

It is well established that bacteria engage in social behavior and form networked communities via molecular signaling. We analyze the network dynamics and biofilm metrics, showing that our method can effectively reveal the underlying intercellular communication process and community organization within the biofilm. We claim that the application of social and network sciences to understanding bacteria population dynamics can aid in developing better drugs to control the many pathogenic bacteria that use social interactions to cause infections.

Edge AI

EdgeAI refers to the ability to run various AI applications directly on edge devices, hence minimizing or even eliminating the need to rely on the cloud. Given its huge potential to enable new opportunities for various IoT applications (e.g., image classification, object detection, autonomous driving, language processing, etc.), edge computing/IoT is currently one of the hottest research areas. Our research is primarily focused on developing new energy-aware machine learning techniques and hardware prototypes that leverage the network and the system characteristics to enable edge/IoT computing.

Networks

Networks are all around us. As such, network science is crucial for our understanding of many applications of high societal relevance (e.g., social and technological networks, epidemics, biological networks). Our research focuses on developing new machine learning methods to discover complex interactions and collective behaviors that determine how various types of events and behaviors in social networks are generated and propagated. In particular, we are interested in developing new approaches for social sensing that are relevant to the immediate concerns around pandemic detection and mitigation.

Federated Learning

Large amounts of data are generated nowadays on edge devices, such as phones, tablets, and wearable devices. However, since data on such personal devices is highly sensitive, training ML models by sending the users’ local data to a centralized server clearly involves significant privacy risks. Hence, in order to enable intelligence for these privacy-critical applications, Federated Learning (FL) has become the de facto paradigm for training ML models on local devices without sending data to the cloud. Our research in this direction focuses on developing new FL approaches that exploit data and devices heterogeneity.