Engineering Strategic Hiring Initiative Seminar

Hongwei Zhang
Predictable Wireless Networking and Sofware-Defined Infrastructures for Real-Time Cyber-Physical-Human Systems
Wayne State University
White 411
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Match 9, 2017

Predictable wireless networking is a basis of many real-time cyber-physical-human (CPH) systems such as those in augmented reality, smart energy grids, connected and automated vehicles, industrial automation, and smart health. While wireless networks have existed for more than a century, we are still at the infancy of real-time CPH wireless networking, and the interdisciplinary nature of CPH systems requires rethinking not only the theory and practice of wireless networking but also the co-design of networking, sensing, and control as well as the infrastructures for open, cross-disciplinary innovation.

In particular, the vision of real-time, wireless-networked CPH systems requires addressing the following inter-related challenges: 1) Predictable single-hop wireless communication: How to ensure predictable reliability, timeliness, throughput, and their tradeoff in single-hop communications in the presence of uncertain network and environmental conditions (e.g., fast-varying wireless channel attenuation, internal and external interference, and vehicle mobility)? 2) Predictable multi-hop and cellular wireless communication: How to ensure predictable timeliness in multi-hop communication and how to enable controllable exploration of multi-hop real-time capacity regions in the presence of fast-varying, probabilistic path delays? How to ensure predictable wireless communication in the converged cellular and ad hoc network architectures such as those in LTE-Advanced and 5G? 3) Co-design of wireless networking and networked sensing and control: How to jointly optimize wireless networking and networked sensing and control in the presence of complex cyber-physical interdependencies and with humans in the loop? 4) Software-defined infrastructures for open, cross-disciplinary innovation in the wild: How to enable concerted progress in the various underpinning disciplines of real-time, wireless-networked CPH systems through open, collaborative innovation in traditionally-closed systems (e.g., vehicles and power grids) and across traditionally-segregated disciplines (e.g., networking, sensing, and control)? In this talk, I will review these challenges and present a research vision based on our field-deployable solutions to fundamental problems such as the 40+ years old open problem of predictable interference control. 


Hongwei Zhang is currently an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. His research investigates modeling, algorithmic, and systems issues in wireless sensing and control networks as well as their applications in augmented reality, connected and automated vehicles, smart energy grid, industrial automation, and cyber-physical-human systems in general. As a part of the US Ignite, CPS, NeTS, and GOALI programs of NSF and in collaboration with industry, for instance, his research group has investigated field-deployable approaches to predictable, real-time wireless networking, as well as cross-layer approaches to taming cyber-physical uncertainties in wireless networked sensing and control; as a part of the NSF GENI program, they have developed systems foundations for experimentation and service provisioning in connected and automated vehicles as well as in federated, networked sensing.

He has led and/or contributed to several wireless networked systems. He has led the development of the OpenCAV open-innovation infrastructures for connected and automated vehicles, the NetEye wireless sensor network testbed, the Detroit WiMAX/LTE research network, and the federated sensor network infrastructures in GENI. He has also contributed to the development of the Kansei sensor network testbed. These experimental infrastructures have been being used by researchers across the world. His research results and system software have served as foundational elements of the DARPA sensor network systems “A Line in the Sand” and “ExScal” which, with its 200-node wireless mesh network and 1,200-node sensor network, was the world’s largest wireless mesh network and wireless sensor network deployed at its time.

He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award. His work has been recognized by the Best Demo Award at the 23rd and 21st GENI Engineering Conference in 2015 and 2014 respectively. His papers have been selected as the Annual Best Paper of the Journal of Systems Science and Complexity (Springer) in 2016, a Spotlight Paper of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing in 2010, and a Best Paper Candidate for IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols in 2010. He has been an active contributor to NSF research program planning, and he has served on the program and/or organizing committees of leading conferences such as ICCPS, IPSN, ICNP, ICDCS, IWQoS, ICC, GLOBECOM, and SRDS. More information about his work can be found from his website at http://www.cs.wayne.edu/~hzhang/.