Cyber-physical Systems in Social Spaces: A Data Reliability Perspective by Prof. Tarek Abdelzaher
Electronic media, smartphones, and social networks have greatly facilitated data sharing at scale, allowing for a firehose of human and sensor observations to pour-in about events in the physical world in near real-time. This suggests that cyber-physical systems of the future will be increasingly data-intensive and many systems will rely on data from social sources, such as people and sensors they own. These sources may be less reliable, poorly characterized, and prone to exaggeration and bias. A key direction in CPS will be to develop foundations for building reliable abstractions on unreliable data. The emphasis on data reliability will complement current work on software reliability and temporal correctness. The talk presents recent case studies on reliably sampling the physical world from unreliable observations during events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and civil unrest. Issues of inferring independence of measurements, reliability of observers, and probability of correctness of reported observations are addressed. The talk concludes with open challenges in reliably exploiting unreliable data in future cyber-physical systems.
Tarek Abdelzaher received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1999 on Quality of Service Adaptation in Real-Time Systems. He has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia, where he founded the Software Predictability Group. He is currently a Professor and Willett Faculty Scholar at the Department of Computer Science, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He has authored/coauthored more than 170 refereed publications in real-time computing, distributed systems, sensor networks, and control. He is an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Real-Time Systems, and has served as Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Embedded Systems Letters, the ACM Transaction on Sensor Networks, and the Ad Hoc Networks Journal. He chaired (as Program or General Chair) several conferences in his area including RTAS, RTSS, IPSN, Sensys, DCoSS, ICDCS, and ICAC. Abdelzaher’s research interests lie broadly in understanding and controlling performance and temporal properties of networked embedded and software systems in the face of increasing complexity, distribution, and degree of embedding in an external physical environment. Tarek Abdelzaher is a recipient of the IEEE Outstanding Technical Achievement and Leadership Award in Real-time Systems (2012), the Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2011), as well as several best paper awards. He is a member of IEEE and ACM.