Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The World as a Networked Interface: GENI, the Global Environment for Network Innovations

Today I learned that Rudra Dutta, an associate professor at North Carolina State University, is participating in the GENI project.  GENI stands for Global Environment for Network Innovations, and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.  Here is the information from the GENI website:

Exploring networks of the future

"Evolving technological and social networks, intertwined and wordlwide in scope, are rapidly transforming societies and economies.  The Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is open and broadly inclusive, providing collaborative and exploratory environments for academia, industry and the public to catalyze groundbreaking discoveries and innovation in these emerging global networks...GENI is a virtual laboratory at the frontiers of network science and engineering for exploring future internets at scale. GENI creatse major opportunities to understand, innovate and transform global networks and their interactions with society."

GENI at-a-glance (pdf)

GENI's mission
"The GENI mission is to:  open the way for transformative research at the frontiers of network science and engineering, and inspire and accelerate the potential for groundbreaking innovation of significant sociio-economic impact."

Press Release,  Reuters, 10/12/09
GENI Project Office at BBN Technologies Announces $11.5M in NSF Funding for 33 Academic and Industry Teams (The complete list of proposals funded in GENI Spiral 2 is listed in this press release)

About BBN Technologies
"BBN Technologies is a legendary R&D organization that leverages its substantial intellectual property portfolio to produce advanced, repeatable solutions such as the Boomerang shooter detection system. With expertise spanning information security, speech and language processing, networking, distributed systems, and sensing and control systems, BBN scientists and engineers have amassed a substantial collection of innovations and patented solutions. BBN now employs over 700 people in seven locations in the US: Cambridge, Massachusetts (headquarters); Arlington, Virginia; Columbia, Maryland; Middletown, Rhode Island; San Diego, California; St. Louis Park, Minnesota; and O'Fallon, Illinois. For more information, visit www.bbn.com."


BBN's Boomerang State of the Art Shooter Detection

Put this in the hands of some technically-grounded artists and musicians, and just think of what could happen!
In ubiquitous computing, we need to rely on a range of networks, and not the traditional kind.  Although the Boomerang was specifically developed for military purposes, it has features that I think would be very useful in public, non-military settings.  It uses passive acoustic detection and can operate in motion and in stationary positions.   The mast is an array of microphones, and the system is programmed to detect information about incoming fire.   It works in urban terrains as well as in fields, and can quickly detect information and relative information, including information about elevation, about the "shooter.  The system can detect the differences between various sounds, such as door slams, firecrackers, and so forth.

I want one, but not to detect shooters!   (I wrote some experimental code snippets when I was studying AI for Games that might work with something like this, in real/augmented reality environments.)

Another thing about the Boomerang, it sort of looks like something that was in one of my recurring technology dreams - the one about wireless sensor networks.  Also read my loosely related posts highlighting the multi-disciplinary approach to this topic, unrelated to military settings:

"Web Meets World"  User Experience of Embedded Systems and Interactive Wireless Sensor Networks

Albrecht Schmidt's User Interface Engineering Blog:  Great Links, References, and Resources

The UX of SmartGridCity:  Control Your SmartHouse Remotely, Online

Other links of interest:

SILO Project:  Services Integration, controL and Optimization for the Future Internet

SILO Project Overview

Future Internet Information Meeting Webcasts (held on 7/29/09)

FIND: NSF's Future Internet Design Initiative

Questions from the FIND website:
  • How can we design a network that is fundamentally more secure and available than today's Internet? How would we conceive the security problem if we could start from scratch?
  • How might such functions as information dissemination, location management or identity management best fit into a new network architecture?
  • What will be the long-term impact of new technologies such as advanced wireless and optics?
  • How will economics and technology interact to shape the overall design of a future network?
  • How do we design a network that preserves a free and open society?
FIND Observer Panel Report pdf (Vint Cerf, Bruce Davie, Albert Greenberg, Susan Landau, David Sincoskie)


As I was exploring Dr. Rudra Dutta's  website, I found his resources for graduate students considering Ph.D. research.  If this is something you are thinking about, I'm sure you'll find Dr. Rudra's words of wisdom well worth it!

Introduction to the Process of Research, A Personal View
Tips on Research Reading

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