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Invited Talks

Invited Talk 1: Ad-hoc networks in trains, planes and automobiles
Speaker: Dr. Nick Maxemchuk
Duration: Oct. 5, 2005, Wednesday, 8:00-9:15am
Invited Talk 2: Content distribution and data retrieval in vehicular networks
Speaker: Dr. Mario Gerla
Duration: Oct. 5, 2005, Wednesday, 9:15-10:00am


Dr. Nick Maxemchuk
Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University
Title: Ad-hoc networks in trains, planes and automobiles
Duration: Oct. 5, 2005, Wednesday, 8:30-9:15am
Abstract: The volume of traffic in our subways during rush hours is limited by the minimum safe distance between trains. Every day there are near collisions between flights in the approach patterns and on the runways at our airports. Our highways suffer rolling stops that decrease the maximum volume of traffic that can be supported, And, we waste gasoline sitting at red traffic lights when there is no traffic.

By increasing communications between adjacent vehicles and distributing control, we can make our transportation systems safer, less susceptible to sabotage or single points of failure, and capable of handling higher volumes without major investments in infrastructure. In subways we can decrease the size and increase the number of trains and adjust the routes and stops dependent upon the destinations of the passengers. In air traffic patterns we can coordinate the movements of adjacent planes before changes in directions occur. Earlier warnings about stops and lane changes performed by the surrounding automobiles can make highways safer. Eventually, a degree of automatic control may make it possible to increase the volume of cars that use a highway by having the cars travel faster, with less space between them. Intersections can be scheduled, based on communications from arriving automobiles, to reduce or eliminate stops.

Distributed control of transportation systems creates a unique communications problem. The group of vehicles that must communicate form a rapidly changing ad hoc network in a hostile environment with high error rates and hidden nodes. We are required to reliably deliver sequenced messages before a deadline. We will describe the environment and requirements and present a new group communications paradigm.

We propose a communications protocol that recovers lost messages and places the messages that are common in any vehicle in the same order. The recovery and ordering is performed by a deadline, most of the time, which makes the protocol useful for real-time control. In addition, a vehicle knows when messages are received and ordered by adjacent vehicles so that all vehicles can execute the decisions that are based on those messages, with the confidence that the adjacent vehicles know that they will execute the decision. This protocol makes it possible to implement many of the distributed coordination functions that are needed in networks of vehicles.
Bio of the Speaker:  Professor Maxemchuk received the B.S.E.E. degree from the City College of New York, and the M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

For the past 4 years he has been in the electrical engineering department at Columbia University. Prior to joining Columbia he spent 25 years at Bell and AT&T labs, and prior to that he spent 8 years at the RCA David Sarnoff Research Center.

He is currently the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications and the co-technical program chair of ICNP 2006. He has been an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications, and the JACM, was on the founding committee of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, and served on their steering committee for 11 years.

He will receive the 2006 Koji Kobayashi Award for computer communications, received the IEEE's Leonard G. Abraham Prize Paper Award in 1985 and 1987 and the William R. Bennett Prize Paper Award in 1997. He became a fellow of the IEEE in 1989. 

Dr. Mario Gerla
Department of Computer Science, UCLA 
Title: Content distribution and data retrieval in vehicular networks
Duration: Oct. 5, 2005, Wednesday, 9:15-10:00am
Abstract:  Vehicular grids have emerged as one of the most promising application scenarios for “opportunistic” ad hoc networking. In this talk we will describe the evolution of opportunistic ad hoc networking and will present Car-Torrent and Ad-Torrent applications to car-to-car communications in the vehicular grid. We will then explore the use of vehicles as mobile sensor platforms in a “vehicular sensor grid”. Each vehicle is equipped with several types of sensors (e.g., video cameras, chemical sensors, radiation sensors, acoustic sensors, etc) and can thus collect and process sensor data. There are two major differences between the vehicle sensor grid and a conventional sensor network. The cars have a lot of storage and processing capacity, and; the cars move. This implies that cars can collect an infinitely larger amount of information than conventional sensors (e.g., video clips). Instead of disseminating it to sinks, they store and carry it on board. The problem of searching for data with given time and space attributes (e.g., who saw the accident on 3rd street Monday at 10:15AM ?) becomes then quite challenging. In the second part of this talk we will examine and evaluate two distributed index strategies to assist the search – Content Addressed Storage (CAS) - which relies on Info-stations, and; Mobility Assisted Strategy (MAS) – which is based on epidemic dissemination.
Bio of the Speaker: Mario Gerla received a graduate degree in engineering from the Politecnico di Milano in 1966, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in engineering from UCLA in 1970 and 1973. He became IEEE Fellow in 2002. After working for Network Analysis Corporation, New York, from 1973 to 1976, he joined the Faculty of the Computer Science Department at UCLA where he is now Professor. His research interests cover distributed computer communication systems and wireless networks. He has designed and implemented various network protocols (channel access, clustering, routing and transport) under DARPA and NSF grants. Currently he is leading the ONR MINUTEMAN project at UCLA, with focus on robust, scalable network architectures for unmanned intelligent agents in defense and homeland security scenarios. He is also conducting research on scalable TCP transport for the Next Generation Internet (see www.cs.ucla.edu/NRL for recent publications).