The Centre for Smart Connected Futures has launched a seminar programme, on the first Thursday of every month, to pull together researchers from across the College and external collaborators, to hear about the latest research across the field.

All are welcome: Registration in advance through Eventbrite is required.   All talks are followed by drinks.

Thursday 2 May 2019, 17:30-19:30

Lecture Theatre 311, Huxley Building

Towards Next generation Smart IoT 

Professor Jiannong Cao, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

IoT has many applications including smart cities, logistics, industrial control and healthcare. Currently, IoT technologies still largely focus on the networking aspect of connecting and controlling the things. As the Internet becomes increasingly ubiquitous and 5G is at the corner, IoT will continue to develop and its further potential can be realized by a combination with related technology approaches such as 5G, Smart objects, Cloud computing, Big Data, and AI. In this talk, I will describe the evolution of IoT from instrumentation and interconnection to intelligence and summarize our research in the past years along this direction towards the next generation smart IoT. Smart IoT will facilitate a sustainable platform empowering advanced applications. I will focus on the current challenges and future development of smart IoT that adds intelligence to IoT leveraging advanced networking technologies,big data analytics and edge computing.

Professor Cao is currently a Chair Professor of Department of Computing at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. He is also the director of the Internet and Mobile Computing Lab in the department and the director of University’s Research Facility in Big Data Analytics. His research interests include parallel and distributed computing, wireless sensing and networks, pervasive and mobile computing, and big data and cloud computing. He has co-authored 5 books, co-edited 9 books, and published over 500 papers in major international journals and conference proceedings. He received Best Paper Awards from conferences including DSAA’2017, IEEE SMARTCOMP 2016, ISPA 2013, IEEE WCNC 2011, etc.
He served the Chair of the Technical Committee on Distributed Computing of IEEE Computer Society 2012-2014, a member of IEEE Fellows Evaluation Committee of the Computer Society and the Reliability Society, a member of IEEE Computer Society Education Awards Selection Committee, a member of IEEE Communications Society Awards Committee, and a member of Steering Committee of IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. Professor Cao has served as chairs and members of organizing and technical committees of many international conferences, and as associate editor and member of the editorial boards of many international journals. Professor Cao is a fellow of IEEE and ACM distinguished member. In 2017, he received the Overseas Outstanding Contribution Award from China Computer Federation.

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Thursday 6 June 2019, 17:30-19:30

Lecture Theatre 311, Huxley Building


Professor Niki Trigoni, University of Oxford

Positioning and person identification systems have gained maturity in recent years, and have enabled a plethora of applications from location-aware content delivery in commercial applications to people and asset tracking and efficiency solutions in the workplace. In this talk I will provide an overview of some of the research challenges arising from developing such cyber physical systems in the wild. I will then discuss privacy issues associated with collecting and storing rich sensor data for personalisation systems.

Professor Niki Trigoni is Professor at the Oxford Department of Computer Science, heading the Cyber Physical Systems Group. Her interests lie in localisation and people identification protocols for GPS-denied environments using a variety of sensor modalities, including inertial, visual, magnetic and radio signals. She has applied her work to a number of application scenarios, including agile asset monitoring for construction sites, mobile autonomy with humans and robots, and worker localisation for safety and efficiency. Trigoni is also Director of the CDT on Autonomous and Intelligent Machines and Systems and Founder of the Navenio Oxford spinout.

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Thursday 4 July 2019, 17:30-19:30

Lecture Theatre 140, Huxley Building


Dr Carlo Alberto Boano, TU Graz

Wirelessly networked smart things are increasingly used to build applications in safety-critical domains such as surveillance of civil infrastructure, smart cities, and smart healthcare. These applications require a dependable communication performance and need to meet specific reliability and availability requirements, even when the smart devices are exposed to harsh environmental conditions such as heat and radio interference. In this talk, I will highlight how making sure that application-specific dependability requirements are met despite those environmental influences is still a grand challenge in today's IoT landscape, especially when using low-power wireless systems. I will then illustrate our recent efforts in (i) providing methods and tools to rigorously benchmark the dependability of low-power wireless systems, and in (ii) increasing the performance of IoT protocols in the presence of harsh environmental conditions.

Carlo Alberto Boano is an assistant professor at the Institute of Technical Informatics at Graz University of Technology, Austria. His research interests encompass the design of dependable networked embedded systems, low-power wireless protocols, and Internet of Things applications. Carlo Alberto is also actively involved in the IoT Benchmarking initiative and co-organizes since 2016 the EWSN dependability competition quantitatively comparing the performance of low-power wireless networking solutions from both academia and industry in harsh RF environments. More info: Carlo Alberto Boano 

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Summer break

Thursday 3 October 2019, 18:00 - 20:00

Lecture Theatre 308, Huxley Building

Professor Roger Wattenhofer, ETH Zurich

The phrase “think global, act local” can be used in various contexts, including information technology and computer science. Thinking globally, but computing locally is an overarching theme in our research group. In my talk I will present a few recent highlights from our research; all of the examples will be connecting to the motto. These examples will be diverse, touching on cyberphysical as well as distributed systems. One topic I am going to discuss is positioning. I will present some of our recent results on how to get more energy efficient, accurate, and fault-tolerant GPS receivers. I will also talk about distributed ledger technology, which turns out to be a perfect example for the motto. Acting locally is mandatory, or a blockchain cannot achieve a high enough throughput in many application areas. Finally, I will also present a one or two local computation theory results, showing the limitations of acting locally. I hope this will be an entertaining talk, with something for everybody.

Roger Wattenhofer is a full professor at the Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Department, ETH Zurich, Switzer­land. He received his doctorate in Computer Science from ETH Zurich. He also worked some years at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Roger Wattenhofer’s research interests are a variety of algorithmic and systems aspects in computer science and information technology, e.g., distributed systems, positioning systems, wireless networks, mobile systems, social networks, deep neural networks. He publishes in different communities: distributed computing (e.g., PODC, SPAA, DISC), networking and systems (e.g., SIGCOMM, MobiCom, SenSys, OSDI), and algorithmic theory (e.g., STOC, FOCS, SODA, ICALP). His work received multiple awards, e.g. the Prize for Innovation in Distributed Computing for his work in Distributed Approximation. He published the book “Blockchain Science: Distributed Ledger Technology“, which has been translated to Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

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Thursday 7 November 2019, 17:30-19:30

Room TBC


Professor Karl Henrik Johansson, KTH

Thursday 5 December 2019, 18:00-20:00

Lecture Theatre 308, Huxley Building


Dr Marco Zimmerling, TU Dresden

Closing feedback loops fast and over long distances is key to emerging cyber-physical systems; for example, robot motion control and swarm coordination require update intervals of tens of milliseconds. Low-power wireless technology is often preferred for its low cost, small form factor, and flexibility, especially if the devices support multi-hop communication. So far, however, feedback control over wireless multi-hop networks has only been shown for update intervals on the order of seconds without stability analysis. In this talk, I will present a wireless embedded system design that tames imperfections impairing control performance, such as jitter and message loss. Our approach entails avoiding resource interference throughout the system and decoupling higher-level logic from the time-varying network state. As a result, control design and analysis are greatly simplified, allowing us to provide conditions to formally verify closed-loop stability for physical systems with linear time-invariant dynamics. I will also present results from a cyber-physical testbed with 20 wireless nodes and multiple cart-pole systems that demonstrate the capabilities of our approach and confirm our theoretical results.

Marco Zimmerling heads the Networked Embedded Systems Lab at TU Dresden, Germany. He holds a PhD in Computer Engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland and a Diploma in Computer Science (2009) from TU Dresden. For working on his Diploma thesis project he spent seven months in Sweden, collaborating with RISE SICS and Uppsala University. In 2006 he did a six-month internship at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, USA. His research revolves around embedded systems and wireless networking, with the goal of designing dependable and sustainable networked systems that can power emerging cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things. His work has been recognized through several awards, including the 2015 ACM SIGBED Paul Caspi Memorial Dissertation Award, the 2016 EDAA Outstanding Dissertation Award, and Best Paper Awards at ACM/IEEE ICCPS 2019, ACM SenSys 2013, and ACM/IEEE IPSN 2011. 

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