ECE PhD Student Wins “Best Paper” at IEEE Distributed Sensors Conference


The 4th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCoSS) has named ECE graduate student George Atia as the recipient of its “Best Paper – Applications” honor for his submission entitled “An Information Theoretic Framework for Field Monitoring Using Autonomously Mobile Sensors.”

The conference, which will be held from June 11–14, 2008 on Santorini Island, Greece, is a forum designed to bring engineers from around the world together to present their contributions to the various aspects of distributed sensor systems. The best papers of DCoSS ‘08 will be invited for publication in a dedicated special issue of the International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks.

Atia’s paper, co-authored by Hany Morcos (graduate student, CS), Prof. Azer Bestavros (CS), and Prof. Ibrahim Matta (CS), discusses a technique for field monitoring using an autonomous mobile sensor network.

“In simple terms, you can think of sensors attached to automobiles, handheld devices or wearable computers,” said Atia. “Given limited caches at the sensor nodes the goal is to develop a distributed cache management algorithm to efficiently answer queries about the phenomenon. We developed a class of algorithms that considerably improve field estimation error by continuously maintaining an efficient cache content.”

A potential application for this system, according to Atia, is a firefighter’s backpack. Such a system could include a variety of sensors measuring environmental factors such as temperature, carbon monoxide, and smoke; a head-mounted display; and a keyboard to allow interaction between each firefighter and the system. Data acquired by the system would be stored and managed so firefighters could access it at will while still in the field.

“Receiving a best paper award is definitely a rewarding experience and is a valuable academic achievement,” said Atia. “Especially considering that the conference has so many renowned researchers from different parts of the world who have also done excellent research.”

Atia has received several other honors in addition to his “Best Paper” at DCoSS including the College of Engineering Dean’s Award in 2006 and the ECE Outstanding Graduate Teaching Fellow award in 2004.

For more information visit the DCoSS website.