OSP FO# 11-031

AGENCY: Department of Defense (DOD)/Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/Defense Sciences Office (DSO)

PROGRAM: Mathematics of Sensing, Exploitation, and Execution (MSEE)

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding for research that formulates and develops new mathematical principles underpinning a unified approach to sensor data collection, analysis, and follow-on action.

The goal of the Mathematics of Sensing, Exploitation and Execution (MSEE) program is to capture the economy and efficiency that derives from an intrinsic, objective-driven unification of sensing and exploitation. A comprehensive mathematical framework that will describe an integrated SEE system is the foundational premise of the program, as such a theoretical description will (1) allow for detailed analysis of its potential performance, (2) serve as an invaluable guide when constructing a prototype to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach, and (3) enable quantitative determination of the effective utility of various sensors and sensing modalities.

There are two focus areas under this program:

  1. Mathematical Formalism—Proposers to this focus area should define the space of possible distributions that are rich enough to model real world input data but are still approximations to the distributions that generate this data. Questions to be addressed include: what are the properties of such distributions (e.g., how expressive are they in modeling relevant aspects of the real world), what are the necessary requirements that the class of proposed distributions should satisfy, and what are their limitations? One of the major outcomes of this research must be the ability to evaluate quantitatively, in the context of a specific system objective, the relative effectiveness of a given sensor or sensing modality.
  2. Solution Methods and Applications—Proposals should describe plans to develop exact and/or approximate algorithms for reliable and fast inference and explore properties of these algorithms, such as: the ability to find optimal solutions (e.g., avoid local minima), work with two and higher dimensional data, deal with hierarchical data, utilize contextual information, and find the optimal solution when the data is coming from multimodal distributions. In addition, competitive proposals will provide plans for a software implementation of the mathematical framework developed in Focus Area One. Algorithmic development will likely be a key component; creating complex, stochastic models of state may require new classes of data structures as well as specialized algorithms designed to operate on these. Any proposal submitted in response to this Focus Area must address the construction of a software system to be evaluated against a problem in the applications area of Multi-modal Integration. Additionally, all proposers to this focus area are required to propose a task to construct an additional software system that operates on a problem in the application area of Analysis of Structured Data.

Proposals may address only Focus Area One, or both Focus Areas One and Two. Proposals that address only Focus Area Two will be considered non-responsive.

DEADLINE: March 24, 2011; 4:00pm Eastern

FUNDING INFORMATION: Multiple awards are anticipated. Funding levels vary according to the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds.

Dr. Tony Falcone
3701 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203-1714
Email: DARPA-BAA-11-28@darpa.mil  
Web: http://www.darpa.mil/dso/solicitations/baa11-28.htm  

REMARKS: Applications must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov system. Instructions and forms are available on the Grants.Gov website (http://www.grants.gov). Additional information about Grants.gov for BU Investigators can be obtained on the OSP web site at: http://www.bu.edu/osp/proposal-preparation/electronic-submission/. Please contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to your school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through the Grants.gov system.

Complete program guidelines and application material (DARPA-BAA-11-28) may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.