IDS research centers around the sensing, communication, and processing of various forms of information with the objective of designing and synthesizing secure networked systems for optimum decision-making and control. IDS members have a broad range of research interests but share a common approach to problem-solving, the pursuit of foundational research, and the development and utilization of sophisticated analytic and algorithmic tools from mathematics, statistics, computer science, and physics.

Due to the enormous flexibility of electromagnetic energy, almost all information captured in the physical world today is through a transducer that involves electricity and/or magnetism, e.g., electromagnetic, electro-optical, bio-electrical, electro-chemical, and electro-mechanical, transducers. Hence, one of the distinguishing features of our research is the use of mathematical models tied to the physics of the phenomena underlying the generation, sensing, communication, and processing of information, whether electromagnetic, biological, chemical, or mechanical.

Information, however, may also arise from more abstract phenomena such as patterns of either typical or anomalous behavior in surveillance videos and images, internet traffic, the stock market, geographic disease dynamics, and social interactions. Information from the real world, whether physical or abstract, is extremely complex, high-dimensional, and is almost always accompanied by noise and uncertainty. Hence stochastic models for the generation, sensing, communication, and processing of information, also play a fundamental role in IDS research.