Dr. Ahmed Arafa wins NSF CAREER award

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Dr. Ahmed Arafa, Assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering the prestigious NSF CAREER AWARD entitled “Towards Realizing Timely Information Transfer and Processing for Networked Communication Systems”. The award amount is $500,000 with a duration of 5 years starting September 2022 and an expected date of completion of August 2027. The main objective of the CAREER grant is to develop low-latency information acquisition techniques for networked communication systems with a specific focus on federated learning (FL), cloud computing, and remote sensing frameworks.

Inspired by the novel age-of-information (AoI) metric that assesses information freshness, the project spans three fundamental information processing categories. The first involves intelligent agents in an FL setup. Novel agent scheduling and efficient model compression algorithms are proposed for this category to realize the notion of timely FL at scale. The second considers clients in cloud computing systems, for which innovative job uploading policies are devised under system-level constraints to achieve timely job completion. Finally, the third category focuses on remote sensing and presents novel variable-length coding schemes to enable timely multi-process tracking over noisy communication channels.

This research is expected to result in significant broader impacts and collaboration opportunities rendering large-scale deployment of real-time monitoring and information-sharing systems using FL, cloud computing, and remote sensing. It has the potential to become an enabler for various applications, including collaborative autonomous driving, precision healthcare, and others. Demos from the project would be conducted in workshops for underrepresented communities using departmental initiatives.

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