Seminars & Colloquia

Hari Balakrishnan

Computer Science, MIT

"Vehicular Cyber-Physical Systems
(Or, How to Improve Your Commute) "

Monday February 22, 2010 04:00 PM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the Triangle Computer Science Distinguished Lecturer Series



Road transportation is a "grand challenge" societal problem.  With close to a billion vehicles on the road today, and a doublingprojected over the next 15-20 years, we face pressing challenges to the efficiency and the safety of this critical infrastructure. This talk discusses how networked computing, mobile and on-board sensing, and wireless networking can combine to meet these challenges, and in so doing: 

   -- reduce travel travel times with traffic-aware routing; 

  -- save fuel and reduce carbon emissions by determining green routes and finding the best times to commute;

  -- improve safety by detecting road hazards;

  -- change driving behavior using smart tolling;

   -- enable measurement-based insurance plans that incentivize good driving.

To realize this vision, we need new networked information systems, algorithms, and protocols that can cope with uncertainty and noisy data, protect user location privacy, handle vehicular mobility, and save energy on mobile devices.  I will discuss how the CarTel system addresses these issues and outline open questions in the area.

This is joint work with the CarTel project team (

Short Bio:

Hari Balakrishnan is a Professor in the EECS Department and CSAIL at MIT. His research is in the area of networked computer systems, with current projects in vehicular and mobile systems, high-performance cross-layer wireless protocols, and distributed data management. Past projects include the RON overlay network, the Chord DHT and DHT-based applications, the Cricket location system, the Infranet anti-censorship system, robust inter-domain routing, and Internet accountabilty and security. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 1998 and a B.Tech. from IIT Madras in 1993.  He is an ACM Fellow (2008) and a Sloan Fellow (2002).  He won ACM's doctoral dissertation award for TCP over wireless networks in 1998, and has co-authored nine award-winning papers including one that won the IEEE Bennett Prize in 2004.  In 2003, he co-founded StreamBase Systems to commercialize academic work on data stream processing. He recently graduated his 11th PhD student, giving him a proud average of nearly one per year.

Host: Kamesh Munagala, Computer Science, Duke U.

To access the video of this talk, click here.

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