GLIMPSES OF IIT BHUBANESWAR ECE RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
The Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) Group at IIT Bhubaneswar perfectly blends various oriented focus areas including analog and digital communications, signal, speech and image processing, RF and microwave electronics, microelectronics and high performance processing systems. The ECE faculty are comprised of those with strong academic as well as industrial experience.
Some glimpses of ECE R&D activities at IIT Bhubaneswar, across disciplines, are as follows. See our research poster!
Communications and Signal Processing
Since the advent of wireless and mobile technology, the communications sector has witnessed an indomitable growth in its journey to bridge the distances across the world. The demand for better connectivity, high bandwidth and data speeds for wireless internet, techniques to convert real world signals into digital form for processing and transmission, and most importantly, achieving all of this without sacrificing power, has demanded considerable research focus. And the ECE group at IIT Bhubaneswar is committed to address exactly this, with making the technology more directed for practical applications. Much of the R&D focus has been on applications such as speech-based access of agricultural commodity prices, and weather information in the local Odia language, which involves automatic speech recognition, and responses through pre-recorded and dynamically generated dialects. The biggest highlight of this system is that it needs no internet connection! Additionally, much of the focus has been on communications technology in healthcare, including design of wearable wireless healthcare monitoring systems, and internet of things (IoT)-based health monitoring. Lastly, our faculty and research scholars are also directing their efforts towards communication and modulation technologies including MIMO-based transceiver designs, space shift keying (SSK) systems using antenna arrays, and energy harvesting communications for simultaneous transmission of information and power over the same channel.
RF, Microwave, and Optical Engineering
If there has been a boom in the wireless communications industry over the last three decades, it has been due to the strides made in radio frequency (RF) and microwave technology, which essentially forms the back-end of modern day wireless communication systems which offer high range, low power, and high data rates. And looking at the ever-increasing demands for high bandwidth, optical networks are a gateway to the future of communication systems. At ECE, significant focus is placed to direct microwaves and optical technology for not just communications, but also for several other applications in their own domain. Some of the significant research activities include design of distributed fiber optical sensor systems for structural health monitoring of oil and gas pipelines, which offers ranges up to tens of kilometers using a single fiber cable! Additional focus areas include design of RADAR systems to detect human vital signs, which would be useful during search/rescue operations under debris, microwave applications in healthcare using non-invasive diagnostic techniques for characterization of human bone densities and other body conditions. Another focus area with increasing demand is compact microwave circuits for instrumentation systems, which involve realization of high performance, miniaturized circuits using distributed realization of lumped elements.
Microelectronics, VLSI, and High Performance Processing Systems
Contemporary real life applications demand high speeds and high data rates. Be it the fast processing in a computer, faster memories, or circuits capable of handling high speed signals, this has been made possible due to the scaling of transistors over the years, leading to considerable R&D focus in VLSI and microelectronics. At ECE, the efforts are on to push the boundaries to achieve large scale integration of circuits with high speed, and low power. Much of the R&D efforts are directed to design of heterogeneous multi-core systems with emphasis on resource-aware programming paradigms. This is backed up with design of tightly coupled processor arrays and accelerators, with emphasis on synthesizable logic structures, with the aim of integrating them into bus-based architecture systems. These systems are shown to be useful to run intensive, nested-loop programs. There is also ongoing interdisciplinary research combining VLSI and microwave, which involves design of single-chip network analyzer testsets for 5G field testing and measurement applications, which offer broad bandwidth and high dynamic range.
Glimpses of IIT Bhubaneswar EE Research Activities
Electrical Engineering (EE) group at School of Electrical Sciences of IIT Bhubaneswar is a vibrant mix of multi-disciplinary research areas within electrical power domain. The group has mix of people from both industrial and academic background.
Following are the glimpses of research activities by EE group at IIT Bhubaneswar. See our research poster!
1. SMART GRID TECHNOLOGY AND POWER SYSTEMS
The Smart Grid will allow utilities to move electricity around the system as efficiently and economically as possible. Smart Grid builds on many of the technologies already used by electric utilities but adds communication and control capabilities that will optimize the operation of the entire electrical grid. Smart Grid is also positioned to take advantage of new technologies, such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, various forms of distributed generation, solar energy, smart metering, lighting management systems, distribution automation, and many more. Smart grid group at IIT Bhubaneswar designed labs consisting of renewable sources like photovoltaic, fuel cell, battery and flywheel storage system. All these renewable sources are integrated to the grid. An optimum energy management algorithm is developed for maximum utilization of the renewable sources. In a smart grid system, demand side management is an integral part for cost and energy optimization. In this lab, a prototype for demand side management based on GSM communication module is developed. In an another experimental setup, power consumption of different AC and DC loads with solar system are studied. From this study, it is concluded that the efficiency of DC loads is more as compared to the AC loads.
2. POWER ELECTRONICS AND POWER QUALITY
As the trend towards electrification and renewable energies increases, enabling technologies such as power electronics are becoming ever more important. Power electronics is an umbrella term that encompasses the systems and products involved in converting and controlling the flow of electrical energy. Power electronics lab group at IIT Bhubaneswar has been actively working on high step-up dc-dc converters, low cost and high efficient multilevel inverter, Power electronics for renewable energy sources, energy storage and power quality, Switched Mode Power Converters and Design of Integrated Magnetics, Application of Power Electronics in Power Systems and Grid Interactive Converters and Wide-band gap semiconductor based high frequency power conversion. Some of the highlights include design of switched-capacitor (SC) based bidirectional dc-dc converter topology for multiple voltage gain and multilevel inverter topology has been developed which requires less number of power semiconductor devices hence more economic while in order to achieve higher efficiency different optimization based switching techniques
3. MICRO-GRIDS AND RENEWABLE SYSTEMS
Micro grids are localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously. Because they are able to operate while the main grid is down, micro grids can strengthen grid resilience and help mitigate grid disturbances as well as function as a grid resource for faster system response and recovery. Micro grids support a flexible and efficient electric grid by enabling the integration of growing deployments of distributed energy resources such as renewables like solar. In addition, the use of local sources of energy to serve local loads helps reduce energy losses in transmission and distribution, further increasing efficiency of the electric delivery system. Micro grid group at IIT Bhubaneswar actively works on protection, control topologies, islanding detection, managing renewable energy sources, power electronic inverters etc. One of the highlight of this group is the development of faster islanding detection mechanism with more accuracy.
4. POWER SYSTEM PROTECTION AND ANALYSIS
The proliferation of distributed energy resources is setting the stage for modern distribution systems to operate as micro grids. Distribution protective devices cannot reliably protect micro grids due to the variable and often limited short-circuit capacities of micro grids. Moreover, the research on micro grid protection has not led to a commercially available micro grid relay to date and has little prospect of reaching that level in the near future. As a result, the existing options for reliable micro grid protection remain effectively the sub transmission and transmission system protective devices. Hence power system group at IIT Bhubaneswar actively works on developing innovative protection algorithms for micro-grid protection. To simulate the fault scenarios in real world power system, a hardware-in-loop setup is created using Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) and external Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU). The relaying algorithm is developed in DSP processor and the tripping decision is given to RTDS which can be viewed in the RSCAD runtime menu.
5. HIGH VOLTAGE APPLICATIONS
HV group at IIT Bhubaneswar actively works on diesel engine exhaust treatment using dielectric barrier discharge technique. Here, high voltage needs to be applied for Non-thermal plasma processing. Setup is made to take the exhaust from any of the two stationary diesel engines present in the lab. There are cylinders with gases such as N2, O2, CO2, CO and NO also present in the lab to simulate required gas mixtures for experimenting. High voltage test sets, AC, DC and pulse of the range 0-30 kV would be used to supply required high voltage to the plasma reactor. Experiments are also being carried out to generate high voltage from the battery using power electronic components. A 2000:1 voltage divider and oscilloscope would be used to measure and analyze the applied voltage. Gas analyzer would be used to measure the concentrations of various pollutants present in the exhaust. This lab also consists of equipment such as hot air oven, heated hose, air compressor, fridge dryer, hydraulic pellet maker etc.
Glimpses of IIT Bhubaneswar CSE Research Activities
Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) group at School of Electrical Sciences of IIT Bhubaneswar is a vibrant mix of multi-disciplinary research areas within CSE domain. The group has mix of people from both industrial and academic background.
1. Advanced Network and Security (Contact: Dr. Padmalochan Bera)
Last one decade and so, the rapid emerging service requirements and deployment demands have driven the evolution of networking in many directions. The main objective of the any networking platform is to provide on demand service provisioning to the users, customers and service providers along with achieving better performance and data security. However, the inherent characteristics of the networks (architecture and resource constraints), varying requirements (time, zone, role), deployment demands (application context), ubiquitous computing platform, and emerging security threats, insecure communication channel; intelligent adversaries in and out of the scene; and loopholes (bugs) in software development impose complexity and significant challenges to this problem. In this direction, the major research activities of the Advanced Network and Security group of IIT Bhubaneswar are as follows: (i) Context-aware adaptive routing protocol for improving performance and security in Mobile Ad hoc Network, (ii) Advanced cryptographic protocols for secure communication and data access in Cloud, (iii) Design of software controlled network architecture and platform, distributed controller and energy aware control algorithms for Software Defined Network, and (iv) End-to-end security solution for secure communication in Software Defined Network. (v) Formal Compliance Checking of Network and System configurations with Security policies and requirements. (vi) Advanced Malware Detection using reinforcement learning. (vii) Trusted Computing and communication environment for MANET using open flow network platforms.
2. CPU-GPU Computing (Contact: Dr. Manoranjan Satpathy)
It is common these days to have multi-core CPUs and GPUs alongside in the modern day processor architectures. As regards to GPUs, there are many research issues like (a) efficient transfer of data from CPU to GPU, (b) lowering of the GPU memory latency, (c) management of stall time of GPU cores and (d) power consumption. Techniques like timely prefetching, victim caching, and accurate prediction of data use by the wraps can address these problems. Research works along these lines are ongoing at IIT Bhubaneswar. In addition, the design space needs to be explored to find the best-fit to address the above problems. Testing and verification of these designs, is an important activity which is also in the focus of this research group.
3. HCI and Computer Vision Research (Contact: Dr. Debi Prosad Dogra)
The research group is focusing on developing smart biometric systems, AR systems for learning, sensor guided physical rehabilitation, crowd flow analysis, visual surveillance and intelligent traffic analysis systems. Computer vision is primarily being used to solve some interesting problems on the above domains. Detection of anomaly in crowd movement, road traffic violation detection, monitoring elderly and disabled persons are some of the applications being targeted. Research collaborations with KIST South Korea and IKST Bangalore are presently going on in ITS and visual surveillance. Research fund in the order of 7.0 million INR has already been received by the group from various agencies.
4. Design and implementation of a large-scale testbed for research on Internet-of-Things (Contact: Dr. Sudipta Saha)
Research on emerging and highly demanding areas of decentralized systems such as Internet-of-Things(IoT), Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) is best aided by an appropriate testbed. Although there are several similar testbeds available all-over the globe, e.g., WiseBed, Twist, Kansei, Indriya etc., each has its own deficiency. Most of these testbeds do not provide several vital facilities required for research on IoT. Also, it is a fact that in India no institute has yet made any such testbed publicly available. Consequently, our researchers always need to depend on the availability of time slots in testbeds hosted by the foreign countries. Highly restricted time slots as well as even uncertainty of their availability due to huge number competing users over the globe make such testbeds practically unusable for real development purpose. To accelerate research in these highly demanding areas in our county, we take an endeavour to build a campus-wide setup to support conducting experiments with a huge decentralized system composed of thousands of real devices. Some of the key factors that are taken as of primary importance in the development of the testbed are as follows - scalability, device architecture heterogeneity, communication heterogeneity, support for variety of experimental environments, mobility, scope for federation, enough facility for repeatability and concurrency, efficient support for concurrent users etc. This work track has been successfully initiated through development of a tiny part of the testbed inside the Wireless Sensor Network lab in the School of Electrical Sciences (SES) of the Institute by the support of Institute seed grant under Dr Sudipta Saha (faculty, SES). The subsequent step will be to go for a building wide setup and next a campus wide testbed which is the final target.
5. Robust Online Machine Learning Algorithms with Game Theory (Contact: Dr. Shweta Jain)
In many practical examples like sponsored search auctions, crowdsourcing, smart grids, recommender systems on social networks etc., the data comes through the strategic agents. These strategic agents can manipulate the data in order to maximize their own utilities which can lead to low accuracy of the learning algorithms. Thus, there is a great need to design the robust machine learning algorithms which cannot be manipulated by the strategic agents. Dealing with the strategic agents warrants the use of game theory principles in conjunction with the online learning algorithms and leads to non-trivial issues. Some of the applications and research directions in this area include: 1) Crowdsourcing: Can we incentivize the anonymous crowd-workers to perform the tasks with their maximum efficiency? 2) Social Networks: Can we improve the quality of the posts posted on the online networking sites by providing the proper incentives to the participants? 3) Demand Response on Smart Grids: Can we incentivize the consumers on the smart grids to reduce their electricity consumption by designing the proper payment schemes so as to reduce the peak load while learning the demand profiles of the consumers? 4) Blockchain: Is it possible to design automated smart-contracts by learning the preferences of the interacting parties over a period of time?
6. Software Engineering using Formal Methods (Contact: Dr. Srinivas Pinisetty)
Using formal methods and model driven development approaches for designing and developing systems is a major area of research. Formal specification languages have a precise syntax and semantics, and every statement in the language have a unique meaning mathematically. Expressing requirements using a formal specification will make requirements clearer and remove ambiguities and inconsistencies. Formal languages are more easily amenable to automatic processing, by means of tools. Various formal verification techniques such as model checking involves the formal modeling of computing systems and verification of properties on the models, including safety and timing properties. These model-based techniques are well suited for verifying complex safety-critical systems. The primary focus of research work in this area at IIT Bhubaneswar is to develop formal methods and tools which support the modeling, automated analysis, and synthesis of complex computational systems. Some of the ongoing works in this area are specifically relate to developing formally based runtime verification and enforcement mechanisms, and their application in domains such as cyber-physical systems and security. Runtime verification is a formal verification technique that allow to check whether a run of a system under scrutiny satisfies (or violates) a given correctness property. A verification monitor does not influence the system execution. Runtime enforcement extends runtime verification and refers to the theories, techniques, and tools aiming at ensuring the conformance of the executions of systems under scrutiny with respect to some desired property. Using an enforcement monitor, an (untrustworthy) input execution (in the form of a sequence of events) is modified into an output sequence that complies with a property (e.g., formalizing a safety requirement).
7. Modeling of Spatio-temporal Processes (Contact: Dr. Adway Mitra)
We come across spatio-temporal data in many different domains - both physical and virtual. In physical domain, readings from sensors deployed over a large area at regular intervals of time is a rich source of spatio-temporal data, while in the virtual domain we have videos - sequence of frames indexed by time, where each frame is a collection of spatially arranged pixels. Spatio-temporal data has certain peculiar properties such as spatial and temporal coherence, and this property can be utilized to solve various problems related to mining patterns and extracting information from this type of data. So far I have explored videos and climatic processes in the virtual and physical domains respectively, for tasks as diverse as content-based video summarization and scene segmentation, and identification of anomalies in temperature and rainfall that may lead to heat waves and droughts. I am looking forward to solving new problems in these areas, and also study new forms of spatio-temporal data primarily in the physical domain.
8. Scheduling Algorithms for Mobile Systems (Contact: Dr. Joy Chandra Mukherjee)
Our research primarily focused on designing scheduling algorithms for efficient resource allocation for some problems in different types of large scale mobile systems, vehicular ad hoc networks (VANET), and electric vehicles in smart grids.
1) In vehicular environments, information dissemination to moving vehicles is a challenging problem. The service provider (SP) schedules the dissemination of events within some given deadlines through RSUs to a set of vehicles that subscribe to them. The problem of event notification to moving vehicles from RSUs can be formulated under different constraints where a central SP has complete control of the RSUs, and execute scheduling algorithms for low cost event dissemination. The problem of event notification from RSUs with finite capacity under different constraints can be studied where there are multiple SPs in a city, each controlling a set of RSUs with limited information about other SPs, and designed distributed scheduling algorithms that SPs will run to collaborate among themselves for low cost event dissemination.