PhD Talk/Colloquia

Fall Semester

The PhD colloquium is a one-hour format, designed for practicing longer conference presentations or job talks. Participants in the spring colloquium will be candidates for the Best PhD Colloquium award.

**Seminars and Talks will be held in Towne 337 on Wednesdays at 12:00 PM unless otherwise specified.**

Mark Eisen
Wednesday, October 3rd
"Control-Aware Radio Resource Allocation in Low-Latency Wireless Systems"

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Abstract: We consider the problem of allocating radio resources over wireless communication links to control a series of independent wireless control systems. Low-latency transmissions are necessary in enabling time-sensitive control systems to operate over wireless links with high reliability. Achieving fast data rates over wireless links thus comes at the cost of reliability in the form of high packet error rates compared to wired links due to channel noise and interference. However, the effect of the communication link errors on the control system performance depends dynamically on the control system state. We propose a novel control-communication co-design approach to the low-latency resource allocation problem. We incorporate control and channel state information to make scheduling decisions over time on frequency, bandwidth and data rates across the next-generation Wi-Fi based wireless communication links that close the control loops. Control systems that are closer to instability or further from a desired range in a given control cycle are given higher packet delivery rate targets to meet. Rather than a simple priority ranking, we derive precise packet error rate targets for each system needed to satisfy stability targets and make scheduling decisions to meet such targets while minimizing total transmission time. The resulting Control-Aware Low Latency Scheduling (CALLS) method is tested in numerous simulation experiments that demonstrate its effectiveness in meeting control-based goals under tight latency constraints relative to control-agnostic scheduling.

Bio: Mark Eisen received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA in 2014. He is now working towards his PhD in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include distributed optimization and machine learning. In the summer of 2013, he was a research intern at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Mr. Eisen was awarded Outstanding Student Presentation at the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meeting, as well as the recipient of the 2016 Penn Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. He spent the summer of 2018 as an intern at Intel Labs in Hillsboro Oregon, working in the area of wireless industrial systems.

Anastasios Tsiamis
Wednesday, October 10th
"Secrecy Codes for Wireless Control Systems"

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Abstract: Because of its broadcast nature, the wireless medium is susceptible to eavesdropping. This raises confidentiality concerns in networked control systems, where many sensors and devices communicate wirelessly while carrying sensitive data about the system's operation. In this talk, we focus on eavesdropping attacks in a remote estimation scenario. An authorized user estimates the state of a linear system, based on the packets received from a sensor. Meanwhile, the packets may also be intercepted by an eavesdropper. Our goal is to design a coding scheme at the sensor which hides the state information from the eavesdropper. We present a new class of codes, termed "state-secrecy codes", which are specialized for dynamical systems. By applying properly designed linear transformations to the current and previously received states, they impose artificial unstable dynamics to the eavesdropper’s estimation scheme. As a result, under minimal conditions, they achieve secrecy in the estimation theoretic sense: the eavesdropper’s minimum mean square error converges to the maximum possible value, i.e. the open-loop prediction one when no message is received. Those conditions require that at least once, the user receives the corresponding packet while the eavesdropper fails to intercept it.

Bio: Anastasios Tsiamis received the Diploma degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 2014. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, working with prof. George Pappas. His research interests include control systems security, system identification, and learning for control.

 

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