Dr. Dario Pompili receives NSF career Award

Dario Pompili joined the School of Enginering in 2007 as an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he is the Director of the Cyber Physical Systems Laboratory (CPS Lab) (http://nsfcac.rutgers.edu/CPS/). He is also Site Director of the Center for Autonomic Computing (CAC) at Rutgers (http://www.nsfcac.org/), an NSF-funded Research Center program (I/UCRC), which includes four sites, i.e., University of Florida, Rutgers University, University of Arizona, and Mississippi State University. The Center combines resources from universities, private companies, and the federal government to conduct fundamental research on making computer systems and applications more reliable, secure, and efficient.

His research interests include wireless sensor networks, underwater acoustic communication and coordination of underwater vehicles, green computing, and network optimization and control. He is author of many influential research articles on these topics.

In the ECE department, Professor Pompili teaches Digital Signal Processing and Computer Architecture at the undergraduate level, and introduced a graduate-level course on Sensor-based Systems and Applications. This course aims at developing skills in designing, programming, and testing self-configurable communication protocols and distributed algorithms for wireless sensor networks enabling environmental, health and seismic monitoring, as well as surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting.

Dr. Pompili’s CPS Lab overarching mission is to propose a novel sensing paradigm to transform raw sensed heterogeneous data into valuable information (by giving semantic meaning to the collected data) and, finally, into knowledge through information fusion and integration. This paradigm will apply to those distributed systems that need to timely react to sensor information with an effective action such as cyber-physical systems, which feature a tight combination of, and coordination between, the system’s computational and physical elements. The significance of this research is to leverage the acquired knowledge to broaden the potential of cyber-physical systems in several dimensions, including: augmentation of human capabilities, understanding of human activities, coordination of heterogeneous (infrared)cameras, operation in dangerous or inaccessible environments, and efficiency.

The CPS Lab is active on the following research areas: Wireless Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks; Underwater Acoustic Communications, Underwater Vehicle Coordination, Team Formation/Steering, Task Allocation; Thermal Management of Datacenters, Green Computing; Cognitive Radio Networks, Dynamic Spectrum Allocation, Software Defined Radio; Traffic Engineering, Overlay Networks, Network Optimization and Control. Projects, demos, and more information on people (current students, visiting researchers, and alumni) can be found at the CPS Lab webpage


CAREER AWARD: Investigating Fundamental Problems for Underwater Multimedia Communication with Application to Ocean Exploration


Wireless acoustic communication is the typical physical-layer technology underwater because of the high medium absorption of radio frequencies and of the scattering problem affecting optical waves. As of today, however, acoustic communication solutions support only delay-tolerant low-bandwidth monitoring applications. Conversely, this research enables near-real-time acquisition and processing of heterogeneous data from mobile and static ocean exploration platforms. Reaching this goal will improve the efficiency of monitoring key dynamic oceanographic phenomena such as phytoplankton growth and rate of photosynthesis, salinity and temperature gradient, and concentration of pollutants. Toward this end, this research studies underwater inter-vehicle communication solutions aimed at enhancing the capabilities of the NSF’s Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) cyberinfrastructure.


This project offers the distinction between two forms of position uncertainty. Typically, uncertainty in the position of a mobile vehicle as estimated in relation to itself (which the PI refers to as internal uncertainty) is the focus of distributed underwater robotics and networking. By contrast, the PI introduces the new notion of external uncertainty, in which uncertainty in the position of a mobile vehicle is estimated by others. Specifically, this project focuses on modeling external uncertainty, on designing reliable underwater communication solutions that exploit the external-uncertainty notion, and on demonstrating the effectiveness of integrating computation and communication resources on marine science and technology through emulations and field experiments.


This work will also result in the generation of computer-literate undergraduate and graduate researchers with a comprehensive knowledge in underwater sensing, communication, and coordination. The PI will create new teaching modules on distributed sensing, provide opportunities for exchange programs, leverage existing minority student outreach networks at Rutgers, and incorporate student exchange programs as well as team-teaching approaches.