Category: Announcements

Article by Tim Havens in IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems

An article co-authored by Tim Havens, associate dean for research, College off Computing, “Soft Overlapping Community Detection in Large-Scale Networks via Fast Fuzzy Modularity Maximization,” was published in the March 2020 issue of IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems.

Havens’s co-authors are Audrey Yazdanparast (ECE) and Mohsen Jamalabdollahi of Cisco Systems.

Article Abstract: Soft overlapping clustering is one of the notable problems of community detection. Extensive research has been conducted to develop efficient methods for non-overlapping and crisp-overlapping community detection in large-scale networks. In this paper, Fast Fuzzy Modularity Maximization (FFMM) for soft overlapping community detection is proposed.

FFMM exploits novel iterative equations to calculate the modularity gain associated with changing the fuzzy membership values of network vertices. The simplicity of the proposed scheme enables efficient modifications, reducing computational complexity to a linear function of the network size and the number of communities. Moreover, to further reduce the complexity of FFMM for very large networks, Multi-cycle FFMM (McFFMM) is proposed.

The proposed McFFMM reduces complexity by breaking networks into multiple sub-networks and applying FFMM to detect their communities. Performance of the proposed techniques are demonstrated with real-world data and the Lancichinetti-Fortunato-Radicchi (LFR) benchmark networks. Moreover, the performance of the proposed techniques is eval- uated versus some state-of-the-art soft overlapping community detection approaches. Results show that the McFFMM produces a remarkable performance in terms of overlapping modularity with fuzzy memberships, computational time, number of detected overlapping nodes, and Overlapping Normalized Mutual Informa- tion (ONMI).

View more info here.


Chee-Wooi Ten Awarded $25K Contract from Protect Our Power

Chee-Wooi Ten, associate professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and member of the ICC’s Center for Cyber-Physical Systems, was recently awarded a 6 month, $25K contract from the nonpartisan advisory panel, Protect Our Power. The title of the project is, “Consulting for Utilities on Cyber Risk Management.”

The activities Ten will undertake for the project include identifying security vendors for industrial harden security hardware and software, and conducting a survey of each of the identified security vendors to enumerate their strengths and weaknesses.

Ten will talk with vendors and utilities to understand their needs, identify product niches, and prepare a conclusion report that discusses the pros and cons of each vendor product and how each niche will contribute to general solutions for deploying security solutions for U.S. power utilities.

Project deliverables include a literature review, vendor discovery search, criteria identification and definition, comparative analysis matrix, and best practices conclusion paper.

Protect Our Power is a nonpartisan advisory panel with the single focus of strengthening the nation’s electrical power grid. The panel is composed of experts from industry, the physical and cyber defense communities, and finance and government. Its mission is to build consensus among key stakeholders and public policy influencers to launch a coordinated and adequately funded effort to make the nation’s electric grid and the country’s more than 3,000 utility companies prepared and protected against all cyberthreats.


ICC Seeks Assistant Director for Research Development

The Michigan Tech Institute of Computing and Cybersytems (ICC) has announced a search for an Assistant Director, Research Development, an administrative position.

The new position will support ICC researchers as they collectively work to create and implement activities to grow and support ICC-affiliated research and graduate programs.

By collaborating with, coaching/mentoring, and supporting the work of researchers at all levels, this individual will be integral to the business development and outreach of the ICC. The successful candidate will provide pre- and post-award support to institute members, assist with the financial processes for the institute, and help lead daily administrative functions.

View the complete position description here.


Dr. Kun Zhu of MISO to Present Lecture on U.S. Power Grid, March 2

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will present a lecture by Dr. Kun Zhu on Monday, March 2, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in EERC 501. The title of Dr. Zhu’s talk is “Power Grid Operations – Beyond Physics.

Dr. Zhu holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Iowa State University. He has 20 years’ experience in the power industry, including 17 years at MISO, an independent, not-for-profit organization that delivers safe, cost-effective electric power across 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

Dr. Zhu’s presentation will provide a high level introduction to how regional operators manage the power grid in the U.S. He will discuss how energy markets and balancing authorities (those responsible for maintaining the electricity balance within their respective regions) manage their regions and interact with each other; differences in how energy and transmission assets are managed; and the function of Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO).

At MISO, Dr. Zhu’s experience expands across planning, operations, and tariff administration. Currently, he is the manager of generator interconnection and chair of the SPIDER Working Group (SPIDER), a working unit of North America Electric Reliability Cooperation (NERC).  

MISO operates one of the world’s largest energy markets with more than $29 billion in annual gross market energy transactions. 


Two Papers by Yakov Nekrich Accepted by SoCG 2020 Conference

Yakov Nekrich, associate professor, Department of Computer Science, has been notified that two scholarly papers he has authored were accepted by the 36th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2020), which takes place June 23-26, 2020, in Zurich, Switzerland.

Nekrich is a member of the ICC’s Center for Data Sciences.

The two papers are “Further Results on Colored Range Searching,” by Timothy M. Chan, Qizheng He, and Nekrich, and “Four-Dimensional Dominance Range Reporting in Linear Space” by Nekrich alone.

The Annual Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG) is an academic conference in computational geometry. Founded in 1985, it was originally sponsored by the SIGACT and SIGGRAPH Special Interest Groups of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). It dissociated from the ACM in 2014. Since 2015 the conference proceedings have been published by the Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics Since 2019 the conference has been organized by the Society for Computational Geometry. (Wikipedia)

Visit the SoCG 2020 website.


Minakata, Students, Rouleau Publish Paper

The Process Safety and Environmental Protection special issue on Advanced Oxidation Process (Elsevier), has accepted for publication a paper by associate professor Daisuke Minakata (CEE), his students Robert Zupko, Divya Kamath, and Erica Coscarelli, and his collaborator and co-PI Mark Rouleau (SS), ICC Center for Data Sciences. pictured at left with Mary Raber. Photo by Daily Mining Gazette.

The paper concerns research supported by the National Science Foundation’s Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET) Division.

Grant Title: Coupling Experimental and Theoretical Molecular-Level Investigations to Visualize the Fate of Degradation of Organic Compounds in Aqueous Phase Advanced Oxidation Systems

Grant Abstract: The lack of an overarching management plan combined with uncertainty about the adverse human health and ecological impacts of trace amounts of known and emerging organic compounds have raised public concerns about water. These issues also present major challenges to next generation water treatment utilities dealing with de facto and planned wastewater reuse. Advanced oxidation processes that produce highly reactive hydroxyl radicals are promising technologies to control trace amounts of organic compounds. Although the initial fate of hydroxyl radical induced reactions with diverse organic compounds have been studied, the mechanisms that produce intermediate radicals and stable-byproducts are not well understood. Significant barriers remain in our understanding of complex multi-channel elementary reaction pathways embedded in peroxyl radical bimolecular decay that produce identical intermediate-radicals and stable-byproducts. The model developed in the course of this research will give researchers and policy makers the ability to predict the likely chemical by-products and alternative options to provide least adverse impact on the general public who will directly consume this water or other ecological organisms who will be exposed indirectly.

The proposed study will integrate three thrusts to discover the currently unknown fate of the three major degradation pathways. First, we will perform pulse-photolysis kinetic measurement to determine the temperature-dependent overall reaction rate constants for multi-channel peroxyl radical reactions. We will also measure the resulting byproducts using a mass spectrometry. Second, we will employ quantum mechanical theoretical calculations to determine the elementary reaction pathways and associated reaction rate constants. Third, we will then combine our kinetic measurements with our theoretical calculations to develop an agent-based model that will enable us to visualize and predict the fate of organic compounds. With explicitly assigned reaction rules and molecular behavior embedded within a simulated reaction network, the resulting agent-based model will use software agents to represent radical species and organic compounds and then simulate their interactions to predict corresponding consequences (i.e., byproducts) over time and space. Finally, experimental observations will validate the outcomes from the agent-based model.

The Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET) Division supports innovative research and education in the fields of chemical engineering, biotechnology, bioengineering, and environmental engineering, and in areas that involve the transformation and/or transport of matter and energy by chemical, thermal, or mechanical means.

View additional grant info on the NSF website.

Find more information about the Process Safety and Environmental Protection special issue on Advanced Oxidation Process here.


Technical Paper by Nathir Rawashdeh Accepted for SAE World Congress

An SAE technical paper, co-authored by Nathir Rawashdeh, assistant professor, CMH Division, College of Computing, has been accepted for publication at the WCX SAE World Congress Experience, April 21-23, 2020, in Detroit, MI.  The title of the paper is “Mobile Robot Localization Evaluations with Visual Odometry in Varying Environments using Festo-Robotino.” 

Abstract: Autonomous ground vehicles can use a variety of techniques to navigate the environment and deduce their motion and location from sensory inputs. Visual Odometry can provide a means for an autonomous vehicle to gain orientation and position information from camera images recording frames as the vehicle moves. This is especially useful when global positioning system (GPS) information is unavailable, or wheel encoder measurements are unreliable. Feature-based visual odometry algorithms extract corner points from image frames, thus detecting patterns of feature point movement over time. From this information, it is possible to estimate the camera, i.e. the vehicle’s motion. Visual odometry has its own set of challenges, such as detecting an insufficient number of points, poor camera setup, and fast passing objects interrupting the scene. This paper investigates the effects of various disturbances on visual odometry. Moreover, it discusses the outcomes of several experiments performed utilizing the Festo-Robotino robotic platform. The experiments are designed to evaluate how changing the system’s setup will affect the overall quality and performance of an autonomous driving system. Environmental effects such as ambient light, shadows, and terrain are also investigated. Finally, possible improvements including varying camera options and programming methods are discussed.

Learn more.


Kuilin Zhang Awarded $58K Contract

Kuilin Zhang (CEE/MTTI), a member of the ICC’s Center for Cyber-Physical Systems, is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $58,556 research and development contract from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. The one-year project is entitled, “Leveraging Connected Highway Vehicle Platooning Technology to Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Train Fleeting.”


From the ICC Director: Reflections and Goals

Dear ICC Members and Friends,

Happy New Year! As we begin the new year and the Spring 2020 semester, I wanted to offer some reflections about the 2019 and share some goals for 2020.

For the ICC, the past six months have been thrilling, to say the least. The number of new awards is far above last year, with over $2 million in new projects to-date. And ICC research expenditures are on track for a record year. Thank you to everyone for all your hard work in developing collaborations, writing proposals, winning awards, executing your exciting research, mentoring, advising, and so much more.

The launch of Michigan Tech’s new College of Computing is such a fantastic opportunity. With this shift, we boldly announce that computing is a major field of study and not just an underpinning to other disciplines. I see the new College as a place of opportunity to experiment, collaborate, develop new pedagogies, and become a model for other institutions of higher learning. Our team is strong and creative, and it’s fun working on this puzzle with them.”

As the ICC is the research arm of the College of Computing, we are very much a part of the strategic vision for research in the College. This integration allows us to best utilize the finite resources of both the College of Computing and the ICC to realize the greatest return on key investments in people and resources.

To further support our members, the ICC has secured donor funding  that will make it possible to hire two key personnel in 2020. First, a search for a full-time assistant director for research development is underway. This new position will support ICC researchers as they collectively work to create and implement activities aimed at the growth and development of ICC-affiliated research and graduate programs, including pre- and post-award support, assisting with the financial processes of the institute, and helping to lead the daily administrative functions of the institute. We will also be starting a search soon for the first full-time Research Scientist in the ICC. More details on these hires will made public soon.

I’m very much looking forward to working with all of you in the new year.

Timothy C. Havens
Director, Institute for Computing and Cybersystems


Tomorrow Needs Seminar: Homin Song, Thurs., Jan. 23, 4 pm

Homin Song, a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory, will present a lecture on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at 4:00 p.m., in EERC 103.

The lecture is part of the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar Speaker Series. It is presented in part by the Tomorrow Needs Faculty and Scientist Seminar Series sponsored by the Michigan Tech colleges of Computing, Engineering, and Sciences and Arts, Great Lakes Research Center, and Institute of Computing and Cybersystems. Learn more at mtu.edu/icc/seminars.

Song completed a Ph.D. in civil engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019. He holds an M.S. degree from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and a B.S. from Hanyang University, also in civil engineering.

Homin’s research interests lie in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) based on ultrasonic wave motion. His broad spectrum of expertise encompasses the topical areas of NDE/SHM, such as advanced ultrasound sensing technology, signal/data processing, numerical modeling, and experimental solid mechanics. His current postdoctoral research aims at developing a super-resolution non-contact ultrasonic array imaging technique via deep learning.

Homin was awarded the Student Best Paper Award at the 2017 International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, the Student Award for Research on NDT from American Concrete Institute, and the Outstanding Paper Award from the Korean Society of Civil Engineers. 

Abstract: Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) systems are essential for today’s modern structures to ensure their long-term performance and reduced maintenance cost. The talk will present two full-field high-resolution ultrasonic imaging approaches to detect, image, and characterize internal damage in various materials and structural elements. The first approach is a near-field imaging technique via noncontact ultrasonic scanning measurements. Development of novel ultrasonic scanning hardware, numerical and experimental wave mechanics study to understand complicated wave scattering, and wavefield data processing are presented. A unique application of the developed approach to large-scale concrete structures under realistic damage-promoting environments is also presented. The second approach is a far-field imaging technique based on deep learning. A novel hierarchical multi-scale deep learning approach designed to image subtle structural defects is presented. The results are compared with those obtained by a widely accepted high-resolution imaging technique, Time-reversal MUSIC. 

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