NSF Grant: Human and Probabilistic Context Awareness

Principal Investigators:
  • Neal Patwari, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah
  • Sneha K. Kasera and Suresh Venkatasubramanian, School of Computing, University of Utah
  • Anind K. Dey, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

1 million total, 750k at the University of Utah


CPS:Medium:Collaborative Research:Enabling and Advancing Human and Probabilistic Context Awareness for Smart Facilities and Elder Care


The objective of this research is to enable cyber-physical systems (CPS) to be context-aware of people in the environment and to use data from real-world probabilistic sensors.  The approach is

  1. to use radio tomography (RT) and RFID to provide awareness (location and potential identification) of every person in a building or area, and
  2. to develop new middleware tools to enable context-aware computing systems to use probabilistic data, thus allowing new applications to exploit sometimes unreliable estimates of the environment.

The intellectual merit of the proposal is to

  1. develop new algorithms and models for building-scale RT with low radio densities and across multiple frequencies;
  2. develop efficient multi-channel access protocols for rapid and adaptive peer-to-peer measurements;
  3. develop space-time and probabilistic data representations for use in stream-based context awareness systems and for merging ID and non-ID data; and
  4. develop a human context-aware software development toolkit which interfaces between probabilistic data and context-aware applications. 

The proposal impacts broadly CPS which reason about human presence using ambiguous data, enabling:

  1. smart facilities which automatically enforce safety, privacy, and security procedures, increasing the ability to respond in emergency situations and prevent accidents and sabotage; and
  2. elder care, to monitor for physical or social decline so that effective intervention can be implemented, extending the period elders can live in their own home, without pervasive video surveillance.  

A testbed deployment will serve outreach and educational objectives.

See the full grant information at http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1035565