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University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Distributed Inference in the Presence of Byzantines

Date: 2014-10-16           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 1:30-2:30 pm
Location: Holmes Hall 247
Speaker: Prof. Pramod Varshney, Syracuse University

In this talk, we discuss the problem of Byzantines in the context of Distributed Inference Networks. Distributed inference networks have many applications including military surveillance, cognitive radio networks and smart grid. A distributed inference network typically consists of local sensors sending information to a central processing unit (known as the Fusion Center) that is responsible for inference. The network may contain malicious sensors that may engage in data falsification which can result in a wrong inference at the Fusion Center. Drawing parallel to the "Byzantine Generals Problem", the local sensors are the generals who try to make a decision in the presence of traitors called "Byzantines". We present an overview of recent research on this problem. Discussion includes the susceptibility of distributed inference networks to Byzantines, and then the possible protection of these networks through mitigation of Byzantines. A game theoretic formulation of the problem is also discussed. Several applications are considered and some avenues for further research are provided.

Pramod K. Varshney received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer science (with highest honors), and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972, 1974, and 1976 respectively. Since 1976 he has been with Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY where he is currently a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Director of CASE: Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Radiology at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. His current research interests are in distributed sensor networks and data fusion, detection and estimation theory, wireless communications, and security. He has published extensively.

While at the University of Illinois, Dr. Varshney was a James Scholar, a Bronze Tablet Senior, and a Fellow. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and is the recipient of the 1981 ASEE Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award. He was elected to the grade of Fellow of the IEEE in 1997 for his contributions in the area of distributed detection and data fusion. In 2000, he received the Third Millennium Medal from the IEEE and Chancellor's Citation for exceptional academic achievement at Syracuse University. He is the recipient of the IEEE 2012 Judith A. Resnik Award and an honorary doctorate from Drexel University in June 2014. He recently served as a distinguished lecturer for the AES society of the IEEE. He is on the editorial boards of Journal on Advances in Information Fusion and IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. He was the President of International Society of Information Fusion during 2001.