Researchers Receive $1.2 Million MURI Grant

UNIVERSITY PARK – The Center for Network-Centric Cognition and Information Fusion (NC2IF) in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology received a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative Award (MURI) for “Unified research on network-based hard/soft information fusion” from the Army Research Office. This is an extension of the work being conducted by the center on hard/soft data fusion by David Hall, professor of information sciences and technology and the center’s director.

“What has been evolving recently has been the idea of hard/soft data fusion,” Hall said. “The idea is that humans act not only as the users of traditional sensor data but they participate by being observers. This is analogous to civilian reporters providing reports about natural disasters and airline accidents.”

MURIs are collaborative grants and Penn State’s portion is approximately $400,000 per year for three years with a two-year renewal option. Hall will lead the research effort at Penn State with additional support from Michael McNeese, professor-in-charge, Jake Graham, professor of practice and the NC2IF staff.

Led by James Llinas of the State University of New York at Buffalo, the research team also includes faculty members from Iona College and Tennessee University. Hall’s team will work interactively with the University of Buffalo on cooperative research, prototype algorithms and demonstration software, new research concepts, technical exchanges and development of technical reports.

The MURI will fund graduate student and professional staff. It will also fund sensor research within NC2IF’s new Extreme Events Laboratory, which is set to open in the fall at University Park.

“We have the capability to turn the whole campus into a laboratory,” Hall said. “Everyone is using cell phones and posting things on social networking sites, so they all have the potential to act as data collectors and soft sensors.”

This is the second MURI that Hall has been received. He received his first while working at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory.

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