Wednesday, 16 November 2016

EMBS Design Contest 2016

As it happens every year, I run a design contest as part of my undergraduate module on Embedded Systems. This year, we had a larger number of students choosing the module (maybe because we were ranked top teaching in the department last year!), so for the first time we had four teams competing for the coveted prizes: a box of chocolates and a picture on this blog. Their task: to design and implement a multi-hop wireless network using the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol, so that a message can be routed from the labs to my office on the other side of our C-shaped building.

This year's winners took an unorthodox approach to the network topology. Instead of placing network nodes all the way through the C-shaped corridor as previous winners have done, they decided to take a shortcut through the inner courtyard of the building. Iain Bate was seen giving them some advice about avoiding WiFi interference, which may have tipped the balance towards going outdoors. Luckily for them, the weather was mild and they had no problem to place network nodes over their shortcut (side picture shows the view from my office window). In previous years, rain and snow have prevented other groups from succeeding on that.

Bottom line is: they managed to finish the task before everybody else, in a little over two hours, so they deserve to be immortalised with their picture in the gallery of winners, which also include the top teams from 20152014, 2012, 2011 and 2010 (in 2013, no group managed to finish the challenge).


Monday, 31 October 2016

New book: Dynamic Resource Allocation in Embedded, High-Performance and Cloud Computing

River Publishers has released this month our textbook on dynamic resource allocation heuristics for embedded, high-performance and cloud computing. The book is authored by myself and two of my former postdoc researchers Piotr Dziurzanski (now a lecturer at Staffordshire University) and Amit Kumar Singh (now a senior postdoc at Southampton University). It presents some of the work we did in the EU-funded DreamCloud project.

Hardcopies will be available for purchase on Amazon, and an ebook version is freely available in the publisher's website. This arrangement was made possible thanks to the EU FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot Scheme. The textbook includes the following chapters:

Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Load and Resource Models; 3. Feedback-based Admission Control Heuristics; 4. Feedback-based Allocation and Optimisation Heuristics; 5. Search-based Heuristics for Modal Applications; 6. Swarm Intelligence Algorithms for Dynamic Task Reallocation; 7. Value-Based Allocation; Bibliography

Monday, 4 January 2016

2nd DREAMCloud Workshop

Together with the DreamCloud project team, I'm organising the 2nd International Workshop on Dynamic Resource Allocation and Management in Embedded, High Performance and Cloud Computing. More details, and an embarrassing video, below:

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

WSN Design Contest 2015

Today was the day of the WSN Design Contest 2015. Actually, the contest is still taking place as I write this, but we already have winners! For the first time ever, one of the groups finished the challenge with plenty of time to spare (they did it in about 1h40!)

Below, the winning group and their prize.

They now join the gallery of winning teams of each year: 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2010 (in 2013, no group managed to finish the challenge). 

The contest is part of my EMBS undergraduate module: all students are divided in groups, are given a few WSN motes and programming boards, and must design, test and implement a simple multihop wireless communication protocol over IEEE 802.15.4 physical layer in order to transmit a packet from the labs to my office, all within a 2 hours practical lecture slot. The winner team gets a box of chocolates, and are immortalised with their picture in this blog.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

First batch of PhDs

The year of 2014 was the year I graduated my first doctoral students in York. Previously I had co-supervised the PhDs of Luciano Ost (at PUCRS, with Fernando Moraes as the main supervisor) and Leandro Moeller (at TU Darmstadt, with Manfred Glesner as the main supervisor). Now, with all their degrees issued and their theses approved and published at the White Rose e-Theses repository, I'm glad to present my first batch of Yorkies:

Ipek Caliskanelli: A Bio-inspired Load Balancing Technique for Wireless Sensor Networks

Andrew Burkimsher: Fair, responsive scheduling of engineering workflows on computing grids (co-supervised with Iain Bate)

M. Norazizi Sham Mohd Sayuti: Early Design Space Exploration of Hard Real-Time Embedded Networks-on-Chip

The three research topics reflect very well my portfolio, as they apply different resource allocation techniques to different computational platforms (sensor networks, high performance grids and on-chip multiprocessors, respectively) to achieve critical non-fuctional properties related to time and energy dissipation.

And it is great to know they all went on to promising academic careers. Ipek is now a post-doc researcher at the University of Liverpool, Azizi returned to his permanent position at the University Sains Islam in Malaysia, and Andrew has continued as a post-doc here with us working in the DreamCloud project.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Edible paper

Today my PhD students and postdocs surprised me at the RTS group meeting with a birthday cake in the form of a research paper, IEEE style and everything.

Here's a photo of the cake:

And here is a link to the PDF version of the paper, which I heard went through several rounds of review by the students and postdocs.

Below, some pictures of me cutting the cake and distributing to the Real-Time Systems Group folks.

Thank you very much, everyone! I really appreciated the surprise and all the creativity that went into the paper writing (and baking!)

Random news

Some news that I should have announced earlier here:

  • The book on Embedded Systems Design that I have edited jointly with Alessandra Bagnato, Imran Quadri and Matteo Rossi has been published by IGI Global. It provides insights from the computer science community on integrated systems research projects taking place in the European region. It covers a diverse range of design principles covered by these projects, from specification at high abstraction levels using standards such as UML and related profiles to intermediate design phases.