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Research
Distributed Systems Group

The future is distributed.
— Anonymous

Vision

We envision a world in which various kinds of systems, including sensors and actuators, mobile phones, PDAs, web servers and clients, and large databases, all work together to help human users to monitor environments, obtain/provide healthcare, make decisions, play games, and in general live and work. Computer Science research has a lot to contribute to this vision of the world, and faculty in the CS and ECE departments have involved in research in various aspects. More specifically,

Participating Faculty

Currently, the following faculty members are in this concentration area. Eight PhD students are working with these faculty members.

Application Areas

The application areas we have already looked into and will look into in the future include:

Projects

Uniqueness of the Group

Many research CS departments have a component of distributed systems. However, most are concentrated on the networking aspects, or on particular applications. The uniqueness of this group is in its emphasis on "vertical slices" for distributed systems: from underlying hardware support (robots, cameras and sensors), to application-level research (security, distributed control and monitoring). That is, we target applications that use distributed systems, and at the same time, we study all the necessary tools and theories in the software to hardware levels to support the applications. Hence, part of the uniqueness of this group is its interdisciplinary nature.

Interdisciplinary Connections

We will find the use of distributed systems in many applications. Especially important are the connection of this groupís research with the two emphasized areas of UVM: environmental and healthcare studies. The connection with the ECE and Math departments is obvious. Also, we see a huge potential of distributed systems in the future Transportation Center. The Vermont Advanced Computing Center (VACC), now under construction, has also decided to emphasize on sensor systems. We believe our group can contribute a lot to this vision of VACC.