Sriram – Smart Research Challenges

Ram D. Sriram

Smart Networked Systems and Societies: Research Challenges


We are witnessing a new revolution in computing and communication. The Internet, which has spanned several networks in a wide variety of domains, is having a significant impact on every aspect of our lives. The next generation of networks will utilize a wide variety of resources with significant sensing capabilities. Such networks will extend beyond physically linked computers to include multimodal information from biological, cognitive, semantic, and social networks. This paradigm shift will involve symbiotic networks of people (social networks), intelligent devices, and mobile personal computing and communication devices (mPCDs), that will form smart networked systems and societies (SNSS) or cyber-physical social systems (CPSS). mPCDs are already equipped with myriad sensors, with regular updates of additional sensing capabilities. Additionally, we are witnessing the emergence of “intelligent devices,” such as smart meters, smart cars, etc., with considerable sensing and networking capabilities. Hence, these devices – and the network — will be constantly sensing, monitoring, and interpreting the environment; this is sometimes referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). The symbiosis of IoT and social networks will have significant implications for both the market for advanced computing and communication infrastructure and the future markets – for nearly 4.5 billion people — that SNSS will create. In this work, I will discuss the research challenges for SNSS with a specific focus on smart healthcare.

First presented: Leadership Lecture Series, IIT Madras, Chennai, India, December 2014.

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