Ramesh R. Rao



Current Projects:

ResponSphere: an IT Infrastructure for Responding to the Unexpected

duration: 09/15/04-09/30/09
funded by: NSF, $900,795 (UCSD); $1,801,590 in total
participants: University of California, San Diego (Ramesh Rao); University of California, Irvine (Magda ElZarki with Sharad Mehrotra, Carter Butts, and Nalini Venkatasubramanian)
abstract: Responding to natural or man-made disasters in a timely and effective manner can reduce deaths and injuries, contain or prevent secondary disasters, and reduce the resulting economic losses and social disruption. During a crisis, responding oganizations confront grave uncertainties in making critical decisions. They need to gather situational information (e.g., state of the civil, transportation, and information infrastructures) and information about available resources (e.g., medical facilities, rescue and law enforcement units). Clearly there is a strong correlation between the quality of these decisions and the accuracy, timeliness, and reliability of the information available to the decision-makers. We have recently created an Urban Crisis Response Center (UCREC) with the objective of radically transforming the ability of organizations to gather, manage, use and disseminate information when responding to man-made and natural catastrophes. Dramatic improvements in the speed and accuracy at which information about the crisis flows through the disaster response networks has the potential to revolutionize crisis response, saving human lives and property. The purpose of the ResponSphere project is to establish an experimental Information Technology infrastructure to serve as a platform for development, testing, and validation of RESCUE research efforts on responding to a crisis.

Collaborative Research: Responding to the Unexpected

website: http://www.itr-rescue.org/
Post-doctoral Research in Information Technology Research in Responding to Crises and Unexpected Events
duration: 10/01/03-09/30/08
funded by: NSF, $3,541,999 (UCSD); $12,499,650 in total
participants: University of California, San Diego (Ramesh Rao with Bhasker Rao and Mohan Trivedi); University of California, Irvine (Sharad Mehrotra, Project Director); with: University of Maryland; Brigham Young University; University of Colorado; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; ImageCat, Inc.
abstract: This project aims to create robust information systems that enable first responders and decision-makers to make well-informed and better decisions, to prioritize their responses, and to focus on activities that have the highest potential to save lives and property. Such information systems must provide access to the right information by the right individuals and organizations at the right time. Social scientists play a crucial role in this project to investigate the nature of dynamic virtual organizations, such as the multi-agency response teams formed at the site of a disaster, and the social and cultural aspects of information sharing in such situations.

NRT: Scalable Testbed for Next Generation Mobile Wireless Networking Technologies

website: http://pcl.cs.ucla.edu/projects/whynet/
duration: 10/01/03-09/30/07
funded by: NSF, $5,558,716
participants: Rajive Bagrodia with Mario Gerla, Mineo Takai, Babak Daneshrad, Mani Srivastava, Ramesh Rao, et al.
abstract: WHYNET: Scalable Testbed for Next Generation Mobile Wireless Networking Technologies The next generation of wireless communication technology is likely to rely on cross-layer interactions that extend from the application layer down to the physical devices. This project proposes to design and develop WHYNET, a Wireless HYbrid NETwork testbed to facilitate detailed study of such interactions and their impact on application level performance in heterogeneous wireless systems. The eventual technical impact of this testbed will be to redefine how specific innovations in wireless communication technologies are evaluated in terms of their potential to improve application-level performance as well as how alternative approaches are compared with each other. Its broader impact will be to redefine how students are trained in wireless technologies by providing a multi-disciplinary 'hands on' environment to complement purely theoretical classroom training.

Wireless Internet Information System for Medical Response in Disasters

website: http://wiisard.org
duration: 10/01/03-09/30/05
funded by: NIH, $4,065,027
participants: Leslie Lenert with Ramesh Rao, James Dunford, Sidney Karin, Daniel Masys
abstract: The difficult-to-accept truth of our present era is that the United States faces a future clouded by the threat of terrorist actions involving nuclear, biological, and chemical agents (also known as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)). Such actions, previously inconceivably immoral, could produce large numbers of civilian casualties that would overwhelm existing healthcare facilities, jeopardizing the lives of victims and healthcare providers. We believe the current technologies supporting acute field care of victims of disasters are simply inadequate and that new systems and technologies for care need to be developed. To address recognized shortcomings in field care for victims of disasters, we propose to develop a system that we call WIISARD (Wireless Internet Information System for Medical Response in Disasters). WIISARD is designed to be deployed at the site of a WMD attack or a natural disaster to support the care of large numbers of victims for a period of hours to days, while national medical resources are being marshaled to aid in delivery of definitive care. WIISARD is an integrated application that will bring cutting edge wireless Internet technologies from the hospital to the field treatment station. It has components that enhance the situational awareness of first responders, facilitate recording of medical data, aid in the monitoring of severely ill patients, and facilitate communication of data to hospitals. The WIISARD system will undergo evaluation throughout the 3-year contract, beginning with controlled studies of individual components and culminating with a randomized trial conducted during a simulated WMD attack.

"Smart" Sensor Networks for Visual Context Capture and Interactivity

duration: 08/05/03-08/04/05
funded by: UC Discovery/CORE, $441,126.84
participants: Mohan Trivedi with Ramesh Rao, Truong Nguyen, Anthony Acampora, Sujit Dey, and Rene Cruz
abstract: A couple of important highlights of the proposed research are:
1. Integrated systems oriented approach: Our research team includes investigators representing Networking, Digital Image/Signal Processing, Embedded Systems, and Computer Vision areas, to offer insights in a synergistic manner. The team will pursue an integrated systems oriented research with balanced theoretical, analytical, and experimental components.
2. Real-world application focus: Our research will consider a particularly demanding and important application, namely large-scale video surveillance networks.
One of our near term goals is to synthesize a comprehensive networking architecture that can support this application, that will serve as the basis for a prototype system that we hope to develop. The exercise for synthesizing this architecture in an application driven context will form the basis for more focused fundamental research, as well as future iterations on overall wireless sensor networking architectures.

Application and Network-Aware Multi-Layer Adaptation of Wireless Protocols and Architectures

duration: 08/05/03-08/04/05
funded by: UC Discovery/CORE, $301,647.33
participants: Sujit Dey with Ramesh Rao and Rene Cruz
abstract: The proposed research will enable the deployment of media-rich wireless data services at low cost, both in terms of the communication cost (air time) as well as in terms of handheld cost. By developing multi-layer adaptive protocol management techniques which are conscious of the requirements of the data services and the conditions of the wireless channel, we will enable the network to deliver richer services to more users, thereby reducing the per-user cost. By developing application-conscious dynamic management techniques for the wireless handheld platform, we will enable the support of rich wireless data and protocol processing tasks with low-cost, low-battery, general-purpose, and application-scalable handsets.

Therapeutic Window for Acute Stroke Therapy

duration: 07/01/03-06/30/08
funded by: NIH/NINDS, $6,131,542
participants: Patrick Lyden with Ramesh Rao, Brett Meyer, Kama Gulama, and Justin Zivin
abstract: The purpose of this project is to prospectively develop and evaluate methods to increase the numbers of stroke patients treated acutely with thrombolysis and to decrease the time to treatment of these patients using a new remote video imaging technique. This proposed research design would test the hypothesis that the "Stroke Team Remote Evaluation using a Digital Observation Camera (STRokE DOC)" video link system can become an effective and efficient method for stroke experts to support other types of physicians at remote hospital sites, by providing real time stroke consultations.

Region-Based Image Compression Subject to Energy and Bandwidth Constraints

duration: 01/01/03-12/31/05
funded by: ONR, $592,147
participants: Pamela Cosman with Ramesh Rao and Larry Milstein
abstract: The intent is to address information efficiency, whereby robust and energy-efficient techniques are used with adaptive image compression to provide operationally relevant and dynamic information to soldiers in a littoral battlefield. As the relevant information changes in real time, the system should be able to provide this information adaptively with minimal effort from a human operator. The system is constrained by limited resources - bandwidth, battery power, and computing power. We will address issues at the application layer (adaption). The main thrust of this proposal will be region-based image and video compression, including issues of how these types of algorithms can be made robust for transmission over hostile channels, and how they can be made battery-efficient. The specific research topics will include: (a) region-based image and video compression that provides higher quality and more error-resilient coding to the region-of-interest, (b) optimal bandwidth allocation among image coding, channel coding, and spreading in a CDMA system, and (c) modifying image compression algorithms to optimize the battery discharge profile, thereby prolonging battery life.

The New Role of Science and Engineering in Risk Reduction

duration: 12/01/02-04/30/03
funded by: NSF, $200,000
participants: Ramesh Rao with Frieder Seible, Larry Smarr, and Yigal Arens
abstract: The goal of this workshop is to build on the NSF-sponsored workshop entitled "Responding to the Unexpected", which was held earlier this year in New York City, by identifying the new scientific, engineering, social, and policy requirements for risk reduction. In this follow-up workshop, entitled "The New Role of Science and Engineering in Risk Reduction", our objectives will be to refine the research scope, recommend funding modalities, and identify a suitable management framework.

Adaptive Systems

website: http://adaptive.ucsd.edu
Post-graduate Researcher in Adaptive Systems and Post-graduate Researcher in Multi-Antenna Wireless Communication Systems
duration: 07/01/02-06/30/06
funded by: UC CoRe/Ericsson, $2,520,197
participants: Ramesh Rao with Geoff Voelker, Pam Cosman, Sujit Dey, and Rene Cruz
abstract: The goal of this project is the design of an Adaptive System that can sense all available network access systems at any given location, seamlessly select the most cost effective service and then dynamically adapt to the selected service in support of multimedia applications. The first step is to develop a comprehensive system model, which will include all critical elements that compose such a system. The system model will include cellular and ad-hoc radio access networks as well as core portions of the IP network. Close attention will be paid to the interfaces between the various segments of the systems. Whenever possible, these interfaces will be selected to conform to well-known open interfaces to ensure that existing subsystems (such as Bluetooth or cellular access devices) can be incorporated in the Adaptive System. Subsequently the team will develop algorithms protocols, platform architectures and applications in support of the system through a combination of analysis, simulation, and implementation in a hardware and software network testbed.