Research Areas

The University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety
CAPS is committed to using state-of-the-art technologies to offer products and specialized software development services in a variety of areas. The four main focus areas are highway safety, homeland security, judicial management and law enforcement. CAPS includes the analysis and presentation of spatially-enhanced information, with emphasis on traffic safety, criminal justice and homeland security data domains.

Software Engineering Research Group
Key areas of interest include empirical software engineering, model-driven engineering, and software maintenance and evolution. Research in empirical software engineering seeks to use empirical methods to understand human factors and to discover, characterize, and evaluate relationships between software development artifacts, techniques, and tools. Ongoing projects focus on problems such as improving software quality and understanding software development in the context of computational science and engineering. Research in model-driven engineering seeks to reduce the gap between the problem domain and the solution domain by modeling all aspects of the software system with concepts from the problem domain, instead of source code. Ongoing projects focus on applying software engineering techniques such as transformation, simulation, analysis, and evolution to software and systems models. Research in software maintenance and evolution seeks to automate software change tasks using static analysis techniques. Ongoing projects focus on managing duplicated code and on using text retrieval techniques to automate program comprehension activities such as feature location and traceability link recovery.

Distributed Autonomy Laboratory
Research focuses on using teams of robots to accomplish high-level tasks. Appropriate shared representations and communications paradigms are tested in simulation and in a lab environment. Collaborations exist between software engineering, behavioral science and networking. Research includes the study of appropriate multi-robot experimental frameworks through evaluation of measurement tools, software architectures and development and simulation environments. A specialized testing facility is instrumented with ground truth localization and image systems for data collection.

Databases and Green Grids
Research addresses the issue of developing strategies for data grids that increase efficiency and reduce the energy consumed through replication and scheduling. Experiments are being performed on a 10-node, low-energy, low-cost green cluster to evaluate the new strategies in order to make data grids greener. Efforts are also underway to address the issues of satisfying multiple constraints of mobile databases, including designing strategies for concurrency control and data dissemination with real-time constraints, and investigating databases in cloud computing.

Networking
Current research activities focus on routing, mobility, privacy, security, monitoring, MAC, quality of service and bio-inspired communications. Focus includes surveillance application, quality of service, cache access and replacement policies, coverage and connectivity, energy efficiency and vehicle networks.

Bio-inspired networking studies communication paradigms in animals and applies these paradigms to the computing and networking fields.

Security topics include password protection, lightweight cipher, intrusion detection, denial of service mitigation, secure protocols, vulnerabilities and attacks, network accountability, anonymous communications systems, and privacy in wireless networks.

Vehicle networks show promise for improving driving safety and roadway system efficiencies. Focus is on secure and trustworthy vehicle communication given dynamic network conditions and tight response time constraints.

Other applications include developing technologies for quality, secure, reliable tele-healthcare, particularly in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and elder healthcare.

Collaborative Software
Focuses on the use of collaborative software with a variety of computing devices ranging from smart phones to wall-sized display systems by one or multiple co-located users in a variety of environments. Research topics include software architecture, multiple cursor support, advanced display/interactions techniques and secure information access.

Computer-Assisted Music Generation
Constructing frameworks that permit musically-inclined individuals to produce professional sounding music without mandating that they play an instrument. Focus includes using software engineering and artificial intelligence techniques to efficiently generate realistic instrumental tracks and developing an annotated audio stream standard that simplifies post-processing of the instrumental tracks.

Graph Algorithms
Research involves determining which graph problems have efficient algorithms. Focus includes pursuit-evasion problems, wherein pursuers cooperate to capture all evaders using minimum travel distance or elapsed time.