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Emerging Topics in Computing, IEEE Transactions on This IEEE Publication is an Open Access only journal. Open Access provides unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed journal articles.

Issue 2 • Date Dec. 2013

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  • [Front cover]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 201 - 202
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Special Issue on Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)—Part II

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 203 - 206
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  • iSenior—A Support System for Elderly Citizens

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 207 - 217
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (15916 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Health and safety monitoring of elderly citizens are key to the improvement of their quality of life, by enabling them to be more independent. This was the general motivation for developing the iSenior system presented in this paper. iSenior is a wireless embedded system solution for people living in rest homes that retain their mobility and, thus, move around the facilities and can even go outside. iSenior is a cyber-physical system solution that currently supports a set of functions like monitoring, alerting, and requesting assistance. The system has been implemented and is under field evaluation in a real world deployment. The aim of this paper is to provide information on the main features of the system, including architecture, implementation details, and performance evaluation. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Crowdsourcing in Cyber-Physical Systems: Stochastic Optimization With Strong Stability

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 218 - 231
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    Cyber-physical systems (CPSs), featuring a tight combination of computational and physical elements as well as communication networks, attracted intensive attention recently because of their wide applications in various areas. In many applications, especially those aggregating or processing a large amount of data over large spatial regions or long spans of time or both, the workload would be too heavy for any CPS element (or node) to finish on its own. How to enable the CPS nodes to efficiently collaborate with each other to accommodate more CPS services is a very challenging problem and deserves systematic research. In this paper, we present a cross-layer optimization framework for hybrid crowdsourcing in the CPSs to facilitate heavy-duty computation. Particularly, by joint computing resource management, routing, and link scheduling, we formulate an offline finite-queue-aware CPS service maximization problem to crowdsource nodes' computing tasks in a CPS. We then find both lower and upper bounds on the optimal result of the problem. In addition, the lower bound result is proved to be a feasible result that guarantees all queues in the network are finite, i.e., network strong stability. Extensive simulations have been conducted to validate the proposed algorithms' performance. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Smart Signage: A Draggable Cyber-Physical Broadcast/Multicast Media System

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 232 - 243
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (29465 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Digital displays, as the replacement of traditional static signs, have gained increasing popularity for out-of-home advertising. Latest advancements in smartphone, wireless communication, and digital display technologies make it possible to design new interactive signage systems linking the digital content with the physical digital displays. Although recent studies have demonstrated the trend of cyber-physical interaction, they are not generally scalable for multiple users, and none of them support interaction with multiple displays in one location. Smart Signage, a “draggable” cyber-physical broadcast/multicast (B/M) media system is proposed in this paper. With a novel cyber-physical B/M protocol that synchronizes the content on the digital displays with the smartphones, it supports one-to-many interaction by allowing multiple users acquiring content from one display with a “dragging” hand gesture. With the embedded display orientation information in the same protocol, Smart Signage supports many-to-many interaction by allowing users obtaining content from the digital display they are pointing at with their smartphones. Users' quality of experience, which is characterized by the response time, is carefully studied in this paper to guarantee the performance of this cyber-physical interactive display system. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Gender-Driven Emotion Recognition Through Speech Signals For Ambient Intelligence Applications

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 244 - 257
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (5134 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper proposes a system that allows recognizing a person's emotional state starting from audio signal registrations. The provided solution is aimed at improving the interaction among humans and computers, thus allowing effective human-computer intelligent interaction. The system is able to recognize six emotions(anger, boredom, disgust, fear, happiness, and sadness) and the neutral state. This set of emotional states is widely used for emotion recognition purposes. It also distinguishes a single emotion versus all the other possible ones, as proven in the proposed numerical results. The system is composed of two subsystems: 1) gender recognition(GR) and 2) emotion recognition(ER). The experimental analysis shows the performance in terms of accuracy of the proposed ER system. The results highlight that the a priori knowledge of the speaker's gender allows a performance increase. The obtained results show also that the features selection adoption assures a satisfying recognition rate and allows reducing the employed features. Future developments of the proposed solution may include the implementation of this system over mobile devices such as smartphones. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • A Reliable IEEE 802.15.4 Model for Cyber Physical Power Grid Monitoring Systems

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 258 - 272
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (27215 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Cyber physical systems (CPSs) can significantly improve the resiliency of the smart grid. In CPSs, real time and reliable monitoring require an accurate and stable model of the wireless sensor network (WSN)-based monitoring system. Furthermore, WSNs require strict quality of service (QoS) provisioning as the data generated by the monitored equipment is generally delay and reliability-sensitive. QoS provisioning in WSNs has been widely studied in the literature where most of the work addresses the issue by QoS-aware protocol design. However, analytical models that consider delay, throughput, and power consumption have not matured for CPSs. In this paper, we propose a Markov-based model for cluster-tree WSN topologies that enhances the stability of the WSNs. Cluster-tree deployments are particularly of interest to cyber-physical power grid monitoring systems since they are suitable for large-scale deployments. We perform an exhaustive performance evaluation using different traffic and network conditions in star and cluster-tree WSN topologies. Furthermore, we test the accuracy of our model by performing simulations in environments that are consistent with the analytical model. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • A Framework for Modeling Cyber-Physical Switching Attacks in Smart Grid

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 273 - 285
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (8503 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Security issues in cyber-physical systems are of paramount importance due to the often safety-critical nature of its associated applications. A first step in understanding how to protect such systems requires an understanding of emergent weaknesses, in part, due to the cyber-physical coupling. In this paper, we present a framework that models a class of cyber-physical switching vulnerabilities in smart grid systems. Variable structure system theory is employed to effectively characterize the cyber-physical interaction of the smart grid and demonstrate how existence of the switching vulnerability is dependent on the local structure of the power grid. We identify and demonstrate how through successful cyber intrusion and local knowledge of the grid an opponent can compute and apply a coordinated switching sequence to a circuit breaker to disrupt operation within a short interval of time. We illustrate the utility of the attack approach empirically on the Western Electricity Coordinating Council three-machine, nine-bus system under both model error and partial state information. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Enhanced Network Coding to Maintain Privacy in Smart Grid Communication

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 286 - 296
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3170 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are aimed at combining the physical system with the cyber ones to provide a better control and improve the management of physical systems around us. Recently, the CPS and its applications, e.g., health-care and smart grid, have gained attention of the research community. In this paper, we consider the privacy aspect of users in a CPS, particularly in smart grid system as our use-case, and provide a mechanism that utilizes the advances in network coding to maintain data privacy. We address privacy issues associated with gathering metering information of clients in a smart grid system. In smart grid systems, wireless multi-hop communications are mainly used to gather metering information through exchanging data and control messages between smart meters and the utility. We argue that any communication paradigm used in a smart grid should support all aspects of privacy such as anonymity, unlinkability, unobservablity, and undetectablity. We propose innovative schemes for traffic routing and encryption that benefit from the enhanced network coding technology. Our analysis shows that our schemes maintain privacy of users despite the possibility of detecting metering data by an adversary. In addition, our scheme has extra favorable features such as less computation complexity, reliable, and robust communication. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Joint Optimization of Electricity and Communication Cost for Meter Data Collection in Smart Grid

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 297 - 306
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (11113 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Smart grid is recently proposed as an enhancement for the next generation power grid. To achieve efficient status monitoring, control, and billing, a large number of smart meters are deployed and they would produce a huge amount of data. To efficiently collect them imposes a great challenge on the communication networks. In this paper, we study the efficient meter data collection problem by exploring the secondary spectrum market in cellular networks. The electricity power reserved by sending meter data via leased secondary channels would be charged at a lower price. With the objective of reducing the overall cost of both power and communication, we formulate a problem called cost minimization for meter data collection (CMM) that is to find optimal solution of channel selection and transmission scheduling. The CMM problem under a linear power pricing model is formulated as a mixed integer linear programming problem and is then solved by a branch-and-bound algorithm. Under a nonlinear power pricing model, we formulate it as a nonconvex mixed integer nonlinear programming problem and propose an optimal algorithm by integrating the sequential parametric convex approximation method into the branch-and-bound framework. Extensive simulation results show that our proposal can significantly reduce the overall cost. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Context-Aware Defenses to RFID Unauthorized Reading and Relay Attacks

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 307 - 318
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    Many RFID tags store valuable information privy to their users that can easily be subject to unauthorized reading, leading to owner tracking, or impersonation. RFID tags are also susceptible to different forms of relay attacks. This paper presents novel sensing-enabled defenses to unauthorized reading and relay attacks against RFID systems without necessitating any changes to the traditional RFID usage model. Specifically, this paper proposes the use of cyber-physical interfaces, on-board tag sensors, to (automatically) acquire useful contextual information about the tag's environment (or its owner, or the tag itself). First, such context recognition is leveraged for the purpose of selective tag unlocking-the tag will respond selectively to reader interrogations. In particular, novel mechanisms based on an owner's posture recognition are presented. Second, context recognition is used as a basis for transaction verification in order to provide protection against a severe form of relay attacks involving malicious RFID readers. A new mechanism is developed that can determine the proximity between a valid tag and a valid reader by correlating certain (specifically audio) sensor data extracted from the two devices. Our evaluation of the proposed mechanisms demonstrate their feasibility in significantly raising the bar against RFID attacks. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • EPIC: A Testbed for Scientifically Rigorous Cyber-Physical Security Experimentation

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 319 - 330
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (11203 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Recent malware, like Stuxnet and Flame, constitute a major threat to networked critical infrastructures (NCIs), e.g., power plants. They revealed several vulnerabilities in today's NCIs, but most importantly they highlighted the lack of an efficient scientific approach to conduct experiments that measure the impact of cyber threats on both the physical and the cyber parts of NCIs. In this paper, we present EPIC, a novel cyber-physical testbed, and a modern scientific instrument that can provide accurate assessments of the effects that cyber-attacks may have on the cyber and physical dimensions of NCIs. To meet the complexity of today's NCIs, EPIC employs an Emulab-based testbed to recreate the cyber part of NCIs and multiple software simulators for the physical part. Its main advantage is that it can support very accurate, real-time, repeatable, and realistic experiments with heterogeneous infrastructures. We show through several case studies how EPIC can be applied to explore the impact that cyber-attacks and Information and Communications Technology system disruptions have on critical infrastructures. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • A Matrix-Based Pairwise Key Establishment Scheme for Wireless Mesh Networks Using Pre Deployment Knowledge

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 331 - 340
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (7449 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Due to the nature of wireless transmission, communication in wireless mesh networks (WMNs) is vulnerable to many adversarial activities including eavesdropping. Pairwise key establishment is one of the fundamental issues in securing WMNs. This paper presents a new matrix based pairwise key establishment scheme. Mesh client in our scheme only needs to prestore a key seed, which can be used to generate a column of secret matrix. It can establish pairwise keys with other clients after mesh routers broadcast public matrices. Our scheme is motivated by the fact that in WMNs, mesh routers are more powerful than mesh clients, both in computation and communication. Besides, we employ the pre deployment knowledge to reduce the computational cost of mesh clients. Security and complexity analysis show that the new scheme possesses several desirable features: 1) neighbor mesh clients can directly establish pairwise keys; 2) the new scheme is updatable, scalable, and robust against node capture attacks; and 3) communication and storage costs at mesh clients are significantly reduced. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • A Wormhole Attack Resistant Neighbor Discovery Scheme With RDMA Protocol for 60 GHz Directional Network

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 341 - 352
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    In this paper, we propose a wormhole attack resistant secure neighbor discovery (SND) scheme for a centralized 60-GHz directional wireless network. Specifically, the proposed SND scheme consists of three phases: the network controller (NC) broadcasting phase, the network nodes response/authentication phase, and the NC time analysis phase. In the broadcasting phase and the response/authentication phase, local time information and antenna direction information are elegantly exchanged with signature-based authentication techniques between the NC and the legislate network nodes, which can prevent most of the wormhole attacks. In the NC time analysis phase, the NC can further detect the possible attack using the time-delay information from the network nodes. To solve the transmission collision problem in the response/authentication phase, we also introduce a novel random delay multiple access (RDMA) protocol to divide the RA phase into M periods, within which the unsuccessfully transmitting nodes randomly select a time slot to transmit. The optimal parameter setting of the RDMA protocol and the optional strategies of the NC are discussed. Both neighbor discovery time analysis and security analysis demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed SND scheme in conjunction with the RDMA protocol. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Scheduling Co-Design for Reliability and Energy in Cyber-Physical Systems

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 353 - 365
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    Energy aware scheduling and reliability are both very critical for real-time cyber-physical system design. However, it has been shown that the transient faults of a system will increase when the processor runs at reduced speed to save energy consumption. In this paper, we study total energy and reliability scheduling co-design problem for real-time cyber-physical systems. Total energy refers the sum of static and dynamic energy. Our goal is to minimize total energy while guaranteeing reliability constraints. We approach the problem from two directions based on the two different ways of guaranteeing the reliability of the tasks. The first approach aims at guaranteeing reliability at least as high as that of without speed scaling by reserving recovery job for each scaled down task. Heuristics have been used to guide the speed scaling and shutdown techniques that are used to lower total energy consumption while guaranteeing the reliability. The second way to guarantee the reliability of the tasks is to satisfy a known minimum reliability constraint for the tasks. The minimum reliable speed guarantees the reliability level of tasks, and is used as a constraint in the energy minimization problem. Both static and dynamic co-design methods are explored. Experimental results show that our methods are effective. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • MA-LTRT: A Novel Method to Improve Network Connectivity and Power Consumption in Mobile Ad-hoc Based Cyber-Physical Systems

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 366 - 374
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    Recently, the development in wireless devices has made it possible to connect numerous devices by constructing networks only amongst themselves. Cyber-physical Systems (CPSs) are likely to emerge through such network environments to connect both humans and machines so that a smart society can evolve with remarkably convenient and yet foreseen pervasive communication. It is, however, difficult to establish adequate network infrastructures anywhere and anytime. Therefore, a critical research issue is to formulate an effective method for constructing networks. To address this issue, we focus on mobile ad-hoc based CPSs, which is a network system consisting of mobile devices. Because it does not require any specific facility, the mobile ad-hoc based CPS may be considered to be a good candidate for realizing next generation CPSs. It, however, presents two major research challenges, namely the difficulty to maintain high connectivity in the network constructed by only mobile nodes, and the need to reduce the power consumption of the nodes. For addressing these two challenges in the mobile ad-hoc based CPS, we propose a novel method called mobility aware, local tree-based reliable topology to construct the network with adequate network connectivity while ensuring a low level of power consumption. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Cooperative QoS Control Scheme Based on Scheduling Information in FiWi Access Network

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 375 - 383
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    Fiber-wireless (FiWi) access networks comprising wireless local area networks (WLANs) and passive optical networks (PONs) have attracted much attention recently for future cyber-physical systems (CPSs). Because of the explosive growth of smart devices such as smart phones and sensors, the number of such devices has also grown phenomenally that require real time communication demanding quality of service (QoS)-centric applications for CPSs, such as smart grid, medical, and traffic control systems, which construct smart society. To deal with such situations, the FiWi access networks may be a suitable choice since they are capable of providing both wide bandwidth and flexibility. However, combining the WLAN and PON in FiWi that are inherently different networking technologies leads to inefficient data transmission in the point of junction of the WLAN and PON. Therefore, the QoS of real time communication degrades significantly. In this paper, we address this problem involving QoS degradation in the FiWi networks, and propose a QoS control scheme, which is based on cooperation between the WLAN and PON. Through computer-based simulations, we demonstrate that our proposed scheme can significantly improve the QoS performance of the FiWi access networks for CPSs. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • A Cross-Domain Recommendation Model for Cyber-Physical Systems

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 384 - 393
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2091 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are often characterized as smart systems, which intelligently interact with other systems across information and physical interfaces. An increased dependence on CPS led to the collection of a vast amount of human-centric data, which brings the information overload problem across multiple domains. Recommender systems in CPS, which always provide information recommendations for users based on historical ratings collected from a single domain only, suffer from the data sparsity problem. Recently, several recommendation models have been proposed to transfer knowledge across multiple domains to alleviate the sparsity problem, which typically assumes that multiple domains share a latent common rating pattern. However, real-world related domains do not necessarily share such a rating pattern, and diversity across domains might outweigh the advantages of such common pattern, which results in performance degradations. In this paper, we propose a novel cross-domain recommendation model, which not only learn the common rating pattern across domains with the flexibility in controlling the optimal level of sharing, but also learn the domain-specific rating patterns in each domain involving discriminative information propitious to performance improvement. Extensive experiments on real world data sets suggest that our proposed model outperforms the state-of-the-art methods for the cross-domain recommendation task in CPS. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • 2013 Index IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing Vol. 1

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 394 - 400
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    Freely Available from IEEE

Aims & Scope

IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing publishes papers on emerging aspects of computer science, computing technology, and computing applications not currently covered by other IEEE Computer Society Transactions.

Additional Information:

Some examples of emerging topics in computing include: IT for Green, Synthetic and organic computing structures and systems, Advanced analytics, Social/occupational computing, Location-based/client computer systems, Morphic computer design, Electronic game systems, & Health-care IT.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Fabrizio Lombardi
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Northeastern University