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Seminar in Computing and Informatics DistressNet-NG: A Resilient Broadband Communication and Edge Computing Framework

Microsoft Teams 21 MAR 202112 PM

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Dr. Ala Altaweel is currently an Assistant Professor in the Computer Engineering Department at the University of Sharjah. Dr. Ala's research interests are in cyber security, wireless networks and computer security, distributed systems, and edge computing. Dr. Ala received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University, USA, in 2019. Back in 2009 and 2006, he received his M.S. in Information Technology from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and his B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan, respectively. While at Texas A&M University, Dr. Ala received the Graduate Teaching Fellowship and worked as a primary Instructor for a senior-level undergraduate course. Before joining the University of Sharjah, he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Texas A&M University.

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In a research talk that was presented by Dr. Ala' Altaweel and attended by many faculty, staff members and students on Sunday March 21st, Dr. Ala explored the need of Public safety communications that require stricter guarantees from the network than commodity Internet, while the communications infrastructure is not readily available during the response to an incident or disaster. Dr. Ala presented different hardware and software components that are built in the DistressNet-NG project to enhance the resilience of both public safety mission critical systems and services in the face of connectivity challenges by developing fault tolerant, energy efficient, and load balanced solutions for mobile broadband communication and mobile edge computing solutions.  First responders' smartphones can perform analytics on shared data using the computing and storage power of nearby devices, eliminating the need for constant high-capacity connections to the Internet.

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As examples of these solution, Dr. Ala' presented part of his research on creating different DisttressNet-NG solutions and its critical role during and post catastrophic conditions like hurricanes to build a reliable network for several entities in the search and rescue teams.

The versatility of hardware, sensory, and computing capabilities available in contemporary phones are leveraged to provide cloud-like services for the first responders like face detection, voice detection, etc. Moreover, the different communication technologies like Wi-Fi, LTE, Wi-Fi Direct can be exploited in parallel to support the communication amongst the first responder's devices.

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In order to enhance the computing process, several high-performance computing nodes can be deployed in the area to communicate with the first responders in both LTE and Wi-Fi manner. Dr. Ala also presented a multi-domain routing protocol for wireless networks with diverse connectivity that is implemented to ensures resiliency across the network by optimally leveraging all available networks.

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DistreetNet7.jpgDr. Ala also presented the real-world training scenarios for first responders in which the software components of DistressNet-NG project were tested. He also clarified different technical and deployment challenges that were faced during the development and deployment phases of different software components of DistrssNet-NG project and what are the lessons learned for future research projects.

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The event concluded with a discussion with the audience with an open invitation from the speaker. The Dean of the college, Prof. Mohammad Obaidat, highlighted the growth witnessed in edge computing and security applications as well while stressing the need to ensure latency of communication within acceptable range.  

Dr. Ala' can be reached through his email, aaltaweel@sharjah.ac.ae, and is pleased to discuss any further collaboration with interested colleagues and research partners.



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