A West Virginia University researcher has been awarded a $292, 470 grant from the National Science Foundation for his studies on collective dynamics.

Dr. Xin Li, of WVU’s Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, is observing individual systems that interact with each other to exhibit a collective behavior, such as an ant colony. His project is called “From Compressed Sensing to Collective Sensing: A Complex Network Approach.”

“Systems in nature, such as ant colonies and the human brain,” Li said, “are driven by the collective dynamics involving a large number of simple units interacting with each other, as well as the environment.”

One of Li’s goals is to better understand how collective dynamics of complex networks interact with a sensing component to support tasks such as motion perception and pattern recognition. By doing this, Li hopes to improve the design and optimization of integrative and hybrid systems that could better serve various engineering applications such as sensor networks used for geospatial surveillance, and to create biologically-inspired robots that can reach higher intelligence by emulating how the human brain works.

Li’s award will be used to hire two graduate research assistants.

As part of the project, Li has published , “Collective sensing: a fixed-point approach in the metric space,” which won the Best Paper Award at the 2010 Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers Visual Communication and Image Processing Conference.

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Nicole Riggleman
Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations
College of Engineering and Mineral Resources