TOPIC Coordination in Networks: An Information-Theoretic Approach 
AREA Communications & Networks  
SPEAKER Prof. Joerg Kliewer, New Jersey Institute of Technology 
DATE 15 August 2016, Monday 
TIME 4.00pm to 5.00pm 
VENUE E5-03-23, ECE Seminar Room, Engineering Block E5, NUS 
FEES No Charge 

SYNOPSIS
One fundamental problem in decentralized networked systems is to coordinate activities of different nodes so that they reach a state of agreement. This global objective is typically obtained by local operations, for example, by employing gossip algorithms to achieve consensus over a set of agents, where several data exchanges are iteratively carried out between pairs of adjacent nodes. In these works the consensus is often given as a global function of all local observations, as for example an average of the same random process over all observing nodes. In contrast, we are interested in a generalization of this problem where consensus is meant in a broader sense of achieving coordinated actions by the network nodes, and therefore can be seen as an instance of distributed control in networks. This cooperative behavior is useful in a host of applications, for example in multi- agent systems for exploration of an unknown terrain, distributed surveillance applications, automatic vehicle control applications, or load balancing with divisible tasks in a large computer networks or power grids. We measure coordination by the ability to achieve a prescribed joint probability distribution of actions at all nodes in the network, and cooperation is measured by the communication rates required to achieve coordination.
In this talk we address the coordination of multiagent systems over point-to-point channels and small multiterminal networks. We specify inner and outer bounds for the coordination capacity region for the coordination of agents along a line and in a broadcast setting and show that for a given coordination demand the choice of the communication topology has a direct effect on the achievable rate. Finally, for point-to-point coordination a low complexity construction is presented based on polar codes which achieves a subset of the (strong) coordination capacity region. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Dr. Joerg Kliewer received the Dipl.-Ing. (MSEE) degree in Electrical Engineering from the Hamburg University of Technology, Hamburg, Germany, in 1993 and the Dr.-Ing. degree (Ph.D.) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany, in 1999, respectively. From 1993 to 1998 he was a Research Assistant at the University of Kiel, Germany, and from 1999 to 2004, he was a Senior Researcher and Lecturer with the same institution. In 2004, he visited the University of Southampton, Southampton, U.K., for one year, and from 2005 until 2007, he was with the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, as a Visiting Assistant Professor. From August 2007 until December 2013 he was with New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, as an as an Assistant and most recently as an Associate Professor. In January 2014 he joined the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, as an Associate Professor. His research interests span coding and information theory, graphical models, and statistical algorithms, which includes application to networked communication and security, data storage, and biology. Dr. Kliewer was the recipient of a Leverhulme Trust Award and a German Research Foundation Fellowship Award in 2003 and 2004, respectively. He was Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Communications from 2008-2014 and now serves as an area editor for the same journal since 2015. He is also member of the editorial board of the IEEE Information Theory Society Newsletter since 2010 and serves as chair of the outreach committee for the same society since 2012. 

REMARKS, IF ANY
Host: Dr. Tan Yan Fu, Vincent 

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