Six Blind Men of Indostan: Theory and Applications of Distributed Inference

Pramod K Varshney
Distinguished Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Syracuse University
Mercer Distinguished Lecture Series
CII 4050
Wed, April 03, 2024 at 4:00 PM

Distributed inference refers to the synergistic combination of information gathered by various knowledge sources and sensors to provide inference regarding a phenomenon of interest. This fascinating field has evolved over the past four decades and is being applied to a wide variety of fields such as military command and control, robotics, image processing, air traffic control, medical diagnostics, pattern recognition, environmental monitoring, IoT and smart cities. This talk will present an overview of the field, present some recent research results, illustrate its utility by means of some examples and conclude with some open problems.

Pramod Varshney

Pramod K. Varshney received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer science (with highest honors), and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972, 1974, and 1976 respectively. Since 1976 he has been with Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY where he is currently a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His current research interests are in distributed sensor networks and data fusion, detection and estimation theory, wireless communications, machine learning, AI and radar. Dr. Varshney was the recipient of the 1981 ASEE Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award. He was elected to the grade of Fellow of the IEEE in 1997 for his contributions in the area of distributed detection and data fusion. In 2000, he received the Third Millennium Medal from the IEEE and Chancellor’s Citation for exceptional academic achievement at Syracuse University. He is the recipient of the IEEE 2012 Judith A. Resnik Award. He received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Drexel University in 2014, ECE Distinguished Alumni Award from UIUC in 2015, the Yaakov Bar-Shalom Award for Lifetime Excellence in Information Fusion, ISIF in 2018, the Claude Shannon-Harry Nyquist Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society, the Pioneer Award from the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Society in 2021, and Syracuse University Chancellor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023.