Roy Choudhury designs next-generation mobile computing
Kim Gudeman, CSL
- ECE Associate Professor Romit Roy Choudhury is using data from smartphones and wearable devices to study human behavior.
- Information from the devices could be used for a variety of applications, from making predictions on terrorist attacks to helping movie producers who want to know what parts of a film their audiences find most compelling.
- Roy Choudhury is also interested in developing various forms of localization technology, including indoor localization, energy-efficient localization, object localization, and human localization.
Sensors in your smart phone can pinpoint your location, measure the pollution in the community in which you live, and gauge the quality of local drinking water. Soon, they may also provide researchers with deep insights into the behavior of individuals, communities, and nations.
ECE Associate Professor Romit Roy Choudhury, who is affiliated with CSL and an expert in wireless networks and mobile computing, is treating smartphones and wearable devices such as glasses and watches, as "information microscopes."
“With all the sensors on your mobile phone and wearable devices, it’s no longer just a communications device,” Roy Choudhury said. “It’s giving us all sorts of useful information about an individual’s behavior, and combined with information from other users, we can start to gain wonderful insights about behavior of large communities and the context in which it’s occurring.”
The information could be used for a variety of applications, from making predictions on terrorist attacks to helping movie producers who want to know what parts of a film their audiences find most compelling. It would be possible, Roy Choudhury says, to sense a movie watcher’s reactions, such as laughter or crying, intense attention, or boredom, from sensors in a tablet and program the system to automatically rate the film based on those reactions.
He is also interested in developing various forms of localization technology, including indoor localization, energy-efficient localization, object localization, and human localization. He plans to build on his mobile computing research by developing an app that enables a user to image a building using a camera phone and retrieve location information about the building on her phone.
Roy Choudhury also works in the area of wireless networking, designing algorithms, protocols, and systems at the boundary of MAC and physical layers of the network stack. He has worked on techniques such as interference cancellation, enabling the ability for a radio to transmit and receive at the same time. He has also used this capability to build protocols, ultimately improving the user's perceived performance, say with YouTube videos.
His work on distributed resource sharing has received attention and awards -- with his students, he showed that fairly sharing a resource can be performed in much less time if the operation is moved to the frequency domain. His current work is focused on bringing robotic capabilities to wireless networking and infrastructure.
While Roy Choudhury spent the last seven years at Duke University, where he was a tenured associate professor, joining the faculty at Illinois last fall was a return home. He holds a M.S. degree from ECE and Ph.D. in computer science from Illinois, studying under doctoral adviser Nitin Vaidya, a CSL professor. The rich multidisciplinary experience he enjoyed as a student was a big factor in his return as a faculty member.
“This is a top-ranked department in the nation and the world,” he said. “Illinois has both the breadth and depth to do really exciting work in interdisciplinary areas. This is a place where I can talk to several others on any idea and vision that comes to mind. That is truly awesome."
Roy Choudhury is seeking talented undergraduate and graduate students. For more information about his research, please visit his website.