Current Research Projects

The following provides a brief overview of my current research projects; several of these are with colleagues at The University of Western Ontario and elsewhere.  Generally, I have one or more graduate students working on various aspects of these projects and it may be that I am no longer looking for graduate students to work on these.  For students interested in graduate study, I have list several research topics below the project descriptions.


Policy-based Autonomic Management.  We are looking at how policies can be used to specify operational requirements of distributed systems and applications to collections of autonomic managers.  These managers would then translate the policies, automatically, into management operations for ensuring the operation of the computing environment as specified.  Current work addresses questions around how the managers cooperate, what information can be extracted from the policies and used, what other information about the systems and applications is needed to ensure that requirements are met, how collective groups of managers can dynamically collaborate to achieve multiple, sometimes conflicting, objectives.


Remote Control of Experimental Facilities.  This work stemmed from a research project, Science Studio, funded by CANARIE, to investigate and develop a web-based platform for access to large scientific instruments.  Science Studio provides an experiment management system that can be  used by groups of researchers to remotely control and execute experiments, store results and analyses.  Out initial focus has been on control of the VESPERS X-ray diffraction beamline at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) and the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) at the Nanofabrication Facility at The University of Western Ontario.  Control of the VESPERS beamline can be done through Science Studio and operation of the beamline has been done from as far away as Australia.  We have also extended the Science Studio platform to provide remote access to robotic arms.  The aim was to generalize the capabilities of Science Studio and to provide remote access to robotic devices in laboratories for training and experimentation by students in mechatronics programs.  Students can use desktops, laptops or handheld devices (tablets, phones) to access a robotic arm and carry out laboratory exercises.  We are now looking to extend the platform to encompass a mobile robotic device.


Intelligent Automotive Driving Assistance Systems.  In collaboration with Dr. Steven Beauchemin, we have been working on the development of an intelligent driving assistance system based on the rapid collection and analysis of images from on-board cameras in automobiles, from cameras monitoring the drivers eyes and from vehicle to vehicle communication.  The objective of the work is to have algorithms which can build tri-modal models (driver, automobile, environment), exchange that information with other automobiles, and the predict driver behavior in order to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle and avoid accidents.  Research questions include how to process the large amount of data collected to extract `meaningful’ data, what the models look like and how to build them and change them, what information to share with other vehicles, and how to model and predict driver behavior.  Some of the current work is concerned with understanding driver gaze and cognitive load.


Applications of Computation and Technology in Medical Health Informatics.  With colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine, the Lawson Health Sciences Research Institute, and Faculty of Health Sciences, I have been looking at computational/mathematical models for use in predicting disease and outcomes from multiple sources of medical, health, image and biomic data.  With Dr. Femida Gwadry-Sridhar, we have looked at methods for the prediction of Alzheimer’s disease from image, health and other data.  With Dr. Aleksandra Zecevic, we have studied incidents in which London-Middlesex Emergency Medical Services has been called to assist patients with lifting them after they have fallen; we continue looking at these incidents.  I am also working with Dr. Lorie Donelle and Dr. Sandra Regan on studying the potential advantages of home sensor monitoring and keep patients at home rather than in hospitals or nursing homes.  With a colleague in Computer Science, Dr. Dan Lizotte, we are collaborating with Dr. Kevin Shoemaker on understanding student mental health challenges.  I am also interested in the use of multiple models to predict outcomes and diseases.  I am currently looking at means of being able to characterize patients that have multiple chronic diseases.  Related to this, I have collaborated with individuals in Family Medicine on determining patterns and frequencies of multiple chronic illnesses in patients.



Current Research Topics for Interested Graduate Students


I am looking for highly qualified and highly motivated students that might be interested in working on one of the following research topics.   Students interested in pursuing graduate studies and who are interested in one or more of these topics, should indicate this when they apply to the Department of Computer Science.  While I will consider students interested in other aspects of my research interests, my preference would be to accept students with interest in one of the following.



                                                Unfortunately,  none at this time … keep checking periodically!