The department of Computing and Information Sciences has a long history of world-class research performed by our outstanding faculty and graduate students. Our major research laboratories are described below.

Center for Information and Systems Assurance (CISA)

The Center for Information and Systems Assurance (CISA) at Kansas State University is an umbrella organization established in 2009 for all cybersecurity and information assurance research at the university. Faculty at CISA conduct research in computer and network security, high-assurance software systems, language-based security, security in health IT systems, privacy and anonymity, censorship resistance and security for smart grids. CISA has extensive collaboration with a number of external industry and government partners such as Rockwell Collins, HP Labs, DRDC-Ottawa, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Idaho National Laboratory, Honeywell and General Dynamics. Research in CISA is funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, NIST, NIH and a number of industry partners.

Networked and Distributed Systems Security Group

The Networked and Distributed Systems Security Group is doing research in areas of privacy and censorship resistance, medical system safety and security, ad hoc and low-power network security, and usable security.
Projects include the following:

  • compositional security and safety of dynamic medical systems (in collaboration with SAnToS lab)
  • large-scale censorship resistance
  • low-power and ad hoc network security and user privacy
  • usability of security software and password creation systems

Theories, systems and protocols being developed will help secure future health care and mobile networking, and make them easier to use.

SAnToS Laboratory

The laboratory for specification, analysis and transformation of software (SanToS) aims to develop technologies and tools for effective construction of high-confidence software systems. Work in the lab emphasizes-

  • use of rigorous analysis techniques with solid mathematical underpinnings,
  • a variety of forms of code and model-integrated software specifications to capture crucial system correctness properties, and
  • use of software models as a key mechanism for capturing essential software structure leading to system analysis and verification.

The lab has produced tools including the Bandera and Bogor software model checking frameworks, the Cadena modeling frameworks for component-based systems, and the Indus static and analysis and slicing frameworks that are widely recognized within the academic software engineering and verification communities. SAnToS researchers are currently focusing on applications in security, software product lines, integrated medical devices and sensor networks. Since 1998, SAnToS Laboratory has received more than $8. 5 million in funding through agencies and companies such as the National Science Foundation, Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Defense Department Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, IBM, Honeywell and Intel.

Machine Learning and Bioinformatics (MLB) Group

The MLB group aims to design algorithms and develop tools for analyzing large amounts of data, in particular, molecular sequence and text data. Main projects focus on the following:

  • design and development of semi-supervised and domain adaptation algorithms
  • RNASeq analysis, alternative splicing discovery and gene prediction
  • sentiment analysis and recommender systems
  • ontology engineering and classifier learning from semantically heterogeneous data sources

Among others, the MLB group is collaborating with the Bioinformatics Center at Kansas State University to produce bioinformatics and genomics tools (funding from NSF and KSU Arthropod Genomics Center). It is also collaborating with the distributed systems lab to improve the infrastructure and enable Big Data research (funding from NSF), and with the Argus group on aiding intrusion detection systems using machine learning tools.

Computational Engineering

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are partnering with Kansas State University to incorporate research and field experience into computational tools for use in design and analysis of water-control structures. These tools provide the basis for optimal use of natural materials such as vegetation to protect embankments and spillways. Tools developed and under development through this cooperative work were highlighted in a booth and special presentation at the Association of State Dam Safety Officials' (ASDSO) Annual Conference in 2012. Current work involves developing tools to analyze internal erosion and breach failures, and tools to perform risk assessment across the United States. Other computational engineering research involves collaboration with engineers at Sandia National Laboratories. High-performance computing and finite-element analysis (FEA) is used to develop thermal battery models to evaluate thermal, mechanical and chemical properties of thermal batteries, and to analyze solder interconnections for electronic component packaging. Preliminary results were reported in Sandia SAND Technical Reports in 2012.

Distributed Systems Lab

The distributed systems lab supports a wide range of interdisciplinary research around a core interest in efficient, effective distributed systems. Key projects include the K-State research computing cluster, BeoCat, the largest academic cluster in Kansas with 1, 000 cores; enhancing the efficiency of SOAP/XML communications; medical informatics; ecological modeling; and veterinary telemedicine. Our work is frequently cross-disciplinary and common collaborators go beyond engineering, ranging from agricultural economics to veterinary medicine. Since 1998, the distributed systems lab has received funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, U. S. Food and Drug Administration, U. S. Department of Agriculture and NSF EPSCoR.

Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) Lab

The laboratory for knowledge discovery in databases (KDD lab) aims at developing technologies for building models of events and processes from data, and then using these models to help make decisions. Research in the KDD lab focuses on developing algorithms and techniques for the following:

  • data mining, machine learning, and probabilistic reasoning over large data sets and text collections
  • human language technologies: computational linguistics and information extraction
  • visualizing, learning, and reasoning about events and event streams
  • analysis of spacial data: georeferencing, spatial outlier detection, deduplication, etc.
  • modeling cognitive processes to better understand how humans reason about causality, especially with spacial and temporal data

Application of these algorithms includes software tools for bioinformatics, epidemiology, health informatics, computational physics, sensor network optimization and computer security.
Tools developed by the lab have been used by the Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research (ONR), Army Research Lab (ARL), National Agricultural Biosecurity Center (NABC) and Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). Federal and corporate sponsors of the KDD lab since 1999 include the NSF, DHS, ONR, ARL, Raytheon and American Diagnostic Medicine.
The KDD lab maintains a research collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
Application areas currently being pursued in the laboratory for knowledge discovery in databases include user modeling, adaptation and personalization; game-theoretic approaches to information security and tamper-resistant sensor networks; geoinformatics, bioinformatics and medical informatics; information extraction for question answering; information trust; and opinion mining, sentiment analysis and subjectivity analysis.

Multi Agent and Cooperative Reasoning Laboratory

The multi-agent and cooperative robotics (MACR) laboratory focuses on applying software engineering methods, techniques, and models to the design and development of distributed, intelligent, complex, adaptive and autonomous systems.
Current research is focused on understanding and quantifying potential and limitations for adaptive, "moving-target" defenses (MTD) for protecting computer networks against malicious attacks. A second key research focus is developing a multi-agent system architecture capable of adaptively controlling future electrical power distribution systems (PDS), which are expected to include a large number of renewable power generators, energy storage devices, and advanced metering and control devices. This research also includes building and developing hybrid intelligent systems that include humans, software agents and mobile hardware agents. Key elements of this work are--

  • a set of methods and techniques for analyzing and designing complex, adaptive systems;
  • a set of organization-based models upon which the system analysis, design and implementation are based;
  • a set of generic technologies that implement organization¬≠based models; and
  • a set of multi-agent and cooperative robotic systems used to demonstrate our approaches.

The lab has produced the organization-based multi-agent systems engineering methodology (O-MaSE) and its associated agentTool development environment. The MACR Lab has active collaborations with CIS's Argus Cyber Security Research Lab, the Kansas State Smart Grid Lab and the Human-Machine Teaming Laboratory at Vanderbilt University. Since 2002, the MACR Lab has received more than S7. 7 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, United States Marine Corps, M2 Technologies and Stanfield Systems Inc.

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