Visible to the public Foundations of Implicit and Explicit Communication


The objective of this research is to develop the theoretical foundations for understanding implicit and explicit communication within cyber-physical systems. The approach is two-fold: (a) developing new information-theoretic tools to

Reveal the essential nature of implicit communication in a manner analogous to (and compatible with) classical network information theory; (b) viewing the wireless ecosystem itself as a cyber-physical system in which spectrum is the physical substrate that is manipulated by heterogeneous interacting cyber-systems that must be certified to meet safety and performance objectives.

The key to understanding implicit communication is a conceptual breakthrough in attacking the unsolved 40-year-old Witsenhausen counterexample by using an approximate-optimality paradigm combined with new ideas from sphere-packing and cognitive radio channels. These techniques open up radically new mathematical

avenues to attack distributed-control problems that have long been considered fundamentally intractable. They guide the development of nonlinear control strategies that are provably orders-of-magnitude better than the best linear strategies. This has been enhanced by adding a further new bridge between linear network coding and implicit communication in decentralized linear control systems.

This research also reaches out to wireless policy: allowing the principled formulation of government regulations for next-generation networks. Cognitive radios represent an interesting test-case for understanding many issues relevant to the regulation of CPS systems more generally. They interact with each other and there is uncertainty. The regulator wants to achieve a certain overall objective but the individual systems might have their own interests. And the system has to be able to evolve.

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Foundations of Implicit and Explicit Communication