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GSU Joins the OpenFog Consortium to Help Enable Fog Computing and Security


Atlanta, GA - February 1, 2016 – Georgia State University joins the OpenFog Consortium to help enable fog computing and security for the Internet of Things (IoT). The founding director of Sensorweb Research Lab ( at GSU, Professor WenZhan Song (, attended the OpenFog Consortium's inaugural member meeting in Chandler, Arizona, USA, February 10-11 2016.  The OpenFog Consortium is a public-private nonprofit working to accelerate the deployment of fog computing technologies through the development of an open architecture that identifies core technologies and capabilities such as distributed computing, networking, and storage.   
Fog computing distributes the resources and services of computation, communication, control, and storage closer to devices and systems at or near the users.  The OpenFog non-profit global consortium is driving industry and academic leadership in fog computing architectures with whitepapers, testbeds, and other deliverables that demonstrate best practices for interoperability and composability between cloud and edge architectures.  By utilizing existing standards work and proven approaches, the consortium will reduce the time required to deliver the end-to-end IoT scenarios (technologies, architectures, testbeds, and business development) that the market is demanding. Prof. Song will participate in the technology and testbed working groups of the Consortium.
GSU's Sensorweb Research Laboratory is a leading research group on fog computing and security, and will contribute its extensive expertise to the OpenFog Consortium. Dr. Song's lab is a pioneer and leader on the fog computing and security technologies for the IoT and Smart Grid. 
One of his inventions with fog computing is Real-time In-situ Seismic Imaging (RISI) system, a breakthrough technology for monitoring and mapping the subsurface geophysical structures and dynamics in real-time. The key innovation is fog computing, or in-situ computing.  A RISI system is a wireless seismic network that senses and processes seismic signals, and computes 3D undersurface structures in-situ in real-time. Instead of collecting data to a central place for post-processing, the distributed seismic data processing and tomographic computing are performed in the in-situ network and the evolving 3D image is computed and delivered in real-time for visualization. A RISI system can be said as a "subsurface camera and video camera” that records the subsurface dynamics in a snap – a technology milestone and invention to be written in the history. The technology has spin-off a start-up Intelligent Dots (, which has won twice  "Most Promising Company" award in the OTC Startup Roundup in May 2015 and the 13th Annual Energy and Clean Technology Venture Forum in September 2015. 
Dr. Song's lab is also a leader on applying fog computing principles to smart grid computing and security. With the integration of advanced computing and communication technologies, Smart Grid holds the promise with the capability of supporting two-way energy and information flow, isolating and restoring power outages more quickly, facilitating the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid and empowering the consumer with tools for optimizing their energy consumption. To enable this requires a new approach, as the traditional way of collecting all data to a central place is no longer a plausible solution, not only because it is expensive and not scalable, but also because of data privacy and delay concerns. Processing data at the network edge of sensors and controllers are extremely important for real-time decision and controls to the dynamic of power grid.
Dr. Song's lab has led the research of smart grid with fog computing principles, such as distributed demand and response, and data integrity and topology attack issues. The cyber-physical security of smart grid, encompassing attack prevention, detection, mitigation, and resilience, is among the most important research topics and contributions of his lab. His lab has also developed the first micro-grid testbed and emulator for lab research and training purpose.
About the OpenFog Consortium
The OpenFog Consortium was formed to accelerate the deployment of fog computing technologies through the development of an open architecture that identifies core technologies and capabilities such as distributed computing, networking and storage that will support intelligence at the edge of IoT.  The OpenFog Consortium was formed by ARM, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Microsoft Corp, and Princeton University in November 2015, and has members in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information visit and on Twitter @openfog.
About George State University
Georgia State University, an enterprising urban public research university at Atlanta, GA, is a national leader in graduating students from widely diverse backgrounds. GSU is founding member of MetroLab network, which is a recently-launched network of more than 20 city-university partnerships focused on “smart cities”. The Network was launched as part of the White House’s Smart Cities Initiative. The fog computing and IoT are an important enabler of smart cities.

Our Research Gets Highlighted in Georgia State University Homepage

Our research project on 4D Volcano Tomography gets highlighted in Georgia State University Homepage: Volcanic Impact, New Sensors Could Give Early Warning, Save Lives. In the news article titled "Researcher Builds Better System for Monitoring Volcanoes", our continued research efforts and progress on volcano monitoring sensor network technologies are reported.


ActiSen paper is in Top 25 Articles in Elsevier PMC Journal 2012

Our published journal "ActiSen: Activity-aware sensor network in smart environments" is now recognized by the ScienceDirect as one of the Top 25 papers published in Pervasive and Mobile Computing in 2012. This was part of the NSF funded project "Activity-Aware Sensor Network for Smart Environments".

Prof. Song receives Outstanding Research Contribution Award

Prof. WenZhan Song received Outstanding Research Contribution award from the Department of Computer Science of Georgia State University on September 14th, 2012.  

Prof. Song becomes the Associate Editor of IEEE TPDS

Dr. WenZhan Song is elected as the Associate Editor of IEEETransaction on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS), which is a premier journal in Computer Science. Its impact factor is about 1.5. IEEE Computer Society Transactions are scholarly archival journals designed to inform readers on the state of the art in a number of specialized fields related to computers and computing.

VolcanoSRI project field trial appears in Ecuador national news

The VolcanoSRI project team of Georgia State University, University of North Carolina and Michigan State University,Instituto Geofisco, Escuela Politecnica Nacional did a small field trial on Volcano Tungurhua in Ecuador. Several Ecuador national newspaper and TV interviewed the PIs. See news at:

It is worthy to mention that, the final deployment location of 500 station in the network are yet to determine based on the condition of volcanos and will not be limited to Tunguarhua. The key goal is to  image real-time seismic tomography in the mesh network of geophones.

Mingsen Xu receives Graduate Research Excellence Award of Sensorweb Research Lab  

Mingsen Xu receives Research Excellence award with $1000 bonus pay - congratulations! This award is an annually selected among the graduate students of the Sensorweb Research Lab based on the past one year research performance. Mingsen has demonstrated outstanding theory and system research capbility, as well as good leadership and team work. 

Sensorweb Research Lab received CASE SILVER Award for its summer intern program   

The Sensorweb Research Lab hosts high school summer interns annually with the support of NSF grants. In 2011, we received the SILVER CASE Circle of Excellence Award from Martis School. It quotos: "The CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Program annually honors those institutions and professionals who excel in the arena of advancement programs and educational communications. Such achievements contribute to the furthering of educational goals and bring credit to our professions. Your accoumplishments in creative planning, production and promotion of programs merit the accolades and admiration of your peers. It is with great pride that the Council for Advancement and Support of Education recognizes your achievements with this SILVER AWARD for Collaborative Programs, Marist School Career Connections, Georgia State University". - Council for Advancement and Support of Education

The software developed by our lab is licensed to Avyzo  

Source: GSU Research News April 26th, 2012

The Georgia State University Research Foundation recently licensed intellectual property developed by Dr. WenZhan Song, an Associate Professor and his student Mingsen Xu in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, to an Atlanta based company, Avyzo Systems, LLC. The licensed technology is a wireless water usage metering system, which is being utilized to detect system leakages as small as 1/10 gallon. The system is being marketed to commercial real estate management companies. 

Volcano Monitoring paper selected as the Spotlight Paper for Feb 2012 in IEEE TPDS

Our paper "Real-World Sensor Network for Long-Term Volcano Monitoring: Design and Findings" by Renjie Huang, Wen-Zhan Song, Mingsen Xu, Nina Peterson, Behrooz Shirazi and Richard LaHusen, is selected as the Spotlight Paper for the February 2012 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (IEEE TPDS).

Lei Shi received Best Student Paper award in MSN 2011

Our paper "Collaborative Topology Control for Lifetime Maximization" by Lei Shi, Wen-Zhan Song, Mingsen Xu, and Alex Zelikovsky, has won the best student paper award at the 7th International Conference on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks MSN 2011.

Prof. Song receives NSF grant to discover 4D volcano tomography

Source: GSU CS News, Sep 30th, 2011

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.83M grant to a team of researchers from Georgia State University (GSU), University of North Carolina (UNC) and Michigan State University (MSU) to create a new, paradigm shifting program called, VolcanoSRI (Volcano Seismic Realtime Imaging). VolcanoSRI is aimed at developing a new approach to accomplish 4D (four-dimensional) tomographic imaging of an active volcano in real-time. The lead principal investigator of this grant is Dr. WenZhan Song, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Georgia State University.

VolcanoSRI is a large-scale sensor network of low-cost geophysical stations that analyzes seismic signals and computes real-time, three-dimensional fluid movement within the volcano conduit system below the active network. The computed 4D tomographic model will illuminate complex, time-varying dynamics of an erupting volcano, providing a deeper scientific understanding of volcanic processes, as well as a basis for rapid detection of volcanic hazards. VolcanoSRI will potentially make the fictional holographic projector, known as Virgil in the film "Supervolcano", a non-fiction reality. In the final year of the project, we will undertake a 500 node sensor array deployment at an active volcano in Ecuador with the goal of running the network for a full deployment season, up to three months.

Implementing VolcanoSRI requires transformative innovation in the science of complex volcano systems in conjunction with the design of large-scale sensor networks. Our approach integrates innovations on distributed tomographic algorithms, collaborative signal processing, and situation-aware networking technology for large-scale, real-time sensor systems. The distributed tomography algorithm disperses the computational burden to the sensor nodes and performs real-time tomographic inversion within the network. The new approach, never attempted before, represents a major advance for both earth and computer science. The team is composed of computer and earth scientists, including early pioneers of wireless sensor networks as applied to volcano monitoring.

VolcanoSRI holds vast potential for real-time risk monitoring and development of early-warning systems for volcanoes and other earth hazards. The approach developed in VolcanoSRI is general, and can be implemented as a new network paradigm for other sensor-network applications, including oil-field exploration, structural engineering, and biomedical-health monitoring. The educational activities of this project include enhancing undergraduate and graduate curricula as well as research programs at the three collaborating universities. Through this project, the PI's will broaden access to course materials by providing the lectures, readings, and assignments in an open forum online to the public. The project provides many student opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration in engineering, earth and computer sciences, encouraging involvement of women and minorities.

The multidisciplinary research team includes:

Dr. WenZhan Song at GSU's Department of Computer Science; Dr. Jonathan Lees at UNC's Department of Geological Sciences; Dr. Guoliang Xing at MSU's Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
More details of this project is at VolcanoSRI porject page.

Prof. Song receives NSF grant to study Smart Grids

Source: GSU CS News, Sep 14th, 2011

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.87 million grant to a team of researchers from Cornell, Georgia State University, and the University of California, Berkeley, to study foundational issues related to the development of smart grids.

The multidisciplinary research team includes four faculty members from Cornell: Dr. Lang Tong and Dr. Robert Thomas from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Ken Birman from the Department of Computer Science, and Dr. Tim Mount from the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, with Dr. Tong serving as principal investigator. The principal investigator at UC Berkeley is Dr. Pravin Varaiya of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. At GSU, the principal investigator is Dr. WenZhan Song, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and director of the Sensorweb Research Laboratory. GSU will receive $246,453 from the four-year Collaborative Research grant, which was funded by NSF’s Cyber-Physical Systems program.

The electric grid in the United States has evolved over the past century from a series of small independent community-based systems to one of the largest and most complex cyber-physical systems in the world. However, the conditions that made the grid an engineering marvel are being challenged by major changes, including worldwide efforts to address issues of sustainability and climate change. The NSF project focuses on building a foundation for future cyber-physical energy systems, known as smart grids. In the long term, the project’s goal is to support the development of renewable energy sources and community based micro-grids and to promote the widespread use of electric cars and smart appliances.

The team's research plan is divided into three parts. One is the design of a cloud computing architecture for scalable, consistent, and secure operation of smart grids. The second is the investigation of an information hierarchy for smart grids, with the goal of gaining an understanding of how information should be partitioned, collected, distributed, compressed, and aggregated. The final part of the project is the development of an open and scalable experimental platform for empirical investigation and testing of algorithms and concepts developed in the project. This platform, known as SmartGridLab, will combine a hardware testbed with a software simulator, allowing software virtual nodes to interact with physical nodes in the testbed. Dr. Song and his students will develop SmartGridLab at GSU.

Prof. Song received two new industrial funding

Source: GSU CS News, June 2nd, 2011

Dr. Wen-Zhan Song received a 4-year grant for $144,144 from the Korea Food Research Institute (KFRI) for a project titled "Development of USN Sensor Node to Control Food Quality", together with Dr. Deuk Heo at Washington State University. In this project, they will develop an integrated RFID wireless sensor node (RWSN) to control the quality of food in logistics. Nowadays, monitoring one or two environmental factors is not enough to meet the demand for quality control of food in logistics. The system which can monitor several environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity and shock, can guarantee high level of quality control of food. In addition, both wireless interfaces of RFID and ZigBee will be incorporated with WSNs to increase the coverage of wireless sensor network and to enhance the interoperability of wireless communication methods operating with both of RFID and ZigBee. The goal of the research is to design an integrated RFID wireless sensor node (RWSN) to monitor and to control the quality of food in logistics and middleware for the proposed sensor nodes.

Dr. Wen-Zhan Song has also received an industrial gift money for $3600 from AVYZO Systems Inc. Dr. Song has been helping AVYZO to develop a Water-meter Sensor Network Prototype. Today, many small water leakage in houses and buildings is undetected for years and wastes significant amount of water daily. Many times, water leak can only be found when the leakage is visually noticed. The ultimate solution is water submetering, where individual low-cost meters are installed in each apartment and linked through a wireless system. The Water-meter Sensor Network Prototype will allow for real-time fine-scale meter reading from anywhere anytime. It will greatly help the society to save water resources and reduce water cost.

Prof. Song receives 2010 Chancellor Research Excellence Award

The Chancellor's Award for Research Excellence recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement over the past year by a member of the WSU Vancouver faculty.

WSU News: WSU Vancouver to Celebrate 2010 Commencement May 15

Prof. Song receives 2010 NSF CAREER Award

Song received a five-year National Science Foundation CAREER award, through its Faculty Early Career Development program. It recognizes junior faculty members who show potential of becoming leaders in their research areas.

Sensorweb Lab's research is highlighted in WSU research video

WSU Board of Regents meeting took place on the Vancouver campus January 28-29, 2010. The Regents was joined by some of our faculty and staff along with the campus advisory council and donors. As part of the program for the evening, a video that showcases a handful of our top research projects is presented. Dr. WenZhan Song's Sensorweb Research Laboratory is part of it.

See the video at WSU news release.

Also, WSU News on June 8th, 2010: Spider Sensors Helping Predict Volcanic Activity

WSU Joins with NASA JPL, USGS CVO in High-Tech Monitoring of Mount St. Helens

by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, August 07, 2009.

Click here for deployment maps and data access instructions ...

Click here for YouTube link

Scientists have placed high-tech "spiders" inside and around the mouth of Mount St. Helens, one of the most active volcanoes in the United States. Networks such as these could one day be used to respond rapidly to an impending eruption.

On July 14, 2009, these spider pods were lowered by cable from a helicopter hovering about 100 feet up (30 meters) and gently put in hot spots inside and around the volcano crater.

"This project demonstrates that a low-cost sensor network system can support real-time monitoring in extremely challenging environments," said WenZhan Song of Washington State University Vancouver. Song is the principal investigator for this NASA-funded technology research project, which also draws on participation from the U.S. Geological Survey and from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Click this link for the news

Monitoring Mount St. Helens: "Spiders" spin web around volcano

by Erik Robinson Columbian Staff Writer, Thursday,July 16, 2009.

On Tuesday morning, a bevy of scientists clustered around a set of 14 peculiar silver boxes in a gravel parking lot near Mount St. Helens.

Anticipation was high as the group waited for the sun to burn through a blanket of low-hanging clouds. A helicopter waited nearby to hoist the packages into the volcano’s steaming crater and around the mountain flanks, putting the sensors into position to measure every volcanic hiccup.

Once in place, the probes would form their own communication network.

“No one in the world has ever done this before,?said WenZhan Song, a computer scientist from Washington State University Vancouver. Click this link for the news

Smart spiders spy on Mount Saint Helens

by Lynne Peeples in 60-Second Science Blog , Scientific American, July 15, 2009


A dozen stainless steel spiders descended from a helicopter into the crater of Mount Saint Helens yesterday. As Seattle’s KOMO News reported, the “pods are small and tough enough to reach places no man dares?to go. Scientists hope that data collected by the monitoring machines could one day help them to better predict volcanic eruptions. Click this link for the news

High-tech eyes keep watch on Mount St. Helens

by Casey Norton , KOMONEWS.COM, July 14, 2009. Watch the story

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. -- Researchers have come up with a way to keep a close eye on Mount St. Helens without stepping foot on the crater.

Geologists call them "spiders" -- pods that are small and tough enough to reach places no man dares, like the vent on the volcano.

"Nobody really wants to go in there and dig in a new instrument. It's too much risk," said Rick LaHusen with the U.S. Geological Survey. Each stainless steel box is a self-contained volcano laboratory that sends instant data for immediate analysis.

GPS units detect movements down to the centimeter. Lead plates pick up even tiny foot taps. And pressure gauges sense small explosions.

On Tuesday a dozen spiders were hooked to a helicopter and put in place on North America's most active volcano.

The flight into the crater was the culmination of a 2-year, $2 million partnership between the U.S. geological survey, Washington State University and NASA. The space agency isn't so much interested in the volcanoes as the spiders, including how they communicate with each other and satellites in space.

"They share a network. They automatically find a network and a route out somewhere to the observatory," LaHusen said.

By talking to each other, the spiders also determine which information is most important and which spider has priority.

"You don't have to go and reconfigure each one. You don't have to hike up the volcano and do this, or fly up the volcano and start tinkering with it," said Sharon Kader of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

After blanketing Mount St. Helens, the next step is putting a series of $3,000 spiders on other volcanoes. With some fine-tuning, geologists say spiders could become the cheapest, safest way to predict an eruption. Click this link for the news

Mesh Network Monitors Volcanoes

Sensors dropped onto Mount St. Helens relayed data after forming an ad-hoc network.

by Kristina Grifantini, MIT Technology Review Magazine, Monday, June 22, 2009

Today kicks off the three-day MobiSys 2009 conference in Krakow, Poland--a showcase of emerging mobile and wireless technology. And one paper that caught my eye comes from Washington State University and the U.S. Geological Survey. WSU Researchers will present a paper that shows how an air-dropped mesh sensor network can monitor volcanoes in real time.

Traditionally, scientists have had to use data loggers and permanent installations to send volcanic data back to observatories. But the WSU researchers dropped five mobile stations via helicopter, each 2 kilometers apart, on treacherous terrain on Mount St. Helens in Washington State. Despite rain, snow and over 120 mph winds, the stations formed a mesh network to successfully relay real-time data for a month and a half. Each mobile station is a three-legged structure, about a meter tall 3 kilograms. Inside is a battery-powered iMote2 platform, a GPS receiver, and sensors. The team used an accelerometer to detect seismic activity, an infrasonic sensor to capture low-frequency acoustic waves resulting from eruptions, and a lightning sensor that can detect strikes up to 10 kilometers away. Each node automatically increases the number of samples it takes once it detects an event. But a user can configure and control the sensors via the Web.

Lead researcher and assistant professor at WSU Wen-Zhan Song says that the rapidly deployable system, "has particular value during periods of volcanic unrest but is also useful for longer term monitoring." Click this link for the news

"Spider" technology guards Mount St. Helens volcano

by BARBARA LABOE, The (Longview) Daily News, May 19, 2009, 06:34 AM

Humans are not the only ones pondering Mount St. Helens these days. A new "smart" monitoring machine can not only record second-by-second data on the slumbering volcano, it can also analyze the information and decide what to send to scientists first. During an eruption, the monitors also will give scientists more and better information from areas previously too dangerous to install equipment.

So if the volcano rumbled back to life 29 years after the devastating May 18, 1980, eruption, scientists could deploy the monitors and quickly gather all kinds of information about the event and the possible danger.

The machines, called spiders because of their stabilizing legs, are sturdier and record more information than previous machines. But the real claim to fame is that the monitors' computer-programmed "brains" can decide what some data means and which information is most important, said Rick LaHusen, an instrumentation engineer with the U.S. Geological Survey. Click this link for the news

Scientists continue to learn from Mount St. Helens

by Michael Milstein, The Oregonian Thursday January 29, 2009, 8:31 PM

A year after Mount St. Helens ended its most recent eruption, returning to sleep for who knows how long, scientists continue learning from the volcano on the horizon. They're piecing together clues pointing to the subterranean forces that brought the volcano back to life in 2004, when it began building a gigantic new lava dome in its crater, stopping early last year.

Researchers are realizing that future eruptions also might begin with little warning. Slightly more than a week separated the first seismic signals that the mountain was reawakening and the first blasts from its crater -- far less warning than the mountain gave before the deadly 1980 eruption that made it famous. Click this link for the news

Air-dropped deployment of a 5-station sensor network to Mout St. Helens

Sat, 10/16/2008 Renjie Huang

On Oct 15th 2008, we successfully air-dropped 5 stations into the rugged crater of Volcano St. Helens, which only took one hour with a helicopter. The stations communicate with each other through an amplified 802.15.4 radio and form a self-forming and self-healing multi-hop wireless network.The distance between stations are up to 2 km. Each sensor station collects and delivers real-time continuous seismic, infrasonic, lightning, GPS raw data and their derived data (such as RSAM) to a gateway.


Smart robotic sensors monitor activity at Mount St. Helens

Sunday, October 26th 2008 | 8:40 p.m. BY ISOLDE RAFTERY COLUMBIAN STAFF WRITER

They'd worked two years for this day, and it was perfect. The sun was shining, the air was cool and dense, and Mount St. Helens refrained from blowing her unforgiving wind. Click this link for the news

Research grant from Boeing on ER-CDS algorithm evaluation

Sat, 08/10/2008 Renjie Huang

We receive a Research Grant ($20,000 over 6 months) from Boeing Company to study localized topology control algorithms to support efficient Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) link state routing in multi-hop wireless networks.

NASA helps fund St. Helens volcano research

06:10 PM PST on Monday, January 29, 2007. By Vince Patton, special to

Space exploration and volcano research may share technology in coming years if Pacific Northwest scientists develop reliable remote sensors which can communicate with each other and with satellites without human input.


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has given a $1.6 million grant to the Cascades Volcano Observatory and Washington State University to develop what amounts to low-powered WiFi for seismic and GPS sensors far from the nearest internet connection. Click this link for the news.