[talks] 11am Fri Mar 14 talk on road/traffic monitoring by Venkat Padmanabhan from MSR

Jennifer Rexford jrex at CS.Princeton.EDU
Sat Mar 1 00:06:15 EST 2008

Hi folks,

On Friday March 14, Venkat Padmanabhan -- who leads the Mobility, 
Networks, and Systems group at Microsoft Research India -- will be 
visiting.  See


His talk is at 11am in the small auditorium (CS 105), with the 
title/abstract below.  He'd also like to give interested folks an 
overview of the MSR lab in Bangalore, and to discuss career 
opportunities for internships, research positions, and visiting 
researchers.  That session will start run from 2:15-3:30pm, in a room 
to-be-announced later.  Please let me know if you'd like to meet with 
Venkat and/or join for lunch at noon.

-- Jen

Speaker: Venkat Padmanabhan
Title: TrafficSense: Rich Road and Traffic Monitoring Using Mobile 


We consider the problem of monitoring road and traffic conditions in a 
city. Prior work in this area has required the deployment of dedicated 
sensors on vehicles and/or on the roadside, or the tracking of mobile 
phones by service providers. Furthermore, prior work has largely focused 
on the developed world, with its relatively simple traffic flow 
patterns. In fact, traffic flow in cities of the developing regions, 
which comprise much of the world, tends to be much more complex owing to 
varied road conditions (e.g., potholed roads), chaotic traffic (e.g., a 
lot of braking and honking), and a heterogeneous mix of vehicles 
(2-wheelers, 3-wheelers, cars, buses, etc.).

To monitor road and traffic conditions in such a setting, we present 
TrafficSense, a system that piggybacks on smartphones that users carry 
around with them. Each participating smartphone performs rich sensing 
using its communication radios, GPS, accelerometer, and microphone, 
scans for and exchanges information from other participating phones in 
its neighbourhood, and reports processed information back to a central 
server for aggregation and reporting. We discuss key technical 
challenges, including energy optimization and the need for hands-free 
operation, present the design of TrafficSense, including how information 
from multiple sensors is combined to make inferences, and evaluate it in 
various road and traffic settings in Bangalore.

(Joint work with Prashanth Mohan and Ram Ramjee.)


Venkat Padmanabhan is a Senior Researcher and Research Manager at 
Microsoft Research India in Bangalore, where he founded and now leads 
the Mobility, Networks, and Systems group. Venkat was previously with 
Microsoft Research Redmond for 8.5 years. His research interests are in 
networked systems and his current projects focus on mobile and sensor 
systems, and network management. His professional service has included 
serving as program (co-)chair for ACM NOSSDAV 2004, ACM IMC 2005, and 
IEEE HotWeb 2008, and as an affiliate faculty member at the University 
of Washington, where he has taught and served in student thesis 
committees. Venkat holds a B.Tech. from IIT Delhi and an M.S. and Ph.D. 
from UC Berkeley, all in Computer Science. 

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