Young IT Researcher Award 2018 presented to Damián Roca

15 May 2018

The award recognises the BSC researcher’s work in the field of the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles applying HEB and Fog Computing.

Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) researcher Damián Roca has won the Young IT Researcher Award 2018, presented by the Spanish Computer Science Society (SCIE) and BBVA Foundation. The award recognises his cutting-edge research in the field of the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles applying Hierarchical Emergent Behaviors (HEB), which combines emerging behaviours with hierarchies to solve complexity and scalability problems. In addition, they highlight his contributions, both theoretical and in practice, to Fog Computing in collaboration with the OpenFog Consortium.

Roca’s thesis introduces Hierarchical Emergent Behaviors (HEB), a methodology to tackle the scale and complexity of ultra-large scale systems such as autonomous vehicles. HEB combines emergent behaviours with hierarchical decomposition through the application of local rules at the vehicle level to induce complex behaviours rather than explicitly programming them. These simple but powerful rules guide the vehicles’ behaviour, allowing them to deal with a large number of corner cases that are difficult to anticipate in advance. Furthermore, infrastructures such as Fog Computing can enhance the system by providing a larger scope and more contextual information, plus monitoring of the vehicles. HEB's potential and natural scalability can reduce the systems' complexity and optimise the driving time, creating safer traffic environments.

The Young IT Researchers category is designed to highlight innovative and important doctoral works. It seeks to recognise those researchers who contribute to a new generation of work within this scientific-technical discipline, as well as to studying, strengthening and disseminating the field. It rewards the creativity, originality and excellence of early career researchers and aims to encourage them to continue with their research work.

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