Distinguished Plenary Talk: Grids-of-Grids Autonomy

Frederica Darema

Director, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, USA

Grids-of-Grids and Autonomy


Transformative changes in have been occurring over recent years driven by the need to deal with and to address more complex systems, often systems-of-systems, be they engineered and natural multi-entity systems, and including human and societal systems. Such systems present needs for methods not only for understanding, analysis, design, but also for optimized, autonomic management and decision support for their operational cycle, their interoperability with other systems and their evolution, and test&evaluation. Demonstration of capabilities towards such objectives have been shown with new modeling approaches, such as those fostered through the InfoSymbioticSystems/DDDAS paradigm, whereby systems’ models are dynamically integrated with relevant instrumentation data, on-line and archival, in a feedback-control loop; such approaches allow more accurate and efficient modeling of systems, more adaptive, dynamic and intelligent data management, and leading to capabilities of decision-support-systems with the accuracy of full-scale models. These ideas and capabilities drive and exploit the notions of Large-Scale-Big-Computing (LSBC) and Large-Scale-Big-Data (LSBD) environments, akin to IoT. LSBD environments span the range of data across the traditional Big-Data and the 2nd wave of Big-Data, namely dynamic data arising from ubiquitous sensing and control, in engineered, natural, and societal systems, through multitudes of heterogeneous sensors and controllers instrumenting these systems; LSBC extends the traditional Big Computing (Clusters, Clouds and Grid Computing) to Grids-of-Grids, which include the collective computational power of networked assemblies of multitudes of sensors and controllers. The presentation will discuss opportunities and new capabilities, including autonomic capabilities, which derive from InfoSymbioticSystems/DDDAS approaches in tandem with LSBC and LSBD S&T directions.


Dr. Frederica Darema, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director of Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Arlington, Virginia. She guides the management of the entire basic research investment for the Air Force. Dr. Darema leads a staff of 200 scientists, engineers and administrators in Arlington, Virginia, and foreign technology offices in London, Tokyo and Santiago, Chile. Each year, AFOSR selects, sponsors and manages revolutionary basic research that impacts the future Air Force.  AFOSR interacts with leading scientists and engineers throughout the world to identify breakthrough opportunities; actively manages a $510 million investment portfolio encompassing the best of these opportunities; and transitions the resulting discoveries to other components of the Air Force Research Laboratory, to defense industries and to other federal agencies. The office’s annual investment in basic research is distributed among more than 200 leading academic institutions worldwide, 100 industry-based contracts, and more than 250 internal AFRL research efforts.

Dr. Darema is a graduate of the University of Athens, Greece, and the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of California at Davis, where she attended as a Fulbright Scholar and a Distinguished Scholar. After Physics Research Associate positions at the University of Pittsburgh and Brookhaven National Laboratory, she received an American Physics Society Industrial Postdoctoral Fellowship and became a Technical Staff Member in the Nuclear Sciences Department at Schlumberger-Doll Research. Subsequently, at the T.J. Watson IBM Research Center she was a Research Staff Member and Research Group Manager. While at IBM, she also served in the IBM Corporate Strategy Group examining and helping to set corporate-wide strategies. From 1996 to 1998, she completed a two-year interagency assignment at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Before being appointed to her present position, Dr. Darema was the Director of the Directorate for Information, Mathematics and Life Sciences, at AFOSR. Prior to AFOSR, Dr. Darema was at the National Science Foundation where she held executive positions as Senior Science and Technology Advisor and Senior Science Analyst in the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate. In that capacity she initiated and led multi-directorate and multi-agency initiatives that fostered groundbreaking multidisciplinary research directions in computer sciences and in applications modeling and simulation. Dr. Darema has served on many scientific committees in the United States and internationally. She has an extensive record of publications and has given numerous keynote speeches and other presentations in national and international professional forums. Dr. Darema’s scientific and technical accomplishments include seminal contributions in the parallel high-performance computing field, and specifically in: programming models; parallel algorithms; applications modeling and instrumentation systems; and systems performance-engineering methods for the design of applications and software for parallel and distributed systems.