Research Projects

Project Title: CAREER: Leveraging Wireless Virtualization for Enhancing Network Capacity, Coverage, Energy Efficiency and Security

Project Period: 06/30/2016 - 07/1/2021

Amount: $400,001.00 (+$32,000.00 supplement funds)

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)

PI: Danda B. Rawat


Project Description: This CAREER project focuses on the design, analysis and evaluation of a Wireless Virtualization (Wi-Vi) framework by combining different wireless resources and infrastructures, beyond spectrum sharing with licensed users, to be used as on-demand service over the network, with the goal of enhancing network capacity, coverage, energy efficiency and security. The PI will develop Wi-Vi architecture using systematic approaches to improve overall network performance. Specifically, the significance of the proposed research includes: 1) development of a generalized wireless virtualization framework that will help meet dynamic demands of wireless users by expanding or shrinking wireless resources of the virtual wireless operators; 2) study and implementation of optimal wireless resource sharing among coverage- and capacity-driven Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs); 3) development of systematic approaches for base station-level, MVNO-level and user level optimizations and Quality-of-Service (QoS) provisioning; 4) application of wireless virtualization in network security through dynamic network segmentation; and 5) validation and evaluation of the proposed novel techniques through extensive simulations and experiments in NSF-funded cloud testbeds such as ROAR, Chameleon, etc. The CAREER award will have a broad societal impact as wireless networks touch every aspect of our society, and will support enhancement of our national wireless capacity and cybersecurity. This project will impact many emerging areas in which wireless communication has applications - such as smart grid, eHealth, vehicular networks, next generation cellular networks, Internet-of-things, cyber-physical systems and secure cyberspace. The PI will train undergraduate and graduate students by disseminating knowledge to students through new courses and modules on wireless virtualization and next generation wireless networks. Overall, the PI will establish an integrated research and educational program to train future scientists and engineers in the area of next generation wireless networks and to inspire young people's interest (including K-12 students) in science and engineering fields at the early stage of their learning career.

Project Title: Security Engineering for Resilient Mobile Cyber-Physical Systems

Project Period: 06/30/2018 - 07/1/2021

Amount: $1,000,000.00

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)

PIs: PI (Danda B Rawat with Co-PI Dr. Moses Garuba)


Project description: With the US National Science Foundation support (NSF grant # 1828811), Howard University in Washington, DC, will conduct a research project entitled "Security Engineering for Resilient Mobile Cyber-Physical Systems". The project consists of five related activities: (1) develop reproducible mobile cyber-physical system units; (2) design and evaluate a federated framework for incident detection and; (3) design and evaluate coupling of control, communication, and computation in mobile cyber-physical systems with a federated framework; (4) design and evaluate incident detection and response systems; (5) evaluation and validation of the proposed framework. The proposed research leverages multidisciplinary expertise in cybersecurity for connected systems, transportation cyber physical systems, cognitive radio networking, information security, big data analytics and distributed cloud computing to significantly advance the knowledge base and understanding of the emerging field of cyber-physical system security. The goal is to design, develop and evaluate the cyber-defense solutions for resilient cyber-physical systems using a federated framework. The project also aims to strengthen the institution's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science doctoral program and attract, retain and graduate underrepresented minority graduate and undergraduate students in the field of cyber security research. The project will enhance integrated cybersecurity research and education at Howard University by developing a mobile Physical Systems testbed for implementing and evaluating adaptive cyber-defense solutions for resiliency. The project supports United States government efforts to produce the next-generation of cybersecurity experts needed for government, academia and industry.

Project Title: Security Engineering for Resilient Networked Critical Infrastructure

Project Period: 08/09/2017 - 07/31/2022

Amount: $1,198,627.00

Funding Agency: US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

PI: Danda B Rawat


Project description: The Security Engineering project integrates education and research that may result in practical security and resilience for the Internet of Things (IoT) and cyber-physical systems (CPS) that comprise network-connected critical infrastructure. Embedded and cyber-physical systems are increasingly vulnerable to attack especially because of ubiquitous network access—the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the proliferation of such systems. Device heterogeneity and emerging communication protocols make it difficult to understand the scope of an IoT application’s attack surface, much less secure it. This project explores the security of IoT devices through an IoT Security Testbed that will enable further research exploration in the area of IoT Security and resilience.

Project Title: Data-driven Cybersecurity Analytics, Forensics and Protection (DCAFP)

Project Period: 10/01/2019 - 09/31/2022

Amount: $3,000,000.00

PI: Danda B. Rawat @ Howard (with UoA and NTU)

Funding Agency: US DoE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

Project web page:

Project description: Our research strategy is to facilitate research collaboration among the consortium academic organizations and Argonne National Laboratory, in the following five thrust research areas:

Data Analytics and Machine Learning Science
Cyber Security Detection, Protection and Forensic Analysis
Wireless Cybersecurity Modeling and Analysis
Federated Cybersecurity Testbeds for experimentation, training and validation and
Cybersecurity Educational and Training Programs.

Project Title: Collaborative Research: Transforming Data Science Education through a Portable and Sustainable Anthropocentric Data Analytics for Community Enrichment Program

Project Period: 08/09/2019 - 09/31/2021

Amount: $449,955.00

PIs: Jiang Li (EECS), Danda Rawat (EECS), Yayin Fang (Medicine), Shaolei Teng (Biology) Jae Eun Chung (Communication)

Project description: This project will focus on human-centric analytics, or anthropocentric data analytics, to provide a common ground for beginning studies in data science and to prepare students to address interdisciplinary problems. As one of the most promising subareas of data science, human-centric data analytics either considers humans as the research object or involves humans as the executors over all stages of data analytics. The proposed Anthropocentric Data Analytics for Community Enrichment (ADACE) project will form a three-institution partnership, with University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) as the coordinating organization, and UTC, Chattanooga State Community College and Howard University as implementing organizations. Together they will address the challenge of developing a large, high-quality workforce skilled in data-related disciplines. This is essential for the United States to maintain its competitiveness in the 21st century. The project aims to establish an interdisciplinary platform with a curriculum that integrates real-world community research projects. In today's increasingly globalized world, data science occupations are essential for sustained social and economic development. Most U.S. colleges and universities are witnessing an increased interest from students in these programs offered by computer science and other related departments. However, a lack of training programs and community engagement through real-life projects makes it difficult to keep students engaged and interested. Limited access to internships can also reduce students' success in data science and may even direct them away from these fields. This project addresses the critical need to attract higher numbers of talented students, to better stimulate students' interest, to increase the retention rates, and to eventually meet the rising workforce demand.

Project Title: FastChain: Lightweight Blockchain with Sharding for IoBT

Project Period: 08/09/2018 - 09/31/2019

Amount: $75000.00

Funding Agency: US Air Force Research Lab and ODU

PI: Danda B Rawat


Project description: FastChain is a simulator built in NS3 which reproduces the battlefield scenario with strong military applications, connecting tankers, soldiers, and drones. Resources are limited during certain situations in the battlefield. Under these circumstances, these resources should be carefully combined to handle the task at command. FastChain uses Sharding approach to provide an efficient solution to combine resources. FastChain identifies the right and the best set of minimum entities in a scenario, which is then incorporated together using Blockchain technology to make a shard in order to get the job done at the hand.

Project Title: Security Engineering with Distributed Machine Learning for Adversarial Resiliency

Project Period: 08/09/2018 - 09/31/2019

Amount: $160,00.00

Funding Agency: Intel

PI: Danda B Rawat


Project description: This project integrates education and research that may result in practical security and resilience for distributed machine learning and adversarial machine learning.

Project Title: CyberVi: Development of Cyber Security and Defense Visualization

Project Period: 08/09/2018 - 08/30/2019

Amount: $50,000.00

Funding Agency: US Air Force Research Lab and Radiance

PI: Danda B Rawat


Project description: The goal of CyberVi: Development of Cyber-Security and Defense Visualization project is to design, develop and evaluate the effectiveness of visualizations of cyber-security attacks and effect of defense in the networked systems while handling the incident. CyberVi will allow security administrators to see the effect of caber-defense in real-time with the help of visualization of both attack and defense. Note that traditional cyber-security visualizations are off line and do not show the intensity in real-time. However, CyberVi project aims to develop visualizations to support real-time which could be used to facilitate event detection and preliminary event analysis.