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Exploratory Research Projects-OLD

The CMU Portugal Program has currently 8 Exploratory Research Projects (ERPs) running. These were launched with the main objective of promoting cutting edge research in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) area.

ERPs were selected through a Call for Exploratory Research projects, funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), and will count with the participation of 11 research institutions from a variety of locations in Portugal  in collaboration with the Carnegie Mellon University for the period of one year.

These projects cover several key strategic areas such as Electrical and Computer Engineering; Technology, Management and Policy; Computer Science and Engineering; and includes projects that take place in the context of the “Atlantic International Research Center” – AIR Center.  These projects   were selected for their innovative nature, the scientific merit of the research team and their potential impact. 

Documents of the 2017 Call for ERPs: 
– Announcement of the Call by the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
– Terms of Reference for the Exploratory Research Projects  2017 Call for Proposals


CMU Portugal Exploratory Research Projects

Principal Investigator: Fernando José da Silva Velez
Proponent Institution: Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT) (UBI)
Partner Institution: Universidade de Coimbra (UC)

CONQUEST addresses 5G technology and is an exploratory project that investigates aspects of spectrum sharing in both terrestrial cellular scenarios and heterogeneous networks (HetNets) with drone small cells.

It is a research collaboration between Prof. Jon Peha team in CMU, and two main Portuguese research teams, one from Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), led by Prof. Fernando Velez and another from University of Coimbra (CISUC), led by Prof. Edmundo Monteiro. The CMU team will mainly contribute with knowledge on spectrum sharing and public policy in the management of spectrum. The contributions from the Portuguese teams will include optimizing the economic trade-off of HetNets by considering shared spectrum in carrier aggregation, business aspects, opportunistic spectrum access, simulation, security issues and hardware testing of real HetNets in the ORCIP platform (

Principal Investigator: Pedro Sanches Amorim
Proponent Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FE/UP)
Partner Institution: INESC Tecnologia e Ciência (INESC TEC)

The blockchain in itself is a very simple apparatus: an encrypted linked list, often referred to as a distributed ledger. Yet, recent developments turned it into a safe, trustable, decentralized, and immutable chain of encrypted transactions, opening up a whole new realm of applications once deemed unfeasible. Notwithstanding its success in digital (or crypto) currencies, its usefulness is underlined by its potential of application in diverse fields. One such problem is coordinating a supply chain. This project aims to be a proof of concept of a blockchain tailored to address supply chain coordination, specifically worldwide procurement supported by a decentralized network. Consider an (optionally) anonymous and distributed eBay with automatic contract enforcement rules that can be used by any supplier to signal their product availability or bid for an order.

Principal Investigator: Manuel Ricardo de Almeida Rodrigues Marques
Proponent Institution: Associação do Instituto Superior Técnico para a Investigação e o Desenvolvimento (IST-ID)
Partner Institutions: MITI – Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute; Associação (Madeira-ITI)

Nowadays, many people with Cerebral Palsy, Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative diseases do not have motor coordination to feed themselves autonomously. The goal of the Feedbot project is to develop a portable robot arm so that people with severe motor disabilities can eat independently. Existing solutions have preprogramed movements, requiring users to adapt to them. The proposed robot arm  learns the behaviours of each user and adapts the movements during each meal. Its portability is also a very important feature since enables its daily use, at home or in the office, as well as in any restaurant, whether the user is alone or with others. This device will thus contribute to a great increase in the autonomy of people with motor disabilities.

Principal Investigator: Maria Inês Camarate de Campos Lynce de Faria
Proponent Institution: Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Lisboa (INESC ID/INESC/IST/ULisboa)
Partner Institution: IMAR – Instituto do Mar (IMAR)

Knowing the link between species and their habitats is essential for the sustainable management of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Azores. The DeepData project will build a computational infrastructure whose purpose is to serve the scientific community and provide information to policy-makers and the general public. MARE Açores researchers will provide deep sea data of the Azores sea and predictive models for species distribution. The INESC-ID Lisboa researchers will build a database that will incorporate data from the Azores sea from different sources. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will apply automatic learning techniques to available data to make predictive models more accurate. INESC-ID and CMU will collaborate in the application of formal methods to automate data analysis.

Principal Investigator: Kazi Mohammed Saidul Huq
Proponent Institution: Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT)
Partner Institution: Universidade de Aveiro (UA)

What will a beyond 5G network look like? It is too early to define this with any certainty. However, it is widely agreed that in contrast to 5G networks, beyond 5G network should achieve greater system capacity (>1000 times) than the 5G network. It is widely accepted that there are three major ways to obtain several orders of this magnitude in throughput gain, those being: extreme densification of infrastructure, large quantities of new bandwidth, and many more antennas, allowing a throughput gain in the “spatial” dimension. In reality, these processes are complementary in many respects. For example, in the search for more bandwidth, we are moving toward higher frequencies, especially in the promising THz wavelength spectrum. These high frequencies require the support of more antenna and smaller cells to overcome propagation loss effect. Toward making THz a reality for broadband communication, this proposal will address two important issues (i) 3D channel models for broadband THz, and (ii) novel techniques for modeling the effects of mobility in broadband THz. To check the accuracy of these models, we will first propose to develop new mathematical tools, which we will then validate via an already available system level simulator under realistic scenarios.

Principal Investigator: Hugo Alexandre Paredes Guedes da Silva
Proponent Institution: INESC Tecnologia e Ciência (INESC TEC)
Partner Institutions: FCiências.ID – Associação para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento de Ciências (Fciências.ID)

In current climate research of extreme phenomena algorithms often fail to identify and track consecutive occurrences, requiring the development of specific algorithms to handle these events. However, for scientists, separating consecutive occurrences of phenomena is a relative simple task. This task can be outsourced to an expert crowd and algorithms could still be used, with clear benefits for the computational power required. The eCSAAP – expert Crowdsourcing for Semantic Annotation of Atmospheric Phenomena – project aims to explore the usage of expert crowdsourcing for annotating this kind of systems, so automated methods and computational resources can be optimized in a future hybrid approach. The project will allow information sharing and the development an interdisciplinary research ground, according to the strategic guidelines of the recently created AIR Centre.

Principal Investigator: Paulo Sérgio Duque de Brito
Proponent Institution: Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre (IPPortalegre)
Partner Institution: Universidade de Aveiro (UA)

This project guides our team towards the investigation of optimized gasification solutions in order to accomplish the following strategic opportunities:

– Enhance bioenergy´s value proposition by identifying suitable biomass/municipal waste blends that can ensure a sustainable demand for gasification facilities.

– Determine an optimal decision-making process across multiple scenarios and future constraints deploying a risk analysis based on technical and economic parameters.

Principal Investigator: Luis Filipe Coelho Antunes
Proponent Institution: INESC Tecnologia e Ciência (INESC TEC)
Partner Institutions: Universidade de Aveiro (UA) ; Associação Porto Digital (APD)

Given the exponential growth of Internet of Things (IoT), its diversity, and the seamless and heterogeneous nature of communications, we are faced with many prominent challenges in terms of management, interoperability, security, and privacy. Also, when the IoT matures, it is likely that most connected devices will be invisible to us so we should tackle these problems before it is too late. We plan to develop a middleware platform to autonomously combine different privacy-preserving techniques in order to secure and properly manage the identity of the things/sensors, secure its communications and empower the user regarding the data generated by these objects. By doing so, we will contribute to solve the existing tension between legislation and technology.