Rajesh M. Hegde

Professor, IIT Dharwad
(On Leave from IIT Kanpur)

Research Statement

My latest research contributions during the past couple of years of stay at IIT Kanpur have been in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Fog/Edge Computing in Future Telecom Networks, Edge AI and Federated Learning for Future IoT Networks. Other areas of interest are Sensor Array and Multi channel signal processing, Automatic Recognition of Spoken Indian Languages, Multi modal signal processing, Wireless sensor networks, Internet of Things (IoT), Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), and ICT for socially relevant applications like Agriculture .

Two laboratories namely Multi modal signal processing Lab (MiPS Lab) and Wireless Sensor Networks Lab (WSN Lab) which I have established at IIT Kanpur continue to support my research. The laboratories are equipped with state of the art equipment like Audio-Visual arrays (Linear, circular and spherical), Acoustic Cameras, Sensor network test bed, and network simulators some of which are not available for research activity any where else in India. Funding upto the tune of Rupees 6.0 Crores in sponsored research and Rupees 50 Lakhs in Industrial consultancy has been generated which are supplementing the groups research very well. As Head of the Center for Railway Research (CRR), I have been able to obtain a major funding of Rs 19.0 crores which has been awarded in 2021 based on a new proposal for setting up the CRR at IIT Kanpur.

In the area of Sensor Array and Multi channel signal processing, my group has made two fundamental contributions namely, the MUSIC-Group Delay for resolving closely spaced sources with minimal number of sensors and near field beam forming techniques in the spherical harmonic domain. These contributions are considered significant in the new and state of the art area of spherical array processing.

In the area of multi modal signal processing my groups primary contributions have been in the proposal of two new fusion methods based on Dempster-Schafer Theory and Temporal evidence theory which differ from the standard Bayesian Philosophy.

My group has been able to collaborate with research groups in Purdue, Oxford , and NIST USA on AI/ML for Edge Computing, IoT, and WSN. We have made some significant contributions in the area of multi sensor data fusion for localization and node tracking in the context of mobile wireless sensor networks. This work has also led to the development of several new WSN technologies with applications in Future Internet of things (IoT).

My research group has also been very active in the development and deployment of socially relevant technology in the Indian Context and subsequent transfer of this technology to Industry. Some of the successful technology transfers include Digital Mandi for the Indian Kisan, Intelligent Video Retrieval on Cell phones (transferred to BSNL), Audio/Video Analyser/Background Blur software to LG India, and Localization technology to Samsung India.

The post PhD accomplishments of our PhD Student Alumni has been Excellent. Out of the Nine PhD students graduated, several of them are faculty at IITs, NIT, and research fellows in leading Universities abroad. Many of these PhD students in my group have been awarded research fellowships from TCS, International Fellowships from Eurasmus- Mundus, Raman-Charpak, CEFIPRA, INRIA and others.

I have already served as Umang Gupta Chair at IIT Kanpur for the past three years. A continued chair position will help further strengthen my motivation and that of my research group to bring more laurels to IIT Kanpur in general and make significant contributions to the focused areas of research in particular.