KNOWME Network

Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) constitute a new class of wireless sensor networks that enable diverse applications in healthcare, entertainment, sports, military and emergency situations. A WBAN typically comprises of few biometric sensors (e.g. accelerometers, electrocardiographs), which measure vital signs such as heart-rate, oxygen levels, etc, and an energy-constrained personal device (e.g. cellphone, PDA). The KNOWME network is a prototype WBAN that integrates off-the-shelf sensors with a Nokia N95 mobile (see Figure 1 below) to continuously monitor and analyze the biometric signals of an individual, targeting obesity-related applications. It is the outcome of a multiyear collaboration between Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Preventive Health researchers at the University of Southern California.

Practical realization of WBANs faces a number of unique challenges. Among these, the KNOWME network team has focused on 4 main research thrusts:

  • System architecure: develop solutions to ensure efficient operation, system viability and application stability.
  • Multimodal physical activity recognition: develop intelligent feature extraction and selection techniques and design accurate classifiers.
  • Energy efficient sensor selection: design communication strategies to enable energy-efficient operation with acceptable detection accuracy.
  • Energy expenditure estimator design: design estimators to determine energy expenditure of individuals.

This website summarizes the research efforts of Dr. Urbashi Mitra's research group (Dr. Marco Levorato, Dr. Gautam Thatte, Dr. Urbashi Mitra, Dr. Daphney-Stavroula Zois). Here, you will find our publications on the problem of energy efficient sensor selection, which is an instance of the active hypothesis testing problem for time-varying processes, and the problems related to the other three research thrusts.

Figure 1: KNOWME network schematic.


  • D.-S. Zois, ‘‘Active state tracking in heterogeneous sensor networks via controlled sensing,’’ presented at Cognitive and Algorithmic Decision-Making Seminar, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 30 April, 2014. (invited)

  • D.-S. Zois, ‘‘Active state tracking in heterogeneous sensor networks,’’ presented at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, April 17, 2014. (invited)

  • D.-S. Zois, ‘‘Active state tracking in heterogeneous sensor networks via controlled sensing,’’ presented at USC EE CommNetS Seminar, Los Angeles, CA, February 19, 2014. (invited)

  • D.-S. Zois, ‘‘A Unified Framework for Energy Efficient Physical Activity Tracking,’’ presented at Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers, Pacific Grove, CA, November 4, 2013. (invited)

  • D.-S. Zois, ‘‘Non-linear smoothers for discrete-time, finite-state Markov chains,’’ presented at ISIT, Istanbul, Turkey, July 11, 2013.

  • U. Mitra, ‘‘Unified herding of CaTs: Control and Tracking in POMDPs with Gaussian Observations,’’ presented at 2013 Information Theory and Applications (ITA) Workshop, San Diego, CA, February 10-15, 2013. (invited)

  • U. Mitra, ‘‘Recursive Kalman-type state estimation within a POMDP framework,’’ presented at Cognitive and Algorithmic Decision-Making Workshop, Monticello, IL, October 5-6, 2012. (invited)

  • D.-S. Zois, ‘‘Heterogeneous Time-Resource Allocation in Wireless Body Area Networks for Green, Maximum Likelihood Activity Detection,’’ presented at ICC, Ottawa, Canada, June 12, 2012.

  • U. Mitra, ‘‘Telehealth: Opportunities for (Communications) Research?,’’ presented at 2012 Communication Theory Workshop, Maui, HI, May 14-16, 2012. pdf

  • D.-S. Zois, ‘‘A POMDP Framework for Heterogeneous Sensor Selection in Wireless Body Area Networks,’’ presented at INFOCOM, Orland, FL, March 26, 2012.

  • U. Mitra, ‘‘Next-Generation Wireless Communications: Telehealth,’’ presented at 2012 NAE National Meeting, Irvine, CA, February 2012.

  • D.-S. Zois, ‘‘POMDP Framework for Optimal Sensor Selection and Activity Detection in Wireless Body Area Networks,’’ presented at IWSM, Stanford, CA, June 11, 2011. (invited)

  • U. Mitra, ‘‘KNOWME: a wireless body area sensing network for biometric signal analysis,’’ presented at Philips, Eindhoven, March 11, 2010.