Prof. Christopher Brinton selected for 2022 DARPA YFA
Christopher Brinton, assistant professor in Purdue University’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the recipient of the 2022 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (YFA). The objective of the YFA program is to identify and engage rising stars in junior research positions, emphasizing those without prior DARPA funding, and expose them to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) needs and DARPA’s program development process.
Brinton’s project, titled “FL-NTN: Fog Learning Orchestration of Heterogeneous Model Training across Hybrid Terrestrial and Non-Terrestrial Network Systems,” will investigate the integration of non-terrestrial network (NTN) satellite constellations into global intelligence systems. Existing techniques for supporting the growth in machine learning (ML) capabilities have focused on terrestrial network infrastructure, which places additional resource burdens on this infrastructure, and by nature misses those datasets being captured in remote locations with insufficient access to the core network. Contemporary NTNs offer several unique characteristics, including wide coverage areas and satellite constellation topologies, which present an opportunity to scale up distributed ML training and synchronization at a global scale. This project will establish a novel architecture for learning over hybrid terrestrial and NTN systems that will jointly optimize intelligence quality and resource efficiency.
“I am honored to have been selected for DARPA’s YFA program,” said Brinton. “I look forward to working with the program managers to solidify the role of non-terrestrial networks in commercial and military systems coordinating large-scale intelligence tasks.”
The YFA program provides funding, mentoring and industry and DoD contacts to awardees early in their careers so they may develop their research ideas in the context of national security needs. The long term goal is to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who will focus a significant portion of their career on DoD and National Security issues.