Electrical & Computer Engineering Research Works

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    Miniaturized Capsule System Toward Real-Time Electrochemical Detection of H2S in the Gastrointestinal Tract
    (Wiley, 2023-11-20) Stine, Justin M.; Ruland, Katie L.; Beardslee, Luke A.; Levy, Joshua A.; Abianeh, Hossein; Botasini, Santiago; Pasricha, Pankaj J.; Ghodssi, Reza
    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gaseous inflammatory mediator and important signaling molecule for maintaining gastrointestinal (GI) homeostasis. Excess intraluminal H2S in the GI tract has been implicated in inflammatory bowel disease and neurodegenerative disorders; however, the role of H2S in disease pathogenesis and progression is unclear. Herein, an electrochemical gas-sensing ingestible capsule is developed to enable real-time, wireless amperometric measurement of H2S in GI conditions. A gold (Au) three-electrode sensor is modified with a Nafion solid-polymer electrolyte (Nafion-Au) to enhance selectivity toward H2S in humid environments. The Nafion-Au sensor-integrated capsule shows a linear current response in H2S concentration ranging from 0.21 to 4.5 ppm (R2 = 0.954) with a normalized sensitivity of 12.4% ppm−1 when evaluated in a benchtop setting. The sensor proves highly selective toward H2S in the presence of known interferent gases, such as hydrogen (H2), with a selectivity ratio of H2S:H2 = 1340, as well as toward methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The packaged capsule demonstrates reliable wireless communication through abdominal tissue analogues, comparable to GI dielectric properties. Also, an assessment of sensor drift and threshold-based notification is investigated, showing potential for in vivo application. Thus, the developed H2S capsule platform provides an analytical tool to uncover the complex biology-modulating effects of intraluminal H2S.
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    Spintronic Quantum Phase Transition in aGraphene/Pb0.24 Sn 0.76 Te Heterostructure with Giant RashbaSpin-Orbit Coupling
    (Wiley, 2023-12-07) DeMell, Jennifer E.; Naumov, Ivan; Stephen, Gregory M.; Blumenschein, Nicholas A.; Leo Sun, Y.-J.; Fedorko, Adrian; Robinson, Jeremy T.; Campbell, Paul M.; Taylor, Patrick J.; Heiman, Don; Dev, Pratibha; Hanbicki, Aubrey T.; Friedman, Adam L.
    Mechanical stacking of two dissimilar materials often has surprising consequences for heterostructure behavior. In particular, a 2D electron gas (2DEG) is formed in the heterostructure of the topological crystalline insulator Pb0.24Sn0.76Te and graphene due to contact of a polar with a nonpolar surface and the resulting changes in electronic structure needed to avoid polar catastrophe. The spintronic properties of this heterostructure with non-local spin valve devices are studied. This study observes spin-momentum locking at lower temperatures that transitions to regular spin channel transport only at ≈40 K. Hanle spin precession measurements show a spin relaxation time as high as 2.18 ns. Density functional theory calculations confirm that the spin-momentum locking is due to a giant Rashba effect in the material and that the phase transition is a Lifshitz transition. The theoretically predicted Lifshitz transition is further evident in the phase transition-like behavior in the Landé g-factor and spin relaxation time.
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    Changes in Cortical Directional Connectivity during Difficult Listening in Younger and Older Adults
    (Wiley, 2023-05) Soleimani, Behrad; Dushyanthi Karunathilake, I. M.; Das, Proloy; Kuchinsky, Stephanie E.; Babadi, Behtash; Simon, Jonathan E.
    One way to investigate the mechanisms that underlie speech comprehension under difficult listening conditions is via cortical connectivity. The innovative Network Localized Granger Causality (NLGC) framework was applied to magnetoencephalography (MEG) data, obtained from older and younger subjects performing a speech listening task in noisy conditions, in delta and theta frequency bands. Directional connectivity between frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes was analyzed. Both aging- and condition-related changes were found, particularly in theta. In younger adults, as background noise increased, there was a transition from predominantly temporal-to-frontal (bottom-up) connections, to predominantly frontal-to-temporal (top-down). In contrast, older adults showed bidirectional information flow between frontal and temporal cortices even for speech in quiet, not changing substantially with increased noise. Additionally, younger listeners did not show changes in the nature of their cortical links for different listening conditions, whereas older listeners exhibited a switch from predominantly facilitative links to predominantly sharpening, when noise increased.
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    Metamaterial Model of Tachyonic Dark Energy
    (MDPI, 2014-02-17) Smolyaninov, Igor I.
    Dark energy with negative pressure and positive energy density is believed to be responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe. Quite a few theoretical models of dark energy are based on tachyonic fields interacting with itself and normal (bradyonic) matter. Here, we propose an experimental model of tachyonic dark energy based on hyperbolic metamaterials. Wave equation describing propagation of extraordinary light inside hyperbolic metamaterials exhibits 2 + 1 dimensional Lorentz symmetry. The role of time in the corresponding effective 3D Minkowski spacetime is played by the spatial coordinate aligned with the optical axis of the metamaterial. Nonlinear optical Kerr effect bends this spacetime resulting in effective gravitational force between extraordinary photons. We demonstrate that this model has a self-interacting tachyonic sector having negative effective pressure and positive effective energy density. Moreover, a composite multilayer SiC-Si hyperbolic metamaterial exhibits closely separated tachyonic and bradyonic sectors in the long wavelength infrared range. This system may be used as a laboratory model of inflation and late time acceleration of the universe.
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    Fractional Effective Charges and Misner-Wheeler Charge without Charge Effect in Metamaterials
    (MDPI, 2016-07-08) Smolyaninov, Igor
    Transformation optics enables engineering of the effective topology and dimensionality of the optical space in metamaterials. Nonlinear optics of such metamaterials may mimic Kaluza-Klein theories having one or more kinds of effective charges. As a result, novel photon blockade devices may be realized. Here we demonstrate that an electromagnetic wormhole may be designed, which connects two points of such an optical space and changes its effective topological connectivity. Electromagnetic field configurations, which exhibit fractional effective charges, appear as a result of such topology change. Moreover, such effects as Misner-Wheeler “charge without charge” may be replicated.
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    Thermally Induced Effective Spacetimes in Self-Assembled Hyperbolic Metamaterials
    (MDPI, 2017-03-08) Smolyaninov, Igor I.
    Recent developments in gravitation theory indicate that the classic general relativity is an effective macroscopic theory which will be eventually replaced with a more fundamental theory based on thermodynamics of yet unknown microscopic degrees of freedom. Here we consider thermodynamics of an effective spacetime which may be formed under the influence of an external magnetic field in a cobalt ferrofluid. It appears that the extraordinary photons propagating inside the ferrofluid perceive thermal gradients in the ferrofluid as an effective gravitational field, which obeys the Newton law. Moreover, the effective de Sitter spacetime behaviour near the metric signature transition may mimic various cosmological inflation scenarios, which may be visualized directly using an optical microscope. Thus, some features of the hypothetic microscopic theory of gravity are illustrated in the ferrofluid-based analogue models of inflation.
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    Extra-Dimensional “Metamaterials”: A Model of Inflation Due to a Metric Signature Transition
    (MDPI, 2017-09-20) Smolyaninov, Igor I.
    Lattices of topological defects, such as Abrikosov lattices and domain wall lattices, often arise as metastable ground states in higher-dimensional field theoretical models. We demonstrate that such lattice states may be described as extra-dimensional “metamaterials” via higher-dimensional effective medium theory. A 4 + 1 dimensional extension of Maxwell electrodynamics with a compactified time-like dimension is considered as an example. It is demonstrated that from the point of view of macroscopic electrodynamics an Abrikosov lattice state in such a 4 + 1 dimensional spacetime may be described as a uniaxial hyperbolic medium. Extraordinary photons perceive this medium as a 3 + 1 dimensional Minkowski spacetime in which one of the original spatial dimensions plays the role of a new time-like coordinate. Since the metric signature of this effective spacetime depends on the Abrikosov lattice periodicity, the described model may be useful in studying metric signature transitions.
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    Secure Degrees of Freedom in Networks with User Misbehavior
    (MDPI, 2019-09-26) Banawan, Karim; Ulukus, Sennur
    We investigate the secure degrees of freedom (s.d.o.f.) of three new channel models: broadcast channel with combating helpers, interference channel with selfish users, and multiple access wiretap channel with deviating users. The goal of introducing these channel models is to investigate various malicious interactions that arise in networks, including active adversaries. That is in contrast with the common assumption in the literature that the users follow a certain protocol altruistically and transmit both message-carrying and cooperative jamming signals in an optimum manner. In the first model, over a classical broadcast channel with confidential messages (BCCM), there are two helpers, each associated with one of the receivers. In the second model, over a classical interference channel with confidential messages (ICCM), there is a helper and users are selfish. By casting each problem as an extensive-form game and applying recursive real interference alignment, we show that, for the first model, the combating intentions of the helpers are neutralized and the full s.d.o.f. is retained; for the second model, selfishness precludes secure communication and no s.d.o.f. is achieved. In the third model, we consider the multiple access wiretap channel (MAC-WTC), where multiple legitimate users wish to have secure communication with a legitimate receiver in the presence of an eavesdropper. We consider the case when a subset of users deviate from the optimum protocol that attains the exact s.d.o.f. of this channel. We consider two kinds of deviation: when some of the users stop transmitting cooperative jamming signals, and when a user starts sending intentional jamming signals. For the first scenario, we investigate possible responses of the remaining users to counteract such deviation. For the second scenario, we use an extensive-form game formulation for the interactions of the deviating and well-behaving users. We prove that a deviating user can drive the s.d.o.f. to zero; however, the remaining users can exploit its intentional jamming signals as cooperative jamming signals against the eavesdropper and achieve an optimum s.d.o.f.
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    The Capacity of Private Information Retrieval from Decentralized Uncoded Caching Databases
    (MDPI, 2019-11-28) Wei, Yi-Peng; Arasli, Batuhan; Banawan, Karim; Ulukus, Sennur
    We consider the private information retrieval (PIR) problem from decentralized uncoded caching databases. There are two phases in our problem setting, a caching phase, and a retrieval phase. In the caching phase, a data center containing all the K files, where each file is of size L bits, and several databases with storage size constraint 𝜇𝐾𝐿 bits exist in the system. Each database independently chooses 𝜇𝐾𝐿 bits out of the total 𝐾𝐿 bits from the data center to cache through the same probability distribution in a decentralized manner. In the retrieval phase, a user (retriever) accesses N databases in addition to the data center, and wishes to retrieve a desired file privately. We characterize the optimal normalized download cost to be 𝐷∗=∑𝑁+1𝑛=1(𝑁𝑛−1)𝜇𝑛−1(1−𝜇)𝑁+1−𝑛(1+1𝑛+⋯+1𝑛𝐾−1). We show that uniform and random caching scheme which is originally proposed for decentralized coded caching by Maddah-Ali and Niesen, along with Sun and Jafar retrieval scheme which is originally proposed for PIR from replicated databases surprisingly results in the lowest normalized download cost. This is the decentralized counterpart of the recent result of Attia, Kumar, and Tandon for the centralized case. The converse proof contains several ingredients such as interference lower bound, induction lemma, replacing queries and answering string random variables with the content of distributed databases, the nature of decentralized uncoded caching databases, and bit marginalization of joint caching distributions.
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    Oscillating Cosmological Force Modifies Newtonian Dynamics
    (MDPI, 2020-05-22) Smolyaninov, Igor I.
    In the Newtonian limit of general relativity a force acting on a test mass in a central gravitational field is conventionally defined by the attractive Newtonian gravity (inverse square) term plus a small repulsive cosmological force, which is proportional to the slow acceleration of the universe expansion. In this paper we considered the cosmological-force correction due to fast quantum oscillations of the universe scale factor as a potential solution of the cosmological constant problem. These fast fluctuations of the cosmological scale factor violate Lorentz invariance at the Planck scale, and they induce strong changes to the current sign and magnitude of the average cosmological force, thus making it one of the potential probable causes for the modification of Newtonian dynamics in galaxy-scale systems. The modified cosmological force may be responsible for the recently discovered “cosmic-clock” behavior of disk galaxies in the low-redshift universe. The obtained results have strong implications for astroparticle physics since they demonstrate that typical galaxy rotation curves may be obtained without (or almost without) dark-matter particles.
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    Development of Broadband Underwater Radio Communication for Application in Unmanned Underwater Vehicles
    (MDPI, 2020-05-23) Smolyaninov, Igor I.; Balzano, Quirino; Young, Dendy
    This paper presents several novel designs of small form factor underwater radio antennas operating in the 2 MHz, 50 MHz and 2.4 GHz bands. These antennas efficiently excite surface electromagnetic waves (SEW) which propagate along the surface of seawater. The antenna operation is made possible due to implementation of an impedance matching enclosure, which is filled with de-ionized water. Enhanced coupling to surface electromagnetic waves is enabled by the enhancement of the electromagnetic field at the antenna apex. These features allow us to make antenna dimensions considerably smaller compared to typical free space designs. They also considerably improve coupling of electromagnetic energy to the surrounding seawater. Since SEW propagation length is considerably larger than the skin depth in seawater, this technique is useful for underwater broadband wireless communication. We conclude that the developed broadband underwater radio communication technique will be useful in networking of unmanned underwater vehicles.
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    Effect of Fast Scale Factor Fluctuations on Cosmological Evolution
    (MDPI, 2021-05-27) Smolyaninov, Igor I.
    In this paper, we study the corrections to the Friedmann equations due to fast fluctuations in the universe scale factor. Such fast quantum fluctuations were recently proposed as a potential solution to the cosmological constant problem. They also induce strong changes to the current sign and magnitude of the average cosmological force, thus making them one of the potential probable causes of the modification of Newtonian dynamics in galaxy-scale systems. It appears that quantum fluctuations in the scale factor also modify the Friedmann equations, leading to a considerable modification of cosmological evolution. In particular, they give rise to the late-time accelerated expansion of the universe, and they may also considerably modify the effective universe potential.
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    Scheduling to Minimize Age of Incorrect Information with Imperfect Channel State Information
    (MDPI, 2021-11-25) Chen, Yutao; Ephremides, Anthony
    In this paper, we study a slotted-time system where a base station needs to update multiple users at the same time. Due to the limited resources, only part of the users can be updated in each time slot. We consider the problem of minimizing the Age of Incorrect Information (AoII) when imperfect Channel State Information (CSI) is available. Leveraging the notion of the Markov Decision Process (MDP), we obtain the structural properties of the optimal policy. By introducing a relaxed version of the original problem, we develop the Whittle’s index policy under a simple condition. However, indexability is required to ensure the existence of Whittle’s index. To avoid indexability, we develop Indexed priority policy based on the optimal policy for the relaxed problem. Finally, numerical results are laid out to showcase the application of the derived structural properties and highlight the performance of the developed scheduling policies.
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    Novel Approach and Methods for Optimizing Highly Sensitive Low Noise Amplifier CMOS IC Design for Congested RF Environments
    (MDPI, 2022-03-22) Chung, Jooik; Illiadis, Agis A.
    This work details the optimization and evaluation of a CMOS low-noise amplifier by developing a new algorithm for the 𝑔𝑚/𝐼𝐷 approach and combining with a modified figure of merit index method. The amplifier includes on-chip matching elements (such as IC inductors) for resonance at the targeted frequencies. The simulation results of the optimized LNA model showed scattering parameter 𝑆21 = 19.91 dB, noise figure NF = 3.54 dB and excellent linearity for third-order intermodulation parameter IIP3 = 5.89 dBm for the targeted frequency of 𝑓0 = 2.4 GHz.
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    Using Timeliness in Tracking Infections †
    (MDPI, 2022-05-31) Bastopcu, Melih; Ulukus, Sennur
    We consider real-time timely tracking of infection status (e.g., COVID-19) of individuals in a population. In this work, a health care provider wants to detect both infected people and people who have recovered from the disease as quickly as possible. In order to measure the timeliness of the tracking process, we use the long-term average difference between the actual infection status of the people and their real-time estimate by the health care provider based on the most recent test results. We first find an analytical expression for this average difference for given test rates, infection rates and recovery rates of people. Next, we propose an alternating minimization-based algorithm to find the test rates that minimize the average difference. We observe that if the total test rate is limited, instead of testing all members of the population equally, only a portion of the population may be tested in unequal rates calculated based on their infection and recovery rates. Next, we characterize the average difference when the test measurements are erroneous (i.e., noisy). Further, we consider the case where the infection status of individuals may be dependent, which occurs when an infected person spreads the disease to another person if they are not detected and isolated by the health care provider. In addition, we consider an age of incorrect information-based error metric where the staleness metric increases linearly over time as long as the health care provider does not detect the changes in the infection status of the people. Through extensive numerical results, we observe that increasing the total test rate helps track the infection status better. In addition, an increased population size increases diversity of people with different infection and recovery rates, which may be exploited to spend testing capacity more efficiently, thereby improving the system performance. Depending on the health care provider’s preferences, test rate allocation can be adjusted to detect either the infected people or the recovered people more quickly. In order to combat any errors in the test, it may be more advantageous for the health care provider to not test everyone, and instead, apply additional tests to a selected portion of the population. In the case of people with dependent infection status, as we increase the total test rate, the health care provider detects the infected people more quickly, and thus, the average time that a person stays infected decreases. Finally, the error metric needs to be chosen carefully to meet the priorities of the health care provider, as the error metric used greatly influences who will be tested and at what test rate.
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    Earth Mover’s Distance-Based Tool for Rapid Screening of Cervical Cancer Using Cervigrams
    (MDPI, 2022-05-06) Shrivastav, Kumar Dron; Arambam, Priyadarshini; Batra, Shelly; Bhatia, Vandana; Singh, Harpreet; Jaggi, Vinita Kumar; Ranjan, Priya; Abed, Eyad H.; Janardhanan, Rajiv
    Cervical cancer is a major public health challenge that can be cured with early diagnosis and timely treatment. This challenge formed the rationale behind our design and development of an intelligent and robust image analysis and diagnostic tool/scale, namely “OM—The OncoMeter”, for which we used R (version-3.6.3) and Linux (Ubuntu-20.04) to tag and triage patients in order of their disease severity. The socio-demographic profiles and cervigrams of 398 patients evaluated at OPDs of Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre, New Delhi, India, and Delhi State Cancer Institute (East), New Delhi, India, were acquired during the course of this study. Tested on 398 India-specific women’s cervigrams, the scale yielded significant achievements, with 80.15% accuracy, a sensitivity of 84.79%, and a specificity of 66.66%. The statistical analysis of sociodemographic profiles showed significant associations of age, education, annual income, occupation, and menstrual health with the health of the cervix, where a p-value less than (<) 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The deployment of cervical cancer screening tools such as “OM—The OncoMeter” in live clinical settings of resource-limited healthcare infrastructure will facilitate early diagnosis in a non-invasive manner, leading to a timely clinical intervention for infected patients upon detection even during primary healthcare (PHC).
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    Analogue Quantum Gravity in Hyperbolic Metamaterials
    (MDPI, 2022-04-14) Smolyaninov, Igor I.; Smolyaninova, Vera N.
    It is well known that extraordinary photons in hyperbolic metamaterials may be described as living in an effective Minkowski spacetime, which is defined by the peculiar form of the strongly anisotropic dielectric tensor in these metamaterials. Here, we demonstrate that within the scope of this approximation, the sound waves in hyperbolic metamaterials look similar to gravitational waves, and therefore the quantized sound waves (phonons) look similar to gravitons. Such an analogue model of quantum gravity looks especially interesting near the phase transitions in hyperbolic metamaterials where it becomes possible to switch quantum gravity effects on and off as a function of metamaterial temperature. We also predict strong enhancement of sonoluminescence in ferrofluid-based hyperbolic metamaterials, which looks analogous to particle creation in strong gravitational fields.
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    Surface Electromagnetic Waves near a Black Hole Event Horizon and Their Observational Consequences
    (MDPI, 2022-06-07) Smolyaninov, Igor I.
    Localization phenomena in light, scattering from random fluctuations of matter fields and space–time metrics near a black hole horizon, were predicted to produce a pronounced peak in the angular distribution of second-harmonic light in the direction normal to the horizon. Therefore, the detection of second-harmonic generation may become a viable observational tool to study spacetime physics near event horizons of astronomical black holes. The light localization phenomena near the horizon may be facilitated by the existence of surface electromagnetic wave solutions. In this communication, we study such surface electromagnetic wave solutions near the horizon of a Schwarzschild metric, describing a black hole in vacuum. We demonstrate that such surface wave solutions must appear when quantum gravity effects are taken into account. Potential observational evidence of this effect is also discussed.
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    Adversarial Machine Learning for NextG Covert Communications Using Multiple Antennas
    (MDPI, 2022-07-29) Kim, Brian; Sagduyu, Yalin; Davaslioglu, Kemal; Erpek, Tugba; Ulukus, Sennur
    This paper studies the privacy of wireless communications from an eavesdropper that employs a deep learning (DL) classifier to detect transmissions of interest. There exists one transmitter that transmits to its receiver in the presence of an eavesdropper. In the meantime, a cooperative jammer (CJ) with multiple antennas transmits carefully crafted adversarial perturbations over the air to fool the eavesdropper into classifying the received superposition of signals as noise. While generating the adversarial perturbation at the CJ, multiple antennas are utilized to improve the attack performance in terms of fooling the eavesdropper. Two main points are considered while exploiting the multiple antennas at the adversary, namely the power allocation among antennas and the utilization of channel diversity. To limit the impact on the bit error rate (BER) at the receiver, the CJ puts an upper bound on the strength of the perturbation signal. Performance results show that this adversarial perturbation causes the eavesdropper to misclassify the received signals as noise with a high probability while increasing the BER at the legitimate receiver only slightly. Furthermore, the adversarial perturbation is shown to become more effective when multiple antennas are utilized.