The Department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia has been awarded a new Computer and Information Science and Engineering Community Research Infrastructure grant from the National Science Foundation for collaborative research with the University of Pittsburgh.

As the lead institution, UVA will receive $1.12 million of the total $1.6 million award for the project, titled A Scalable Hardware and Software Environment Enabling Secure Multi-party Learning.

Aidong Zhang, the William Wulf Faculty Fellow and professor of computer science, biomedical engineering and data science, is the principal investigator. The UVA team includes Hongning Wang, associate professor of computer science; Ashish Venkat, William Wulf Career Enhancement assistant professor of computer science; Tianhao Wang, assistant professor of computer science; and Mehdi Boukhechba, an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment.

Machine learning – the use of algorithms and other computational processes to analyze data, recognize patterns and draw inferences to predict outcomes with increasing accuracy – has led to technological breakthroughs in medical diagnostics, transportation engineering and logistics, monitoring civil infrastructure and many other fields.

Today, researchers recognize collaborative machine learning is next frontier.

Zhang and her colleagues aim to build a scalable and trusted hardware and software environment, called Bridge, to support multi-party analysis of shared data in distributed environments.

According to the project abstract, “The Bridge platform builds a collaborative learning community and accelerates many new research areas in the core Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), as advanced machine learning and data science, data privacy and trustworthy [artificial intelligence], convergent research among hardware, software and machine learning, and intelligent internet of things.”

Learn more about this project here.