Distributed Information Systems Group
Our group is pursuing research in information theory and systems and the theory of computation in biological systems.
- In information theory and systems, we are currently conducting rigorous theoretical and experimental studies that explore the challenges and benefits of the physical implementation of our newly invented modulation and coding schemes for flash memories, examples of our work include rank modulation and rewriting codes. We collaborate with industrial partners to design the next generation flash memory systems; and with JPL, to enable nonvolatile memory solutions for space missions. In addition, we study distributed storage systems and develop RAID schemes with optimal rebuilding and secure schemes with optimal decoding.
- In the theory of computation in biological systems, we address the question: What is the primary mechanism for the evolution and diversity of DNA sequences? One possible answer (and arguably the prevalent one) is that diversity in DNA is due to random mutations. However, it is well known that more than 50% of the human genome consists of repeated sequences and that these repeated sequences are common in other species as well. We conjecture that diversity and evolution in biological systems is primarily achieved through replication mechanisms. We attempt to prove this conjecture by evaluating string replication systems from an information theory perspective, as well as study tandem duplication and interspersed duplication mechanisms.
Research in the lab is supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA-JPL, Caltech Lee Center for Advanced Networking and the NSF Expeditions in Computing program that is funding the Molecular Programming Project.