Chinese automation scientist honored for í░smartí▒ ideas 2007-12-12 18:09:03   Print

    BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- A leading Chinese automation expert has been named a "2007 Distinguished Scientist" by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for his breakthrough contributions to intelligent control and management for "smart" consumer electronics.

    Wang, a deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Automation, is the head of a national lab of complex systems and intelligence science. He was the first Chinese mainland scientist to be honored by the U.S.-based academic group that annually selects the world's best computing scientists with the Nobel Prize-equivalent Turing Award.

    Wang, who is also a University of Arizona professor, led his Chinese colleagues in a study of how to put home electrical appliances upgrades on the Internet.

    "Upgrading high-end appliances and powerful computers are costly," Wang said on Wednesday. "But the linked world via the Internet provides us with a connected lifestyle that is much cheaper and with more energy-efficient devices."

    Wang tried to materialize his idea to connect inexpensive, re-configurable home appliances to centrally-operated "smart control agents."

    With his team, he devised the idea of using shared smart control agents for all appliance families. Each appliance had just enough memory space and basic processing power by which electrical appliance manufacturers could effectively cut costs.

    All the smart work could be done by computer-centered control agents. In this way, each appliance needed much less computing power and could be quickly upgraded with software. The only time a consumer needed to buy a new one was when there was a major hardware upgrade in certain industries, Wang said.

    Following his recruitment by CAS in 1998 as a principal investigator for cutting edge intelligence research, Wang helped forge a research-industry alliance between CAS, the University of Arizona and Kelon Electronics Group.

    Kelong invested 10 million U.S. dollars, together with research funds from academia worth 1.25 million U.S. dollars, in researching and developing intelligent control systems.

    Wang envisioned two central controllers, one in the house and another at the appliance company headquarters. The headquarters would have a super operation center that would know the specific needs and habits of every family using its appliances.

    "Appliances are now made with a one-size-fits-all control algorithms which is quite inefficient," Wang said. "In fact, consumers use only some of the functions designed for the average users. Some dormant functions might never be used by consumers and that is a waste."

    In widely using Wang's intelligent control system, appliance producers or third-party companies could take data from households and design custom control agents and re-train appliances for tailored functions via the Internet.

    In 2004, to honor his work in intelligent control systems and applications to complex systems, Wang was named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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