Manufacturing Systems and Information Technology

Auto-ID Laboratory

Professor John R. Williams, Director and Principal Investigator
Professor Sanjay Sarma, Principal Investigator

The MIT Auto-ID Laboratory is dedicated to creating the Internet of Things using RFID and Wireless Sensor Networks. Our aim from the start was to create a global system for tracking goods using a single numbering system called the Electronic Product Code. The Auto-ID Labs are the leading global network of academic research laboratories in the field of networked RFID. The labs comprise seven of the world's most renowned research universities located on four different continents.


The MIT Data Center

Dr. David Brock

The Data Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a new initiative charged with researching and developing the languages, protocols, and technologies to integrate data and models across global networks. The Center will develop the infrastructure, recommend the standards, and build the prototype applications that enable the interoperation of data and analytic models within and across enterprises. The technologies and standards created by the Center will be open and freely distributed. What follows is an overview of the vision and goals of The Data Center. Ultimately, this work lays the foundation for a new Intelligent Information Network.

Current research includes applications of the M Language/Web Machines to data integration and mathematical model interoperability problems experienced in the agriculture and aerospace industries.


Park Center for Complex Systems

Prof. Sang-Gook Kim, Prof. Nam P. Suh

Under the leadership of Prof. Sang-Gook Kim, Park Center for Complex Systems is conducting research on complex systems with major emphasis on developing a framework that can be used for designing such systems. Main objectives of this research are to understand the role of interrelationships — interdependencies, interactions, and functional couplings — among the various constituents of a complex system and to discover basic design principles based on such understandings. In general, we use a hierarchical functional decomposition to describe how a system achieves its goals and how each element affects other parts of the system. This basic information is subject to appropriate analysis tools such as design matrix analysis and network analysis. One of the center’s recent, major application areas includes healthcare systems. Within the healthcare research initiative, we are currently developing a functional decomposition model for an emergency department. A discrete-event simulation model is also being developed as a tool to quantitatively validate the potential solutions generated from the analysis of the decomposition model. This effort is being carried out in collaboration with a local hospital in Metro-Boston area.

One research focus is the development of a low-cost desalination process that can accrue an order-of-magnitude energy savings while also being competitive in terms of capital and maintenance costs, water recovery ratio, and throughput. As a first step, we use a capacitive circuit to electrochemically adsorb the ions on the surface of high surface area electrodes. A novel discharge scheme is being designed at our lab that can reduce the downtime of the process by half or more thereby considerably increasing throughput.