Center for Parallel, Distributed
and Intelligent Systems

Department of Computer Science
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA. 15260 412/624-8423

An Industry-University Cooperative Research Center
created by the National Science Foundation


Shi-Kuo Chang
Bruce G. Buchanan
Siegfried Treu

The mission of CPDIS is to provide an environment for innovative research in computer science. Through the involvement and active participation of industry members, CPDIS serves as a useful interface between the researchers and the industries, thus enabling a continuous information exchange. More specifically, CPDIS engages in research into the fundamental methodologies of parallel, distributed, and intelligent systems: system specification, design, verification, integration and evaluation. CPDIS works closely with the manufacturing and service industries, who as system integrators would benefit from the R&D results produced by CPDIS. CPDIS can also supply the needed technological know-how to small-to-medium-size companies through technological assessment reports and educational programs.

This NSF-created research center provides a research environment to enable technology transfer and continuous information exchange among participating industries. CPDIS emphasizes both fundamental research and applications such as computer systems, office information systems, expert systems, and flexible manufacturing systems. Thus it creates a powerful synergy to apply innovative ideas to pressing practical problems.

In addition to enhancing the degree programs offered by the university, CPDIS will also provide short courses, seminars and continuing education programs to participating industry members and the industrial community at large, to train experienced researchers in the design of parallel, distributed, and intelligent systems.

Research at CPDIS

CPDIS supports research projects conducted by faculty and students, and encourages participation by industry members. The research agenda includes many areas of research topics, centered on the design of parallel, distributed, and intelligent systems, and the methodologies for integrating diverse technologies for the capture, processing, storage, transmission and delivery of information. The current emphases of CPDIS are in multimedia software engineering and distance education, which are integrated in the Macro University project.

Parallel Systems:

This area includes novel computer architectures, programming environments for parallel computation, languages and implementations for parallel computation, and VLSI realization of parallel algorithms.

Distributed Systems:

This area includes requirements-driven distributed system prototyping, and the design of distributed operating systems, distributed databases, multi-media databases, network protocols, and fault-tolerant local area networks.

Intelligent Systems:

This area includes knowledge representation, knowledge-based systems, user interface design and evaluation methodology, machine learning, knowledge acquisition, intelligent workstations, and visual languages.

Fundamental Methodologies:

This area includes parallel algorithms, parallel computational models, mathematical models for distributed systems, and transformation of specifications into prototypes.

Senior faculty members coordinate and lead CPDIS's research activities, interact with the R&D groups of participating companies, and establish further new projects.

Research Faculty of CPDIS

  • Berztiss, Alfs T., AI techniques for transformation of specifications into systems, software engineering.

  • Buchanan, Bruce, Artificial intelligence, expert systems, symbolic reasoning in science and medicine.

  • Chang, Shi-Kuo, Visual languages, pictorial information systems, software engineering.

  • Chiarulli, Donald M., Computer architecture, VLSI design, operating systems, distributed systems.

  • Chuang, Henry Y. H., Computer architecture, parallel processing, VLSI design, fault-tolerant computing, software engineering.

  • Daley, Robert P., Theoretical computer science, computational complexity, theory of learning algorithms.

  • Kalyanasundaram, Bala, Theoretical computer science, theory of learning algorithms.

  • Levitan, Steven P., Parallel architecture, VLSI design, parallel algorithms, architectures for image understanding.

  • Li, Ching-Chung, Pattern recognition, computer vision, knowledge-based image processing.

  • Melhem, Rami, Parallel and systolic architectures, reconfigurable networks, algorithms.

  • Mosse, Daniel Computer systems, real-time systems, resource allocation and scheduling, distributed systems.

  • Pollack, Martha, Artificial intelligence, planning, resource-limited reasoning, natural language processing.

  • Pruhs, Kirk R., Algorithms, complexity theory.

  • Treu, Siegfried, Adaptive and visual interface systems, network oriented interfaces, methodologies for interface design, measurement and evaluation, modeling and simulation.

  • VanLehn, Kurt Artificial intelligence and cognitive science, theories of learning, problem solving, theory formation, intelligent tutoring systems.

  • Znati, Taieb, Distributed systems, computer networking.

    Affiliated Research Faculty

  • Gordon Banks, Neurology;

  • Robert Glaser, LRDC;

  • Alan Lesgold, LRDC;

  • Jerry May, Business School;

  • Douglas Metzler, LIS;

  • Patricia Michelson, Falk Library;

  • Randy Miller, Medicine;

  • Lauren Resnick, LRDC;

  • James Williams, LIS;

  • Anne Woodworth, LIS

    Industry Membership in CPDIS

    Membership dues are $25,000 annually. All CPDIS members have equal rights with regard to information access. The industry advisory board consisting of representatives from industry members meets twice a year to discuss policy issues for CPDIS. In addition to full members, CPDIS also accepts associate members who contribute at least $10,000 annually to CPDIS. The associate members have access only to the published reports and documents of CPDIS.

    CPDIS Projects

    CPDIS projects are generally cosponsored by industry members, state, national and international funding organizations. The current emphases of CPDIS are in two major areas: multimedia software engineering and distance education. CPDIS is responsible for managing the Macro University, which is a federation of distance learning universities and institutions to advance the research and infrastructure of virtual universities. Eleven universities currently participate in this project.

    The Department of Computer Science

    The Department of Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh was established in 1966. It offers programs of graduate study leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. At the undergraduate level, the department offers courses leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. The department operates a VAX-11/780, six AT&T micro-computers, two Xerox 1108 systems, twenty-eight SUN-3 workstations, five Macintosh II workstations and two TI micro-Explorer LISP machines. An Ethernet-based local area network provides convenient access to the departmental research systems and is a valuable research facility for CPDIS. Since the University of Pittsburgh is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and an affiliate member of the Software Engineering Institute, the Department of Computer Science has access to the Cray X-MP/48 of PSC, and the software engineering expertise at SEI. The department also actively participates in the interdisciplinary programs in intelligent systems and telecommunications.

    The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or marital, veteran, or handicapped status. This is a commitment made by the University and is in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. All relevant programs are coordinated through the Office of Affirmative Action, 901 William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. For more information, please call (412) 648-7860.

    For Further Information

    Please contact Dr. Shi-Kuo Chang, Department of Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. 15260 (tel: 412/624-8423) (fax: 412/624-8465).