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2019-11 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] RNA Discovery Brings Light to Curing Cancer and Brain Disease

Professor Nam Jin-wu (Department of Life Science) may have discovered a key ingredient to diagnosing and curing brain disease and cancer in his research published on September 13th in Nature Communications. Nam’s research has brought light to a phenomenon regarding messenger Ribonucleic acids (RNA), a type of polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles that transfers information from the genome (genetic material of an organism) into proteins by translation (the process in which ribosomes in the cytoplasm synthesize proteins after the process of transcription of DNA to RNA in the cell's nucleus). Professor Nam Jin-wu (Department of Life Science) shared his data-driven journey for a deeper understanding of human bodily functions. Nam was the first to discover that microRNAs (small non-coding RNA molecules) and UPF1s (regulator of nonsense transcripts 1) interact with each other and conduct “post-transcriptional or translational regulation” within cells, which can bring deeper understanding to the fundamentals of gene manifestation within cells. MicroRNAs contain around 22 nucleotides (basic building blocks of DNA) found in plants, animals and some viruses, that function in RNA silencing, which prevents the expression of a certain gene, and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. UPF1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the UPF1 gene and is known to be an important factor needed to selectively recognize incorrectly generated RNAs within cells and degrade them. The conversion process of DNA to protein (Photo courtesy of www.kurzweilai.net) There are many ways to regulate the process of making protein from DNA genes within cells in the human body. Nam compared this process to switching on lights in a classroom, with the switch being a modulator of protein manifestation, and the actual turning on and off, signifying whether proteins were created. However, cells are much smarter than we think, so instead of a binary state of zero and one that signifies whether proteins were created or not, cells can actually regulate protein in a more precise way as they can have a continuous value between the two numbers. “It is like using a sensor that corrects the light’s brightness according to how bright it is outside, instead of simply turning the classroom light on and off or maintaining a degree of brightness,” said Nam. “In order to do this, genes go through the steps of DNA to messenger RNA to protein.” According to internal and external conditions of cells, the degree of protein manifestation is regulated by “transcriptional regulation,” a transferring process that creates RNA from DNA, and “post-transcriptional or translational regulation,” which regulates the process of creating protein from RNA. Nam said his research started during a lunch with Professor Hwang Jung-wook (Department of Genetics), who was at the time conducting a research on RNA quality control. The two talked about gene manifestation regulation research and questioned why UPF1 dependent decay appeared in messenger RNAs. Nam and Hwang soon created a theory and joined hands to test their theory using various data open to the public for around one year. Most of Nam’s research relied on data-driven science, which uses statistical and computational verification using dozens of terabytes of data. Programs, algorithms and pipelines (a set of data processing elements connected in series) were created to analyze and interpret the data. Then, various experiments and samples were used to develop his research. A total of some four years and six months had passed until Nam published his research. Nam (left on front row) poses with students from the Department of Life Science lab. "Data biology’s biggest attraction is its systematic approach to research," said Nam. With the newly discovered gene control regulation principle, Nam believes that it could be used to diagnose and treat various diseases, and can also be used to develop treatment platforms. Jung Myung-suk kenj3636@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-11 04

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Giving Voice to Those With Developmental Disabilities

Many societies seek to create equal standing for all social groups, which also advances human societies toward democratic order. An important factor in societal evolution is hearing what people have to say, but there are those who are shunned to the outskirts of discussion as their voice is ignored or is transferred to their guardians, who are trusted to speak for those who have difficulties speaking or expressing their mind through gestures. Professor Je Cheol-ung (School of Law) has been fighting for people with developmental disabilities, which includes dementia, mental diseases and disorders, to make society listen to their voices instead of suppressing them in the name of protection. Professor Je Cheol-ung (School of Law) seeks to improve the rights of people with developmental disabilities. “There are those who cannot speak well, but one can see dislike in their expression, which is an expression of refusal,” said Je. “In this way, even if one cannot express themselves through words, they show their intentions in different ways like emotion and feelings. We need to consider whether we are offering a correct service.” Korea has around 400,000 patients with developmental disabilities living in nursing facilities and mental hospitals, which isolates them from society. The lack of caregivers in Korea makes conditions in these facilities unfavorable as one caregiver would have to take care of an average of eight patients. They would often be neglected or even be tied up, literally, and laws do not do much to protect their rights. Elderly struggling from dementia are often swindled into handing over their money or investing in bad businesses. Je’s research on “The Integration of Persons with Impairments for Decision Making Ability into the Communities” has been conducted since 2012, which is funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Je said that the problem behind Korea’s policies for people with developmental disabilities is the low budget, and the public benefits offered are typical and not customized towards individual needs. Je’s team seeks to revise laws so that they can function better to protect the rights of the people with developmental disabilities. The first step in Je’s research is creating a theory on possible revisions. Then, Je’s team visits facilities to interview patients and those involved with their wellbeing and finds out if the theory can actually be implemented. One revision that Je said was a significant result of his research is revisions to the Civil Proceedings Act that allows for people with developmental disabilities to participate in lawsuits instead of being pushed to the sidelines. Je said there are many cases where people with developmental disabilities are excluded from lawsuits that they are involved in, instead replacing them with their legal guardians, or included them in the case without any actual participation. Je led a briefing session on supported decision-making for elderly. (Photo courtesy of Je) What keeps people with developmental disabilities from other social groups is the fact that they are not part of the groups that seek to protect their rights, said Je. These groups are instead led by their legal guardians or lawyers. In order to make their voices heard, Je said that people with developmental disabilities whose conditions are less severe need to take a leading position in these groups and speak for those who are more restricted in expressing themselves. Je believes in de-institutionalization, taking people with developmental disabilities out of facilities and restoring them back in society. Je seeks to move this societal paradigm of substituted decision-making to supported decision-making, which will focus on the autonomous decision by patients instead of relying on the supporting roles of legal guardians. Je (fourth from right) and his team attended a debate on implementing a public trust for people with developmental disabilities. (Photo courtesy of Je) “The definition of a good world is a place where the weak can live comfortably,” said Je. “True democracy is practiced only when the weak speak their minds, and society listens in return.” Jung Myung-suk kenj3636@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-10 23

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Goal to Create a Safe Driving Environment

In an age where humans can rely on machines for assistance in everyday life, an infinite amount of data is interpreted by machines according to our needs. The wonders of technological advancement are developed in light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In the automobile industry, automation has allowed sensors and algorithms to alert and maneuver vehicles under human supervision. Yet, accidents happen, even with the most cutting-edge technology. Professor Park June-young (Department of Transportation and Logistics Engineering, ERICA Campus) emphasizes the issue of safety in his research on enhancing in-vehicle driving assistance information under a connected vehicle environment. Professor Park June-young (Department of Transportation and Logistics Engineering, ERICA Campus) participated in simulation tests himself. According to Park, there are various factors that can lead to driving assistance malfunctions. Sensors can be blocked by physical objects, such as heavy rain, dust, insects, and glare from sun rays reflecting off white vehicles, which could become anomalies for vehicle cameras. Although automobile manufacturers research thoroughly to create driving assisting technology, it is impossible to factor all scenarios, added Park. A solution to this problem is Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), which is a system of information sharing between V to I (vehicle to infrastructure) and V to V (vehicle to vehicle). In-vehicle head-up display (HUD) design scenario samples (Photo courtesy of Park) “Vehicles must be informed of adjacent infrastructures and should share information between V to V, vehicle to vehicle,” said Park. “Only by constantly sharing information about the number of nearby vehicles and their movements, thus acquiring their driving patterns as data, can technology assist in driving, even if the driver cannot see in front of them or their sensors are down.” Park’s research did not only focus on the driving technology of the future, but also on the driving environment of today. His objective was to develop the driving technology of vehicles, but in a safe way. He calls his vision of autonomous driving "autonomous safety-driving." Risk scenario-based HUDs that Park and his team have designed in their research are illustrated above. Depending on risk factors, HUDs display different information in various designs and colors, which were selected most optimally by test subjects. (Photo courtesy of Park) Park was part of a four-man team for a period of around three years, most of which was conducted at the University of Central Florida. Park's research focused on creating a stable environment for driving in dangerous situations, especially during fog, which is a big problem in Florida. Heavy rain and fog in the region make it difficult to see even a few meters ahead. In order to create a solution to this problem, Park oversaw the data acquisition of various driver assistance technologies of automobile companies as well as acquiring subjects to participate in test-driving scenarios. With the data acquired, Park and his fellow researchers developed a head-up display (HUD) based on emotional dimensions and design category factors by factoring in safety factors and user preference. HUDs are any transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints, which in the case of vehicles is usually displayed on the front window. In 2017, the Korean government announced its goal of achieving partial autonomous driving (with manual overdrive during emergency situations) by 2030. Although Park believes this goal is achievable, he thinks it is impossible without an environment that supports autonomous driving. Park has said that not all cars have autonomy. Regular vehicles and vehicles with assistive driving capacities will have to share roads; thus, in order to coexist in such a shared traffic environment, it is necessary to find anomalies within the system “instead of having a false notion that one will control their surroundings by the car sensor’s readings and drive autonomously.” “I wish the idea of traffic safety is widespread among people,” said Park. “The future is important, but since people living in the present are also important, I plan on working hard to make today’s traffic environment safe.” Park (center in the front row) posed with students from the Department of Transportation and Logistics Engineering research lab in Hanyang University’s ERICA Campus. Jung Myung-suk kenj3636@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-10 14

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Technique to Improve Display Technology

In the modern world, people look, read, communicate, and even travel through the few-inch square screen. Thus, developing a better display technique has always been an aspired aim. Professor Kim Jaekyun's (Department of Photonics and Nanoelectronics) recent proposition for a better display technology with a ‘Programmable Non-Contact Assembly-based 5000ppi Micro LED Display’ suggests a new and better technology for the future of displays. Kim Jaekyun (Department of Photonics and Nanoelectronics), in his recent study proposition, suggested a better Micro LED transfer technology for the future of displays. Micro LED is an emerging display technology, consisting of an array of microscopic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) forming the individual color pixels. This particular LED is quickly becoming the “next big thing” for it outperforms, in many ways, the organic light-emitting diode (OLED), which is the current and dominant display technique used in most devices. Most importantly, Micro LED has much better energy efficiency. With the same amount of electricity, Micro LED emits light 1000 times brighter than OLED. This indicates that smaller, lesser, and more distantly arranged Micro LEDs will create the same smooth screen as the previous OLED. However, there is one big problem to solve before commercialization. For Micro LED, the Red-Green-Blue color pixels are manufactured separately, then directly transferred onto the display backplane. However, the current transfer technology, where each pixel is transferred one by one, is highly time-consuming and expensive. The result is an expensive product unfit for commercializing, such as Samsung’s new model of television, the Wall Professional, which costs up to 300 million won. A large Micro LED display in the Garosu-gil Apple store. Although the LEDs are arranged quite distantly in close view, the brighter light of Micro LED creates the illusion of a smooth surface from afar. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim proposed a technique that arranges the color pixels without any direct contact. First, the Micro LEDs dispersed in a solution will be spread on the backplane. As a result of the electric field from the sophisticatedly-designed backplane, the micro LEDs will automatically be arranged into correct position. The micro LED display made by this technique will be much cheaper, allowing a wide commercialization of the micro LED. Kim expects the technique to be implemented on all devices, including smartphones and TVs. He primarily expects its positive impact on the performance of AR glasses, which requires a small but bright display light as Micro LED. “The research will be difficult, but I have conviction that it will work,” said Kim. “When researching, one has to think less of ‘will it work?’ and more of ‘I need to make it work’; because in the end, somebody will. For the next three years, I’ll keep these words in mind and work my hardest to succeed in developing the new Micro LED technology.” Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-10 06

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] A New Association Between Muscle and Metabolic Syndrome

According to the National Institution of Health (NIH), metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. As metabolic diseases become more prevalent over the past few decades, researchers have been working to figure out the underlying cause. Professor Jun Dae-won (College of Medicine) has made a breakthrough over this field by discovering its association with muscle health. Professor Jun Dae-won (College of Medicine) discovered the link between muscle and metabolic diseases. “As people get older, they tend to lose muscle mass. This increases the risk of falls, which might cause the death of the elderly,” said Jun. “However, most of the researchers did not acknowledge why muscular issues lead to the aggravation of metabolic diseases.” Jun’s team, in collaboration with Professor Kim Ji-young’s team, made progress on finding the links between muscle and metabolic syndrome. What caught Jun's eyes was psoas muscle, which is an internal muscle of the loin. Jun made use of this muscle, as it is widely known to be proportional to the total muscle mass. Jun collected 1000 PET-CT (Positron emission tomography–computed tomography) images on psoas muscle and kept an eye on glucose inside the muscle. Jun found out that Fluorine‐18‐labelled fluoro‐2‐deoxy‐d‐glucose (18F‐FDG) uptake of psoas muscle is a promising surrogate marker for existing and incipient metabolic derangement. Jun's team identified Fluorine‐18‐labelled fluoro‐2‐deoxy‐d‐glucose (18F‐FDG) uptake through PET-CT as it provides a clear picture of psoas muscle. (Photo courtesy of Jun) Jun admitted that he could not eliminate all confounding variables, despite endless efforts to minimize them. "There are limitations in clinical trials, as it is not easy to find action mechanisms through these tests. That is the reason why we went abreast with animal testing and cell experiment,” explained Jun. “There may be some hindrance in interpretation due to differences between human and laboratory animals. But they still provide clues to action mechanisms.” Thus, he stated his plans to work on the revalidation of the research, digging deeper into the degree of association. Jun underlined the need for continued endeavor, as it eventually pays off, in an unexpected way at times. Jun highlighted the importance of being industrious and strong-minded. “My original research intended to find the relation between liver function and metabolic syndrome,” said Jun. “Unfortunately, I could not draw meaningful results.” Jun was on the verge of giving up the research. It was his continuous subgroup analysis that led to eureka. Just as what people say, sometimes coincidence is a plan in disguise. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-09 30

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Stratification and Customization: A New Route Towards Curing Rare Intractable Diseases

A few years ago, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social networking services and became a popular event all around the world. People either dumped ice water on their heads or donated 100 dollars to support funds for a rare disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a disease that causes the death of neurons which control voluntary muscles. There is still no cure on ALS, with only minor treatments being available. Here is Professor Kim Seung Hyun (College of Medicine), an individual who has devoted his medical career to finding clues to this incurable disease. Professor Kim Seung Hyun (College of Medicine) has been on the field of neuro-degenerative disorders for more than 25 years. Kim has been working in the field of ALS and other neuro-degenerative disorders since 1993. Kim focuses on the issue of medication as he proposes a new model on the drug development process. “Most clinical trials are based on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach as they do not consider individual differences among people,” said Kim. “Even though people suffer from the same disease, they might be showing different symptoms due to genetic differences. That is why some drugs cannot be commercialized regardless of their medicinal effect on selected specimen.” Kim explained that clinical trials in ALS were headed towards 'one-size-fits-all.' (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim, who has been conducting research on the unique genetic background of Korean and Asian populations, discovered that Koreans tend to have more Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) gene mutation than people of other ethnicities. Based on these findings, Kim is now working on applying this result to the development of new pharmaceuticals. “My research aims to establish a treatment strategy with a stratified model of Lou Gehrig's Disease,” Kim said. “The next step will be the customization of treatment by prescribing and providing a remedy in accordance with one’s genetic data.” Kim said his objective is to develop a diagnosis platform by utilizing AI technology. “I am endeavoring to build a nomogram that can tell what the patient requires, and I expect the discriminants to become more precise as time goes on.” By citing a 2016 Go match between AlphaGo and Lee Se-dol, Kim continued on. “AlphaGo’s victory attributes to effective processing of data accumulation. AI will lead to an innovative success on providing cures for rare intractable diseases just as AlphaGo read Lee Se-dol’s move and made an irresistible attack.” Kim advised students to be more versatile and challenging. As a renowned medical researcher and top-tier specialist, Kim highlighted the importance of being versatile. “You only deal with the basics at school,” said Kim. “Things have changed and will change even faster. You need to be prepared for globalization and technological advances.” In addition, Kim encouraged students to challenge more. “When I first started as an ALS specialist at Hanyang, I had only one patient for me to work with. However, 25 years of endless effort is what made Hanyang a world-class institution in the field of neurological disorders.” Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-09 23

[Academics][Excellent R&D] A Step Toward Coexistence of Cultural Properties

Did you know that there is a national treasure near Hanyang University? Salgoji Bridge, the longest bridge during the Joseon Dynasty period, was excavated by Professor Ahn Shin-won (Department of Cultural Anthropology), the current head of the ERICA Institute of Cultural Properties and the chief of the Hanyang University Museum. He is now leading the Ganghwa-gun designated cultural heritage comprehensive maintenance plan, which aims to recognize and analyze the present conditions of 60 city-designated cultural assets and plans to preserve, restore, and utilize them. Professor Ahn Shin-won (Department of Cultural Anthropology) is leading the Ganghwa-gun designated cultural heritage comprehensive maintenance plan to analyze and restore the heritages. The purpose of this project is to establish a comprehensive maintenance and restoration plan of Ganghwa-gun's city-designated cultural properties, to utilize them as baseline data for preservation management and application. This is a 10 month-long project which began in July of this year and is expected to finish in May of next year. The restoration project covers 60 cultural properties, including 17 tangible cultural assets, 34 monuments, and 9 cultural heritage materials. Although it is important that our cultural heritage is preserved and maintained, making use of them is an even more important project. The comprehensive maintenance plan is a scheme to preserve cultural heritage even more efficiently. In order to carry out such a plan, there must be research done on how the present condition is. The comprehensive maintenance plan is an extended study of archeology, according to Ahn, who majored in the field. It is possible that ordinary citizens do not know the value of the excavations, which is why they must be preserved, utilized, and openly known. The city-designated cultural properties are not managed well, according to Ahn, and there are many cases where the direction boards have been mislabeled, or the roads to cultural assets are rocky and difficult to access. This is why diagnosing the current conditions of the cultural properties is important in order to take the necessary measures to better improve their state of preservation. A picture of Bunori Dondae Fort (left) and Bugilgot Dondae Fort (right) from a field study (Photo courtesy of Ahn) Executing the Ganghwa-gun designated cultural heritage comprehensive maintenance plan to preserve local cultural properties can be an exemplary case in regards to utilizing cultural assets. It can also instill the idea of protecting our cultural properties in people's minds. “We need to make sure that our children grow up in an environment where preserving our cultural heritage is not a campaign, but a basic,” said Ahn. He also emphasized the importance of preserving intangible cultural assets such as folk games, pansori (a genre of Korean musical storytelling), or religions. The ERICA Institute of Cultural Properties has long deliberated on how to improve the cultural assets alongside people in their lives and have successfully taken the lead in this sector. They are now working on how to incorporate cultural properties in stages as early as urban planning at Hanam-si. It is unprecedented in Korea that city planners and experts in cultural assets work together, according to Ahn. Cultural properties is not something grandiose. "We must think of them as our family so that we naturally protect them," said Ahn. Analysis on the present condition of the 60 cultural heritages is finished, and now, Ahn is working on the report that describes how to preserve them and how to utilize the cultural properties. Kim Hyun-soo soosoupkimmy@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-09 23

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Adsorption Desalination, a Road to Innovative Desalination

Desalination is the process of removing salt from seawater, which is refined and utilized for human consumption and irrigation. As many parts of the world suffer from water scarcity, the significance of desalination technology is increasing. There are several ways of performing desalination, but the most widely used ones are Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Forward Osmosis (FO), as they are more economical. However, Professor Kim Young-deuk (Department of Mechanical Engineering, ERICA Campus) is looking beyond those methods as he digs deeper into desalination through evaporation. Professor Kim Young-deuk (Department of Mechanical Engineering, ERICA Campus) is explaining his project on adsorption desalination. Adsorption desalination is a method of desalination which employs low-temperature waste heat as its energy source. It is one of the subfields of desalination, in which evaporation is triggered through the adsorption of heat. According to Kim, this method of desalination has three advantages compared to RO and FO desalination. First, the technology can work not only for desalination, but also for air-conditioning. It can also reduce energy use, consuming less than half of what RO and FO currently require. Finally, it is cost-effective as there is less of a need for big-scale infrastructure. “The source technology of desalination is further developed in other countries,” explained Kim. “And we pay royalty for its use. What I am trying goes along with the government’s policy to localize essential source technology.” Kim is now working on showing more visible performance as his team was nominated as one of the final three for the ‘Alchemist Project,’ a national project launched by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in order to support the research and development of innovative technology. Kim's project started from a small device but has improved over the years. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim started his project on this topic at the time he came to Hanyang as a professor, which he learned from his postdoctoral fellowship. He commented that his research is still in its early stage, but he is hopeful that the technology will bring a paradigm shift in terms of efficiency and utility. Kim stressed the importance of challenge and experience as a researcher. At the end of the interview, Kim advised the students of Hanyang to challenge and experience as much as possible. “Assuming that you are well-founded on your professional knowledge, you should go beyond and overcome your limits,” said Kim. “It will help you apply your knowledge into a new field and find a niche market.” Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-09 09

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Development of Computer Vision Algorithms for Spatial Recognition of Videos

The Next-generation Information Computing Development Project is a research project executed by Hanyang University and six other research teams, which has been ongoing from September of 2017 and will end on December of 2020. There are two main parts of the research, and Professor Lim Jong-woo (Department of Computer Science) took charge of the first part, titled "fundamental study of vision algorithms for spatial recognition of videos." The focus of Lim's research was to develop computer vision algorithms for spatial recognition of videos. Professor Lim Jong-woo (Department of Computer Science) is taking part in the Next-generation Information Computing Development Project. The object of this research was to develop a computer vision algorithm to comprehensively recognize accurate three-dimensional information of surrounding environments and to detect and predict the location and movement of important figures through the various videos achievable in routine environments. With the basis on geometrical probabilistic computer vision algorithms that have been the subject of research as of now, the research team of six has been striving to develop an original technology that can successively perceive and comprehensively infer information on the environment and major objects inside the video. The first theme consists of geometrical environment information recognition, and the other is detection and tracking of principal objects. Devices with cameras equipped are usually used for taking photos or videos. This research plans to overcome the limitations of the existing methodology, which is the information quantity of the environment map and updating method. They developed a stochastic algorithm that can effectively accumulate long-cumulated information and extract three-dimensional street information of the overall environment by maximizing the information that can be earned from the video. The ultimate goal is to make sure that research output is applied to robots, wearable devices, and autonomous cars by developing an algorithm that accurately model the movements of objects. Original image and restored distance map from blurred image (Photo courtesy of Lim) Object detection technology is emerging and is recently being more widely used in research with deep learning to increase the accuracy of detection. To resolve the issue of difficulty in detecting, clearly due to complex interactions between objects, sudden movements or frequent covering of objects, Lim and his research team sought to develop a deep learning based object detecting technology. Lim has looked into geometric vision for about 10 years. He started motion estimations with a camera at Honda research, until in 2011, when he developed a service that enabled the technology to expand to indoors, as part of the street view team of Google. He continued with geometric vision research at Hanyang University from 2012. Now that the first part of research has been completed, Lim revealed that there is still a ways to go, as it is tough for a computer to recognize as well as humans. Nevertheless, aimed functions were developed and published as a thesis. Lim advises people interested in looking into deep learning to learn in a systematic fashion and study carefully. “Deep learning is a strong tool, but it is not almighty.”

2019-09 02

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Agent Manages Your House Energy

When a country's energy supply falls behind the households' energy consumption, a blackout occurs. Up until now, Korea attempted to regulate the energy consumption by giving a 30 percent margin to the energy supply, which required a lot of money and resources. A more efficient energy management would have been possible if the individual household could intelligently control their energy consumption. To address this problem, Professor Choi Jin-seek (Department of Computer Science) has recently published a new design of the Energy Management Agent (EMA) framework, presenting a 'hierarchically distributed' EMA framework in his paper, ‘A Hierarchical Distributed Energy Management Agent Framework for Smart Homes, Grids, and Cities.’ Professor Choi Jin-seek (Department of Computer Science) presented a hierarchically distributed energy management agent model. The suggested framework will share real-time information about the overall energy consumption of houses, towns, and countries, and intelligently manage the individual household energy consumption, which would ultimately improve Korea’s energy efficiency. Prior to Choi's research, it was impossible for individual users to access real-time information of the overall energy consumption. However, the EMA framework enables the AI agents in an individual household to access the information in real time, taking the job of regulating the energy consumption of each house. Every device and house would have an EMA, which shares informations on how much energy is spent and required with other agents, communicating through the energy internet. A diagram showing the Hierarchical Distributed Energy Management Agent Framework (Photo courtesy of Choi) Professor Choi has been working on the most efficient and user-friendly model of energy internet. Previously, there were two framework models: hierarchical and distributed. Choi’s hierarchical distributed framework combines the advantages of the two frameworks. First, Choi explained that the framework enables the agents to make smart autonomous decisions for the user by sharing energy information to each agent in real time. Agents that received the outside information through energy internet control the in-home energy usage accordingly. For instance, if the district’s overall energy usage is high, the agent could stop a certain household’s machines to temporarily save energy. Also, the agents learn each household’s specific requirements in order to control the supply with consideration. If there is a patient or a newborn who is vulnerable to heat, the agents will share such information and leave the household out from the control subject. Choi says that using the framework can decrease the amount of excess supply. "If the framework is implemented, a flexible control of energy consumption in households will be possible, and the country will not require such big margin in supply. Decreasing the current 30 percent margin to 10 or 20 will achieve a groundbreaking energy efficiency for Korea, whose efficiency assessment sits in the lowest within the OECD," said Choi. Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon