Thia Kirubarajan

Thia Kirubarajan

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
McMaster University

Chair title

NSERC/General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada Industrial Research Chair in Target Tracking and Information Fusion

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2017


Information fusion, which means the systematic combination of data from multiple sensors, has many applications in surveillance, safety and security, intelligent transportation, and autonomous vehicles. In recent years, the types of data sources have been evolving, with large amounts of social media data (e.g., text, image, video, audio) being available for fusion with traditional sensors such as radar and sonar. The resulting heterogeneous data explosion poses two challenges for fusion systems: how to handle large amounts of data and how to fuse soft data from humans and hard data from hardware sensors. While these issues have made the problem more challenging, available computing resources have become more affordable, powerful and diverse. For example, cloud-based computing, in which a large number of real and virtual computers distributed across the globe are tasked as needed to address a difficult computational problem, can be used to handle large amounts of data without requiring dedicated computer hardware. Alternatively, massively parallel graphical processing units (GPUs) can be used for complex, computationally intensive, repetitive tasks on a desktop computer.

The inter-related evolutions in sensor technology and computer processing power provide the motivation for the proposed work. The objective of our work is to develop new object-tracking and sensor-fusion algorithms that specifically take advantage of emerging computational resources such as cloud computing, GPUs and hardware systems to handle large amounts of traditional and emerging data that may be soft, hard or augmented-reality. In addition to training highly qualified personnel and advancing the state-of-the-art in sensing technology, the proposed work will have significant economic and societal impacts. The algorithms that will be developed in this project can be applied, with some modifications, to defence as well as to civilian sensing systems.


  • General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada

Contact information

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario



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