Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gary B. Lamont, PhD


The timely detection and classification of chemical and biological agents in a wartime environment is a critical component of force protection in hostile areas. Moreover, the possibility of toxic agent use in heavily populated civilian areas has risen dramatically in recent months. This thesis effort proposes a strategy for identifying such agents vis distributed sensors in an Artificial Immune System (AIS) network. The system may be used to complement "electronic" nose ("E-nose") research being conducted in part by the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate. In addition, the proposed strategy may facilitate fulfillment of a recent mandate by the President of the United States to the Office of Homeland Defense for the provision of a system that protects civilian populations from chemical and biological agents. The proposed system is composed of networked sensors and nodes, communicating via wireless or wired connections. Measurements are continually taken via dispersed, redundant, and heterogeneous sensors strategically placed in high threat areas. These sensors continually measure and classify air or liquid samples, alerting personnel when toxic agents are detected. Detection is based upon the Biological Immune System (BIS) model of antigens and antibodies, and alerts are generated when a measured sample is determined to be a valid toxic agent (antigen). Agent signatures (antibodies) are continually distributed throughout the system to adapt to changes in the environment or to new antigens. Antibody features are determined via data mining techniques in order to improve system performance and classification capabilities. Genetic algorithms (GAs) are critical part of the process, namely in antibody generation and feature subset selection calculations. Demonstrated results validate the utility of the proposed distributed AIS model for robust chemical spectra recognition.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number