Design, Development, Testing, Deployment and Operation of Effective Systems

The twentieth Workshop for Advanced Development for Security Applications (ADSA20) will be held on May 15 and 16, 2019, at Northeastern University in Boston. The workshop will address the topic of the design, development, testing, deployment and operation of effective systems.

The ADSA workshops are convened by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence (COE) for Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT) at Northeastern University. ALERT is supported by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate through the DHS Office of University Programs.

Specific topics that will be addressed include:

  • Defining effective
  • Effectiveness for other stakeholders: airlines and passengers
  • Effectiveness for other venues: subway, rail, and cargo
  • Human in the loop
  • Positive predictive value improvement
  • Detection versus deterrence versus displacement
  • Role of interconnectivity with open architectures
  • Correct operating point on the receiver operator characteristic curve
  • Application of metadata
  • Rapid response to an adapting adversary
  • Managing the threat list
  • Dealing with imperfect equipment
  • Role of Artificial intelligence
  • Statistical significance of tests and influence of limited training data
  • Application of simulants
  • True versus auto-detection
  • Data augmentation
  • Transition – particularly from academia
  • Reducing time to market
  • Role of third parties

The ADSA20 Workshop will be held in conjunction with the ALERT Technology Showcase which will be held May 14, 2019 at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. For more information on the ALERT Technology Showcase, please visit the ALERT Showcase event page.

These workshops are by invitation only. Please contact Tiffany Lam at if you are interested in attending.

Workshop Information

Date and Time: The ADSA20 Workshop will take place on Wednesday, May 15 and Thursday, 16, 2019.

Location: Raytheon Amphitheater (Room 240), Egan Research Center, Northeastern University, Boston, MA (Street Address: 120 Forsyth Street, Boston, MA 02115).

Map: Raytheon is #60 on the Northeastern Campus Map.

Participants: By invitation only. Registration fees apply.

Agenda: Agenda as of 05/20/19

The final reports for all previous ADSA workshops can be found at:

Parking and Other Transportation

MBTA Subway

  • MBTA Green Line/Heath Street Stop: “Northeastern University.”
  • MBTA Orange Line Stop: “Ruggles Station.”

Northeastern University Parking

  • Closest NU Garage: Gainsborough Parking Garage (#45 on the campus map), located at 10 Gainsborough Street, Boston.
  • Additional NU Parking: Renaissance Parking Garage (#62 on the campus map), located at 835 Columbus Avenue, Boston.

Campus Map:

Parking will be validated – please remember to bring your garage ticket with you to the workshop.


Hotel Room Blocks have been reserved at the following two Boston hotels for the nights of May 13, 14, and 15.  Booking information and rates are listed below:

The Colonnade Hotel:

  • The rate for the room block is $339
  • Room block code: Northeastern ADSA20
  • To book, visit the hotel website or call the hotel at  617-424-7000 or 800-962-3030.
  • This block will expire on April 24, 2019

Inn at Longwood Medical

  • The rate for the room block is $239
  • Room block code: ADSA0519
  • To book, visit the hotel website or call the hotel at 617-731-4700 or 1-800-468-2378.
  • This block will expire on April 22, 2019

Other suggested hotels nearby:

Registration Fees

Each attendee will be prompted for secure payment prior to the completion of their registration. Fee rates are based on attendee affiliation:

  • Government Agency, National Labs and Academia: $100 per person.
  • Industry (Mid-Large Business): $500 per person.
  • Industry (Small Business*): $250 per person.
  • ALERT University Partners, ADSA20 Speakers, and ALERT/Gordon-CenSSIS Industry Members are exempt from registration fees.

*Small businesses are defined as having fewer than 500 employees.

Reimbursements – *Available for Academic Speakers Only*

Please see reimbursement guidelines (click here) for instructions, cost limitations, and other information. In order to submit your expenses, you must complete the expense reimbursement form and submit a signed copy along with all original receipts within 10 days of the completion of your trip.

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