ECE 6961 - Advanced Topics in Communication - Fall 2011


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Course Administrativa

ECE 6961-003, Fall 2011, 3 Units
Thomas Schmid
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Paper Summaries:
JWB 308, Tu/Th 10:45 AM - 12:05 PM
Office Hours:

Course Description

This class focuses on advanced communication systems. It is taught at a graduate level, and targets students in ECE and CE. If you are enrolled in Computer Science and are interested in this class, contact the instructor.

Modern communication systems are complex and highly optimized systems. Many different layers play together in order to achieve high-performance with low-power draw, while still maintaining robustness. In this class, we will have a closer look at all these different levels. We cover research problems in multi-user communication systems, cellular systems, ad-hoc networks, cognitive radio networks, low-power wireless systems, embedded wireless systems, and large-scale wireless systems.

Part of this course is an open-ended, research-oriented class project. The students are expected to implement, simulate, or build a communication system, evaluate its performance, and write-up a report. This class prepares students to carry out a substantial independent research project.

Syllabus (Tentative)

Mtg Date Readings Lead
1 Aug 23 No readings. Course Introduction [lecture1.pdf] Schmid
Physical Layer & Channel Characteristics
2 Aug 25 Link-level Measurements from an 802.11b Mesh Network
Daniel Aguayo, John Bicket, Sanjit Biswas, Glenn Judd, Robert Morris
ACM SIGCOMM'04, Aug. 30-Sept. 3 2004, Portland, Oregon, USA.
Measurement-Based Models of Delivery and Interference in Static Wireless Networks
Charles Reis, Ratul Mahajan, Maya Rodrig , David Wetherall, John Zahorijan
ACM SIGCOMM'06, September 11-15, 2006, Pisa, Italy
P: Dustin
A: Jake
P: Mohamed
A: Merrick
3 Aug 30 An Empirical Study of Low-Power Wireless
Kannan Srinivasan, Prabal Dutta, Arsalan Tavakoli, Philip Levis
ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks, Vol. 6, No. 2, Article 16, February 2010.
A: Eric
4 Sept 1 The κ Factor: Inferring Protocol Performance Using Inter-link Reception Correlation
Kannan Srinivasan, Mayank Jain, Jung Il Choi, Tahir Azim, Edward S Kim, Philip Levis, and Bhaskar Krishnamachari
MobiCom’10, September 20–24, 2010, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
5 Sept 6 Achieving Single Channel, Full Duplex Wireless Communication
Jung Il Choi, Mayank Jain, Kannan Srinivasan, Philip Levis, Sachin Katti
ACM MobiCom'10, September 20-24, 2010, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Practical, Real-time, Full Duplex Wireless
Mayank Jain, Jung Il Choi, Tae Min Kim, Dinesh Bharadia, Siddharth Seth, Kannan Srinivasan, Philip Levis, Sachin Katti, Prasun Sinha
MobiCom’11, September 19–23, 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Link Layer
6 Sept 8 Ultra-Low Duty Cycle MAC with Scheduled Channel Polling
Wei Ye, Fabio Silva, and John Heidemann
SenSys’06, November 1–3, 2006, Boulder, Colorado, USA
7 Sept 13 IP is Dead, Long Live IP for Wireless Sensor Networks
Jonathan W. Hui, David E. Culler
SenSys'08, November 5-7, 2008, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Wireless ACK Collisions Not Considered Harmful
Prabal Dutta, Razvan Musaloiu-E., Ion Stoica, Andreas Terzis
HotNets-VII, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Oct. 6-7, 2008
8 Sept 15 Design and Evaluation of a Versatile and Efficient Receiver-Initiated Link Layer for Low-Power Wireless
Prabal Dutta, Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, Yin Chen, Chieh-Jan (Mike) Liang, and Andreas Terzis
Sensys'10, November, 2010, Zurich, Switzerland
9 Sept 20 Flash Flooding: Exploiting the Capture Effect for Rapid Flooding in Wireless Sensor Networks
Jiakang Lu, and Kamin Whitehouse
INFOCOM'09, April, 2009, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Efficient Network Flooding and Time Synchronization with Glossy
Federico Ferrari, Marco Zimmerling, Lothar Thiele, Olga Saukh,
IPSN'11, April 12-14, 2011, Chicago, Illinois
10 Sept 22 PPR: Partial Packet Recovery for Wireless Networks
Kyle Jamieson and Hari Balakrishnan
SIGCOMM’07, August 27–31, 2007, Kyoto, Japan.
11 Sept 27 Maranello: Practical Partial Packet Recovery for 802.11
Bo Han, Aaron Schulman, Francesco Gringoli, Neil Spring, Bobby Bhattacharjee, Lorenzo Nava, Lusheng Ji, Seungjoon Lee, Robert Miller
12 Sept 29 In-class Project Idea Presentation
Network Layer
13 Oct 4 ZigZag Decoding: Combating Hidden Terminals in Wireless Networks
Shyamnath Gollakota and Dina Katabi,
SIGCOMM’08, August 17–22, 2008, Seattle, Washington, USA.
14 Oct 6 Architecture and Evaluation of an Unplanned 802.11b Mesh Network
John Bicket, Daniel Aguayo, Sanjit Biswas, Robert Morris
MobiCom’05, August 28–September 2, 2005, Cologne, Germany.
15 Oct 11 Fall Break, no class
16 Oct 13 Fall Break, no class
17 Oct 18 ExOR: Opportunistic Multi-Hop Routing for Wireless Networks
Sanjit Biswas and Robert Morris
SIGCOMM’05, August 22–26, 2005, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
18 Oct 20 XORs in The Air: Practical Wireless Network Coding
Sachin Katti, Hariharan Rahul, Wenjun Hu, Dina Katabi, Muriel Me ?dard, Jon Crowcroft
SIGCOMM’06, September 11–15, 2006, Pisa, Italy.
19 Oct 25 Trading Structure for Randomness in Wireless Opportunistic Routing
Szymon Chachulski, Michael Jennings, Sachin Katti, Dina Katabi
SIGCOMM’07, August 27–31, 2007, Kyoto, Japan.
20 Oct 27 Symbol-level Network Coding for Wireless Mesh Networks
Sachin Katti, Dina Katabi, Hari Balakrishnan, and Muriel Medard
SIGCOMM’08, August 17–22, 2008, Seattle, Washington, USA.
21 Nov 1 TBD
22 Nov 3 Monitoring Breathing via Signal Strength in Wireless Networks
Neal Patwari, Joey Wilson, Sai Ananthanarayanan P.R., Sneha K. Kasera, Dwayne Westenskow
arXiv:1109.3898v1 [cs.NI] 18 Sep 2011
Neal Patwari
23 Nov 8 White Space Networking with Wi-Fi like Connectivity
Paramvir Bahl, Ranveer Chandra, Thomas Moscibroda, Rohan Murty, Matt Welsh
SIGCOMM’09, August 17–21, 2009, Barcelona, Spain.
24 Nov 10 WiLDNet: Design and Implementation of High Performance WiFi Based Long Distance Networks
Rabin Patra, Sergiu Nedevschi, Sonesh Surana, Anmol Sheth, Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, Eric Brewer
NSDI ’07
Student Presentations
25 Nov 15
26 Nov 17 Frequency Aware Rate Adaptation and MAC Protocols Merrick
27 Nov 22 Embracing wireless interference: Analog network coding
28 Nov 24 Thanksgiving, no class
30 Nov 29 Statistical model of lossy links in wireless sensor networks
CSMA/CN: Carrier sense multiple access with collision notification
31 Dec 1 E-MiLi: Energy-Minimizing Idle Listening in Wireless Networks
DTLSR: delay tolerant routing for developing regions
Xueyan, Grant
32 Dec 6 Enabling MAC protocol implementations on software-defined radios
Full Duplex Signal Shaping to Exploit Fragmented Spectrum
Nic, Jon
33 Dec 8 In-Class Project Presentations Schmid
34 Dec 12-16 TBD: Open Demo & Poster



Department Approval and Graduate Status in Electrical and Computer Engineering. If you are an undergraduate interested in this course, or if you are enrolled in Computer Science or Computer Engineering, then please contact the instructor.

You need (or need to acquire) the skill to read deeply, analyze critically, and synthesize effectively. Although there is not much in the way of homeworks and labs, success in this wireless research often requires a substantial design and implementation effort, so you should have strong technical skills.


Paper Reviews. Read the papers carefully and write your own paper summary/review. Your understanding and learning is greatly aided by the critical evaluation of others' work. For each paper that requires a summary, write two paragraphs that answer the following questions.

The first paragraph:

  • What is the main problem that the paper addresses?
  • Why is the problem important?
  • What solution does the paper propose and what is the key insight?

The second paragraph:

  • Does the idea work, and if so, how well?
  • What is a drawback or limitation of the system and how you might improve it?

The paper reviews are to be submitted electronically by midnight the day prior to the class during which we will discuss the paper. The exact manner of submission is to be determined. Late reviews will not be counted. You can miss up to four paper reviews during the term without penalty. Failing to turn in five or more reviews on time will result in a zero for all paper reviews. Allocate enough time for your reading and plan your reviews carefully.


Item Weight Description
Research Project 40% Substantial individual/group research project and paper.
In-class participation 20% Taking part in discussions during class.
Paper Reviews 20% Written summaries/reviews of 2-4 papers per week.
Quizzes / Homework 10% Random minute quizzes (coin toss).
Demo and Poster 10% Open demo/poster session at the end of the term.

Abstract and Final Report Templates

We will use the ACM template for submitting the project abstract and for your final reports. You can find it here


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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant #1111541. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
This course and lab uses hardware and software provided by Cypress Semiconductor, including the PSoC 5 First Touch Starter Kits and Development Kits.

Attached Files

choi10duplex.pdf (1.2 MB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:03 am

aguayo04link.pdf (835.4 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:04 am

reis06measurement.pdf (398.3 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:04 am

hpmodulationintro.pdf (344.6 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:06 am

srinivasan10empirical.pdf (4 MB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:06 am

hui08ipv6.pdf (1.3 MB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:07 am

ye06scp.pdf (630.2 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:07 am

dutta08backcast.pdf (111.3 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:08 am

dutta10amac.pdf (779.4 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:08 am

ferrari11glossy.pdf (659.3 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:08 am

lu09flash.pdf (225.3 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:08 am

jamieson07ppr.pdf (889.2 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:09 am

gollakota08zigzag.pdf (903.3 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:09 am

heussen05idlesense.pdf (263 kB) Thomas Schmid, 07/27/2011 10:09 am

bicket05unplanned.pdf (559.5 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 10:24 am

biswas05exor.pdf (311.6 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 10:24 am

chachulski07opportunistic.pdf (613.4 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 10:27 am

katti08mixit.pdf (586.4 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 10:27 am

katti06xor.pdf (508.4 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 10:30 am

bahl09whitespace.pdf (2.7 MB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 10:33 am

jain11practicalduplex.pdf (667.5 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 10:56 am

patra07wildnet.pdf (413.3 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 11:03 am

han10maranello.pdf (879.4 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 11:07 am

brenner97wifi.pdf (362.9 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 11:15 am

cook06socissues.pdf (1.4 MB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 01:48 pm

chandrakasan09uwb.pdf (2.3 MB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 02:15 pm

le04zigbee.pdf (376.3 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 02:38 pm

nychis09sdr.pdf (415.4 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/01/2011 02:38 pm

nsf.jpg (3.9 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/22/2011 09:31 am

cypress.gif (4.8 kB) Thomas Schmid, 08/22/2011 09:33 am

lecture1.pdf (1.7 MB) Thomas Schmid, 08/23/2011 04:32 pm

srinivasan10kappa.pdf (1 MB) Thomas Schmid, 08/31/2011 02:23 pm

patwari11breathing.pdf (324.7 kB) Thomas Schmid, 09/27/2011 09:24 am