ECE 256: Wireless Networking & Mobile Computing
Cross listed as CS 215

Semester:                   Spring 2010
Time and Location:   M/W 1:15pm to 2:30pm, at 125 Hudson Hall
Prerequisites:             ECE 156 or CS 114 or permission of instructor

Instructor:                  Romit Roy Choudhury :
Office hours:             By appointment (203 Hudson Hall)

TA:                            Souvik Sen (
Office Hours:             Fridays, 1:30 to 2:30, Hudson 217.

                                   Xuan Bao (
                                   Monday, 2:30 to 3:30, Hudson 217.

Grading:                     Class presentation, participation:      10%
                                   Homework (Paper reviews, etc.):     20%
                                   1 mid-term exam:                              20%
                                   Semester-long project:                      50%

       Industries engaging with ECE 256 class projects ...



    Course Overview:
  • There is no textbook for this course. I will cover majority of the topics through lectures on important concepts, and presentation of related papers. The remaining classes will comprise of student-led presentations. Each student will be required to present 1 paper in the entire semester.
  • For each class, students are required to read 2 of the assigned papers and write reviews for them (in certain cases there will be only 1 paper for review). Most of the papers are from top networking conferences. The reviews should be emailed to the TA before class starts. Also, a printed copy should be submitted in class.
  • Several additional papers will be recommended for reading. You should make an effort to read them, but I understand your time constraints.
  • There will be one mid-term exam (open notes, open laptop), and no final exams.
  • The most important component of the course will be the final research project. You are expected to do these projects in groups of 2 (preferrably). I encourage you to think about the project problem early, discuss your ideas with me, read papers in the area, formulate your solution, and finally implement it.

    Class Projects:

  • The class will end with a final project competition, which involves presenting your project and writing a term paper. In the last two years, researchers from Cisco and Duke faculty judged the contest. The 3 best projects were awarded the Cisco Champions award.
  • This year Microsoft Research will provide tools, services, and equipment for creating mobile applications ... this is part of a HAWAII project in which Microsoft Research is engaging with 3 universities to encourage research in emerging directions in mobile computing.
  • See HAWAII project website here   MSR
  • Like prior years, Cisco will also sponsor prizes to the top 2 or 3 projects.      cisco

     Final project topics:
  • SmartClicker (By Kevin, Matthew)
  • Eliminating Driver Distraction (By Ga-Young, Hong, Jeff)
  • Where are Your Passwords Going? (By Ryan)
  • Smart Ringtones (By Lin, Fred)
  • The Music Connection (By Michelle, Tim)
  • Best Place to Study (By Taodun, Jie)
  • Shanyrak: Privacy Preserving Online Social Networks (By Dongtao)
  • 3G Assisted by Ad hoc Sharing for Wireless Network (By Kalou, Thomas)
  • Virtual PowerPoint Board (By Hao, Songtao)
  • Kinetic Solutions: Energy Efficiency in Mobile Devices (By Eskinder, Xiaodi)

    Links to Supplementary Material:

  • Selected projects from previous years, and projects from similar courses in other universities, have been published in conferences:
  • How to read, write, and present papers: ppt
  • Some good conferences and workshops in Wireless Networking and Mobile Computing:
    • ACM Mobicom, MobiHoc, MobiSys, Sigcomm, NSDI, Hotnets, HotMobile
    • IEEE Infocom, ICNP, ICDCS, SECON, WoWMoM

Course Topics:

+ Course Logistics and Content Overview
+ Undergraduate Networking Primer

+ Wireless Basics (Physical Layer and MAC)
+ Medium Access Control
       ~ Randomized Channel Access
       ~ TDMA
       ~ Smart Antennas
       ~ Multi-Channel Protocols
       ~ Transmission Rate Control
       ~ PHY aware MAC protocols

+ Sensor Networking
       ~ The Departure from "Identity or Address based" Routing
       ~ Energy Optimized MAC, Broadcast, and Routing

+ Mobile Phones -- The New Platform for People-Centric Sensing
       ~ Social and Personal Applications
       ~ Localization
       ~ Exploiting Mobility
       ~ Location Privacy

+ Routing
       ~ Purely Distributed Multihop Routing
       ~ Location Based Routing
       ~ Opportunistic Routing

+ Wireless Transport
       ~ Loss Discrimination
       ~ Receiver Based Approaches
       ~ Event Based Reliability for Sensing Applications

+ Emerging Topics
       ~ Link Layer Multicast
       ~ Rural Mesh Networking
       ~ Device Fingerpriting

+ Capacity of Wireless Networks
       ~ Gupta Kumar Transport Capacity

Course Calendar:
Topics & Reading Assignments
1. Wed Jan 13

Course Logistics: Course structure, grading, project, reading papers, etc.

Content Overview:
(1) Wireless Networks -- WLANs, ad hoc, mesh, sensor, and RFID networks
(2) Mobile Computing -- Mobile phones, DTN, social networks, security

Begin Undergraduate Networking primer (ECE 156)

[ ppt ]

Link recap
[ ppt ]

2. Wed, Jan 20

Read and surf.
Reviews not required
Undergraduate Networking primer (ECE 156)

  1. M. Satyanarayanan (CMU), Fundamental Challenges in Mobile Computing Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC) 1995.Satyanarayanan

Recommended Surfing:

[ ppt ]

Transport recap
[ ppt ]
3. Jan 25

Reviewing begins.
Channel model, modulation basics, antenna technologies
Medium Access Control I: The CSMA/CA regime (IEEE 802.11 PHY & MAC)

  1. MACAW: A Medium Access Protocol for Wireless LANs, V. Bharghavan, A. Demers, S. Shenker, and L. Zhang, ACM SIGCOMM 1994
  2. First 20 pages of IEEE 802.11 Tutorial -- Mustafa Ergen (UC Berkeley) ... (Full IEEE 802.11 Standard for your reference)
Recommeded Reading:

[ ppt ]
4. Jan 27

Deadline to select your slot for class presentation
Medium Access Control II: The TDMA regime (Bluetooth, graph coloring, etc.)


  1. DRAND: Distributed Randomized TDMA Scheduling for Wireless Ad Hoc Networks. Injong Rhee, et al., ACM MobiHoc 2006
  2. ZMAC: A Hybrid MAC for Wireless Sensor Networks, Rhee, Warrier, et al. ACM Sensys 2005
  3. Bluetooth (Don't review, only surf)
Recommeded Reading:

[ rand ppt ]
[ zmac ppt ]
5. Feb 1
Medium Access Control III: Directional Antennas

  1. Utilizing Directional Antennas for Wireless Ad Hoc Networks Roy Choudhury, Yang, Vaidya, Ramanathan, ACM Mobicom 2002
  2. Link Layer Multicast using Smart Antennas: No Client Left Behind
Recommeded Reading:
[ ppt ]
6. Feb 8
Medium Access Control V: Rate Control

  1. A Rate Adaptive MAC Protocol for Multi-Hop Wireless Networks, Holland, Vaidya, Bahl, ACM Mobicom '01
  2. OAR: an opportunistic auto-rate media access protocol for ad hoc networks Sadeghi, Kanodia, Sabhrawal, Knightly, Kluwer Wireless Networks Journal, 2005
Recommeded Reading:
[ ppt ]

7. Feb 10
Medium Access Control IV: Multichannel and multi-radio networks

  1. Multi-channel MAC for Ad Hoc Networks, So, Vaidya, ACM Mobihoc 2004
  2. Partially Overlapping Channel NOT Considered Harmful, Mishra, Srivastava, Banerjee, et al., ACM Sigmetrics 2006
Recommeded Reading:
1. Federico
[ ppt ]

2. Kalou
[ ppt ]

8. Mon Feb 15
Medium Access Control VI: Physical Layer Aware MAC Design

  1. ZigZag Decoding
  2. AccuRate: PHY Informed Rate Selection in Wireless Networks
Recommeded Reading:
  • Taking Sting out of Carrier Sense
  • Shuffle
  • SoftRate

[ taught on blackboard ]

9. Wed Feb 17

Sensor Networking

  1. MicaZ, Tmote, TinyOS ppt
  2. Directed Diffusion: A sclable and robust paradigm for wireless sensor networks,  Intanagowiwat, Govindan,  Estrin, et al., ACM Mobicom 2000
  3. Sensor MAC (SMAC): Medium access control for wireless sensor networks, Ye, Heideman, Estrin, IEEE Infocom 2002
  4. Smart Gossip: An adaptive broadcast service for wireless sensor networks, Kyasanur, et al. IEEE MASS 2006
Recommeded Reading:

[ ppt ]
[ ppt ]

[ ppt ]

10. Mon Feb 22

Mobile Phones as People-Centric Sensors

  1. MicroBlog: Sharing and Querying Content using Mobile Phones and Social Participation, S. Gaonkar, et. al., ACM MobiSys 2008
  2. Sensing Meets Mobile Social Networks: The Design, Implementation and Evaluation of the CenceMe Application, E. Mulizzo, et. al., ACM Sensys 08
Recommeded Reading:
1. Romit
 [ ppt ]

2. Ryan
[ ppt ]
11. Wed Feb 24  TRAVEL

12. Mon Mar 1 People Centric Applications
  1. PEIR: Personal Environment Impact Report through Mobile Phones
  2. PhonePoint Pen: Using Mobile Phones to Write on Air
Recommeded Reading:
  • SixthSense (TeD Talk Video)

1. Eskinder

2. Romit
[ ppt ]

13. Wed Mar 3

Deadline to email project groups

Start converging
   on project area
Localization -- What IP is to the Wired Internet, Location will be to Mobile Social Networking

  1. RADAR: An In-Building RF-Based User Location and Tracking System,
  2. Accuracy Characterization for Metropolitan-scale Wi-Fi Localization, Y. Cheng et al., ACM MobiSys 2005

1. Michelle
[ ppt ]

2. Hon Lung
[ ppt ]

Mar 8
Mar 10
14. Mon Mar 15

Start brainstorming
on project idea

Localization -- Logical locations and Free of War-Driving
  1. SurroundSense: Mobile Phone Localization Via Ambience Fingerpriting
  2. Towards Mobile Phone Localization without War-Driving

[ ppt     ppt]
15. Microsoft Hawaii Project tutorial

Brian Zill,
Microsoft Research, Redmond.


16. Mon, March 22 Assorted

  1. MobiUS: Enable Together-Viewing Video Experience across Two Mobile Phones
  2. Link layer behavior of body area networks at 2.4 GHz
  3. Wifi-Reports: Improving Wireless Network Selection with Collaboration
1. Jie Yin
[ ppt ]

2. Tim McDowell
[ ppt ]

17. Wed

Only Review 2nd paper.

Proposal 1 deadline extended to Sunday, March 27
Location Privacy

  1. Basics of Location Privacy: Psudonymns, K-anonymity, CliqueCloak, CacheCloak, ...
  2. Preserving Privacy in GPS Traces via Uncertainty-Aware Path Cloakin, Gruteser, et. al., ACM CCS 2007

1. Romit
[ ppt ]

2. Dongtao
[ ppt ]

18. Mon Mar 29

No reviews
Mobility and Disconnectedness

  1. Locating nodes with EASE: Last Encounter Routing in Ad Hoc Networks through Mobility Diffusion, Grossglauser, Vetterli, IEEE Infocom 2003 (Best Paper Award)
  2. BreadCrumbs: Forecasting Mobile Connectivity, A. Nicholson and Brian Noble, Mobicom 2008

Recommeded Reading:

1. Romit
[ ppt ]

2.   Hao He
[ ppt ]
19. Wed Mar 31

No reviews
Buffer: Discuss phone Apps and all types of project topics

20. Mon Apr 5

Review "Dynamic Source Routing..." paper ONLY
Wireless Ad Hoc Routing I: Source routing, Distance vector routing, Location Based

  1. Dynamic Source Routing in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks, Johnson, Maltz, Journal of Mobile Computing (MONET), 1996
  2. Ad Hoc On Demand distance Vector Routing, Perkins, Royer, IEEE Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, 1999
  3. Location Aided Routing in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks, Ko, Vaidya, ACM Mobicom 1998
  4. Grid Location Services

Recommeded Reading:

[ ppt ]
21. Wed Apr 7
Wireless Ad Hoc Routing III: Mesh networking

  1. A High Throughput Path Metric for Wireless Multihop Networks, De Couto, et al. ACM Mobicom 2003
  2. ExOR: Opportunistic Multi-hop routing for Wireless Networks, Biswas, Morris, ACM Sigcomm 2005 (Best Paper Award)
Recommeded Reading:

1.  Songtao
[ ppt ]

2.  Lin Yin
[ ppt ]
22. Mon Apr 12

  • Discuss project updates (Each group informally talks about its progress)
  • Midterm review
20. Wed Apr 14

Proposal II Due:

Update proposal I with solution sketch and evaluation plan.

Review the paper, not the tutorial
Wireless TCP I: Wireless Issues with TCP

Recommeded Reading:

[ ppt ]
[ ppt ]
21. Mon Apr 19

Mid Term (Open Book)


22.  Wed Apr 21

No Review
Wireless TCP II: Mid-Term and Receiver based TCP

  1. Continue TCP
  2. Block-switched Networks: A New Paradigm for Wireless Transport
  3. Mid Term paper discuss

Recommeded Reading:

     1. Romit    

2. Matthew

23. Mon Apr 26
Wireless Link Layer MultiCast and Overhearing
  1. SMACK: Smart ACKnowledgment Scheme for Broadcast Messages in Wireless Networks
  2. Multi Radio Diversity and Packet Combining
1.  Ga-Young

2. Kevin
Other Directions in Mobile/Wireless Computing (Time Permitting)
  1. Wireless Device Identification with Radiometric Signatures
  2. RxIP: Fault Diagnosis and Recovery in Home Wireless Networks
Recommeded Reading: Leveraging Smart Phones to Reduce Mobility Footprints
1. Taodun

2. Thomas
Capacity of Wireless Networks:

  1. The capacity of wireless networks, Gupta, Kumar, IEEE Transactions on Information Thory, 2000
Recommeded Reading:
Course Concluded -- Overview of Course as a Recap

Day of Final Exam
Final Project Presentation Session

  • You are allowed to discuss the papers with colleagues, however, your reviews must be in your own words.
  • While presenting papers in class, please acknowledge the source of slides, pictures, text, etc.