We believe that tomorrow's wireless environment will consist of heterogeneous systems operating at many scales. Many of these systems will be distributed, mobile, and some will incorporate low-power, unreliable, and computationally limited components. The number of different wireless systems competing for the use of scarce spectrum will continue to proliferate with different services having distinct quality of service requirements.
Current Wireless Challenges:
- Architectures have been primarily driven by a "point-to-point" philosophy -> we need to better understand a network viewpoint wherein nodes can cooperate intelligently taking advantage of the special properties inherent in wireless communication.
- Architectures have been primarily centralized -> we need to develop highly distributed architectures and algorithms that are still robust and energy-efficient on a system basis.
- Current wireless systems share spectrum through a rigid frequency partition and tight regulatory requirements -> we need more flexible and adaptive spectrum sharing mechanisms that can mostly be self-enforced at the level of the wireless nodes themselves.
- Research efforts have been primarily compartmentalized -> we need highly inter-disciplinary research across signal processing, communications, game theory, and networking.
If these are not done soon, we run the risk of having innovation in the future being hobbled by well-intentioned but misguided regulatory regimes and legacy systems put in place today.
Our research focuses on getting fundamental insights and developing better ways to think about wireless systems. In the course of doing this, we come up against many previously formulated open problems in network information theory (e.g. non-degraded broadcast channels, relay channels, two-way channels, etc.) that have evaded the community's grasp. We believe that by taking a fresh perspective and formulating the problems in a different way, it is possible to get further understanding. In addition to information theoretic models and bounds, we study protocols, codes, and algorithms. Some topics we are currently exploring are:
- Understanding the 3 R's of spectrum management: spectrum reduce, reuse, and recycling.
- Intelligent cooperation between nodes to serve network functions
- Understanding the power of feedback and common protocols in enabling spectral efficiency at the network level.
- Distributed signal processing for sensor networks.
- Exploitation of mobility and ultrawideband to communicate.
- Understanding what "quality of service" means for wireless systems.
- Fundamentally rethinking the architecture of multimedia-over-wireless systems.