Computing That Serves

Understanding and Improving Wireless Networks


Thursday, February 21, 2008 - 11:00am


The ubiquity of wireless networks has led to massive efforts to understand and improve wireless network performance, and to leverage this technology to provide exciting new applications to users. The distributed and ephemeral nature of wireless signal propagation, however, has hampered efforts to conduct research in a controlled and realistic environment. In this talk, I will discuss the design and implementation of a wireless emulator, and show how this emulator can be leveraged to provide insight into wireless network and application behavior. I present a controlled analysis of link-level wireless behavior, and consider the impact of these observations on deployed wirelessnetworks. Compared to simulation, this emulator-based approach provides an accurate understanding of real-world wireless network performance, and facilitates deployment into an operational wireless network, while still providing the benefits of a controlled experimental environment. Using this technique, researchers are able to gain insight that is difficult to achieveusing other methods.