Computer Science Department Presents: Karthik Sundaresan (NEC Labs America), "Triple Play: The Confluence of Connectivity, Computing, and User Experience in Mobile Networks"

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
1132 Harold Frank Hall
Triple Play: The Confluence of Connectivity, Computing, and User Experience in Mobile Networks
Karthik Sundaresan (NEC Labs America)
Heather Zheng


As we head into the era of immersive user experience and real-time control of cyber- physical systems, it is envisioned that several of these applications will be deployed over the ubiquitous mobile cellular networks. In catering to the demanding service requirements of such continuous interactive (CI) applications, the fifth generation (5G) of mobile networks are trying to evolve from a “network quality of service” perspective to a “user/application quality of experience” one. This talk will draw from some of my works that highlight the need for mobile networks to leverage the confluence of connectivity, computing and user experience — the triple play — towards making this vision a reality.

In the first part of the talk, I will discuss how mobile networks can become agile and scalable by leveraging the synergy between connectivity and computing through software-defined wireless access. In particular, I will highlight the growing importance of cloud-driven radio access networks (C-RANs), especially for dense deployments (e.g. event centers, stadiums, urban hot-spots); then introduce the notion of a “software- defined front-haul” (SDF) network that we developed for C-RANs. I will show why SDFs are the key to unlocking the true potential of SDN in wireless access, and how they can be built and dynamically orchestrated to not only optimize individual user and traffic performance, but also contribute to green (energy-efficient) computing in the network.

In the latter part of the talk, I will highlight the need for mobile networks to adopt a holistic approach in supporting CI applications like augmented and virtual reality (AR/ VR). In particular, I will present a service abstraction framework, called ACACIA that brings together connectivity, computing and application optimization to enable such CI applications over LTE networks today. ACACIA realizes this by leveraging valuable client context information to both orchestrate its mobile network through on-demand edge computing as well as optimize the CI application itself. I will showcase ACACIA’s potential through an AR-based smart retail application that we have built and deployed over an experimental LTE mobile network.

I will conclude by sharing some thoughts on how mobile networks can evolve to support the heterogeneous demands and diversity of future mobile services that range from massive scale IoT to mobile augmented/virtual reality.


Karthikeyan Sundaresan is a senior researcher in the mobile communications and networking research department at NEC Labs America. His research interests are broadly in wireless networking and mobile computing, and span both algorithm design as well as system prototyping. He is the recipient of ACM Sigmobile’s Rockstar award (2016) for early career contributions to the field of mobile computing and wireless networking, as well as several best paper awards at prestigious ACM (MobiHoc, CoNEXT) and IEEE (ICNP, SECON) conferences. He holds over twenty five patents and received a business contribution award from NEC for the technology commercialization of an LTE small cell interference management technology. He has participated in various organization roles for conferences, recently serving as the PC co-chair for ACM MobiCom’16. He is a senior member of IEEE and currently serves as an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing.                                

Everyone welcome!