Thursday, September 30th, 2010
8:30am – CS Conference Room
Committee: Elizabeth Belding (chair), Kevin Almeroth, Heather Zheng
Title: Architecting Adaptive Resource-Aware Protocols in Large Wireless Networks
How did you use the wireless network today? The answer to this question has changed significantly over the past few years. Not so long ago, low data rates and lossy links were seen as a price to pay for ubiquitous connectivity. Today, we expect Ethernet-like performance from our wireless networks; be it for bulk file transfers, Voice over IP calls, or streaming high definition videos. Contrary to these expectations, the question of how we can deliver high throughput to a large number of densely-packed devices remains an open problem.
In order to support the increasing number of wireless devices and applications with high capacity demands, it is critical to design protocols that can measure the network conditions, estimate requirements and adapt accordingly. To that end, we perform a suite of measurement studies of network deployments in order to understand the protocol deficiencies that arise when networks scale. Based on these measurement studies, we identify two key knobs for adaptation: 1) share of spectrum to use and 2) share of capacity to use during transmission. We design systems that adapt these two parameters, and show that we can achieve better throughput, power savings and network management as a result. In this talk, I will present one such measurement study of multimedia streaming in residential networks. I will then present the design of IdleChat, a system that is capable of bonding broadband links using spare wireless capacity in order to improve real-time video streaming.