New Directions in Wireless Systems Design 2013
Sponsored by the Mobility and Networking Research Group
Microsoft Research, Redmond, Washington, USA
9:00 - 12:30 PM, Thursday, May 30, 2013


Join us for a fast paced half-day summit where some of the most active wireless networking and systems researchers in academia and industry give short (~10 minute) presentations answering the following question: what are the cannot miss cutting-edge problem(s) they are working on and how will their solution(s) transform/impact our industry?  The goal of this informal event is to create stronger ties between Microsoft’s technical community leaders and some of the top wireless and mobile systems researchers in academia, and to learn about the next big ideas these researchers are working on.


Program

   8:30AM Light Breakfast

   9:00 - 10:20 Session I: Wireless

  1. Software Defined Cellular Networks (CellSDN)
    Erran Li (Alcatel-Lucent)
  2. Down-clocking Wi-Fi Communication (SloMo)
    Alex Snoeren (University of California San Diego)
  3. Challenges and Approaches in Practical MIMO Systems
    Lili Qiu (University of Texas Austin)
  4. Clean-Slate Designs for Secure Wireless Systems
    Yih-Chun Hu ((University of Illinois Urbana Champaign)
  5. Ambient Backscatter: A New Direction in Ubiquitous Communication
    Shyamnath Gollakota (University of Washington)
  6. Advances in mm-wave Networking
    Thyaga Nandagopal (National Science Foundation)
   10:20AM Break

   10:30 - 11:50 Session II: Mobile

  1. Perceptions and Truth: A Mechanism Design Approach to Crowd-Sourcing Reputation
    Mingyan Liu (University of Michigan)
  2. Mobile Phone Sensing and its Applications
    Cecilia Mascolo (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
  3. Towards Mobile Sensing of Attention and Distraction
    Marco Gruteser (Rutgers University)
  4. Creating a Single System Image out of Distributed, Heterogeneous Resources for Mobile Computing
    Lin Zhong (Rice University)
  5. Building a Distributed Computing Infrastructure with Heterogeneous Devices
    Srikanth Krishnamurthy (UCR)
  6. Automatic Construction of Indoor Floorplans (CrowdInside)
    Moustafa Youssef (Egypt-Japan University of Science & Technology)
   11:50AM Break

   12:00 - 12:30 Session III: Combo

  1. Exploiting Angle-of-Arrival Information for Highly Accurate and Responsive Indoor Localization
    Kyle Jamieson (University College London)
  2. Cisco's Fog Computing Vision and its Applications to Mobility Systems
    Douglas Chan (Cisco)
   Adjourn


Talk Abstracts

Software Defined Cellular Networks (CellSDN)
Erran Li (Alcatel-Lucent)

Current cellular network design does not scale well with the exponential growth of mobile data. To allow the network to scale cost-effectively, a radically new design of the cellular network infrastructure is necessary. In this talk, I will present CellSDN, a software-defined cellular network architecture. Compared with SDN in data centers, the challenges of CellSDN are asymmetric edge, fine-grained policies and unplanned mobility. I will discuss our solutions and present evaluation results. This is joint work with Xin Jin, Laurent Venbever, and Jennifer Rexford at Princeton University.


Downclocking Wi-Fi Communication (SloMO)
Alex C. Snoeren (University of California San Diego)

As manufacturers continue to improve the energy efficiency of battery-powered wireless devices, Wi-Fi has become one of—if not the—most significant power draws. Hence, modern devices fastidiously manage their radios, shifting into low-power listening or sleep states whenever possible. The fundamental limitation with this approach, however, is that the radio is incapable of transmitting or receiving unless it is fully powered. Unfortunately, applications found on today’s wireless devices often require frequent access to the channel.

We observe, however, that many of these same applications have relatively low bandwidth requirements. Leveraging the inherent sparsity in Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) modulation, we propose a transceiver design based on compressive sensing that allows WiFi devices to operate their radios at lower clock rates when receiving and transmitting at low bit rates, thus consuming less power. We have implemented our 802.11b-based design in a software radio platform, and show that it seamlessly interacts with existing WiFi deployments. Our prototype remains fully functional when the clock rate is reduced by a factor of five, potentially reducing power consumption by over 30%. Our current efforts focus on OFDM, where we have obtained a 50% clock rate reduction so far.



Challenges and Approaches in Practical MIMO Systems
Lili Qiu (University of Texas Austin)

MIMO is a significant breakthrough in wireless communication and promises a dramatic capacity increase. In this talk, I will present challenges in realizing MIMO gain in practice and give an overview of our research in addressing some of these challenges.


Clean-Slate Designs for Secure Wireless Systems
Yih-Chun Hu (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign)

Previous work in wireless network security has focused on a single attack, or more broadly, a single layer. As a result, even when secure protocols are designed at several layers, they may not intermix well, because one protocol's security definition may not meet the requirements of another protocol that sits on top of it in the network stack. In this work, we start with a clean-slate design bottom-up design, assuming a powerful, insider, cross-layer adversary, and show that under a set of reasonable axioms, near-optimal performance is possible over a sufficiently long period of time.


Ambient Backscatter: A New Direction in Ubiquitous Communication
Shyamnath Gollakota (University of Washington)

I will present the design of a communication system that enables two devices to communicate using ambient RF as the only source of power. Our approach leverages existing TV and cellular transmissions to eliminate the need for wires and batteries, thus enabling ubiquitous communication where devices can communicate among themselves at unprecedented scales and in locations that were previously inaccessible. To achieve this, we introduce ambient backscatter, a new communication primitive where devices communicate by backscattering ambient RF signals. Our design avoids the expensive process of generating radio waves; backscatter communication is orders of magnitude more power-efficient than traditional radio communication. Further, since it leverages the ambient RF signals that are already around us, it does not require a dedicated power infrastructure, as in traditional backscatter communication. To show the feasibility of our design, we prototype the devices on hardware and achieve information rates of 1 kbps over distances of 2.5 feet and 1.5 feet, while operating outdoors and indoors respectively.


Advances in mm-wave Networking
Thyaga Nandagopal (National Science Foundation)

Millimeter wave networking (30 Ghz - 300 GHz) have the potential to reimagine wireless networks and last-hop network access, by unleashing a wide spectrum of bandwidth, hitherto untapped. Recent developments in electronics, antenna design, communication theory and spectrum policy have begun to converge with interest from industry in this space. In this presentation, an overview of recent advances in this space as it applies to networking researchers will be given along with future research directions for the next three to five years.


Perceptions and Truth: A Mechanism Design Approach to Crowd-Sourcing Reputation
Mingyan Liu (University of Michigan)

We consider a networked system where distributed entities/individuals possess information about themselves and others, and reputations emerge as a way of assessing the quality of these individuals. Each individual is interested in obtaining accurate assessment of others while possibly maintaining a high reputation for itself. We examine a number of mechanisms aimed at incentivizing useful input from individual to collectively achieve higher system-wide accuracy. Applications include online recommendation systems and trust management in an ad hoc network.


Mobile Phone Sensing and its Applications
Cecilia Mascolo (University of Cambridge, U.K.)

Mobile phone sensing has emerged as a field of research in recent years: aspects related to energy and precision have been widely investigated. I will briefly report on our current research in using mobile sensing efficiently to monitor user behaviour in the context of human psychology studies. Our research now also focuses on the integration of mobile sensing in the next generation online social networks with a wide range of applications in recommendation and user profiling. I will present our findings and the challenges that this research is posing.


Towards Mobile Sensing of Attention and Distraction
Marco Gruteser (Rutgers University)

It has long been recognized that ubiquitous information access brings enormous benefits but also challenges our ability to focus. With mobile devices this is a particular serious concern for drivers, pedestrians, and other traffic participants. In this talk, I will discuss our work towards accurate tracking of user attention - from determining whether a mobile user is driving to tracking what a user is looking at. These techniques can be expected to enable mobile systems that help us better navigate distractions.


Creating a Single System Image out of Distributed, Heterogeneous Resources for Mobile Computing
Lin Zhong (Rice University)

Today's users own multiple mobile devices of various form factors; today's mobile devices have access to many cores of various types, internal and external. This creates a challenge to both end users and app developers. End users have to manage applications and services for each device separately; developers have to write an application for each device and synchronize them across multiple devices. We argue if a single system image can be built out of multiple mobile devices and distributed, heterogeneous resources available to them, this challenge can be solved. In this talk, we outline our recent efforts toward this goal.


Building a Distributed Computing Infrastructure with Heterogeneous Devices
Srikanth Krishnamurthy (University of California Riverside)

Today, there has been an explosion in terms of the number of smartphones and tablets that are being sold and used. Many of these devices have computing power that is comparable to PCs, but are left idle for prolonged periods. In addition, the notion of cloudlets wherein ISP provided APs have computing and storage is gaining traction. One can envision building a distributed computing infrastructure(s) using all of these platforms. However, the fact that a significant fraction of these devices are mobile raises a number of challenges in terms of harnessing their power. Three examples of these challenges include battery consumption, bandwidth heterogeneity and security. In our preliminary work reported in our paper in CoNEXT 2012, we addressed some of these challenges for a computing infrastructure built using just smartphones. In this talk, I will give a brief overview of that work, and discuss where such a computing infrastructure may find application and the challenges in practical realization and deployment.


Automatic Construction of Indoor Floor-plans (CrowdInside)
Moustafa A. Youssef (Egypt-Japan University of Science & Technology)

The existence of a worldwide indoor floor plans database can lead to significant growth in location-based applications, especially for indoor environments. In this work, we present CrowdInside: a crowdsourcing-based system for the automatic construction of buildings floor plans. CrowdInside leverages the smart phones sensors that are ubiquitously available with humans who use a building to automatically and transparently construct accurate motion traces. These accurate traces are generated based on a novel technique for reducing the errors in the inertial motion traces by using the points of interest in the indoor environment, such as elevators and stairs, for error resetting. The collected traces are then processed to detect the overall floorplan shape as well as higher level semantics such as detecting rooms and corridors shapes along with a variety of points of interest in the environment.

Exploiting Angle-of-Arrival Information for Highly Accurate and Responsive Indoor Localization
Kyle Jamieson (University College London)

Location systems are key to a rich experience for mobile users. When they roam outdoors, mobiles can usually count on a clear GPS signal for an accurate location, but indoors, GPS usually fades, and so up until recently, mobiles have had to rely mainly on rather coarse-grained signal strength readings for location. I will talk about the design and experimental evaluation of ArrayTrack, an indoor location system that uses Angle-of-Arrival information at access points to track wireless clients in real time as they roam about a building. Our results show that ArrayTrack can pinpoint 33 clients spread out over an indoor office environment to within a median 25 cm location accuracy


Cisco's Fog Computing Vision and its Applications to Mobility Systems
Douglas Chan (Advanced Architecture and Research, Cisco Systems)

Fog Computing extends the Cloud Computing paradigm to the edge of the network, thus enabling a new breed of applications and services. Defining characteristics of the Fog are: a) Low latency and location awareness; b) Wide-spread geographical distribution; c) Mobility; d) Very large number of nodes, e) Predominant role of wireless access, f) Strong presence of streaming and real time applications, g) Heterogeneity. Cisco believes the above characteristics make the Fog the appropriate platform for a number of critical Internet of Things (IoT) and mobility services and applications, namely, Connected Vehicle, Smart Grid , Smart Cities, and wireless sensors.