Victor Bahl
Victor Bahl

DIRECTOR / PRINCIPAL RESEARCHER
Mobility & Networking Research
bahl@microsoft.com
(425) 706-1021 (office)

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  • Projects (1997-2005)
  • Before MSR (1988-97)


  • Awards & Honors

    • SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contributions Award 2013, Association of Computing Machinery (April 2013)
    • Outstanding Leadership and Professional Service Award, Region 6, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (November 2013)
    • MobiSys 2013 Best Paper Award, Energy Characterization and Optimization of Image Sensing Toward Continuous Mobile Vision (June 2013)
    • Distinguished Alumni Award 2012, University of Massachusetts Amherst (April 2012)
    • FCC Open Internet App Award and FCC People's Choice App Award, FCC Open Internet App. Challenge 2011
    • AAAS Fellow, for distinguished contributions to the field of mobile and wireless systems and services, and for passionate visionary leadership of the mobile computing community (December 2010)
    • Outstanding Engineer Award, Region 6, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (September 2010)
    • SIGCOMM 2009 Best Paper Award, White Space Networking with Wi-Fi like Connectivity (August 2009)
    • CoNext 2008 Best Paper Award, Opportunistic Use of Client Repeaters to Improve Performance of WLANs (December 2008)
    • IEEE Fellow, for contributions to the design of wireless networks and systems and leadership in mobile computing and communications, (January 2008)
    • Distinguished ACM Speaker (2007-10)
    • IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer (2007-10)
    • ACM Fellow, for contributions to wireless communication systems, and leadership in the mobile computing and communications community, (November 2003)
    • SIGMOBILE Distinguished Service Award, Citation: for passion about and effectiveness in advancing the interests of ACM SIGMOBILE and its conferences, (July 2001)
    • Digital Equipment Corporation's (now Hewlett Packard) Doctoral Engineering Fellowship Award, (March 1994)
    Recent Projects

    Vision Videos

    Research Contributions & Impact

    • The world's first urban white space network (2003-): Led a small team of researchers that built and deployed a WSN, nick-named WhiteFi, on Microsoft's Redmond campus on Oct. 16, 2009. Spearheaded Microsoft's spectrum management proposals. Published seminal papers in top conferences, started conferences & workshops (DySPAN, INFOCOM's CWCN, MSR's CogNet), edited special issues, wrote book chapters, gave close to a dozen keynotes, influenced government policy (FCC, TRAI, SARFT, ANATEL etc.) & funding (NSF). Became the focus of world-wide press coverage. Co-led the MS strategy team that had a significant hand in the Nov. 4, 2008 and Sept. 23, 2010 FCC ruling that opened 180 MHz+ for unlicensed use in the United States.
    • The world's first Wi-Fi based indoor location determination system (1999). Original paper has been cited over 5500 times and in large part has created the field of indoor positioning systems using commodity hardware. Several companies including Ekahau, Symbol, Nortel, Intel, Cisco, Google, and Microsoft are begining to commercialize versions of this system and many universities are using it as a foundation for research in location and context aware systems. Awarded 9 U.S. and international patents for this work. (Click here to see original demo, April 2000)
    • The world's first multi-radio single network system (2003) Introduced important new design ideas on using multiple radios to improve the performance of wireless mesh networks, wireless LANs, and cell phones. These designs have proliferated deeply into the computer and telecommunication industry. Awarded multiple patents and received considerable coverage from mainstream media for this work.
    • The world's first wireless network virtualization architecture (2002): this architecture enables a network card to connect to multiple networks simultaneously. Software downloads exceeded over 100,000 making it the second most popular download in Microsoft Research's history (up until 2007). It is being shipped to millions of users via Windows 7. Received many accolades from main stream media. The design is fundamental to NSF's GENI WLAN virtualization efforts.
    • Invented the first wake-on-wireless system (2003) Introduced the notion of using a low power radio (as a control channel) to wake-up the high-power system to improve its energy profile. The original MobiCom paper, cited over 500 times, opened up a new thread of research on wireless systems incl. UMASS's Turduken, Intel's CoolSpots, Microsoft's Cell2Notify & Somniloquy, etc. Awarded 4 US patents for this work and ~600 citations
    • The world's first public Wi-Fi hotspot network (2000). Deployed the network in Bellevue, Washington from 1999 to June 2001 (New York Times Article, Feb. 28, 2000). The wireless edge server design is being used by all the major Wi-Fi equipment vendors, beating out the competing IEEE 801.1x design. Awarded 5 international patents and considerable favorable press coverage. (Click here to check out the original web site, June 1999)
    • Public cloud services & cloudlets for mobile computing (2009 -): Envisioned, evangelized and led the development of a service-store that enables developers to build sophisticated cloud-enhanced mobile applications. Deployed a variety of cloud services (Optical Character Recognition, Relay, Rendezvous, Speech-to-Text, Path Prediction, Social Fabric, Translation etc.) for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Android devices. Over 60 universities world-wide adopted these services in senior and graduate-level mobile computing courses.
    • First multi-gigabit wireless links in over-subscribed datacenters (2009-11): Demonstrated how 60 GHz point-to-point links, built into top-of-the-rack (ToR) switches, can relieve congestion hot-spots in oversubscribed DC networks. Contrary to concerns about interference and link reliability, our design allowed many wireless links to operate concurrently at multi-Gbps rates. The design avoids rewiring costs in DCs and provides an intermediate step towards full bi-section bandwidth DC networks. The work resulted in multiple papers, patents, and was covered by popular press including the New York Times (July 14, 2012 issue).
    • Mesh networking (2003), Popularized this networking paradigm as an alternative broadband access technology in cities, neighbourhoods, offices, and rural areas. Helped create the Digital Inclusion Program that provided $1.5 million in research funding. Developed the Academic Resource Kit 2005 & 2007 for teaching & research. The kit is being used by over 1200 Universities world-wide. Gave keynotes and taught several courses. Published multiple papers, awarded 8 international patents, received wide press coverage, and licensed out the technology to start-up companies.
    • Enterprise & Home Network Management (2005-10): Developed a unique end-to-end approach for diagnosing networked applications and services in large enterprises. This approach requires end-hosts to cooperatively detect, diagnose, and recover from network performance problems. Unlike existing products, end-hosts gather, aggregate, and analyzing data at all layers of the networking stack to determine the root cause of the problems impacting applications and services. This system is being used by Microsoft production servicest.
    • The world's first commodity multimedia hardware adapter for PCs (1992). The hardware had real-time audio-video coding/decoding and image rendering capabilities. It was used world-wide for research in high-speed (ATM, FDDI) and packet video networks (Sequoia 2000, BERKOM, BAGnet & MBONE)
    • Contributor to multiple wireless networking standards: The IEEE 802.11e standard incorporates ideas from the distributed weighted fair scheduling algorithm that we invented. The IEEE 802.11s mesh standard incorporates abstractions related to multiple radios and fast channel switching. The Bluetooth SIG's Local Positioning WG incorporated the signal strength matching techniques that we invented. The NativeWiFi and Wireless Zero Configuration in the Windows are derivatives my work.
    Keynotes & Plenaries Talks

    Cloudlets for Mobile Computing
      • 2nd IEEE International Conference on Cloud Networking (Cloudnet) 2013, San Francisco, California, November 22, 2013
    SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contributions Award Talk: "Me and My Research"
      • ACM MobiCom 2013, Miami, Florida, October 2, 2013
    Continuous Mobile Vision
      • MIT Technology Review Mobile Summit 2013, San Francisco, California, June 11, 2013
    Predicting the Future of Cloud Backend Mobile Gaming
      • Workshop on Mobile Gaming (MobiGames), Helsinki, Finland, August 13, 2012
    Putting the Cloud in the Palm of Your hand
      • The 47th IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), Ottawa, Canada, June 14, 2012
      • The 22nd IEEE Symposium on Personal, Indoor, Mobile and Radio Communications (PIMRC 2011), Toronto, Canada, September 12, 2011
      • The 20th IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN), Maui, Hawaii, USA, August 2, 2011
      • The 8th IEEE Communications Society Conference on Sensor, Mesh and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks (SECON), Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, June 28, 2011
    The Wireless Frontier - from 600 MHz to 60 GHz
      • IEEE International Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (IEEE DySPAN 2011) Aachen, Germany, May 6, 2011
      • 10th Scandinavian Workshop on Wireless Ad-hoc Networks (ADHOC 2011), Johannesberg Castle, Stockholm, May 10, 2011
    Green IT: A Software Perspective
      • The 7th IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Systems (IEEE MASS 2010 San Francisco, CA, November 8, 2010
      • First SIGCOMM Workshop on Green Networking, New Delhi, India, August 30, 2010
    White Space Networking
      • Wireless Innovation Forum 67th General Meeting, TVWS Workshop: Going to Market with TV Band Devices: Long Term Promises, Near Term Actions, Schaumburg, Illinois, Sept. 16, 2010
      • The Fifth International Conference on Mobile Computing and Ubiquitous Networking (ICMU 2010), Seattle, Washington, April 38 2010
      • The 7th IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing (EUC 2009), Vancouver, Canada, August 31 2009
      • The Sixth International Conference on Wireless On-demand Network Systems and Services, Snowbird, Utah, USA, February 2, 2009
      • First Workshop on Wireless Broadband Access for Communities and Rural Developing Regions, Karlstad, Sweden, December 11, 2008
      • Second IFIP International Symposium on Wireless Communications and Information Technology in Developing Countries, Pretoria, South Africa, October 7, 2008
      • MSR's Cognitive Wireless Networking Summit, Snoqualmie, Washington, USA, June 4, 2008
      • Intel's Communications Internal Conference (ICOMM 2008), Stevenson, Washington, USA, April 9, 2008
    Revisiting Wi-Fi Design in the Cognitive Radios Era
      • First International Workshop on Cognitive Dynamic Systems and Their Applications 2008, Ontario, Canada, May 27, 2008
      • The Third International Conference on Communication System Software and Middleware (COMSWARE 2008), Bangalore, India, January 8, 2008
      • The Ninth International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networking (ICDCN), Kokatta, India, January 6, 2008
    Towards Self-Managing Wireless Networks
      • Conference on Heterogeneous Networking for Quality, Reliability, Security and Robustness (QShine), Vancouver, Canada, August 15, 2007
      • IFIP Symposium on Computer Performance Modeling, Measurements, and Evaluation (PERFORMANCE), Cologne, Germany, October 2, 2007
      • ACM Workshop on Mobility in Evolving Internet Architecture (MobiArch), Kyoto, Japan, August 27, 2007
      • IEEE International Symposium on Wireless Pervasive Computing, San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 5, 2007
      • SPIE Broadband Access Communication Technologies Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, October 1, 2006 USA)
    Wireless Mesh Networking
      • First International Workshop on "Wireless Mesh: Moving towards Applications", Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, (August 10, 2006)
      • First International Workshop on Wireless Personal and Local Area Networks, New Delhi, India, January 8, 2006
      • Texas Wireless Symposium, Austin, Texas, USA, October 26-28, 2005
      • 2nd International Symposium on Wireless Communication Systems 2005 (ISWCS), Siena, Italy, September 5-7, 2005
      • IEEE Forth International Conference on Mobile Business (ICMB), Sidney, Australia, July 11-13, 2005
      • MICS Workshop ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, July 6-7, 2004
    Government Policy, Study Groups, Panels (incomplete list)

    Federal Communications Commission National Science Foundation
      • Critic, National Science Foundation Workshop on Future Directions in Wireless Networking, Arlington, VA, USA (November 4-5, 2013)
      • Reactions and Perspectives, National Science Foundation Workshop on Future Wireless Communication Networks, Arlington, VA, USA (November 2-3, 2009)
      • Site Visitor, Renew Funding for Center for Embedded Network Sensing, UCLA, (June 7, 2006)
      • NeTs Program PI Research Review, UCLA, (August 5, 2010)
      • Study Group on Perspectives on Peer-to-Peer Networks, Dagstuhl, Germany, April 20, 2005
      • Study Group on Residential Broadband Revisited: Research Challenges in Residential Networks, Broadband Access and Applications, Chicago, Illinois, USA (October 23-24, 2003)
      • Network Research Testbed, Chicago, IL, USA (October 17-18, 2002)
      • Wireless Information Technology and Networking Initiative, Study conducted by the Division of Advanced Networking Infrastructure and Research (CISE/ANIR) (July 1999)
      • Networking Research Program, Division of Advanced Networking Infrastructure and Research, (January 1999)
    Sample Conference Panels
      • What are the priority 'go to market' hurdles for TV Band Devices, Wireless Innovation Forum 67th General Meeting, Schaumburg, Illinois, USA, September 16, 2010
      • Towards the EverGreen Future, The Fifth International Conference on Mobile Computing and Ubiquitous Networking (ICMU 2010), Seattle, Washington, USA, April 27, 2010
      • DSA: An Incipient Revolution or A Technology Fad? IEEE Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (DySPAN 2010), Singapore, April 8, 2010
      • The Future of Wireless Technology, Twentieth Anniversary Celebrations of WINLAB, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, December 11, 2009
      • The Future of Information Systems and Communications, Centennial Forum, 100th Anniversary of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA, September 27, 2008
      • Exchanges and Trends in Networking, sponsored by European Cooperation in Science and Technology (EU) and the National Science Foundation (USA), Chania, Greece, June 23, 2003
    PhD Thesis Committees

    • Hariharan Shankar Rahul, Improving Spectrum Utilization in Wireless Networks, (August 2012)
      Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Justin Manweiler, Building Blocks for Tomorrow's Mobile App Store, (June 2012)
      Duke University (now at IBM TJ Watson Research)
    • Rohan Narayana Murty, Opportunistic Wireless Network Architectures, (June 2011)
      Harvard University (now a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard)
    • Yuvraj Agarwal, Building Aggressively Duty-Cycled Platforms to Achieve Energy Efficiency, June 2009
      University of California San Diego
    • Iqbal Mohomed, Interactive Content Adaptation, October 2008
      University of Toronto (now at IBM TJ Watson Research)
    • Srikanth Kandula, Increasing the Robustness of Networked Systems, July 2008
      Massachusetts Institute of Technology (now at Microsoft Research Redmond)
    • Yuan Yuan, Enabling Dynamic Spectrum Allocation in Cognitive Radio Networks, September 2007
      University of Maryland (now at Google)
    • Ranveer Chandra, A Virtualization Architecture for Wireless Network Cards, September 2005
      Cornell University (now at Microsoft Research Redmond)
    • Anand Balachandran, Incorporating Location Awareness in Public-Area Wireless Networks, January 2003
      University of California San Diego (now at Microsoft Corporation)
    • Chiara Petrioli, Energy Conserving Protocols for Wireless Communications, June 1998
      University of Rome "La Sapienza" (now a Associate Professor at University of Rome)
    Tutorials

    You can download my tutorial on mesh networking. The power point file is 26,460 KBytes and the PDF version is 4,829 KBytes. I would love to know if you used any portion of this tutorial in your talks or presentation and all comments are welcome.

    Technology Licensing

    Academic Events

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