Vaidya and Bhandari win Best Paper Award at ICDCN 2010

ECE News

Charlie Johnson, ECE ILLINOIS

Story Highlights

  • ECE Professor Nitin Vaidya and CS grad student Vartika Bhandari were awarded the Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networking.
  • Their paper studied ways to improve the performance of multichannel wireless networks.
  • Improved scheduling can increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of wireless networks.

Nitin H. Vaidya
Nitin H. Vaidya

ECE Professor Nitin H Vaidya and former CS graduate student Vartika Bhandari (PhD ’08) were awarded one of two Best Paper Awards at the 11th International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networking (ICDCN) in Kolkata, India.

Their paper, “Scheduling in Multi-Channel Wireless Networks” studied ways to improve the performance of multichannel wireless networks. Wireless cards and routers can be tuned to multiple channels, much like a radio can be tuned to different frequencies, to communicate with different devices. The more channels exist, the more versatile the network. But, because of this multiplicity of channels, maximizing their efficient use and avoiding interference amongst them can become tricky. That’s where Vaidya and Bhandari came in.

“When we schedule wireless channels, we don’t want two computers close to each other scheduled on the same channel at the same time -- otherwise they will interfere with each other,” said Vaidya. “We want to be able to manage the usage of all the channels in a network so that we can maximize efficiency and reduce interference.”

Vartika Bhandari
Vartika Bhandari

To achieve the best combination of scheduling, Bhandari and Vaidya studied how bad a poor combination of scheduling variables can get. By studying the theory behind these sub-optimal schedulers, Bhandari and Vaidya hope to apply this research to scheduling protocols that avoid some of the pitfalls that can decrease the performance of a wireless network.

“The future of wireless technology is very promising, obviously,” said Bhandari, who is currently a software engineer at Google. “I think it would be great to have the research in wireless mesh network technology translate into practical solutions that can provide high speed broadband access without having to run a wire everywhere. We would like to see these wireless technologies in widespread use.”

“The real question now, as always, is how to apply this theory to build new protocols, in this case, for scheduling,” said Vaidya.

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