CS386W: Wireless Networking (Fall 2021)

Instructor: Lili Qiu, lili@cs.utexas.edu
Instructor's office hour:  4-5pm Monday or by appointments
Teaching Assistant: Changhan Ge, chge@utexas.edu

Class ID: 51300


Wireless networks have gone through an unprecedented growth in the past few years, and will continue to play an indispensable role in future data communication. In the first part of the course, you will learn fundamentals in wireless networks ranging from physical layer to application layer. In the second part of the course, we will discuss research challenges and state-of-art approaches in medium access, routing, transport protocols, topology control, location management, wireless network management and security. Through class lectures, homework, paper reading, and presentation, you will gain a broad understanding of  the current technology and research efforts in wireless networking, as well as further developing skill for oral presentation and writing research critiques. In addition, students are expected to accomplish a well-defined research project by yourself or in pairs to obtain experience in designing and evaluating protocols and/or techniques for wireless networks.


Exam (25%): This is the only exam we will have.

Homework (35%): All the homework are due before class. We will discuss two papers per class. You are expected to read both papers, and write a detailed review for one paper of your choice for each class. Please use this review form template for your reviews.

Class participation (5%): You are expected to attend all the classes. If you cannot come to the class for some reason, please let me know in advance. Everyone is expected to contribute to class discussion, share opinions, and ask interesting questions.  

Course project (35%): A major component in this course is to accomplish a well-defined research project in the area of wireless networking. You can work in a group of 2 to define and complete a project. I will hand out a list of project ideas for you to choose from. You also have the option to come up with your own topic, which needs to be approved by me. You are expected to write a mid-point report, a final report, and also present your work in class. Your grade will be based on your project reports and oral presentation in terms of originality, quality of execution, and clarity of presentation.  See examples of past course projects that have been published at conferences and journals.

We will strictly enforce UTCS code of conduct.

Reference Books

Mobile Communications by Jochen Schiller, Addison-Wesley

Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice by Theodore S. Rappaport, Prentice Hall

802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide by Matthew Gast

The above books will be reserved at UT library for you to check out for up to 2 hours.

Many of the readings in this course are from online conference proceedings and journals. I would like to thank several authors of the papers for sharing their slides, and some of the lecture slides are adapted from their slides.



Tentative Class schedule



Reading material

Part 1: Introduction to wireless networks


Course Overview and Physical Layer (pdf)

Schiller Chapter 2

8/30 & 9/13

Introduction to MAC and IEEEE 802.11 (pdf)

Suggested readings:
802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, Chapter 2 & 3
IEEE 802.11 standard [pdf]


Wireless interference (pdf)

Kamal Jain, Jitendra Padhye, Venkata N. Padmanabhan, and Lili Qiu. Impact of Interference on Multi-hop Wireless Network Performance. In Proc. of ACM MOBICOM, San Diego, CA, September 2003.

9/13 & 9/20

Rate adaptation (Performance anomaly)

Martin Heusse, Franck Rousseau, Gilles Berger-Sabbatel, and Andrzej Duda. Performance Anomaly of 802.11b. In Proc. of IEEE INFOCOM, March 2003.

Starsky H.Y. Wong, Hao Yang, Songwu Lu, and Vaduvur Bharghavan. Robust Rate Adaptation in 802.11 Wireless Networks. In Proc. of ACM Mobicom, Sept, 2006.

Hariharan Rahul, Farinaz Edal, Dina Katabi, Charles Sodini. FARA: Frequency-aware Rate Adaptation and MAC.In Proc. of ACM MobiCom, Sept. 2009.

Daniel Halperin, Wenjun Hu, Anmol Sheth, David Wetherall. Prediable 802.11 Packet Delivery from Wireless Channel Measurements. In Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, Aug.-Sept. 2010.

Aditya Gudipati and Sachin Katti. Strider: Automatic Rate Adaptation and Collision Handling. Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM 2011.


Partial Packet Recovery

Allen Miu, Hari Balakrishnan, and Can Emre Koksal. Improving Loss Resilience with Multi-Radio Diversity in Wireless Networks. In Proc. of ACM MobiCom 2005, Aug. - Sept., 2005.

Kyle Jamieson and Hari Balakrishnan. PPR: Partial Packet Recovery for Wireless Networks. In Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, August 2007.

Grace Woo, Pouya Kheradpour, and Dina Katabi. Beyond the Bits: Cooperative Packet Recovery Using PHY Information. In Proc. of ACM MOBICOM, September 2007.


Introduction to network layer, mobile IP, and naming

Suggested readings:
Schiller Chapter 8.1
Charles E. Perkins, "Mobile Networking through Mobile IP. IEEE Internet Computing, January 1998. Pages 58-69

Routing in mobile networks

David B. Johnson and David A. Maltz. Dynamic Source Routing in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks. Mobile Computing, 1996.
Charles E. Perkins and Elizabeth M. Royer. Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector Routing. Proc. of the 2nd IEEE Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, New Orleans, LA, February 1999, pp. 90-100.
Charles E. Perkins and Pravin Bhagwat, Highly Dynamic Destination-Sequenced Distance-Vector Routing (DSDV) for Mobile Computers. Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, August 1994, London, United Kingdom. 


Transport protocol in wireless networks

Hari Balakrishnan, Venkat Padmanabhan, Srinivasan Seshan, and Randy H. Katz. A Comparison of Mechanisms for Improving TCP Performance over Wireless Links. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, December 1997.

Part 2: Different types of wireless networks


Wireless mesh networks

Douglas S. J. De Couto, Daniel Aguayo, John Bicket, Robert Morris. A High-Throughput Path Metric for Multi-Hop Wireless Routing. Proc. of ACM Mobicom 2003.

Richard Draves, Jitendra Padhye, and Brian Zill. Routing in Multi-radio, Multi-hop Wireless Mesh Network. Proc. of ACM Mobicom 2004.


Sanjit Biswas, and Robert Morris. ExOR: Opportunistic Multi-Hop Routing for Wireless Networks In Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, August 2005.

Szymon Chachulski, Michael Jennings, Sachin Katti, and Dina Katabi, Trading Structure for Randomness in Wireless Opportunistic Routing, In Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, 2007.

Sachin Katti, Harih aran Rahul, Wenjun Hu, Dina Katabi, Muriel Medard, Jon Crowcroft. XORs in the Air: Practical Wireless Network Coding. In Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, September 2006.

Sachin Katti, Shyamnath Gollakota, and Dina Katabi, Embracing Wireless Interference: Analog Network Coding. ACM SIGCOMM, 2007.

Delay tolerant networks

Yong Wang, Sushant Jain, Margaret Martonosi, and Kevin Fall. Erasure Coding Based Routing for Opportunistic Networks. In Proc. of Workshop on delay tolerant networking and related networks.


Cognitive networks

Paramvir Bahl, Ranveer Chandra, Thomas Moscibroda, Rohan Murty, and Matt Welsh. White Space Networking with Wi-Fi like connectivity. In Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM 2009, Aug. 2009.

Hariharan Rahul, Nate Kushman, Dina Katabi, and Charles Sodini, Farinaz Edalat. Learning to Share: Narrowband-Friendly Wideband Wireless Networks. In Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, Aug. 2008.

Jung II Choi, Kannan Srinivasan, Mayank Jain, Philip Levis, Sachin Katti. Achieving Single Channel, Full Duplex Wireless Communication. In Proc. of ACM MobiCom, Sept, 2010.


Jue Wang, Haitham Hassanieh, Dina Katabi, and Piotr Indyk. Efficient and Reliable Low Power Backscatter Networks. ACM SIGCOMM 2012.


Sensor networks

Brad Karp, and H. T. Kung. Greedy Perimeter Stateless Routing for Wireless Networks, In Proc. of MobiCom 2000, Aug. 2000.

Rodrigo Fonseca, Sylvia Ratnasamy, Jerry Zhao, Cheng Tien Ee, David Culler, Scott Shenker, Ion Stoica. BVR: Beacon Vector Routing Scalable Point-to-Point Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks.In Proc. of NSDI, May 2005.

Wireless LANs

Shyamnath Gollakota and Dina Katabi. ZigZag Decoding: Combating Hidden Terminals in Wireless Networks. Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, Aug. 2008.

Kate Lin, Shyamnath Gollakota, and Dina Katabi. Random Access Heterogeneous MIMO Networks. Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, Aug. 2011.

MegaMIMO: Scalng Wireless Capacity with User Demands. Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, 2012.


Cellular networks

Schiller Chapter 4
Swarun Kumar, Ezzeldin Hamed, Dina Katabi, Erran Li Li. LTE Radio Analytics Made Easy and Accessible. Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, 2014.

Understanding Operational 5G: A First Measurement Study on Its Coverage, Performance, and Energy Consumption. Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, August 2020.

A Nationwide Study on Cellular Reliability: Measurement, Analysis, and Enhancements. Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, August 2021.


Emergent networks  

Samuel Perli, Nabeel Ahmad, and Dina Katabi. PixNet: Interference-Free Wireless Links Using LCD-Camera Pairs.In Proc. of MobiCom, 2011.

Rajalakshmi Nandakumar, Krishna Chintalapudi, Venkata N. Padmanabhan, and Ramarathnam Venkatesan. Dhwani: Secure Peer-to-Peer Acoustic NFC. In Proc. of SIGCOMM, 2013.

Vincent Liu, Aaron Parks, Vamsi Talla, Shyam Gollakota, David Wetherall, and Josh Smith. Ambient Backscatter: Wireless Communication out of Thin Air In Proc. of SIGCOMM, 2013.

Part 3: Wireless network management and security



Victor Bahl and Venkata N. Padmanbhan. RADAR: an in-buiding RF-based user location and tracking system.IEEE INFOCOM, 2000.

Saikat Guha, Rohan Narayan Murty, and Emin Gun Sirer. Sextant: A Unified Framework for Node and Event Localization in Sensor Networks. In Proc. of MobiHoc, May 2005.

Qifan Pu, Sidhant Gupta, Shyam Gollakota, and Shwetak Patel. Whole Home Gesture Recognition Using Wireless Signals. Proc. of MobiCom 2013.

Smart Homes that monitor breathing and heart rate. Fadel Adib etal. In Proc. of CHI 2015.


Wireless network security


Nikita, Borisov, Ian Goldberg, and David Wagner. Intercepting Mobile Communications: The Insecurity of 802.11. Proc. of ACM Mobicom, 2001.

Jeffrey Pang, Benjamin Greenstein, Ramakrishna Gummadi, Srinivasan Seshan, David Wetherall. 802.11 User Fingerprinting.In ACM MOBICOM 2007.

Shyam Gollakota, Haitham Hassanieh, Ben Ransford, Dina Katabi. They can hear your heartbeats: Non-Invasive Security for Implanted Medical Devices.In Proc. of SIGCOMM, 2011.


In class exam


Project Presentation