Student Profile: Chen Liu

CS Doctoral student explores resource allocation in wireless networks

In this age of connectivity, networks have been crucial in allowing us to communicate, share hardware, software, files and all kinds of information. Furthermore, trends towards mobility turn the spotlight from the traditional wired networks towards wireless technology. However, when it comes to performance, wireless networks are still lacking.

For example, wireless transmissions in close proximity to one another can cause interference, which could result in the loss of data. Transmissions compete to occupy shared wireless channels, and are affected by timing (when the transmission is attempted), space (where the transmission happens) and frequency (transmission rate, which affects speed). Effective resource allocation is difficult, as there is often a gap between the resources allocated and full utilization of these resources due to interference. Furthermore, current resource allocation methods require massive amounts of message passing which results in significant control overhead.

These are among the challenges faced by Chen Liu, a doctoral student in the Communication Networks research group.

Chen’s focus is on designing new methods to optimally control wireless networks – improving performance by maximizing resource utilization and minimizing overhead in both computation and communication. Her control paradigm is designed to combine the advantages of both global and local optimization methods. It aims to reduce the allocation-utilization gap in lossy wireless networks and eliminate the requirement of control-message passing.

In striving to make wireless network optimization practical, scalable and suitable for real-world applications, Chen will enable the wireless world to take another leap forward.

Article and photos, 2010.