Latest Distinguished Lecture Discusses Improving Wireless Networks

in Events, Lectures
October 18th, 2011

Professor Behnaam Aazhang, who teaches at both Rice University and the University of Oulu in Finland, spoke last week as part of the ECE Department's Distinguished Lecture Series.

Professor Behnaam Aazhang, who teaches at both Rice University and the University of Oulu in Finland, spoke last week as part of the ECE Department's Distinguished Lecture Series.

As use of Wi-Fi and cell phones increased over the last decade, networks have operated less and less efficiently. This is due, in part, to the fact that current wireless architectures rely on interference avoidance to eliminate simultaneous transmissions and avoid collisions at the receivers.

Researchers like Professor Behnaam Aazhang, who teaches at both Rice University and the University of Oulu in Finland, believe that there is an alternative solution to this problem.

“The current system is not optimal,” Aazhang told a Boston University audience last week. “We’re looking at how you can isolate channels in order to divide resources and avoid interference. Potentially, the effective bandwidth could be tripled by separating channels.”

Aazhang was the second speaker of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering’s Fall 2011 Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings engineering innovators to campus.

During his talk, he suggested that network capacity could be increased if neighboring nodes combined their resources and worked together on signal transmissions.

“Cooperation is key to this method,” Aazhang said. “If we can retransfer information, reliability and efficiency can be improved.”

Aazhang and his research team are currently exploring location information and network awareness in hopes of increasing both spectral and power efficiencies of the network.

Aazhang’s talk was the second in the three-part Fall 2011 Distinguished Lecture Series. The next talk features Professor Diederik S. Wiersma of the University of Florence who will speak on the topic, “Trapping the Light Fantastic.” Hear him on November 29 at 4 p.m. in PHO 906.

-Rachel Harrington (rachelah@bu.edu)