The formal study of algorithms for wireless networks has been an active research topic since the 1970s. Recently, however, it has received renewed interest, spurred by the increasing availability of cheap and versatile wireless chips. The question of what problems you can and cannot solve efficiently when communicating over the airwaves is now in urgent need of answers.
In this course, we will tackle the current state of the art research on this question. The field has been moving fast enough that there's no good survey available of what we know about these algorithms and what we need to know. The goal of this course is to produce such a survey. As detailed below, students will read and present research papers (guided by the professor). The class will culminate with the students synthesizing what we learned into a survey paper that will be submitted to a major computer science journal.
Along the way, we will identify multiple compelling research projects for those students interested in pursuing additional publications in the area over the summer.
This course is open to all graduate students. Any specific technique needed to understand the papers will be taught as needed.
This course is intended to help new graduate students transition to a research-oriented mindset, and help more senior graduate students jump start their publication count. In more detail, there are three specific goals for this course:
As detailed in the syllabus below, we will cover two research papers in each class. Every student will be responsible for answering some basic questions about every paper we cover, due by the beginning of the class discussing the papers. As also detailed below, students will be responsible for answering a short lecture summary questions about each lecture, which will be sent out at the end of class and must be answered, via e-mail, the same day. In addition, most classes will led by a student who will be responsible for providing a more detailed presentation about the results and techniques from that day's papers. At the end of the semester, each student will be responsible for writing up a detailed summary in LaTex -- following a template and set of guidelines provided by the professor -- of the papers he or she presented in class.
Attendance in class and participation in our discussions is an important student responsibility. Absences should be rare and approved in advance, when possible.
Students are expected to work on their reading response questions on their own. It is okay to discuss papers with your classmates or the professor when working on your presentations. The presentations and associated write-ups, however, must be your own original work. No copy and pasting of existing text, or editing of existing text, is allowed. All writing must be done by the student from scratch.
Below is the method we will use in this course for tackling research papers. It describes three levels of detail at which you can understand a paper. The key idea driving this course is that you must learn how to dive down to just enough detail when faced with a paper, but not more than you need at the moment. As described below, your reading response questions will help you practice the first level of detail, your presentations will help you practice the second, and we will practice the third level together in class.
The goal of level 1 review is to help you quickly figure out what is known and not known in a literature and quickly place new work into the context of existing results. Most reading you do as a researcher will stop at this level of detail. You will practice this level a lot in the course.
The goal of level 2 review is to deepen your knowledge about the different types of strategies that have worked well in a given setting. Often, for example, when you encounter an exciting-sounding result in your field, you will want to find out whether the paper has innovated a new technique that might be useful to your work, or instead simply thrown more careful and complicated analysis at an existing technique.
The goal of level 3 review is to master a technique at a sufficient level of detail that you can adapt and apply it to your own problems. This is a time-consuming process, so level 1 and 2 will help ensure that you only apply it where the knowledge will prove important to your work. It is also an important process, as this level of understanding often unlocks new collections of results.
As detailed in the schedule below, we will cover 1 - 2 papers in each class. You are responsible for submitting reading response questions for the papers covered in a class, by the beginning of the class. Late submissions will receive 0 points.
In more detail, your reading response must take 1 result from each of the papers, and perform a level 1 analysis. That is, you must describe the problem and model, identify the specific time complexity proved (every parameter in the time complexity must be explained), describe how it compares to existing results, and summarize why we should care about the result. If we cover 2 papers, for example, you will analyze 2 results, 1 from each.
Submit your reading response questions by e-mailing them to the professor with the subject line: COSC 747: Reading Response: Class X, where X is the corresponding class number.
At the end of each lecture, the professor will e-mail the class a question about the material covered during the presentation (and surrounding discussion). The question will require only a short answer. To respond, simply reply to my e-mail with your answer. This is due by midnight the same day as the lecture.
If you pay attention in class and make sure you follow both the presentation and discussion surrounding the presentation it should take you less than a minute to answer the question. If you do not pay attention an answer may be difficult to come by at all. You may not collaborate on these answers.
Students will rotate responsibility for presenting papers in the class, following a schedule that will be determined once the final enrollment is fixed. During a presentation, you must first walk the class through a level 1 analysis on all results in the papers covered in the class. You must then choose at least one result and walk the class through a level 2 analysis. Finally, by the beginning of the class in which you present, you must add a succinct summary of the papers to draft of the the class survey paper which we will keep in an SVN repository. These summaries will be brief (no more than one paragraph per paper), and you will be provided examples of what they should look like.
Your presentation should last around 45 - 50 minutes. If you worry that your presentation will run short, add additional level 2 analyses, or do a more detailed comparison of the results to existing work, to get it to the appropriate length.
A quick note on preparation: Because a presentation seems less concrete then a problem set, students sometimes assume they can get away with reading the papers at the last minute and winging their discussion. Don't do this. It is not difficult to tell the difference between a student who really knows the material and one who does not, and the latter will receive a low grade.
As shown on the syllabus below, at the end of the semester, each student gets a chance to present a paper of his or her choice. Several students are assigned to each such lecture. They will each present one paper and the time will be split evenly among them.
For these lectures, it is the student's responsibility to find a new paper (i.e., that we have not covered yet) that studies algorithms in a wireless model. Please submit the paper to the professor for approval at least two days before your presentation.
Reading summary questions are not required for presenter's choice lectures. You do not have to do a final write-up on your presenter's choice papers. The professor will still send out lecture summary questions.
At the end of the semester, each student will be responsible for handing in a formal summary of each of the papers he or she presented in class. This does not include the presenter's choice papers.
These summaries should be handed in by the last day of classes for the semester in LaTex format. The professor will provide a detailed template/guidelines for these summaries. These write-ups should be understood to be similar to a take-home exam. That is, if you follow the template/guidelines, you will be forced to really understand the papers you present -- describing their model, problems, and results with clarity. The quality level expected for these write-ups is higher than the standard reading response summaries, as is reflected by their contribution to your final grade (see below).
The professor is happy to look at drafts of these summaries and provide feedback about where you are falling short of the template/guidelines. To maximize your chances of a good grade, it is highly recommended that you take advantage of this offer. Don't wait until the last minute, however, as the professor cannot guarantee same-day response or responses over the weekend.
After the semester concludes, the professor will combine the final write-up summaries to produce a detailed annotated bibliography of the papers covered during the course. He will then massage this into the proper format for a survey paper and submitted with all students' names as co-authors. This will occur over the summer.
Students will be graded on their reading response questions, presentations, attendance/participation, and final write-up. In more detail, grades will be assigned on the following point scale:
At the end of the semester, I will add up all the points earned by each student and decide where the cut offs are for A, B, and C work. These cut offs will be independent of the actual student scores, so it is completely possible for all students to earn an A (so long as you put in the required effort).
The schedule below describes which papers we will cover in each class. You will be provided these papers electronically at the beginning of the class in an archive file. Each paper is named as follows: [last name of first author]-[publication year]. Some of the schedule is left empty -- these papers will be filled in as the class progresses.
|1||1/9||Course Mechanics; Introduction to Wireless Algorithms|
|Part 1: The Protocol Model|
|2||1/15||Wireless Networks as Multi-Access Channels
|3||1/17||Centralized Global Broadcast: Early Results
|4||1/22||Centralized Global Broadcast: Pursuing Optimality
|5||1/24||Distributed Global Broadcast: Randomized Solutions
|6||1/29||Distributed Global Broadcast: Deterministic Solutions
|7||1/31||Multihop Leader Election
|8||2/5||The Wake-Up Problem
|10||2/12||Distributed Network Structuring
|Part 2: The Physical Model|
|11||2/14||Connectivity Scheduling: Early Results
|12||2/19||Connectivity Scheduling: Optimal/Distributed Results
|13||2/21||Capacity and Link Scheduling: Centralized Results
|14||2/26||Capacity and Link Scheduling: Distributed Results
|15||2/28||Dynamic Link Scheduling
|18||3/19||Connecting Physical Model to Other Models
|Part 3: Dynamic Models|
|19||3/21||Distributed Algorithms in Dynamic Networks, Part 1
|20||3/26||Distributed Algorithms in Dynamic Networks, Part 2
|21||4/2||Distributed Broadcasting in Dynamic Radio Networks
|22||4/4||The Dual Graph Model
|23||4/9||Shared Spectrum: Deterministic Algorithms.
|24||4/11||Shared Spectrum: Randomized Algorithms.
|25||4/16||Single-Channel Jamming-Resistant Algorithms.
|26||4/18||Presenter's Choice.||Henry, Keelan|
|27||4/23||Presenter's Choice.||Weitong, Xi, Brendan|
|28||4/25||Presenter's Choice.||Tonghe, Changlong|