CSE 630: Advanced Wireless Networking Concepts (Fall 2012)


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Teaching Staff

Instructor: Dimitrios Koutsonikolas, Assistant Professor
                  Office: 311 Davis Hall
                  Office Hours: Tuesdays, 3:00-4:00 PM, or by appointment
                  Phone: 716-6454733
                  Email: dimitrio [at] buffalo

Time and Location

  • Lectures: TTh, 12:30-1:50 PM, Davis 113A
  • Project Meetings: (Tentative) Fridays 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Course Description

The course covers the state-of-the-art on a set of topics in wireless networking from a practical/systems perspective. Course material consists of a mix of current practice and advanced research. The course is roughly divided into three parts. The first part offers an introduction to the basic 802.11 mechanisms (medium access, rate adaptation, power save mode) covering both the legacy 802.11a/b/g MAC protocols as well as the most recent 802.11n MIMO standard. The second part presents the state-of-the-art in wireless mesh networking (WMN), discussing both traditional topics (link quality-based routing, WMN deployments, measurements and evaluation) and novel techniques such as opportunistic routing and network coding. Finally, the third part of the course presents recent advances in wireless networking, such as cognitive radio networks, white space networking, advanced MAC protocol design, PHY-MAC cross-layer interactions, and wireless datacenters.

The main goal of the course is to help students understand the basic principles as well as the state of the art in a variety of topics in wireless networking. The course is suitable for students who have strong interest in (wireless) networking and intend to pursue a career in the area. As a secondary goal, students will learn how to conduct a research project and how to communicate technical material effectively. The project can be used for satisfying the project requirement of the MS degree.


Students need to have solid background knowledge in computer networking (CSE 589 or equivalent) and/or wireless communications.

Required Textbook

The course is based on material from recent conference proceedings and journals. The instructor will provide pointers to the papers in the reading list. The instructor will also provide his own lecture notes when necessary. There is no required textbook for the course.

Reference Textbooks

  • Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice, by Theodore S. Rappaport, Prentice Hall.
  • 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, by Matthew Gast
  • Mobile Communications, by Jochen Schiller, Addison-Wesley.

Course Structure

Each week, we will discuss two papers, one in each lecture. A choice of papers from top networking and systems conferences (MobiCom, SIGCOMM, NSDI, INFOCOM) will be given for the students to pick which ones to present. All students are required to read the papers scheduled for presentation each week, to participate in discussions in class, and to submit reviews for a subset of the papers. In detail, the course includes the following assignments:
  • Paper reading: we will read two papers per week. For those of you who are not used to reading academic papers, I recommend reading "How to Read a Paper" by S. Keshav.
  • Class presentations: Each student will give two class presentations of research papers from the reading list. To better prepare for the presentation, you are required to do the following:
    • Email me (in plain text) your answers to the talk preparation questions 7 days before the presentation.
    • Schedule a preparation meeting with me the week before the presentation. Please email me your slides before the preparation meeting.
    You can find a set of recommendations on how to give a good presentation here.
  • Paper reviews: you will write reviews for 10 papers (you can choose which ones). The format of a review can be found here.
    • You are required to email the reviews to me by 05:59am on Tuesdays/Thursdays. Please only txt files!
    • You cannot review the two papers which you will present.
    • You can submit more than 10 reviews, the 10 best will be considered in your final grade.
  • Class discussions: discussions are an important part of the seminar. You are expected to attend every class and ask questions/make comments.
  • Class project: Projects can be done individually or in teams of 2-4 people. Written project proposals, final reports, and a project presentation at the end of the semester are required. Details can be found here.


(Tentative and subject to change)
  • Project: 45% (proposal 5%, final presentation 15%, final report 20%, project meetings 5%)
  • Paper presentations: 25% (10% for the worst of the 2, 15% for the best)
  • Paper reviews: 20%
  • Class participation: 15%

Course Policies

  • Late policy: All assignments are due on the day and time posted. Late submissions will not be graded.
  • No extra work in the next semester will be given to improve your grade.
  • An incomplete (I) grade will only be assigned under certain circumstances (e.g., for an incomplete class project which show high promise to turn into a research paper). Please discuss with the instructor. If you do not work during the semester, you cannot receive an I grade.

Academic Honesty

  • No tolerance on cheating!
  • Paper reviews: Reading/discussing papers in groups is encouraged but reviews have to be written individually. You are not allowed to use any online material (with the exception of research papers) for a review even if you cite the source. A review receiving a zero grade due to plagiarism will be included among the 10 reviews that will determine your final grade.
  • Paper presentations: You are free to include any material found online (except for slides from past offerings of CSE 701/708) in your presentations provided that you acknowledge the source.
  • Students who do share their work with others are as responsible for academic dishonesty as the student receiving the material. Students are not to show work to other students, in the class or not. Students are responsible for the security of their work and should ensure that printed copies are not left in accessible places, and that file/directory permissions are set to be unreadable to others.


  • 10/18/2012: Office hours have changed. New office hours: Tuesdays, 3-4 pm.
  • 09/27/2012: The first project meetings are tomorrow. We will meet bi-weekly.
  • 09/20/2012: The new deadline for the project proposal is Sunday, 09/23, 11:59 pm.
  • 09/10/2012: First paper review is due tomorrow at 5:59am.
  • 09/03/2012: Project description and some project suggestions have been added.
  • 08/17/2012: Course webpage is up.

Dimitrios Koutsonikolas