CSE 709: Millimeter-wave networking, sensing, and applications (Spring 2017)



Teaching Staff

Instructor: Dimitrios Koutsonikolas, Assistant Professor
                  Office: 311 Davis Hall
                  Office Hours: T, 11:00-12:00, or by appointment
                  Phone: 716-6454733
                  Email: dimitrio [at] buffalo

Time and Location

  • Lectures: W, 6:30 - 9:00 PM, Davis 338A
  • Talk preparation meeting: T, 11:00 - 12:00 PM, Davis 311

Course Description

The millimeter-wave (mmWave) technology, especially in the unlicensed frequency band around 60 GHz, is considered as one of the primary enabling technologies in the upcoming 5G mobile network architecture, offering an attractive alternative to today's over-crowded WiFi and cellular bands. The very small wavelength at 60 GHz allows for tiny antenna arrays that can form highly directional beams, enabling multi-Gbps data rates. The caveat is the high attenuation of mmWave links due to the small wavelength. For example, a human in the line-of-sight between the transmitter and the receiver can attenuate the signal by 20-30 dB, resulting in total link outage. Additionally, directional transmissions pose a great challenge to mobility as mobile clients and APs may have to continuously rearrange their beams. On the other hand, the short wavelength and high directionality translates in high sensitivity, enabling a number of wireless sensing applications, e.g., mobile radar imaging, motion tracking, and vital sign monitoring.

The seminar will cover the state-of-the-art in mmWave networking and sensing. Example topics include: 60 GHz performance in indoor/outdoor environments, 60 GHz power consumption, MAC protocol design and implementation (e.g., for beam/rate adaptation), mmWave WLANs, picocells, WPANs, and mesh networks, 60 GHz data centers, mmWave mobile radar imaging, high-precision motion tracking, and vital sign monitoring.

The main goal of the seminar is to help students understand the basic principles as well as the state of the art in a variety of topics in mmWave networks. As a secondary goal, students will learn how to how to read and review research papers and how to communicate technical material effectively.

The seminar is suitable for students who have strong interest in (wireless) networking and intent to pursue a career in the area, e.g., PhD students already working in wireless networking or MS students interested in doing research in the field (in the form of independent studies and/or MS Thesis). One of the goals of this seminar is to identify, by the end of the semester, a set of open research problems on which students can work during the summer or the next semester, e.g., in the form of independent studies.


CSE 4/589 and/or CSE 630. Students are expected to have solid background in computer/wireless networking. If you haven't take any of the pre-requisites, and you want to take this seminar, arrange for a meeting with the instructor. Send me an email including a brief description of your relevant background and why you are interested in this seminar.

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.

Course Structure

Each week we will discuss one topic. A list of papers from top networking and systems conferences (MobiCom, SIGCOMM, MobiSys, NSDI, CoNEXT, INFOCOM) will be provided for each topic. One of the papers for each topic will be listed as mandatory paper and the remaining ones as related papers. All students are required to read the mandatory papers, submit reviews for a subset of them, and participate in discussions in class.

Each lecture will consist of two parts. In the first part (1.5 hours), we will be discussing the mandatory paper (one student will be presenting). In the remaining time, another student will be summarizing the related papers and lead the discussion on the topic of the week.

In detail, the course includes the following assignments:
  • Paper reading: For those of you who are not used to reading research papers, I recommend reading "How to Read a Paper" by S. Keshav.
  • Class presentations: Each student will present one research paper 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 during my office hours (Tuesday 11-noon). Please email me your slides before the preparation meeting (preferably by Sunday).
    You can find a set of recommendations on how to give a good presentation here.
  • Related work summary: It is highly recommended that you use slides to summarize the related work. You should discuss the papers listed in the reading list and any other paper you think is relevant. Ideally, you should discuss with the presenter of the mandatory paper both the mandatory and the related papers in order for both of you to get a better understanding of the topic.
  • Paper reviews: you will write reviews for 3-5 mandatory papers (you will choose which ones). The format of a review can be found here.
    • You are required to email the reviews to me by 08:59 am on Wednesdays. Please only txt files!
    • You cannot review the paper which you will present.
    • You can submit more than the required number of reviews, the best ones will be considered for your final grade.
  • Class discussions: discussions are an important part of the course. You are expected to attend every class and ask questions/make comments.


(Tentative and subject to change)

1 credit
  • Paper presentation: 45%
  • Paper reviews (3): 30%
  • Class participation: 30%
3 credits
  • Paper presentation: 30%
  • Literature survey: 20%
  • Paper reviews (5): 25%
  • Class participation: 30%
Note that the final grade is S/U. To receive an S grade, you need to score 70% or more.

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 extreme circumstances. Please discuss with the instructor.

Academic Honesty

  • No tolerance on cheating!
    • All academic integrity violation cases will be reported to the department, school and university, and recorded.
    • 0 in the particular assignment/exam if this is your first offense in any course.
    • Fail the course on the second offense.
    • Consult the University Statements on Academic Integrity: http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/shared/policies/academic.php.
  • Paper reviews: Reading/discussing papers in groups is higlhy encouraged but reviews have to be written individually. You are not allowed to use any online material (with the exception of other 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 701/708/709/630) 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 students 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.


  • 01/27/2017: Course webpage is up.

Dimitrios Koutsonikolas