12:45PM, Thursday, February 16th 2006.
Gates 104

Self-Management in Chaotic Wireless Deployments

Aditya Akella
Stanford University / University of Wisconsin

About the talk:
Over the past few years, wireless networking technologies have made vast forays into our daily lives. Today, one can find 802.11 hardware and other personal wireless technology employed at homes, shopping malls, coffee shops and airports. Present-day wireless network deployments bear two important properties: they are unplanned, with most access points (APs) deployed by users in a spontaneous manner, resulting in highly variable AP densities; and they are unmanaged, since manually configuring and managing a wireless network is very complicated. We refer to such wireless deployments as being "chaotic".
In this work, we study the impact of interference in chaotic 802.11 deployments on end-client performance. First, using large-scale measurement data from several cities, we show that it is not uncommon to have tens of APs deployed in close proximity of each other. Moreover, most APs are not configured to minimize interference with their neighbors. We then perform trace-driven simulations to show that the performance of end-clients could suffer significantly in chaotic deployments. We argue that end-client experience could be significantly improved by making chaotic wireless networks "self-managing". We design and evaluate automated power control and rate adaptation algorithms to minimize interference among neighboring APs, while ensuring robust end-client performance.

About the speaker:
Aditya Akella obtained his PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in September 2005. While at CMU, he worked under the supervision of Prof. Srinivasan Seshan on various topics including congestion control, Internet measurements, Internet routing and Wireless networking. Currently, he is a Post-doctoral Associate at Stanford's High-Performance Networking Group. Aditya has accepted a faculty position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, starting August 2006.