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Understanding Wireless Interference

Dr. Suman Banerjee
Department of Computer Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison
11am Tuesday, Oct 16,  2012


Interference is an unavoidable reality and a bane of wireless communication systems. In most wireless environments, loss of performance is attributed to RF interference. Even though wireless is the dominant form of Internet access today, there is a lack of adequate tools to understand this interference phenomenon. Hence when a user complains --- "My Skype call from my personal laptop was interrupted multiple times" --- the administrator cannot answer why. What is worse is that many of these causes are not repeatable. So by the time the administrator arrives with sophisticated analyzers, the problem is long gone. In this talk, we will describe a comprehensive methodology and a toolkit that provides a real-time and efficient view of wireless interference as and when they occur. Using WiFi systems as examples, we describe our experience in building this toolkit, deploying them in various locations, and lessons learnt in understanding wireless interference.


Suman Banerjee is an Associate Professor in Computer Sciences at UW-Madison. He received his undergraduate degree from IIT Kanpur, and MS and PhD degrees from the University of Maryland. He is a recipient of the NSF Career Award. He is the founding director of the WiNGS laboratory at UW-Madison. His research interest is broadly in networking and distributed systems, and his focus in recent years have been in different aspects of mobile and wireless sytems. 
Host: Dr. Guoliang Xing