A group of UT Austin and Stanford faculty members led by Prof. Gustavo de Veciana (UT ECE, WNCG) in collaboration with Profs. Sanjay Shakkottai (UT ECE, WNCG), Lili Qiu (UT CS, WNCG), and Ramesh Johari (MS&E, Stanford Univ.) have recently been awarded an NSF grant totaling $978,000. This project supports research in 5G wireless networks. Network densification - where a multitude of base-stations and access points with overlapping wireless footprints and disparate capabilities pervade the physical domain - is the way forward towards meeting the tremendous demand for mobile data. The main objective of the proposed research is to reevaluate the manner in which wireless networks are engineered and spectrum usage is managed so as to exploit dense access infrastructure. This effort we expected to make contributions in three areas:
- Design, analysis and prototyping of communications and network protocols to enable unprecedented fine grain control over transmissions over shared spectrum without requiring high coordination overheads, by leveraging emerging agile access techniques.
- Design and analysis of novel, simple and sparse-state algorithms that leverage the large flexibility (e.g. number of sub-channels, mobile-to-base-station associations) in such systems to achieve near-optimal resource allocations.
- Modeling and analysis of extreme dense wireless networks using mean field games to both evaluate the performance of resource sharing between providers in this regime, as well as evaluate economic and policy incentives to deploy a range of contractual structures.
The proposed research activity relies heavily on the development of sound theory and analysis of extremely dense networks, algorithmic development, simulation for large-scale systems and finally prototyping small-scale regimes. The research will serve as a catalyst towards changing traditional wireless networking paradigm, from one where infrastructure points connect to many mobiles, to one where a mobile connects to a large number of infrastructure nodes. The research will be disseminated broadly to researchers, practitioners and policy makers, leveraging in particular, a strong industry focused research center, as well as in efforts reaching out to public high school students, parents and teachers.