First cycle
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Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Engineering
Course unit
INO2043955, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IN0520, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination WIRELESS SYSTEMS AND NETWORKS
Department of reference Department of Information Engineering
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge MICHELE ROSSI ING-INF/03

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines ING-INF/03 Telecommunications 9.0

Mode of delivery (when and how)
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Organisation of didactics
Type of hours Credits Hours of
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 9.0 72 153.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/09/2017
End of activities 19/01/2018

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Prerequisites: The student should have a good knowledge of basic probability theory, including random processes, random variables, their expectation, etc. Note that no previous courses are required as mandatory as the instructor will go through the needed preliminary theory at the beginning of each topic.

Nevertheless, for some of the mathematical analyses that will be presented in the course, some prior knowledge on stochastic processes and in particular on Markov processed is helpful. Hence, the prospective student may also want to attend:


In addition, some basic knowledge on computer networks, including their basic tools for performance analysis (queueing theory) and some knowledge on networking protocols (in particular link layer and transport) is also beneficial. Hence, the prospective student may also want to attend:

Target skills and knowledge: As a minimal set of achievements, the student will become knowledgeable about modern centralized and distributed wireless systems such as IEEE 802.11 (a/g/n/h) and Wireless Sensor Network technology (IEEE 802.15.4), getting to know the related protocol stacks in terms of physical layer (PHY), channel access (LINK), networking procedures (NET) and packet-based application-layer / network coding.

Also, at the end of the course the student will have a solid understanding of the fundamental networking protocols used in wireless networks, of the reasons behind their design and on the relevant performance tradeoffs. Some fundamental aspects of the wireless channel and of modern physical layer technologies will also be covered in the course. These will be then related to the network protocols that are commonly used in wireless centralized (e.g., Wi-Fi) and distributed (e.g., Wireless Sensor Networks) networks, discussing: design choices, performance measures and relevant tradeoffs.

Finally, the student will acquire the ability to analyze wireless communication scenarios, and characterize the performance of selected network protocols for a correct system design. Also, (s)he will be able to analyze a wireless networking solution through simulation and will possibly develop the sensibility to modify the involved protocols so as to enhance their performance.
Examination methods: To pass the exam, a student needs to pass a written examination. An additional oral test is optional and decided on a case-by-case basis, depending on the performance attained for the written exam and on whether the student aims at obtaining extra-credit, so as to improve his/her final grade.

WRITTEN EXAM: the written exam usually contains one exercise and two theory questions. The exercise is about dimensioning a wireless networking system, involving the transmission of some data flow through a network of terminals, where some of the links are wireless. Different exercises and their solution will be amply discussed by the instructor throughout the course. The two theory questions are either about deriving equations to characterize the performance of a certain protocol that has been presented in the course or discussing the pros and cons of a certain technology or protocol. Past exams can be found in the Internet site of the course, most of them include the solution to the technical exercise:

WHEN TAKING A NEW WRITTEN EXAM. If a student has been assigned a sufficient grade from a past written examination, he/she has the right of taking a new written exam to improve his/her grade. In the case he/she decides to do so, the student will have 15 minutes to check the exercises and questions of the new written exam and decide as to whether he wants to continue with this new exam or maintain the old grade (from the last written examination he/she has passed). In the former case, the grade from the new written exam will replace that of the last written exam he/she has passed.
Assessment criteria: To pass the exam, a student needs to pass a written examination for which the student needs to attain at least 18 points (i.e., the lowest passing grade). An additional oral test is optional and decided on a case-by-case basis, depending on the performance attained for the written exam and the project and on whether the student aims at obtaining extra-credit, so as to improve his/her final grade.

Points are associated with each question / exercise and clearly indicated in the written exam text.
Course unit contents: The course aims at providing some advanced knowledge on protocol stacks for wireless communications, including the analysis of distributed wireless networks, state of the art wireless technologies and current trends. The topics that will be covered will range from link layer technology to routing over ad hoc wireless networks and application layer / network coding. Selected topics will be presented using recent research papers from the literature as a source of reference. In the first part of the course, the student will be introduced to the technology used in modern ISO/OSI stacks, characterizing the performance of the single layers and then of the protocol stack as a whole. In the second half of the course, the focus will be on distributed ad hoc network architectures, with particular emphasis on distributed Wi-Fi networks (IEEE802.11 a/g/h/n) and wireless sensor networks. The corresponding technologies will be introduced in detail (PHY/MAC/routing), characterizing their performance through suitable mathematical tools. The course will be research oriented and, at the end of it, the student will have a clear view on modern protocol technology, and will be able to carry out its performance evaluation through tractable mathematical tools.

The main topics that will be discussed in the course are:

- Wireless channel:
* Simulation-based introduction to wireless channel models: path loss, shadowing, fading and frequency selectivity

- Link layer:
* Link layer algorithms based on FEC: applications
* Hybrid ARQ systems: mathematical analysis and performance evaluation
* Fountain codes: theoretical foundations, optimal and suboptimal (practical) decoders

- Protocol stack analysis:
* Performance evaluation of protocol stacks over correlated fading channels. This analysis will cover all layers from the physical layer up to the transport, accounting for Markov channel models, ARQ system models and transpor protocol performance

- IEEE 802.11 a/g/h/n:
* Physical layer technology. Introduction to the OFDM technology, diversity and MIMO techniques, multi-antenna systems (beamforming and multiplexing)
* Channel access technology (Medium Access Control, MAC)
* Mathematical analysis and performance evaluation of dynamic rate control algorithms (adaptive modulation and coding)

- Routing over "ad hoc" multi-hop wireless networks:
* Performance analysis of data dissemination in multi-hop mobile wireless networks
* Description and performance evaluation of selected routing algorithms for ad hoc wireless networks

- Wireless sensor networks (WSN):
* Relevant channel access and routing algorithms, analytical models and their performance analysis
* Study of WSN systems powered by energy harvesting sources

- Course seminars on ongoing research topics
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: All course subjects will be treated by means of frontal lectures. Slides will be used by the instructor whenever needed to illustrate diagrams, schemes and performance results. All the slides will be made available through the website of the course before each lesson will take place and preferably from the beginning of the course. Mathematical calculations will be mainly dealt with at the blackboard.

Numerous exercises will be solved to demonstrate the application of the theory presented in the course for the performance evaluation of distributed wireless systems.

Relevant research directions will be also discussed.
Additional notes about suggested reading: All the material will be in English, including oral lessons, slides, technical documents, personal notes from the instructor, and scientific papers. Being an advanced course, at the present time there is no book covering all the topics that will be discussed. Also, most of the topics, along with the corresponding modeling approaches / mathematical analyses, will be taken from relevant and recent scientific papers.

The instructor will provide all the relevant material that is necessary for the student to prepare the exam, including scientific papers, technical reports and the slides that will be used by the instructor for each lecture. Slides, technical documents and papers will be provided with sufficient advance, possibly from the very beginning of the course.

Course material, including instructor nodes, course schedule, testing and grading information and are available at the course site:
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Andrea Goldsmith, Wireless Communications. --: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Cerca nel catalogo