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Second cycle
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School of Engineering
Course unit
INP6075439, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IN0521, Degree course structure A.Y. 2009/10, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS
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

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

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

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2009 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 A.A. 2018/2019 01/10/2018 15/03/2020 ROSSI MICHELE (Presidente)
BADIA LEONARDO (Membro Effettivo)
1 A.A. 2017/2018 01/10/2017 15/03/2019 ROSSI MICHELE (Presidente)
ERSEGHE TOMASO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: The student should have a good knowledge of basic probability theory, including random processes, random variables, their expectation, the concept of conditional probability the main probability density functions, etc. Note that no previous courses are deemed mandatory, as the instructor will go through the needed preliminary theory and/or the description of the related networking mechanisms prior to the presentation of each new topic.

Nevertheless, 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 beneficial. Hence, the prospective student may want to attend:

Target skills and knowledge: 1. 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.
2. The student will become knowledgeable about modern centralized and distributed wireless systems such as IEEE 802.11 (a/g/n/h) and Wireless Sensor Networks.
3. The student will become knowledgeable about the related protocol stacks in terms of 3.1) physical layer (PHY), 3.2) channel access (LINK), 3.3) networking procedures (NET) and 3.4) packet-based application-layer / network coding.
4. The student will acquire 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 be covered. 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 their design choices, performance measures and relevant tradeoffs.
5. 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.
6. The knowledge acquired at points 1, 2, 3 and 4 will allow the student to write network simulators, to characterize complex scenarios. Likewise, the student will gain a system-level view of communication networks, developing the sensibility needed to modify channel access, routing and transport protocols, towards improving their performance
Examination methods: To pass the exam, a student needs to pass a written examination, which consists of two parts.

Part 1: the first part usually contains one exercise 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.

Part 2: the second part contains some theoretical questions, that cover some of the derivations (formulas, proofs, etc.) that are presented during the course.

NOTE: different exercises and their solution will be amply discussed by the instructor throughout the course (for a minimum of 12 hours). We remark that the exercises are highly valued by the instructor and as such he will provide good coverage of them. In fact, they will be used to introduce new theoretical aspects or methodologies via application examples. The theoretical questions will be about obtaining some of the formulas / results for a particular system or protocol. Past written exams are available in the course site, and most of them contain the solution to Part 1.
Assessment criteria: The written exam (split into two parts) will be formulated so as to verify the following evaluation criteria:

For Part 1
1. Ability of understanding a communication network from a system level perspective, breaking the technical scenario down into smaller pieces, solving each one according to the dependencies among them and merging the obtained results to obtain global performance estimates
2. Competence and coherence in the discussion of the performance so obtained
3. Correctness of approach and numerical results

For Part 2
1. Knowledge of the wireless systems presented in the course
2. Ability in the derivation of key equations and proofs regarding the physical, link and networking layers studied in the course
3. Capacity and competence in the explanation of the performance tradeoffs of the presented systems
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 (for a minimum of 12 hours) will be solved to demonstrate the application of the theory presented in the course for the performance evaluation of distributed wireless systems. Simple but effective models will be proposed for the solution of the networking scenarios that will be covered.

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.

The book that is indicated here below will be used to cover the physical layer aspects.

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

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Latex
  • Mathematica
  • Matlab

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