Columbia University

About the Lab

The Wireless and Mobile Networking (WiMNet) Research Lab at the Department of Electrical Engineering in Columbia University focuses on research in the areas of wireless, mobile, and resilient networks and systems.

Our research activities are motivated by the fact that in the past decade, the Internet revolution of the nineties has been followed by a wireless and mobile networking revolution. This is due to the introduction of numerous new technologies and the steep growth in development and deployment of cellular networks, wireless local area networks, sensor networks, vehicular networks, and mesh networks. This wireless revolution has already transformed the way we work and communicate and such networks are already being used in many practical applications, including broadband access, military operations, healthcare, manufacturing, and public safety.

Efficiently controlling wireless networks is a challenging task due, in part, to interference, mobility of the nodes, limited capacity, energy limitations, and lack of central control. Such distinct characteristics set wireless networks apart from other networking technologies and pose numerous theoretical and practical problems, of which many remain to be solved, despite extensive recent research. Our objective is to design network architectures, protocols, and systems that are efficient, scalable, and reliable. Our approach is to deal with wireless networking problems that have a strong grounding in reality and to obtain a fundamental understanding of these problems, thereby providing a sound theory for real systems.

The conventional layered networking protocol stack is not well suited to wireless networks, since it does not exploit the potential improvements in performance that can be obtained by jointly designing protocols that span multiple layers. Hence, an important aspect of our research is the design of algorithms and architectures that take into account cross layer considerations. This requires employing methods and techniques from various disciplines, including network optimization, distributed algorithms, queueing theory, graph theory, network protocols, and physical layer communications.

Our research contributions span a wide range of wireless and mobile networking systems (e.g., mesh networks, local area networks, energy harvesting networks, and cellular networks) as well as several networking functionalities (e.g., MAC, routing, scheduling, mobility control, and power control). By investigating a variety of systems and problems, we seek to determine common unifying themes and principles that rise above the details of a particular system. In addition to the research in the area of wireless networking, we have been studying the vulnerability of communication and power networks to geographically correlated failures. Moreover, we have been recently applying the cross layer design tools that have been extremely successful in the wireless domain to develop algorithms for efficient operation of optical networks. Our educational activities include curriculum development for classes that include a significant hands-on component, engaging a large number of M.S., undergraduate, and high school students in research projects, and outreach activities to the local community.

Our current and former members include several postdocs, Ph.D. students, and visiting scientists as well as M.S., undergraduate, and high school students. We are always looking for new talented group members. If you are interested in joining, please apply.