MobiHoc 2007



Mobile Computing and Systems: Where is the Tofu? A Discussion with
Programs Directors from Agencies and Industry

Tuesday, Sep 11, 12:30-13:30

Organizer and Moderator: Stefano Basagni
Panel Co-chairs: Ioanis Nikolaidis, Martha Steenstrup

This panel aims at discussing perspectives and directions of research as seen from program directors of funding agencies and industry.

Program managers from different organizations will share the vision of their programs and the MobiCom and MobiHoc community will have the chance for questions and discussion.


Kristin M. Tolle (Microsoft Research, US)

Jie Wu (NSF)

Arvind Gupta (MITACS, Canada)



Bonobos Vs Chimps: Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Behavior in Wireless Networks

Panel for Mobicom 2007



Jean-Pierre Hubaux, EPFL (organizer and moderator)


Ramesh Johari, Stanford University

P. R. Kumar, UIUC

Joseph Mitola, MITRE Corp.

Heather Zheng, UCSB



Bonobos and chimpanzees are the apes that are genetically closest to human beings. Yet the former tend to be friendly with each other and prone to collaborate, whereas the latter are usually more nasty and selfish. A similar difference has been observed lately between the research efforts of physical layer specialists on one hand and those of wireless networkers on the other hand: the former focus on cooperation between wireless devices (beamforming,...), whereas the latter are obsessed by selfish (or non-cooperative) behavior. Yet, these behaviors are not necessarily exclusive: in some cases, the most egoistic attitude consists in cooperating.

The purpose of this panel is to bring together (human) specialists of each of the two camps. In particular, they will address the following issues:


  • Does the word "cooperation" mean the same thing in each camp?
  • How relevant are these issues in practice?
  • Can a device be cooperative at the physical layer and non-cooperative at the other layers?
  • How does cross-layer design come into the picture?
  • What are the security implications (or requirements) of non-cooperative and cooperative behavior?
  • Are the players only wireless devices, or can larger bodies (even wireless operators) exhibit (non)-cooperative behavior?
  • Is game theory useful in designing distributed algorithms for cooperative wireless systems?
  • Is the distinction made in game theory between cooperative and non-cooperative
    games of some use in this framework?
  • How do limits on available information affect the knowledge and rationality assumptions inherent in game theoretic models applied to wireless networks?
  • What are the implications of all the above questions on cognitive radios and software-defined radios?

The audience will then be invited to participate in the debate.


Note: Dr. Mitola's affiliation with the MITRE Corporation does not imply the endorsement of MITRE nor any of its sponsors of this activity.

Short Biography of the Panelists

Jean-Pierre Hubaux is a professor at the School of Computer and Communication Sciences of EPFL. In 1999, he has defined the research challenges of the National Competence Center in Research named "Mobile Information and Communication Systems" (NCCR/MICS), which revolve primarily around cooperation questions; this center is often nicknamed "the Terminodes project". In this framework, he has studied non-cooperative behavior at the MAC layer of CSMA/CA networks and at the network layer of self-organized mobile ad hoc networks. He has also made contributions on non-cooperative behavior of wireless network operators in shared spectrum. He has recently written, with Levente Buttyan, a graduate textbook entitled "Security and Cooperation in Wireless Networks". He is a member of the Swiss Federal Communications Commission (ComCom).


Ramesh Johari is an assistant professor in Management Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering (by courtesy), and Computer Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University.  His research has balanced an analysis of economic methods as a tool for designing decentralized resource allocation protocols in cooperative environments (e.g., congestion control), as well as incentive mechanisms for control of noncooperative behavior in networks.  His doctoral thesis received the George M. Sprowls Award for the best doctoral thesis in computer science at MIT, as well as Honorable Mention in the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award competition.  He is a recipient of an Okawa Foundation Research Grant and an NSF Career Award, both to study competition and cooperation in communication networks.


P. R. Kumar is a professor at the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In his work on cross layer design, he has studied how protocols intended to be cooperative may not be so. He also has studied how true cooperation in wireless networks can be addressed via information theory. At the opposite end, he has studied zero-sum dynamic games where the goal is to actually be non-cooperative. Aside from this, he has worked on problems in game theory, adaptive control, stochastic systems, simulated annealing, neural networks, machine learning, queueing networks, manufacturing systems, scheduling, and wafer fabrication plants. He received the Donald P. Eckman Award of the American Automatic Control Council in 1985, the IEEE Field Award in Control Systems in 2006, and is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.


Joseph Mitola III is a consulting scientist with the MITRE Corporation. He is considered by many in the wireless industry as the father of Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology. In 1999, he was elected to chair what became the SDR Forum, an international wireless industry association. In 2002, he received the Outstanding Achievement Award for his efforts in the research and development of SDR technology by the SDR Forum. In 2006 he wrote a book entitled "Cognitive Radio Architecture". His research focuses on integrating machine learning into software-defined radio.


Heather Zheng is an assistant professor at the Dept. of Computer Science of the University of California at Santa Barbara. In her work on dynamic spectrum management and cognitive radios, she has studied the effectiveness of node collaboration. She has developed analytical results and protocols to address both explicit coordination via local negotiations, and implicit coordination via independent adjustments following network enforced rules. Her current research interests include protocol and algorithm design in dynamic spectrum networks. She was selected as one of the MIT Technology Review's TR35 for her work on cognitive radios. Her work was also featured in MIT Technology Review's 10 Emerging Technologies of 2006.

Contact person

Prof. Jean-Pierre Hubaux
EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology -
BC 207 (BC Building)
Station 14
CH - 1015

Fax: +41 21 693 66 10


Panel co-chairs


Martha Steenstrup ( and Ioanis Nikolaidis (

Last modified 2007-05-25