Keynote Addresses

For this year's MobiHoc we look forward to two keynote addresses:

June 12: Prof. Edward Knightly

Rice University

Urban-Scale Wireless Networks in Unlicensed sub-GHz Bands

Abstract: The FCC ruled in September 2010 that unused UHF TV channels could be repurposed for unlicensed wireless Internet, a capability often termed "Super WiFi" because UHF bands have much greater range compared to today's GHz WiFi. Yet with so many channels used for TV in populated areas, few and sometimes none are left over in urban areas, severely hindering the capacity and market possibilities of Super WiFi in U.S. cities. Moreover, with a limited urban market hindering the cost savings of mass production, rural deployments are likewise hindered. Nonetheless, many urban areas world-wide have far greater unlicensed spectrum availability across many sub-GHz bands. In this talk, I will describe the global possibilities for UHF-band wireless networks, including specific deployment scenarios. Moreover, I will describe research, standardization, and policy challenges that must be overcome to realize urban-scale wireless networks in sub-GHz bands.

Bio: Edward Knightly is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of California at Berkeley and his B.S. from Auburn University. He is an IEEE Fellow, a Sloan Fellow, and a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He received the best paper award from ACM MobiCom 2008 and serves on the IMDEA Networks Scientific Council. Professor Knightly's research interests are in the areas of mobile and wireless networks with a focus on protocol design, performance evaluation, and at-scale field trials. He leads the Rice Networks Group. The group's current projects include deployment, operation, and management of a large-scale urban wireless network in a Houston under-resourced community. This network, Technology For All (TFA) Wireless, is serving over 4,000 users in several square kilometers and employs custom-built programmable and observable access points. The network is the first to provide residential access in frequencies spanning from unused UHF DTV bands to WiFi bands. The group is also co-developing a clean-slate-design hardware platform for high-performance wireless networks. The WARP platform is now operational, and ongoing research includes development of the first MUBF WLAN system.

June 13: Prof. Nitin Vaidya

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Resilient Distributed Consensus

Abstract: Consensus algorithms allow a set of nodes to reach an agreement on a quantity of interest. For instance, a consensus algorithm may be used to allow a network of sensors to determine the average value of samples collected by the different sensors. Similarly, a consensus algorithm can also be used by the nodes to synchronize their clocks. Research on consensus algorithms has a long history, with contributions from different research communities, including distributed computing, control systems, and social science.

In this talk, we will discuss two resilient consensus algorithms that can perform correctly despite the following two types of adversities: (i) In wireless networks, transmissions are subject to transmission errors, resulting in packet losses. We will discuss how "average consensus" can be achieved over such lossy links, without explicitly making the links reliable, for instance, via retransmissions. (ii) In a distributed setting, some of the nodes in the network may fail or may be compromised. We will discuss a consensus algorithm that can tolerate "Byzantine" failures in partially connected networks.

Bio: Nitin Vaidya is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests span distributed algorithms, fault-tolerant computing, and wireless networks. Nitin has held visiting positions at Technicolor Paris Lab, TU-Berlin, IIT-Bombay, Microsoft Research-Redmond, and Sun Microsystems, as well as a faculty position at the Texas A&M University. He has co-authored papers that received awards at several conferences, including 2007 ACM MobiHoc and 1998 ACM MobiCom. He has served as the Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. Nitin is a Fellow of the IEEE. For more information, please visit

Copyright © 2012, MobiHoc. Photo: Sunset on Hilton Head Island, credit Lee Coursey.