Doctoral Thesis -- Pushing the Limits of Wireless Networks: Interference Management and Indoor Positioning


Event Speaker: 

Swarun Kumar

Event Location: 

32-G449 (Kiva)

Event Date/Time: 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 10:00am

Abstract: Wireless networks are everywhere around us and form a
big part of our day-to-day lives. In this talk, I will present my work
on addressing the key challenges and opportunities of modern wireless
networks.  First, can we use the ubiquitous Wi-Fi infrastructure
around us to deliver new services, beyond communication? In
particular, this talk focuses on indoor positioning, a service that
has grabbed the attention of the academia and industry. While GPS has
revolutionized outdoor navigation, it does not work indoors. Past work
that has explored this problem is either limited in accuracy with
errors of several meters, or advocates complete overhaul of the
infrastructure with massive antenna-array access points that do not
exist on consumer devices. Inspired by radar systems, I developed
Ubicarse, the first purely-software indoor positioning system for
existing Wi-Fi devices that achieves tens of cm in positioning

Second, perhaps our biggest expectation from modern wireless networks
is faster communication speeds. However, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi
networks continue to struggle in crowded environments — airports and
hotel lobbies. The core reason is interference — Wi-Fi access points
today avoid transmitting at the same time on the same frequency, since
they would otherwise interfere with each other.  I describe OpenRF, a
novel system that enables today’s Wi-Fi access points to directly
combat this interference and demonstrate significantly faster
data-rates for real applications.

Bio: Swarun Kumar is a Ph.D Candidate at MIT working on wireless
networks and systems. Over his Ph.D, he designed and built new systems
that leverage a deep understanding of the wireless physical layer to
design and build faster wireless networks and deliver new services.
His work has been featured as research highlights in the
Communications of the ACM (CACM) and the International Journal of
Robotics Research (IJRR). Swarun is a recipient of the Jacobs
presidential fellowship at MIT and the President of India gold medal
at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. Swarun received his
masters degree from MIT and undergraduate degree from IIT Madras.


Committee: Dina Katabi (CSAIL), Daniela Rus (CSAIL), Li Erran Li (Bell Labs), Venkat Padmanabhan (Microsoft Research)