Life in the WAM Continuum: Investigating fundamenal properties of wireless and mobile networks

Professor Mostafa Ammar

Georgia Institute of Technology


Abstract Infrastructure-free networking of wireless and mobile nodes is a necessity in situations where the infrastructure is non-existent or compromised. They are also increasingly being considered as a viable approach to off-loading a congested and expensive wireless infrastructure. Until recently, the vast majority of research in wireless and mobile networks focused on so-called Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) where relatively stable end-to-end paths are the norm. More recently, research has focused on data delivery techniques in a more realistic Intermittently-Connected Network (ICN) paradigm, where stable end-to-end paths are the exception. In this talk I will first give an overview of ICNs and the types of challenges involved in their design and operation. I will then discuss our work in the WAM (wireless and mobile) Continuum Project which is based on the simple but powerful observation that MANETs and ICNs fit into a continuum that generalizes these two previously distinct categories. Building on this observation, our work develops a framework that goes further to scope the entire space of wireless and mobile networks. I will summarize efforts to answer the following fundamental questions regarding such networks: 1) How can one describe connectivity properties in a mobile and potentially intermittently connected network? 2) Do such networks have a backbone? 3) How can one enhance the usefulness of mobile network trace collection exercises? and 4) Can mobile networks compute? Biography: Mostafa Ammar is a Regents' Professor with the School of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been with Georgia Tech since 1985 and served as Associate Chair of the School of Computer Science since 2006-2012. Dr. Ammar received the S.B. and S.M. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 and 1980, respectively and the Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 1985. Dr. Ammar's research interests are in network architectures, protocols and services. He has contributions in the areas of multicast communication and services, multimedia streaming, content distribution networks, network simulation and, most recently, in disruption-tolerant networks and virtual network design. He has published extensively in these areas. To date, 29 PhD students have completed their degrees under his supervision; many have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and industry. Dr. Ammar has served the networking research community in multiple roles. Most notably, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (ToN) from 1999 to 2003, and he was the co-TPC Chair for the IEEE ICNP 1997, ACM CoNEXT 2006 and ACM SIGMETRICS 2007 conferences. He served on the steering commitee of ToN from 2005-2012 and currently serves on the steering committee of CoNEXT. Dr. Ammar was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2002 and Fellow of the ACM in 2003.

[Professor Mostafa Ammar]
Georgia Institute of Technology