All posts filed under: Featured

Communication demands of drone applications

Written by Evsen Yanmaz. Edited by Christian Bettstetter. Small drones become increasingly popular for civil applications, including production of movies and delivery of important goods. The wireless communications and networking of drones is an essential building block in such systems. Lakeside Labs researchers have been working in this domain for several years; now they wrote a comprehensive survey article on the characteristics and requirements of drone networks.

“What salary can I expect in industry after my PhD?”

Doctoral students in electrical and computer engineering often ask me what salary to expect in industry after graduation. “From 45.000 € to 75.000 € gross per year in Austria or Germany” could be an answer, but this is a vague statement that does not help much. In fact, there is no general answer to this question, as the salary depends on many factors, such as personal profile, position, company type, current situation in the job market, and company location. Let me thus redefine the above question and give some hints for negotiating a salary and other factors to consider. These hints are from an Austrian-German perspective, but many of them are of general validity.

UWB sensor networks in airplanes

Modern airplanes are equipped with hundreds of embedded sensors and actuators necessary for structural health monitoring, aircraft control, and passenger and crew assistance. These devices are typically interconnected by wires. Using wireless connections instead of wires improves flexibility of installations and reduces the airplane’s weight. Researchers from Airbus Group Innovations have been working on this topic for several years. An ongoing joint project with the University of Klagenfurt and Lakeside Labs develops and tests such in-cabin networks with focus on their robustness against undesired interference.

Achieving consensus in networks with disturbances

The problem of finding a consensus in a group of people occurs in many social contexts. In a similar way, distributed algorithms for consensus play an important role in networked computing and communication systems if centralized decision making is difficult or impossible. Each entity in such a system processes only local information obtained from its neighbors and ideally performs only simple computations. Despite this simplicity, the process of consensus building should be robust against different types of disturbance, such as faulty entities, noise, and communication errors. A research team with members from Klagenfurt and Genoa has now analyzed the robustness of a special class of consensus algorithms, namely binary consensus, in which all entities must eventually agree on one out of two possible values. The motivation for their study is as follows: Some binary consensus algorithms that work well in noiseless and error-free networks—such as the well-known Gacs-Kurdyumov-Levin algorithm—show convergence problems in networks with disturbances. In turn, some other algorithms that are inferior in noiseless and error-free networks may actually improve their performance with the …