Interference dynamics in wireless networks

Interference has significant impact on the performance of wireless communication systems. A comprehensive understanding of its dynamic behavior over time is important for the design of diversity schemes and protocols, whose performance can severely degrade in case of highly-correlated interference.

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Schilcher, Bettstetter, and Brandner aim at advancing this emerging field from a theoretical perspective. Their forthcoming article to be published in the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing derives closed-form expressions and calculation rules for the correlation coefficient of the overall interference power received at a certain point in space. “We take into account three sources of correlation: node locations, channel, and traffic,” Schilcher says. It took the team more than one year to find solutions for 27 scenarios presented in the article. The hard work payed off.

Schilcher recently also defended his doctoral thesis with distinction. “This is an important research direction,” the external PhD examiner, Martin Haenggi from the University of Notre Dame (USA), says. “The spatial and temporal structure of interference has been largely ignored, although it is critical to the performance of wireless networks. The Klagenfurt group made an original contribution that greatly enhances our understanding of interference.”

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