University of Southern California WiDeS - Wireless Devices and Systems Group The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering USC
Research at WiDES concentrates on techniques that make wireless communications either more spectrally efficient, or more energy efficient. The main emphasis is on the physical layer, but we also consider MAC-layer and networking, as well as hardware impacts. Some general themes of our research include:
  • performance in the presence of nonidealities: while theoretical treatments tend to abstract and idealize a system, a device ultimately has to be built with real components, and operate in real environments. We aim to find system models that strike the right balance between analytical tractability (so that we can get insights into the impact of various parameters) and realism. For example, noisy and outdated channel estimates, mutual coupling of the elements of antenna arrays, clock jitter, and many other effects have figured prominently in our research.
  • interplay between system and propagation channel: modern wireless systems do not operate in AWGN or flat-fading channels! We have extensive experience in deriving and using realistic channel models - from which we derive inspiration for improved system designs that work better in real-world channels.
  • look at the applications: for many years, separating physical-layer design from the actual application was useful - it allowed wireless engineers to design general-purpose architectures that enables economies of scale. But this design paradigm is approaching its limit, and we are getting to a stage where the physical layer has to be fitted to the actual application we have in mind. For example, for a cellphone, a design that brings reliability to 99.999% will be much too expensive, but it is worthwhile in a medical-monitoring system where a patient's life depends on the system sending appropriate alarms to a doctor.
But now enough of these generalities: please click your way through our main research topics to see what we are doing concretely.