Distributed Computing Group

Mobile Computing

Today we witness that three recent tech success stories (cellular phones, the Internet, and ultra light computing devices such as personal digital assistants) are being unified into what is dubbed "mobile computing".

The goal of this course is to discuss the principles of mobile computing and wireless communication. We start with radio transmission and work our way up the networking stack by discussing the usual suspects: media access and logical link control, network and transport layer with mobile IP and TCP alternatives. We discuss and analyze algorithmic concepts along with real-world standards such as GSM, wireless LAN, Bluetooth, or satellites. We also study the foundations of multi-hop ad-hoc networks. After knowing the basics we home in on applications and ask how mobile computing will change the programmer's world: How do we program in disconnected operation (for example calendar synchronization); how do we deal with hardware limitations (WAP)?

We are excited about our practical exercises! They are an integral part of the course and tied in with the lecture. In the exercises we build an ad-hoc network on wireless LAN base. We start by programming the "hello world!" equivalent for ad-hoc networks, and step by step build more advanced mobile computing applications, such as instant messaging, chat, multi-hop discovery, and an awesome distributed game.

Course pre-requisites: Basic networking knowledge; it would be great if each student had a programmable "mobile" (old school schlepptop is OK) device available, and if possible a wireless LAN card (IEEE 802.11b by Cisco/Aironet or Apple/AirPort).

Course language: English written, German spoken.

Lecture by Roger Wattenhofer, Monday 10-12 @ IFW A32.

Exercises by Aaron Zollinger, Pascal von Rickenbach, Nicolas Burri,
Thursday 4-6 @ IFW A36. First exercise lesson: April 1.

Useful references

Last year's exam might be helpful for your exam preparation.
Exam coordinates: 2004/09/24 15:00 Mensa Polyterrasse (sic!)

For next year's preparation now also this year's exam.

Lecture material

Title PDF 1:1 PDF 4:1 Notes PDF

Chapter 1
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Chapter 2
Physical and Link Layer
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Chapter 3
Media Access Layer
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Chapter 4
Wireless LAN
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Chapter 5
Ad Hoc Networks
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Chapter 6
Mobile IP and TCP
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Chapter 7
Geometric Routing
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Chapter 8
Dominating Sets
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Chapter 9
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Chapter 7 Cont'd
Geometric Routing
2004/06/14 and 2004/06/21
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Chapter 9 Cont'd
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Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Physical and Link Layer

Chapter 3: Media Access Control

Chapter 4: Wireless LAN

Chapter 5: Ad Hoc Networks

Chapter 6: Mobile IP and TCP

Chapter 7: Geometric Routing

Chapter 8: Dominating Sets

Chapter 9: GSM