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Challenges in measuring wireless networks

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Collecting real data from wireless networks is useful for many reasons, including application and protocol development, network management, and network security. But collecting such data in a wireless environment is more problematic than in a switched wired network: the need to measure and monitor other contending networks, networks in other channels, networks using other media access protocols, and the vagaries of radio transmission can all lead to incomplete data.

This talk will outline some of my experiences with wireless measurement, including 802.11 security, mobility modeling and studying the sociology of mobile computing users. I will then discuss some of the remaining challenges in measuring wireless networks, including future cognitive radio networks.


Tristan Henderson is a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of St Andrews. His research interests include wireless network measurement, network economics and multiplayer networked games. He is co-I of the CRAWDAD wireless data archiving project (, which currently provides 23 wireless datasets to a community of over 500 users. He also serves on JANET ’s Wireless Advisory Group and is a TPC member for this year’s IMC workshop on wireless measurement (IM4Win).

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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