Wireless and Mobile Networks

General Information:

Instructor: Katia Obraczka (katia@soe.ucsc.edu)

Office: E2 323
Lab: Internbetwork Research Group (i-NRG) E2 311 (http://inrg.cse.ucsc.edu)
Course Location: E2 553
Course Schedule: TTh 2 - 3:45

Class Description:

This class covers various topics relevant to wireless networking and mobile computing. It focuses on communication protocols for wireless networks from medium-access control to end-to-end transport and applications. The course requires extensive reading (especially research literature), in-class presentations, participation and discussion. Programming proficiency is assumed since students will be required to complete a major class project. Topics covered in the class include:

  • Medium access control
  • Unicast and multicast routing
  • Wireless internetworking
  • End-to-end protocols
  • Disruption tolerant networking
  • New architectures and paradigms
  • Localization and location management
  • Security
  • Power and topology management




  • In-class presentation: 20%
  • Reading reports: 10%
  • Project: 40% (Content: 20%; Report: 10%; Presentation/Demo: 10%)
  • Exam: 30%

Grades of C and below will be assigned to students who do not perform satisfactorily. You should not assume that you can receive a B simply because this is a graduate class.


Class attendance is mandatory. Because this is a graduate class, students are expected to participate actively in class, and that's hard to do if they do not attend class regularly. Attendance will not be recorded, but you cannot pass if you miss too many classes. If you need to miss a class, please let the instructor know (in advance if possible).

Much of the course material, including assignments and lecture notes, will be posted on the class Web page. However, students are responsible for all material covered in class, whether or not it appeared on the Web site.

Student Responsibilities:

Students enrolled in this class are agreeing to the following:

  • All work turned in as reports, project, and exam MUST be individual. If any work claimed by a student to be his/her own is found to be shared with other students, that will be considered a violation of academic integrity and will be handled accordingly. For more information on UCSC's academic integrity policies, visit http://www.ucsc.edu/academics/academic-integrity/index.html.
  • Students are responsible for reading the papers that will be covered in a specific lecture BEFORE the lecture. All papers must be read in detail even though not all details will be covered in class. A short summary of the papers need to be submitted before the class meeting in which the papers will be discussed.
  • Students are also responsible for checking the class Web page frequently for updates, schedule changes, etc.
  • The course pre-requisite is CMPE 252A or equivalent. You can talk to the instructor if you do not have the required background. If a student has not taken CMPE 252A (or equivalent), it is the student's responsibility to acquire the corresponding background material.
  • As mentioned in the description of the course, students must be proficient (C, C++) programmers as a class project will account for a considerable portion of the grade.

Tentative Schedule:

April 1: Course overview [ Slides ]
April 3: Introduction, motivation, fundamentals, and terminology [ Slides ]
April 8: Medium Access Control [ Slides ]
April 10: Medium Access Control
April 15: Medium Access Control
April 17: Unicast routing
April 22: Multicast routing
April 24: Wireless internetworking

April 29: End-to-end protocols

May 1: End-to-end protocols

May 6: End-to-end protocols

May 8:

May 13: 
May 15: 
May 20: 
May 22:
May 27: 
May 29: 
June 3: 
June 5: 
June 12: 12-3pm


TextbookNo textbook is required. The book "Ad Hoc Wireless Networks: Architectures and Protocols" by C. Siva Ram Murthy and B.S. Manoj can be used as a reference.

Timeless readings:
Saltzer et al., End-to-end arguments in system design: 
PDF here 
Lampson, Hints for Computer System Design: 
PDF here 

Reading list:


  1. L. Kleinrock, "Nomadicity: Anytime, Anywhere In A Disconnected World", Invited paper, Mobile Networks and Applications, Vol. 1, No. 4, January 1996, pp. 351-357.
  2. L. Kleinrock, "An Internet Vision: The Invisible Global Infrastructure", Ad Hoc Networks Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 3-11, July 2003.
  3. M Weiser, "The Computer for the 21st Century", 1991.
  4. M. Weiser, "Some Computer Science Problems in Ubiquitous Computing", Communications of the ACM, July 1993.


  1. B. P. Crow and I. Widjaja and L. G. Kim and P. T. Sakai, "IEEE 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks", 1997. IEEE Communications Magazine, 35(9):116-126.
  2. Vaduvur Bharghavan, Alan Demers, Scott Shenker, Lixia Zhang, "MACAW: A Media Access Protocol for Wireless for Wireless LANs", ACM Sigcomm 94.
  3. J. J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves and C. L. Fullmer, "Floor Acquisition Multiple Access in Single-Channel Wireless Networks," ACM MONET Journal, Special Issue on Ad Hoc Networks, Vol. 4, 1999, pp. 157-174.


  1. Venkatesh Rajendran, Katia Obraczka, J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves. "DYNAMMA: A DYNAmic Multi-channel Medium Access Framework for Wireless Ad Hoc Networks", Proceedings of the 4th IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Systems (MASS). Oct 2007. Nominated for the best paper award.
  2. V. Rajendran, Katia Obraczka, and J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves, "Energy-Efficient, Collision-Free Medium Access Control for Wireless Sensor Networks", ACM/Kluwer Wireless Networks (WINET), 2006.
  3. Djukic, P. and Mohapatra, P., "Soft-TDMAC: A Software TDMA-Based MAC over Commodity 802.11 Hardware", Proceedings of the INFOCOM 2009, 2009.

Instructors and Assistants