Communication Systems and Networks

Picture : Multipath TCP deployed on smartphones in Korea

In ICTEAM, a large variety of problems related to communication systems and networks are investigated. The different topics cover all the layers of communication systems going from the physical layer up to the application layer, including the MAC, network and transport layers. A few examples of particular activities are detailed below. Thanks to its expertise on such a large array of subjects, ICTEAM is able to undertake complex research projects dealing with very different aspects of communication systems.

Principal Investigators :

Tom Barbette, Olivier Bonaventure, Jean-Charles Delvenne, Christophe De Vleeschouwer, Denis Flandre, Raphaël Jungers, Jérôme Louveaux, Benoit Macq, Claude Oestges, Cristel Pelsser, Etienne Rivière, Ramin Sadre, Peter Van Roy, Luc Vandendorpe

Research Labs :

Cloud and Large Scale computing group, Image and Signal Processing Group (ISPGroup), IP Networking Lab, Programming Languages and Distributed Computing, Security and Performance of Networked Systems Group

Research Areas :

The research focuses on the physical layer and the MAC layer of modern wired and wireless communications systems. Transmitters, receivers and resource allocation are designed and optimized for OFDM(A) based systems, multi-antenna systems (MIMO, distributed MIMO, relay techniques) and multiuser systems. At the receiver side, both detection and estimation are considered. Iterative or turbo based techniques are receiving a lot of attention. Particular attention is paid to multicell wireless communications and sensor networks.

This researches focuses on ultra wide band (UWB) based localisation or positioning. Methods considered are time of arrival (TOA), time difference of arrival (TDOA) and angle of arrival (AOA). Bounds have been derived to assess the potential of UWB, understand the impact of multipath propagation and investigate the ambiguities. Practical estimators are proposed and their performance is investigated. A practical testbed has been developed and is being upgraded. An accuracy of a few millimeters has been achieved for indoor positioning over distances of about ten meters and with obstacles.

The DSL activity is investigating signal processing solutions, mainly at the physical layer, for improving the performance of communication on the telephone lines (digital subscriber lines). The current focus is on the mitigation of the crosstalk between lines, including pre-/post-cancellation techniques, adaptive crosstalk channel estimation, as well as dynamic spectrum management by means of centralized optimization.

The radio propagation activity aims at the measurement, characterization and modeling of multi-dimensional propagation channels for a range of wireless systems and networks: MIMO, WLAN/WPAN, body area networks, vehicular communication systems, etc. The facilities include a state-of-the art channel MIMO sounder, various network analyzers and antennas, as well a ray-tracing tool.

  • evaluation of link budget for satellite systems, deep-space missions, ...
  • generation of time series for the design of fade mitigation techniquespropagation modelling into collapsed buildings and harsh environments for radio-localization

We develop new protocols and mechanisms for the global Internet. Our main area of expertise are the network and transport layers of the TCP/IP stack. More specifically, we have proposed extensions to allow routing protocols (both intradomain and interdomain) to better handle link failures and have designed and evaluated various types of traffic engineering techniques. We also address the multihoming problem both from the network viewpoint and the endhost viewpoint. We carry both theoretical research and applied research by developing reference implementations of new protocols. We actively participate in the development of future Internet architecture proposals and contribute to standardisation within the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Image and video compression algorithms are investigated, including for stereo and multi-view contents. Visually pleasant and fluent video streaming or image browsing are implemented by adapting compression and forwarding mechanisms to network and terminal resources. This implies the rate-distortion optimization of image/video packet schedules, but also adaptive switching between multiple versions of the content. For low bandwidth wireless accesses, interactive streaming architectures are investigated to allow the end-user to control the trade-offs involved when reducing the spatial and temporal resolution of the streamed content.

Distributed systems are becoming ever larger and must handle problems of frequent faults, security issues, and management complexity.  We have built large-scale transactional storage systems based on techniques from self-organizing peer-to-peer networks.  We are developing design techniques for these systems based on ideas from complex systems theory.  Future work will focus on building practical programming platforms that provide cloud computing properties such as elasticity and that support large-scale applications using techniques from machine learning. 

Most recent publications

Below are listed the 10 most recent journal articles and conference papers produced in this research area. You also can access all publications by following this link : see all publications

Journal Articles

1. Golard, Louis; Louveaux, Jérôme; Bol, David. Evaluation and projection of 4G and 5G RAN energy footprints: the case of Belgium for 2020–2025. In: Annales des Télécommunications, Vol. online, p. n/a (2022). doi:10.1007/s12243-022-00932-9.

2. Arash, Masoud; Mirghasemi, Seyed Hamed; Stupia, Ivan; Vandendorpe, Luc. Energy Efficiency of Angle of Arrival Estimation in Massive MIMO Systems. In: IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol. 70, no.6, p. 4175-4188 (2022). doi:10.1109/tcomm.2022.3170444.

3. Biswas, Nilanjan; Wang, Zijian; Vandendorpe, Luc; Mirghasemi, Seyed Hamed. On Joint Cooperative Relaying, Resource Allocation, and Scheduling for Mobile Edge Computing Networks. In: IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol. 70, no.9, p. 5882-5897 (2022). doi:10.1109/tcomm.2022.3191681.

4. Michel, François; Martino Trevisan; Danilo Giordano; Bonaventure, Olivier. A First Look at Starlink Performance. In: ACM Internet Measurement Conference 2022, (2022). doi:10.1145/3517745.3561416 (Accepté/Sous presse).

5. Huang, Chen; He, Ruisi; Ai, Bo; Molisch, Andreas F.; Lau, Buon Kiong; Haneda, Katsuyuki; Liu, Bo; Wang, Cheng-Xiang; Yang, Mi; Oestges, Claude; Zhong, Zhangdui. Artificial Intelligence Enabled Radio Propagation for Communications—Part II: Scenario Identification and Channel Modeling. In: IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 70, no.6, p. 3955-3969 (2022). doi:10.1109/tap.2022.3149665 (Soumis).

6. Huang, Chen; He, Ruisi; Ai, Bo; Molisch, Andreas F.; Lau, Buon Kiong; Haneda, Katsuyuki; Liu, Bo; Wang, Cheng-Xiang; Yang, Mi; Oestges, Claude; Zhong, Zhangdui. Artificial Intelligence Enabled Radio Propagation for Communications—Part I: Channel Characterization and Antenna-Channel Optimization. In: IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 70, no.6, p. 3939-3954 (2022). doi:10.1109/tap.2022.3149663.

7. He, Ruisi; Lau, Buon Kiong; Oestges, Claude; Haneda, Katsuyuki; Liu, Bo. Guest Editorial Artificial Intelligence in Radio Propagation for Communications. In: IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 70, no.6, p. 3934-3938 (2022). doi:10.1109/tap.2022.3178164.

8. Zhang, Peize; Yi, Cheng; Yang, Bensheng; Wang, Haiming; Oestges, Claude; You, Xiaohu. Predictive Modeling of Millimeter-Wave Vegetation Scattering Effect Using Hybrid Physics-Based and Data-Driven Approach. In: IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 70, no. 6, p. 4056 - 4068 (2022). doi:10.1109/TAP.2021.3118463 (Accepté/Sous presse).

9. Fuschini, Franco; Barbiroli, Marina; Vitucci, Enrico Maria; Semkin, Vasilii; Oestges, Claude; Strano, Bruno; Degli-Esposti, Vittorio. An UAV-Based Experimental Setup for Propagation Characterization in Urban Environment. In: IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, Vol. 70, no.-, p. 5503611-5503611 (2021). doi:10.1109/tim.2021.3104401.

10. Gontier, Quentin; Petrillo, Lucas; Rottenberg, Francois; Horlin, Francois; Wiart, Joe; Oestges, Claude; De Doncker, Philippe. A Stochastic Geometry Approach to EMF Exposure Modeling. In: IEEE Access, Vol. 9, p. 91777-91787 (2021). doi:10.1109/access.2021.3091804.

Conference Papers

1. Wirtgen, Thomas; Rousseaux, Tom; De Coninck, Quentin; Rybowski, Nicolas; Bush, Randy; Vanbever, Laurent; Legay, Axel; Bonaventure, Olivier. xBGP: Faster Innovation in Routing Protocols. In: 20th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 23). (2023). USENIX Association: Boston, MA, USA, 2023 xxx.

2. Wirtgen, Thomas; Bonaventure, Olivier. A first step towards checking BGP routes in the dataplane. In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Future of Internet Routing & Addressing. p. 50–57 (23 September 2022). In: ACM SIGCOMM 2022 Workshop on Future of Internet Routing & Addressing (FIRA ’22), Association for Computing Machinery: New York, NY, USA, 2022, 978-1-4503-9328-7/22/08, 50-57 xxx. doi:10.1145/3527974.3545723.

3. Gerry, Wan; Fengchen, Gong; Barbette, Tom; Zakir Durumeric. Retina: Analyzing 100 GbE Traffic on Commodity Hardware. In: SIGCOMM '22: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2022 Conference. ACM: New York, 2022 xxx. doi:10.1145/3544216.3544227.

4. Mudonhi, Alfred; Lotti, Marina; Clemente, Antonio; D'Errico, Raffaele; Oestges, Claude. Impact of a Transmitting-RIS on the Geometrical Structure of Indoor mmWave Channels. In: Proceedings 16th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2022), 2022, 978-1-6654-1604-7 xxx. doi:10.23919/eucap53622.2022.9769090.

5. Hamid Ghasemirahni; Barbette, Tom; Katsikas, Georgios P.; Farshin, Alireza; Roozbeh, Amir; Girondi, Massimo; Chiesa, Marco; Maguire Jr. Gerald Q.; Kostic, Dejan. Packet Order Matters! Improving Application Performance by Deliberately Delaying Packets. In: Proceedings of the 19th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 22). (2022). USENIX Association, 2022 xxx.

6. Pocoma Copa, Evert I.; Rottenberg, Francois; Quitin, Francois; Vandendorpe, Luc; De Doncker, Philippe; Horlin, Francois. Iterative ToA-Based Localization of Wireless Transmitters Using Dirichlet-Kernel-Based Range Representation. In: 2021 IEEE 93rd Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC2021-Spring). Vol. 1, no.1, p. 1-5 (2021). IEEE, 2021 xxx. doi:10.1109/vtc2021-spring51267.2021.9448655.

7. Gontier, Quentin; Petrillo, Luca; Rottenberg, Francois; Horlin, Francois; Wiart, Joe; Oestges, Claude; De Doncker, Philippe. Semi-empirical Model of Global Exposure using Stochastic Geometry. In: Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Communications Workshops 2021, 2021, 978-1-7281-9441-7 xxx. doi:10.1109/iccworkshops50388.2021.9473645.

8. Evert I. Pocoma Copa; François Quitin; Vandendorpe, Luc; de doncker philippe; Horlin, François. Self-Synchronization Based Distributed Localization of Wireless Transmitters. In: 2021 IEEE 32nd Annual International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC). Vol. 1, no.1, p. 1222-1227 (2021). 2021 xxx. doi:10.1109/PIMRC50174.2021.9569697.

9. Solomitckii, Dmitrii; Semkin, Vasilii; Turunen, Matias; Allen, Markus; Oestges, Claude; Valkama, Mikko. Near-Ground Propagation Measurements for Vehicular Deployments. In: Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2021), 2021, 978-8831299022 xxx. doi:10.23919/eucap51087.2021.9411073.

10. Biswas, Nilanjan; Mirghasemi, Seyed Hamed; Vandendorpe, Luc. Sharing is Caring: A Mobile Edge Computing Perspective. In: 2021 IEEE 32nd Annual International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC). Vol. 1, no.1, p. 1298-1303 (2021). 2021 xxx. doi:10.1109/pimrc50174.2021.9569647.