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Optimizing aerial drone placement to enhance wireless communications

Urbashi Mitra, University of Southern California
3-4pm  24th Sep 2019


In dense urban environments, congestion in cellular traffic can occur in both a time-varying and spatial-varying manner.  The use of aerial drones as mobile relays has been recently proposed as a strategy by which to improve performance, when, and where it is needed.  Herein, we provide a series of methods by which optimized drone relay placement can occur. The first challenge to overcome is the learning of a complex radio environment.  Dense urban environments experience signal blockage due to complex propagation and irregular infrastructure. To this end, a seemingly simple channel model is proposed which captures the vagaries of such environments, encapsulating the best of deterministic and stochastic models.  A challenge in learning this model is that a collection of spatially dependent, simple models are employed, thus both clustering and regression is needed.  Classical methods for solving this problem are computationally expense.  Exploiting new work on the spatial localization of multiple targets, we provide a new algorithm based on the construction of a feature map to efficiently learn the channel model.   With this model in hand, we provide an optimal search algorithm that seeks the optimal placement of a relay in 3D space, but with complexity that is linear in the search diameter (versus cubic). Numerical experiments using data from a real-world urban topology demonstrate superior performance over existing strategies based on probabilistic models.

Short Bio

Urbashi Mitra received the B.S. and the M.S. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and her Ph.D. from Princeton University.  Dr. Mitra is currently the Gordon S. Marshall Professor in Engineering at the University of Southern California. She was the inaugural Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological and Multi-scale Communications. She has been a member of the IEEE Communication Society's Board of Governors (2018-2020), the IEEE Information Theory Society's Board of Governors (2002-2007, 2012-2017), the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s Technical Committee on Signal Processing for Communications and Networks (2012-2016), the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s Awards Board (2017-2018), and the Chair/Vice Chair of the IEEE Communications Society, Communication Theory Techcnial Committee(2019-2020,2017-2018). Dr. Mitra is a Fellow of the IEEE.  She is the recipient of: the 2017 IEEE Women in Communications Engineering Technical Achievement Award, a 2015 UK Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Professorship, a 2015 US Fulbright Scholar Award, a 2015-2016 UK Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship, IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer, 2012 Globecom Signal Processing for Communications Symposium Best Paper Award, 2012 US National Academy of Engineering Lillian Gilbreth Lectureship, the 2009 DCOSS Applications & Systems Best Paper Award, 2001 Okawa Foundation Award, 2000 Ohio State University’s College of Engineering Lumley Award for Research, 1997 Ohio State University’s College of Engineering MacQuigg Award for Teaching, and a 1996 National Science Foundation CAREER Award.  She has been an Associate Editor for multiple IEEE publications. Dr. Mitra has held visiting appointments at: King’s College, London, Imperial College, the Delft University of Technology, Stanford University, Rice University, and the Eurecom Institute. Her research interests are in: wireless communications, communication and sensor networks, biological communication systems, detection and estimation and the interface of communication, sensing and control.


CONNECT seminar room, Dunlop-Oriel House