Past academic year courses: bottom page
The course is held, as usual, jointly by Dr. Alessandro Villani and myself.
I will cover mostly the theoric/descriptive parts, while Alessandro will take care of the labs. The program is described on the official Faculty page. Labs are mandatory, part of the exam will be based on Lab reports. This year the labs will be centered on protocol design and manipulation on OpenFWWF-enabled devices.
We begin the course with a rush on theory, in order to have enough knowledge of Wireless Networks, WIFI and 802.11 standard and systems before we start the Labs. This means that the first two weeks we have 6 hours of theory:
The first week of March we do not have lessons.
March 10 we start the regular calendar
The formal exams dates during the summer will be defined later during the course.
You have to subscribe via ESSE3 when you want to take the exam, however the actual date of the exam is free, you just have to take an appointment with me. I strongly encourage groups to take the oral together, but there is no fromal requirement on this.
The oral can be taken when the lab reports are delivered in their final form, but you have to allow me 3-4 days minimum to correct the reports. I can receive and correct reports via e-mail also when I'm not in Trento in July, but in June.
This year the labs are centered on actual impementation and design of MAC protocols on embedded Linux devices featuring the OpenFWWF platform.
OpenFWWF is a reverse-engineered platform that provides an easy and inexpensive platform to implement new Medium Access Control (MAC) mechanisms and protocols, and is a valid alternative to simulations and expensive ad-hoc platforms. The combination of OpenFWWF and b43 driver is a complete and cheap tool that makes testing of new MAC easy achievable, which let us run true lab work on nomadic systems and appreciate differences between design chioces and various options in wireless protocol design.
Labs are best done in pairs, specially for writing the reports. Groups of three are accepted, as well as singles. More than three the work bocomes too dispersive.
Here is a template and LaTeX style to write decent reports, with some hints on the organization.
We don't have any "official textbook." Here are the printouts of the slides I use to follow a predefined course while teaching. They are by no means a textbook and I will spend maybe half a lesson on a single slide and ... surf over the next 10 in 10 minutes. They are intended to help you in scribbling notes, not to substitute the lessons. They are posted before the lesson, sometimes the evening before, but normally with a couple of days advance. If you want to have an idea of the whole material you can check the material of the past years, but I normally change part of the course, so do not entirely rely on old material.
Just for the braves
The 802.11 standard and related documents are available for free download (but you need to register) from the IEEE 802.11 website Includes 802.11b/g/a/h/n; 802.11e and much more. You can consider it the ultimate source of information, but it is unfortunately a bit hard to read and ... it is 2793 pages!