Information Flow in Wireless Networks: From Matroids to Cell Phones


Adnan Raja University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Coordinated Science Laboratory 1308 West Main Street Ur


Tuesday, 18 January 2011 (All day)


  • AG-69

We consider a wireless relay network where many relay nodes help communication between a source and a destination node. The goal is to understand fundamental information-theoretic limits and efficient communication architectures in such networks. Wireless communication network is characterized by the superposition and broadcast nature of signals, in addition to the thermal background noise. Even (apparently) simple-looking networks, are analytically intractable.

Recently, a linear deterministic network was proposed, which captures the signal-interaction in wireless networks while downplaying the role of noise making the problem analytically tractable, but at the same time promising useful insights into the wireless network. Algebraic and combinatorial tools from Matroid theory have been applied to characterize the flow of information in such networks where the flow captures the amount of information flowing through a relay node. In this talk, we attempt to lift the insights from these results back to the wireless network. (A detailed manuscript on this work can be obtained from


Adnan Raja is currently pursuing his PhD in the ECE Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He obtained his B.Tech in EE from IIT Bombay in 2006 and MS in ECE from UIUC in 2008. He is currently a visiting student at IISc, Bangalore.