ECE Assistant Professor Anand Sarwate has received a new NSF award for the project titled "Between Shannon and Hamming." This is a three-year $500,000 collaborative award led by Rutgers (Anand Sarwate, PI) with the University at Buffalo (Michael Langberg, co-PI). Rutgers' share of this award is $250,000.
Anand Sarwate receives NSF Grant
Anand and his collaborators will develop theoretical foundations for the study of new intermediate communication models, code designs, and capacity concepts with applications to vehicular networks and Internet of Things (IoT). Over the last 70 years, information theory and coding has enabled communication technologies that have had an astounding impact on our lives. This is possible due to the match between encoding/decoding strategies and corresponding models of the communication channel. Traditional models fall at two ends of a spectrum. Models which assume that the channel is random, such as those involving channel noise governed by a memoryless stochastic process, take an average-case view of the channel: such models are the basis of Shannon theory. At the other extreme, ``Hamming''-like models take a worst-case view of the channel: the noise can be chosen adversarially with respect to the communication scheme. However, for several existing and emerging communication systems, the Shannon/average-case view may be too optimistic, whereas the Hamming/worst-case view may be too pessimistic. This project takes up the challenge of studying models that lie between the Shannon and Hamming extremes. The goal is to (a) design optimal rate coding schemes that exploit channel limitations; (b) design secure communication schemes to improve traditional tradeoffs between capacity and security; and (c) inform the design of future practical codes. The outcomes of this research will inform the design of codes for settings where average-case interference models may be too optimistic and worst-case models may be too pessimistic, such as wireless multiple-frame communication systems in vehicular networks (VANETS) or IoT.