Open Topics

We are constantly looking for motivated students to join our chair for STUDENT / DIPLOMA / MASTER Thesis. We offer student, diploma, and master theses in the general area of communication networks. Some specific topics are given here as well in more detail, but the students may suggest their field of interest too. Interested students may contact us directly or write an email to Dr. Rico Radeke ( ) or the respective supervisors.

Our general research topics are Software defined networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Network Coding, Distributed storage and cloud solutions, Wireless meshed networks, Information-Centric Networking (ICN), Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), Compressed sensing and Quantum Communication Networks. Some specific open topics are given below.

List of Open Topics

Study of simulation platforms to analyse quantum communication networks

(Supervisor: Riccardo Bassoli)

Simulating quantum-mechanical properties of quantum communication networks is not an easy task and every existing simulator is based on some initial assumptions to allow classical modelling of quantum behaviours. Each quantum simulator has pros and cons to be analysed in order to use it correctly, to model a specific aspect (or a set of aspects) of future quantum communication networks. This is fundamental to be able to correctly interpret the results obtained after simulations. The details of the thesis’ topic and the level of the targets will be adapted according to the student’s preferences, motivation and talent.
  • Starting time: February 2021
  • Diploma/Master thesis
  • Required skills: background on classical computer science and programming, ComNets2 and ComNets3

Software Defined Radio for Computing Network Nodes

(Supervisor: Juan Cabrera)

Radio communication systems used to be implemented mostly with hardware solutions. It was difficult to make quick changes since they involved hardware replacement, e.g., filters, and modulators, and demodulators. This changed in the later years with Software Defined Radios SDR. This technology allows developers to build up complete radio communication stacks with off-the-shelf hardware. At the Comnets Chair, we have access to a testbed of multiple SDR devices that allows us to test a plethora of communication schemes for communication networks. We are interested in deploying and evaluating the performance of multiple communication schemes for wireless network nodes that perform computation, storage, and transport of information. These types of nodes tend to be at the edge of the network, and using them for computation and storage can drastically reduce latency and increase the reliability of communication.

Guessing Noise to Decode Messages

(Supervisor: Juan Cabrera)

An ideal channel decoder would implement a maximum likelihood decoding technique to guess what message was transmitted. This is guessing which codeword was sent by maximizing the probability of receiving the obtained message. Because this is computationally complex, channel codes are designed backward. I.e., the design of a low-complexity decoder comes first followed by the encoder. This limits the type of codes that can be used because not all codes can be decoded in practical time. However, researchers from MIT and Maynooth University have proven that by guessing the noise in the transmission channel instead of the message you can obtain similar results to a maximum likelihood decoder. The mathematical proof is complicated, yet the principle of operation is quite simple: If you receive a stream of bits that is not a valid codeword, you can flip one bit and ask if the new codeword is a valid one. If it is not, flip a different bit and repeat the process. If the probability of an error bit is low, then with a few flips and questions it is possible to decode. This opens the door to new codes since the decoding process is universal and potentially independent of the code used. We want to implement these novel techniques into our wireless system. To do that, we want to use Software Defined Radio to build the wireless channel and benchmark the novel decoder with state of the art codecs.

Study of cloud radio access network and edge computing in High-Altitude Platforms and nanosatellites

(Supervisor: Riccardo Bassoli)

High-Altitude Platforms (HAP) and nanosatellites represent the new way to provide connectivity and computing in remote/tactical areas, where no infrastructure is available. This can also become a useful solution in urban areas in case of natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes). However, HAP-based or satellite-based cloud radio access network open various fundamental challenges in edge computing and network virtualisation. The thesis’ work will be devoted to study, analyse and test (via simulation) specific characteristics of these systems. The details of the thesis’ topic and the level of the targets will be adapted according to the student’s preferences, motivation and talent.