Electrical and Computer EngineeringWestern Engineering

Communication Systems and Data Networking

The strategic vision and goals of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is to become a leading research-intensive ECE department in Canada. The department has identified several fields of research strength for which it has achieved a significant measure of national and international recognition. Communications Systems and Data Networking research area has been identified by the department as a prominent area of research strength with large number of highly qualified faculty members and graduate students undertaking cutting edge work in both basic and applied research.

The group's research projects are concerned with modeling of communication channels with fading, channel-coded CPM signals with asymmetric modulation parameters, optimizing and designing wireless and optical access and metropolitan network architectures and protocols, investigating vulnerability of large-scale electronic systems to external electromagnetic fields and interference, study of mobile ad-hoc networks, wireless high data rate channels and quality-of-service issues. The Bell Centre for Information Engineering (BCIE) has been established with support from Bell Canada, to coordinate and enhance the Department's research activities in the Communications Systems and Data Networking research area. The mission of the BCIE is to create an environment that will encourage collaborative research between academia and industry and capitalize on human resources, infrastructure and knowledge of the founding members. The Centre is dedicated to fostering innovative basic and applied research in information engineering, working with industry, and government organizations to develop new communications and data networking technologies, and train the next generation of researchers and practitioners. The communications systems and data networking group members carry out intensive collaborations with industrial and academic partners. They were successful in attracting research funds from NSERC, IBM, CRC, CFI, CITO, and others. In addition, group members have published their research findings in world-class peer-reviewed IEEE and international journals and leading conference proceedings. Moreover, the group members have extensive service record to the technical community. Here, their contributions range from conference planning duties, conference technical program committee roles (IEEE, SPIE conferences), conference session chairing functions, journals editorial roles, journal reviewing duties, and other efforts.

AREAS OF STRENGTH

Cooperative Intelligent Systems

This research is investigating the theoretical foundations and practical applications of computational intelligence with a specific focus on agenthood, coordination and cooperation in distributed "systems" environments. A key focus is on promoting the evolution of cooperative distributed engineering from an ad hoc, labour-intensive activity to a discipline that is managed and supported by technology.

Communications and Networking

This group's research projects are concerned with modelling of communication channels with fading, channel-coded CPM signals with asymmetric modulation parameters, investigating vulnerability of large-scale electronic systems to external electromagnetic fields and interference, study of mobile ad-hoc networks, wireless high data rate channels and quality-of-service issues.

FACULTY

 

RESEARCH FACILITIES

Currently, the ECE Department has excellent research labs and computing facilities. Since 1999, equipment and software purchases amounting to over $1.71 million have been made for the laboratory and computing facilities in the three programs offered by the Department. In 2002, a generous donation from Cisco of the networking equipment (worth approximately $750,000) has enabled us to expand both the SE and CE programs to offer state-of-the-art courses in networking.

In December 2003 the Communication Systems and Data Networking laboratories moved into a much larger space in the new Thompson Engineering Building. Additional computing facilities including 30 new PCs and 20 SUN workstations have been acquired for these laboratories. With a wide range of equipment and software, our researchers have access to the world of Microsoft, UNIX, SUN, Cisco, Oracle, Rational, and IBM PC-like.

All members of the CSDN group have NSERC research grants. Several members have been successful in securing funding from other sources to establish state-of-the-art research facilities.

COLLABORATIONS AND INDUSTRY LINKS

Communication Systems and Data Networking group members carry out intensive industry collaborations. Many of our faculty have well-established research collaboration with industry and projects supported by external funding. For example:

  • The image analysis project is actively involved with local industry partners as well as the Robarts Research Institute on developing flexible frameworks for image analysis by integrating multiple knowledge sources and forming hypothesis. Applications of such architectures include image understanding and computer aided diagnosis. This project has also funding from CITO, NSERC and IRIS-PRECARN.
  • Members also have collaborative research activities that deal with CSDN issues in such areas of Electrical Engineering as design of information systems for power system automation, software engineering issues in power system simulation, monitoring and control.
  • There is collaboration with CAS (Centre for Advanced Studies) Faculty Fellow Program from IBM Toronto Laboratories. This gives opportunities to the faculty and graduate students to carry out research and establish relationships with development groups within IBM Canada. A current CAS fellowship is directly supporting a graduate student doing research on Autonomous Database Administration and Maintenance.