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PhD Studentship in Wireless Communications

Project Title: Modelling, Analysis and Optimisation of Ultra-Dense Networks in Future Smart Cities

Applications are invited for a fully-funded industrial CASE studentship in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering at University College London (UCL). Since the funding is provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Toshiba TRL, the studentship is only available to those applicants who are UK or EU nationals.

Project Title: Modelling, Analysis and Optimisation of Ultra-Dense Networks in Future Smart Cities

Description: The objective of the project is to develop a generalised analytical framework based on novel multivariate statistical theory that can be used to study ultra-dense modern wireless communication paradigms, including (but not limited to) fog-RAN, large-scale distributed antenna systems and dynamical systems that describe information propagation through networks. Traditionally, a macroscopic approach for analysing such networks have been used wherein the users and/or remote radio heads are randomly deployed, often following a homogeneous Poisson distribution such that well established stochastic geometry theory can be applied.  By averaging over all possible users and RRHs positions, a high level view of the network performance is obtained.  While such metrics are very useful in their own rights, these can seldom be expressed as closed-form expressions, and rarely provide useful insights for network-specific optimisation.  Moreover, the mathematical tractability is very often lost when incorporating more advanced communication technologies such as beamforming, caching or when practical constraints are included into such models. In this project, the candidate will investigate several approaches that go beyond stochastic geometry analysis and may include deterministic network analysis using the Gaussian approximation (DNA-GA) to model and analyse the ultra-dense networks of the future. This study will provide valuable insight on the network scaling laws under different communication technologies and elegantly quantify the trade-off between diversity and interference as the network density increases.

The candidate should be clear of the limitations of stochastic geometry and is encouraged to explore non-conventional approaches while bearing in mind practical constraints.  Based on this analysis, means of optimising practical system will be derived, such as user-RRH association and scheduling, precoder designs, cache sizes and their locations among others.  It is expected that the nature of the optimisation problems will be non-convex in most cases.  As such, the candidate will also investigate different possible formulations for the same objective function and apply different algorithms to solve the problems.  Both centralised and distributed methods will be investigated.  Example of optimisation frameworks and tools that can be used for such networks include game theory, Markov decision processes (MDPs), alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM), among others. 

This is a collaborative industrial CASE award with Toshiba TRL and will involve collaboration between Toshiba TRL and UCL. Regular report to Toshiba TRL about the project progress is required in this project. Applicants should have a First class or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in electronic engineering, or communications engineering. He/she should have good knowledge/experience of communications and strong background in mathematics. The successful applicant will also demonstrate strong interest in the project and good writing skills in English.

The studentship must commence before the 21st December 2016 and ideally before this date. For UK nationals, the generous award will cover UK tuition fees and also a tax-free maintenance stipend (including London weighting) of £19,057. EU students are eligible for an award to cover tuition fees only.

To make informal inquiries, please send a CV, including a list of any publications, with the contact details of at least two referees to Prof. Kai-Kit Wong ( who will also be happy to answer any questions and provide further details about this project.

You can also download a copy of the advert.

Applications: should be made using the UCL postgraduate study application form.

Candidates should indicate on the application form that the proposed supervisor is Prof. Kai-Kit Wong under 'Name of Proposed supervisor' the title of the PhD they are applying for.

Please clearly mark your application as CASE-Toshiba.

Closing Date: Friday 2nd December 2016