Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute

University of the Philippines - Diliman

Best Student Paper Award for UP-EEEI Student in Int’l Conference on Wireless Communications

A recent graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute of the University of the Philippines  Diliman (UP-EEEI), Mary Claire Barela was among the recent recipients of the Best Student Paper Award in the 17th International Symposium on Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications (WPMC 2014).

Co-authored with her adviser, UP-EEEI Professor Joel S. Marciano, Jr., An Empirical Study on the Performance of a Spectrum Sensing Scheme for Cognitive Radio, their objective was to “experimentally determine the detection performance of a proof-of-concept cognitive radio for TV White Space,” says Barela. TV White Space (TVWS) refers to a swath of underutilized spectrum allocated for TV broadcast and the development of techniques that enable efficient use of such spectrum by allowing opportunistic communication by secondary unlicensed users is an active area of study.

“We investigated how well the prototype can determine the presence of primary or licensed users of the spectrum by experimenting with different signal profiles (models) to represent the incumbent user in the channel,” she says.

The paper studies detection performance over different parameters, such as time variability of the primary user signal, dependency on sample size and noise estimate, while exploring detectability of actual IEEE 802.11 signals, according to Barela.

The results of the study provide an empirical validation to existing analytical studies of energy detection, which can also be applied to other cognitive radio testbeds and algorithms.

She adds that the study addresses a current trend—there is an increasing number of wireless users but the frequencies and channels that they can use do not. “Now to enable this, we need a different kind of radio called a cognitive radio. A cognitive radio needs to be very good in determining the presence of the incumbents, since we want to avoid any interference to them,” explains Barela.

Held at the Menzies Hotel, Sydney, Australia from September 7 to 10, 2014, the WPMC symposia series were inaugurated in 1998 as a global platform that aims at enabling collaboration in the field of wireless information. Held in Asia, Europe and America, WPMC has established itself as a unique global conference dedicated to wireless multimedia convergence. This year’s conference, with the theme Orchestrating Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications, is organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and sponsored by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) of Japan, the Yokosuka Research Park (YRP), NEC Corporation and Macquarie University.

Barela notes that their achievement also shows that EEEI can be at stride with research activities from other foreign institutions. She credits the support given to student research projects like hers.

“Personally, I find that being able to work in the lab and having your own workspace is beneficial. Advisers also provide guidance and push their students to participate in these kinds of endeavors,” she says. “The Institute, with the help of DOST-funded projects, also helps in augmenting funding to enable students to participate in activities such as international conferences.”

Barela is a BS Computer Engineering graduate and affiliate of the Wireless Communications Engineering Laboratory (WCEL) at the UP-EEEI. She completed her Masters degree in Electrical Engineering as an ERDT scholar last April. Her research interests include rural connectivity and software defined radio.