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EEC262 – Multi-access Communications Theory

4 Units – Spring Quarter; alternate years

Lecture: 3 hours

Prerequisite: STA 120 or equivalent, EEC 173A or ECS 152A

Grading: Letter;  homework, midterm, project/term paper.

Catalog Description:

Maximum stable throughput of Poisson collision channels. Classic collision resolution algorithms. Carrier sensing multiple access and its performance analysis. System stability analysis. Joint design of the physical/medium access control layers. Capacity region of multi-access channels. Multi-access with correlated sources.

Expanded Course Description:

Students work individually or in pairs (no more than 2 students) on a comprehensive course project. The project will focus on the application of theories and techniques learned in class to emerging multi-access communication systems such as wireless sensor networks. The project may include: 1) application and performance analysis of existing multi-access protocols to wireless sensor networks; 2) design and analysis of new multi-access protocols for wireless sensor networks. The project is designed to bring awareness of the state-of-the-art and potential research problems in the area of multi-access communications.

This course meets for 10 weeks with 3 hours of lecture each week. Students also work independently on a significant course project.

  1. Introduction
    1. Overview of multi-access communications
    2. Channel, traffic, and protocol models for multi-access communications
    3. Performance measures
  2. Classic Network Theoretic Analysis under Infinite Population
    1. Review of discrete-time random process. Markov chain.
    2. Poisson collision multi-access channel model
    3. Maximum stable throughput of multi-access channel
    4. Upper bounds on maximum stable throughput
    5. Lower bounds on maximum stable throughput: classic collision resolution algorithms
    6. Carrier sensing multiple access and its performance analysis
  3. Classic Network Theoretic Analysis under Finite Population
    1. Worst case performance: random access protocols under single buffer assumption
    2. System stability analysis under infinite buffer assumption
    3. Advanced topic: group testing and multi-access communications
  4. Cross-Layer Design in Multi-access Communications
    1. Achieving multi-packet reception at the physical layer
    2. Impact of multi-packet reception on the performance of the MAC layer
    3. Joint design of the physical and MAC layers
  5. Information Theoretic Analysis of Multi-Access Communications
    1. Review of information theory
    2. Capacity region of multi-access communication channel
    3. Encoding/decoding schemes
    4. Advanced topic: multi-access with correlated sources


  1. D. Bertsekas and R. Gallager, Data Networks, Prentice Hall, 1992. T. Cover and J. Thomas, Elements of Information Theory, Wiley-Interscience, 1991.
  2. R. Rom and M. Sidi, Multiple Access Protocols: Performance and Analysis, Springer-Verlag, 1990.

Course Overlap:
This course focuses on the fundamental theory as well as recent developments in multi-access communications. It does not duplicate or overlap with any existing courses.

Instructor: Zhao


Last revised: February 2006