When disaster strikes, smart phones show their power. Although traditional communication systems may falter, data can still transfer from phone to phone until it reaches an area with service. This is called a wireless ad-hoc network – one of Dr. Anita Liu’s research interests.
Together, the phones have the strength and functionality to relay and process data.
While humans might elect to cooperate in this manner – to work for the greater good – does a wireless system do the same?
“Every device needs to contribute by spending its energy,” said Liu, computer science professor at Missouri State University.
To study this, she and her collaborators model networks and use computation to mimic the real peer to peer network. Then they monitor how the devices work and learn.
“As you improve cooperation level, you improve the performance of the whole system,” she said.
Peer to peer networking is a burgeoning field, changing all the time.
All of her research projects come down to this: How can smartphone user experiences improve?
As technology capabilities change, Liu feels confident developers will focus on networking in a decentralized environment. And she is excited to be part of this evolving field.