Swarun Kumar


My research interests are in the area of computer networks with a special focus on wireless networks and mobile systems. Recent years have witnessed an explosive growth in wireless connectivity, enabling a host of new applications and services. I have designed and built systems that address fundamental technical challenges impeding the growth of wireless networks. My research has also discovered new connections between wireless networking and other disciplines, such as robotics, radar, computer vision, security and signal processing. My research has made three broad contributions:

Accurate indoor positioning on today's devices

While GPS has revolutionized outdoor navigation, the indoor space, where we spend 90% of our lives, is seen as the next frontier. A natural approach is RF-based indoor positioning that uses wireless signals emanating from a device to locate it. Yet, the main challenge is the multipath effect, where signals bouncing off walls obscure a device's location. Inspired by radar systems, my work designs new algorithms to combat multipath, that run solely on today's mobile devices to achieve tens of cm accuracy.

Ubiety: Zero-Cost Indoor Positioning
LTEye: LTE Radio Analytics Made Easy

New methods to combat the interference challenge

Interference is the fundamental problem facing mobile networks, particularly with rising demand for data in this ever-growing sector of the global economy. Past work develops interference management solutions that need new hardware to be deployed. In contrast, my work uses mobility, signal processing and software architecture to deploy the first MIMO interference management system on today's Wi-Fi networks. My research also includes clean-slate designs achieving order-of-magnitude gain in network throughput.

OpenRF: Manage Interference Today
MoMIMO: Null Interference by Motion
MegaMIMO: Scaling Gen-Next WLANs

Discovering new connections between wireless communication and robotics

Wireless communication is ubiquitous in robotics. Yet, it is traditionally viewed as a black-box. My work reveals the enormous benefits of cracking open the black-box: It shows how robots can navigate towards a target, while avoiding obstacles, by following the radio signals it emanates, much like how bees navigate towards a lamp following visible light.

WiSeek: RF-based Robot Navigation
CarSpeak: A Self-Driving Car Network