The physical world in which we live meets the cyber world in many ways, but the mobile revolution and the coming Internet of Things illustrate that this point-of-meeting happens, increasingly, via wireless networks. Wireless connectivity—from small sensor devices to mobile phones to autonomous vehicles—brings opportunities, risks, and deep systems challenges.

Opportunities  A brief look at the history of computing shows that a programmable platform has emerged around which each generation of computing has revolved (think: IBM PC, DEC VAX, IBM System/360). In the past, the power of the platform has revolved around computing. But with the mobile generation and the Internet of Things, the platform will be much more communications-centric. Real-time, sense-compute-actuate systems such as smart cities bring the cyber and physical worlds together. Connecting the elements wirelessly -- and providing guarantees of programmability at the system level, low latency, security and robustness will bring about the next major platform: the cyber-physical network.  

Risks and Challenges  Today's in-building and wide-area networks don't provide such guarantees. Is the current generation of computing stalled as a result? We think so. Our research examines the fundamental nature of mobile and wireless systems and the role they play in ushering in the next generation of platform computing by examining networks and devices working as a systemand the changes each wil need to bring about platformization.

Current Research Areas

Our current research areas include Resilient Networking, Sensor Platforms, and Next-Generation Network Architecture.

Resilient Networking

In the presence of the explosive growth and societal dependence on wireless networking technologies, the fundamental vulnerabilities of wireless networks remain. Users of wireless networks bear the risk of denial-of-service from a wealth of causes, both man-made and disaster-borne. Research in this area accordingly includes security and disaster management aspects. Learn more


The SSN project is developing a system that can be deployed in and by neighborhoods to provide flexible and powerful social networking tools, accessible via smartphones, without dependence on public telecommunications or Internet infrastructures. SSN offers the promise of a familiar-feeling, easily used, training-less system for disseminating information in the midst of a disaster to and between community members, augmenting existing tools and systems that will be available to relief agencies.

Sensor Platforms

Network Architecture for Future Wireless Systems: CROSSMobile

Awards & honors

  • Plenary Lecture Japan/Norway Technology Forum, 2001
  • Distinguished Lecturer, University of Alberta, 2005
  • AIChE CAST Division Plenary Lecture, Annual Meeting, 2005
  • 13th Roger W. Sargent Lecture, Imperial College, 2006
  • Computing and Systems Technology Award, CAST Division of AIChE , 2007
  • Keenan Symposium Lecture, MIT, 2008
  • Kun Li Award for Excellence in Education, CMU, 2008, 2011
  • AIChE CAST Division Plenary Lecture, Annual Meeting, 2011
  • DOWD Fellow, Carnegie Institute of Technology, 2012
  • Best Paper Computers & Chemical Engineering, 2012



Arjun Athreya and Patrick Tague, "Self-Organization of a Mesh Hierarchy for Smart Grid Monitoring in Outage Scenarios", to appear in 4th IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference (ISGT), Feb 2013

Aveek Purohit, Zheng Sun, Pei Zhang, “SugarMap: Location-less Coverage for Micro-Aerial Sensing Swarms”, 12th ACM/IEEE Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN’13), 2013


Bruce DeBruhl, Yu Seung Kim, Zachary Weinberg, and Patrick Tague, "STIR-ing the Wireless Medium with Self-Tuned, Inference-Based, Real-Time Jamming", 9th IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Systems (MASS), Oct 2012

Bruce DeBruhl and Patrick Tague, "Living with Boisterous Neighbors: Studying the Interaction of Adaptive Jamming and Anti-Jamming", 3rd International Workshop on Data Security and Privacy in Wireless Networks (D-SPAN), June 2012

Xin Zhang, Zongwei Zhou, Hsu-Chun Hsiao, Tiffany Hyun-Jin Kim, Adrian Perrig, and Patrick Tague, "ShortMAC: Efficient Data-Plane Fault Localization", 19th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS), February 2012

Zheng Sun, Aveek Purohit, Shijia Pan, Frank Mokaya, Raja Bose, and Pei Zhang, “Polaris: Getting Accurate Indoor Orientations for Mobile Devices Using Ubiquitous Visual Patterns on Ceilings”. (HotMobile 2012), February 2012.


Aveek Purohit, Zheng Sun, Memo Salas, Pei Zhang, SensorFly: Controlled-mobile Sensing Platform for Indoor Emergency Response Applications. 10th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN), April 2011.

Patrick Tague, Sidharth Nabar, James A. Ritcey, and Radha Poovendran, "Jamming-Aware Traffic Allocation for Multiple-Path Routing Using Portfolio Selection", IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 184-194, February 2011

Zheng Sun, Aveek Purohit, Kaifei Chen, Shijia Pan, Trevor Pering, and Pei Zhang, PANDAA: Physical Arrangement Detection of Networked Devices through Ambient-Sound Awareness. 13th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UBICOMP 2011), September 2011.


Pei Zhang, Christopher M. Sadler, Steve A. Lyon, and Margaret Martonosi. "Hardware Design Experiences in ZebraNet", SenSys 2004. The Second ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems. Nov, 2004.

T. Liu, C. Sadler, P. Zhang, and M. Martonosi. "Implementing Software on Resource-Constrained Mobile Sensors: Experiences with Impala and ZebraNet", Mobisys 2004. The Second International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services. June, 2004.

An innovative mobile lab

The CROSSMobile Van

The CROSSMobile project at CMU's Silicon Valley campus includes an on-campus mobile network testbed, supporting experimentation at all levels of cellular networks.

Bob Iannucci, Director, Cylab Mobility Research Center

Bob Iannucci

Source: Bob Iannucci

Bob Iannucci leads the CyLab Mobility Research Center and is known for leading both software and systems research in scalable and mobile computing. Previously, he served as Chief Technology Officer of Nokia and Head of Nokia Research Center (NRC).  Bob spearheaded the effort to transform NRC into an Open Innovation center, creating "lablets" at MIT, Stanford, Tshinghua University, the University of Cambridge, and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).  Under his leadership, NRC's previously established labs and the new lablets delivered fundamental contributions to the worldwide Long Term Evolution for 3G (LTE) standard; created and promulgated what is now the MIPI UniPro interface for high-speed, in-phone interconnectivity; created and commercialized Bluetooth Low Energy - extending wireless connectivity to coin-cell-powered sensors and other devices; and delivered new technology initiatives including TrafficWorks (using mobile phones to crowd source traffic patterns), part of the Mobile Millennium Project, Point and Find (Augmented Reality using the mobile phone’s camera for image recognition and “zero click” search -- identified by MIT Technology Review as one of the TR10 Breakthrough Technologies), and the Morph Concept (opening new directions for using nanotechnology to significantly improve mobile phone functionality and usability).