Dr. Jeffrey Wieselthier Named IEEE Fellow

3/12/2007 - 9-07r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541

Dr. Jeffrey E. Wieselthier of the Naval Research Laboratory's Information Technology Division has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his "contributions to wireless ad hoc and energy-aware networking." IEEE Fellowship is conferred by the organization's Board of Directors for "an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any IEEE field of interest." The total number selected in any one year does not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting Institute membership.

Head of the Wireless Network Theory Section in the Networks and Communication Systems Branch, and concurrently serving as an ONR Program Manager, Dr. Wieselthier has contributed a solid body of groundbreaking research to the field of wireless networking over the past three decades. Since coming to NRL in 1979, he has studied a variety of communication networking problems, including multiple access and routing in spread-spectrum networks and the use of neural networks and other approaches for network performance evaluation, optimization and control. His pioneering and visionary contributions have established new directions that have had a major impact, primarily in the areas of ad hoc networks and energy-aware wireless networking. Especially significant has been his use of "cross-layer" techniques that exploit the properties of the wireless channel. Such techniques enable better performance than can be obtained using conventional layered-protocol techniques such as those previously developed for wired networks such as the Internet.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Wieselthier was part of the research team that developed the first distributed algorithm for wireless network organization, the Linked Cluster Algorithm (LCA), a revolutionary networking concept that is the first example of an ad hoc network. Ad hoc networks are wireless networks that are established on-the-fly and do not have infrastructure, such as routers or base stations. He further pioneered the use of frequency-hopped spread-spectrum, code-division multiple access in conjunction with the LCA, and developed a networking concept for self-organizing jam-resistant networks. The LCA has been the basis for several ad hoc network demonstration projects worldwide, and serves as the basis for a proposed standard for wireless networks.

Dr. Wieselthier was among the first to recognize the importance and potential of energy-aware networking techniques as a way to reduce energy requirements - battery energy must be carefully managed in many military networking applications. While most energy-related studies have concentrated on improved batteries and low-power electronics, Dr. Wieselthier and his collaborators have approached this problem from the novel perspective of networking techniques. He was the first to introduce the notion of energy-efficient broadcasting in wireless networks to the research community, and in 2000 he proposed a highly effective algorithm known as the Broadcast Incremental Power (BIP) algorithm. He then adapted this algorithm to the multicasting problem by introducing the Multicast Incremental Power (MIP) algorithm.

The BIP and MIP algorithms use the "Wireless Multicast Advantage," a property first identified by Dr. Wieselthier, which exploits the fact that the total power needed to transmit the same signal simultaneously to several neighboring nodes is simply the maximum power required to reach any of them individually, rather than the sum of these powers. His application of this simple observation has produced the revolutionary new paradigm of "node-based" networking for wireless networks (in contrast to the "link-based" networking that characterizes wired networks). The BIP and MIP algorithms use a highly novel cross-layer technique in which broadcast and multicast trees are constructed by jointly choosing power level (and hence connectivity) and tree structure. The significance of this work is evident from the fact that Dr. Wieselthier's papers on these algorithms have been cited more than 700 times in the open literature. Moreover, the approach used in BIP has also inspired new applications, such as energy-aware secure key delivery.

Dr. Wieselthier has made several other equally important pioneering contributions such as the Interleaved-Frame Flush Out (IFFO) protocols for channel access in satellite and other wireless networks, which he developed during his Ph.D. research. He later extended these protocols to integrated voice/data networks by introducing the Wireless Integrated Multiple Access (WIMA) protocols. He has innovatively applied Hopfield neural network techniques to problems of routing and link activation in wireless networks, and developed novel techniques for admission control in wireless networks, based on recursive procedures and on ordinal optimization.

More recently, Dr. Wieselthier has been one of the first researchers to address the problem of channel access to multiple destinations by overlapping populations of users. He has demonstrated invariance properties that characterize channel traffic under certain networking protocols, and that enable the evaluation of channel access performance in large networks by examining the neighborhood of a typical destination. Additionally, he has developed the Group-Division Multiple Access concept.

Dr. Wieselthier received an S.B. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969, an M.S. in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1971, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1979. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu (the Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society) and Sigma Xi. He has published more than 100 journal articles and conference papers. At NRL, he has received eleven Alan Berman Research Publication Awards and a Technology Transfer Award. Prior to coming to NRL in 1979, he spent ten years at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (originally known as the Naval Ordnance Laboratory) in White Oak, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Among his many professional activities, Dr. Wieselthier was Technical Program Co-Chair of the Third IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications in 1998 and Treasurer of the 1991 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory. He received IEEE's Fred W. Ellersick Award for the best unclassified paper at MILCOM 2000. He was Lead Guest Editor of the two-part special issue on Wireless Ad Hoc Networks, which appeared in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications in January and March 2005, and serves on the editorial board of Elsevier's journal Ad Hoc Networks. He is currently the U.S. member of a Task Group of the NATO Research and Technology Organization's Information Systems Technology Panel.

Get NRL News: RSS

About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Comment policy: We hope to receive submissions from all viewpoints, but we ask that all participants agree to the Department of Defense Social Media User Agreement. All comments are reviewed before being posted.