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Sumit Roy

  • Professor

Sumit Roy has been a faculty member in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington since 1998, where he is presently Integrated Systems Professor. He spent 2001-03 on academic leave at Intel Wireless Technology Lab as a Senior Researcher engaged in systems architecture and standards development for ultra-wideband systems (Wireless PANs) and next generation high-speed wireless LANs. During January-July 2008, he was the Science Foundation of Ireland’s E.T.S. Walton Awardee for a sabbatical at University College, Dublin, and during summer 2011 he was the recipient of a Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) Distinguished Visiting Fellowship

Roy’s activities for the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) include membership of several technical and conference program committees, notably the Technical Committee on Cognitive Networks. He has served as Associate Editor for all the major ComSoc publications in his area at various times, including the IEEE Transactions on Communications and IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, and as a Distinguished Lecturer (2014-15) for ComSoc. He was elevated to IEEE Fellow by ComSoc in 2007 for “contributions to multi-user communications theory and cross-layer design of wireless networking standards.”

Research Interests

Wireless communications/networking; emerging applications (smart grid, vehicular networks, cognitive and sensor networks).

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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7788" align="alignleft" width="209"]Professor Sumit Roy leads the Spectrum research.  Professor Sumit Roy leads the Spectrum research.[/caption]

 

On top of Sieg Hall, Electrical Engineering Professor Sumit Roy and his students have placed a commodity RF sensor station, which is capable of passively monitoring spectrum usage of over 300 MHz-6 GHz band (ultra-high frequency) occurring in the local vicinity. The integrated web interface currently allows remote users to access the data gathered by the sensors and stored on a public cloud service. Many of the sensors will be deployed in various metro areas in the country.

Roy developed the Spectrum monitoring system under an Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research, which is based on a broader $400 million National Science Foundation’s (NSF) initiative to boost advanced wireless research. A key objective is more efficient reuse of scarce spectrum resources. Obtaining this objective relies on products that generate very large quantities of data. The data will be made publicly available to the R&D community interested in spectrum engineering for subsequent analysis, with the possibility of providing data-driven inputs for future spectrum policy.

“Given that supply of usable spectrum is increasing very slowly, relative to burgeoning demand (which is driven by all the bandwidth-hungry devices and apps, as well the increasing number of new consumers beginning to use data services on networks worldwide in developing nations), there is a great and urgent need for such refined policymaking,” Roy said. “A reasonable analogy is the scarcity of land in Manhattan. You can make Manhattan bigger; but only at great cost. Instead, a smarter initial starting point is to make better use of available land.”

Since spectrum use – like land – is divided into broadly civilian (cellular networks and unlicensed technologies, like Wi-Fi] and non-civilian (all the networks owned by the federal government) uses, a key policy question is how to apportion spectrum use into these two classes. In this sense, a few very interesting policy versus technology questions have come to the forefront in recent years concerning spectrum usage.

One question is what to do when it is determined that a “private” owner of some piece of spectrum (i.e. one with an exclusive license for its use) under-utilizes this scarce resource. Increasingly, there is a trend in policy circles to encourage sharing in such circumstances.

“Sharing would allow the licensee to keep its rights to the spectrum, but it would be obligated to ‘lease’ it temporarily to another network (under appropriate rules for sharing that includes protection for the licensee’s operations).” Roy said. “Overall, this leads to much more efficient use of spectrum, and that is what my research – including developing of the Spectrum Monitoring system – is broadly focused on. Through these efforts, we are placing Seattle at the forefront of the Smart Spectrum City prototype and providing a model for other cities to follow.”

[caption id="attachment_7790" align="alignright" width="285"]The RF sensor station on the top of Sieg Hall at the University of Washington, Seattle. The RF sensor station on the top of Sieg Hall at the University of Washington, Seattle.[/caption]

Broadband Access & Public Services in the Internet Era

Broadband access is often used as a socio-economic metric in this Internet Age. Nations continue to be ranked on the broadband scale. While this greatly affects economic progress for developing economies looking to integrate with global markets and supply chains, it is also impacts developed market-driven societies as well.

“In the U.S., the percent of households with broadband internet connection is upward of 80 percent,” Roy said. “However, this access is geographically concentrated. Reliable access largely exists in dense urban areas where the Internet service providers can turn a profit, but many low density areas (rural or otherwise limited by geographic factors) are poorly served.”

The limited lack of broadband access in these areas restricts the effective delivery of public services that require a mature, robust and ubiquitous telecommunication network (i.e., better education and healthcare), thus reducing economic development and self-empowerment.

A significant gap is the absence of a unified public safety/emergency response network. Cheri Marusa is the President and Founder of Life Support, a nonprofit focused on improving medical services in Upper Kittitas County. She has worked with the Washington State House of Representatives for four years to advance policy work dedicated to broadband coverage.

“My concern and passion is for public safety,” Marusa said. “This encompasses: an individual calling 911, first responders arriving at an emergency scene, law enforcement coverage, the management of wild land fires and the access of telemedicine. I advocate for critical access to communication and enhanced technology. Because spectrum is a finite resource, the communications sector and legislative policy have to focus on identifying opportunities to make both commercial and federal Spectrum use more efficient.”

From a policy perspective, what should communities have access to at a base level? Spectrum sharing will allow for more efficient use of the resource, but for a deeply Internet-dependent society, the concept of baseline is not easily identifiable.

“We need to ask ourselves,” Roy said. “What are the basic things we should have access to that should be provided as a public good?”
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                    [post_content] => SumitRoy2_000EE Professor Sumit Roy has received a three-year grant from the U.S. Air Force’s Contested Environment Radio Frequency Exploitation and Research (CERFER) program to investigate more efficient use of the radio spectrum, which is the driver of the modern Internet era.

With escalating demands on the radio spectrum, Roy’s research will specifically explore the co-existence between radar systems, such as those used for national security purposes and air traffic control, and modern communication systems such as cellular and WiFi. The simultaneous operation of modern communication systems and radar systems has the potential to cause interference, resulting in compromised operations. The objective of Roy’s research is, therefore, to explore ways for the two systems to co-exist in the same location, time and frequency space for more efficient use of the radio spectrum.

“Radio spectrum is a finite, yet incredibly precious commodity, as its availability is fundamental to all modern wireless communication systems and underlies all the popular modes of broadband Internet access,” Roy said.

The research will be undertaken in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University.
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                    [post_content] => SumitRoy2_000Thanks to a new NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) grant, EE Professor Sumit Roy will work with researchers from the United States and South Africa with the goal of bringing reliable, low-cost wireless broadband access to traditionally underserved areas. This is a pressing topic of importance for both countries.

As part of the NSF grant, a virtual institute called the Institute for Cognitive Networking (iCON) will be established to bring together a consortium of researchers from the United States and South Africa. In addition to UW, participating organizations include the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Researchers will investigate the potential to utilize wireless spectrum white spaces, which are unlicensed frequencies that are available for use in certain areas, to bring low-cost reliable wireless broadband access to underserved areas.

The virtual institute is intended to support long-term international collaboration between the United States and South Africa, with the goal of accelerating wireless access research. A number of shared resources will be provided, including online resources, physical and virtual meetings, summer school and a graduate student exchange program. The virtual institute will also provide a mechanism to archive research, enabling future projects to build upon current and past research.
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                            [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7788" align="alignleft" width="209"]Professor Sumit Roy leads the Spectrum research.  Professor Sumit Roy leads the Spectrum research.[/caption]

 

On top of Sieg Hall, Electrical Engineering Professor Sumit Roy and his students have placed a commodity RF sensor station, which is capable of passively monitoring spectrum usage of over 300 MHz-6 GHz band (ultra-high frequency) occurring in the local vicinity. The integrated web interface currently allows remote users to access the data gathered by the sensors and stored on a public cloud service. Many of the sensors will be deployed in various metro areas in the country.

Roy developed the Spectrum monitoring system under an Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research, which is based on a broader $400 million National Science Foundation’s (NSF) initiative to boost advanced wireless research. A key objective is more efficient reuse of scarce spectrum resources. Obtaining this objective relies on products that generate very large quantities of data. The data will be made publicly available to the R&D community interested in spectrum engineering for subsequent analysis, with the possibility of providing data-driven inputs for future spectrum policy.

“Given that supply of usable spectrum is increasing very slowly, relative to burgeoning demand (which is driven by all the bandwidth-hungry devices and apps, as well the increasing number of new consumers beginning to use data services on networks worldwide in developing nations), there is a great and urgent need for such refined policymaking,” Roy said. “A reasonable analogy is the scarcity of land in Manhattan. You can make Manhattan bigger; but only at great cost. Instead, a smarter initial starting point is to make better use of available land.”

Since spectrum use – like land – is divided into broadly civilian (cellular networks and unlicensed technologies, like Wi-Fi] and non-civilian (all the networks owned by the federal government) uses, a key policy question is how to apportion spectrum use into these two classes. In this sense, a few very interesting policy versus technology questions have come to the forefront in recent years concerning spectrum usage.

One question is what to do when it is determined that a “private” owner of some piece of spectrum (i.e. one with an exclusive license for its use) under-utilizes this scarce resource. Increasingly, there is a trend in policy circles to encourage sharing in such circumstances.

“Sharing would allow the licensee to keep its rights to the spectrum, but it would be obligated to ‘lease’ it temporarily to another network (under appropriate rules for sharing that includes protection for the licensee’s operations).” Roy said. “Overall, this leads to much more efficient use of spectrum, and that is what my research – including developing of the Spectrum Monitoring system – is broadly focused on. Through these efforts, we are placing Seattle at the forefront of the Smart Spectrum City prototype and providing a model for other cities to follow.”

[caption id="attachment_7790" align="alignright" width="285"]The RF sensor station on the top of Sieg Hall at the University of Washington, Seattle. The RF sensor station on the top of Sieg Hall at the University of Washington, Seattle.[/caption]

Broadband Access & Public Services in the Internet Era

Broadband access is often used as a socio-economic metric in this Internet Age. Nations continue to be ranked on the broadband scale. While this greatly affects economic progress for developing economies looking to integrate with global markets and supply chains, it is also impacts developed market-driven societies as well.

“In the U.S., the percent of households with broadband internet connection is upward of 80 percent,” Roy said. “However, this access is geographically concentrated. Reliable access largely exists in dense urban areas where the Internet service providers can turn a profit, but many low density areas (rural or otherwise limited by geographic factors) are poorly served.”

The limited lack of broadband access in these areas restricts the effective delivery of public services that require a mature, robust and ubiquitous telecommunication network (i.e., better education and healthcare), thus reducing economic development and self-empowerment.

A significant gap is the absence of a unified public safety/emergency response network. Cheri Marusa is the President and Founder of Life Support, a nonprofit focused on improving medical services in Upper Kittitas County. She has worked with the Washington State House of Representatives for four years to advance policy work dedicated to broadband coverage.

“My concern and passion is for public safety,” Marusa said. “This encompasses: an individual calling 911, first responders arriving at an emergency scene, law enforcement coverage, the management of wild land fires and the access of telemedicine. I advocate for critical access to communication and enhanced technology. Because spectrum is a finite resource, the communications sector and legislative policy have to focus on identifying opportunities to make both commercial and federal Spectrum use more efficient.”

From a policy perspective, what should communities have access to at a base level? Spectrum sharing will allow for more efficient use of the resource, but for a deeply Internet-dependent society, the concept of baseline is not easily identifiable.

“We need to ask ourselves,” Roy said. “What are the basic things we should have access to that should be provided as a public good?”
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                            [post_content] => SumitRoy2_000EE Professor Sumit Roy has received a three-year grant from the U.S. Air Force’s Contested Environment Radio Frequency Exploitation and Research (CERFER) program to investigate more efficient use of the radio spectrum, which is the driver of the modern Internet era.

With escalating demands on the radio spectrum, Roy’s research will specifically explore the co-existence between radar systems, such as those used for national security purposes and air traffic control, and modern communication systems such as cellular and WiFi. The simultaneous operation of modern communication systems and radar systems has the potential to cause interference, resulting in compromised operations. The objective of Roy’s research is, therefore, to explore ways for the two systems to co-exist in the same location, time and frequency space for more efficient use of the radio spectrum.

“Radio spectrum is a finite, yet incredibly precious commodity, as its availability is fundamental to all modern wireless communication systems and underlies all the popular modes of broadband Internet access,” Roy said.

The research will be undertaken in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University.
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                            [post_content] => SumitRoy2_000Thanks to a new NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) grant, EE Professor Sumit Roy will work with researchers from the United States and South Africa with the goal of bringing reliable, low-cost wireless broadband access to traditionally underserved areas. This is a pressing topic of importance for both countries.

As part of the NSF grant, a virtual institute called the Institute for Cognitive Networking (iCON) will be established to bring together a consortium of researchers from the United States and South Africa. In addition to UW, participating organizations include the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Researchers will investigate the potential to utilize wireless spectrum white spaces, which are unlicensed frequencies that are available for use in certain areas, to bring low-cost reliable wireless broadband access to underserved areas.

The virtual institute is intended to support long-term international collaboration between the United States and South Africa, with the goal of accelerating wireless access research. A number of shared resources will be provided, including online resources, physical and virtual meetings, summer school and a graduate student exchange program. The virtual institute will also provide a mechanism to archive research, enabling future projects to build upon current and past research.
                            [post_title] => With NSF Grant, Sumit Roy Investigates Wireless Broadband Access for Underserved Areas
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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7788" align="alignleft" width="209"]Professor Sumit Roy leads the Spectrum research.  Professor Sumit Roy leads the Spectrum research.[/caption]

 

On top of Sieg Hall, Electrical Engineering Professor Sumit Roy and his students have placed a commodity RF sensor station, which is capable of passively monitoring spectrum usage of over 300 MHz-6 GHz band (ultra-high frequency) occurring in the local vicinity. The integrated web interface currently allows remote users to access the data gathered by the sensors and stored on a public cloud service. Many of the sensors will be deployed in various metro areas in the country.

Roy developed the Spectrum monitoring system under an Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research, which is based on a broader $400 million National Science Foundation’s (NSF) initiative to boost advanced wireless research. A key objective is more efficient reuse of scarce spectrum resources. Obtaining this objective relies on products that generate very large quantities of data. The data will be made publicly available to the R&D community interested in spectrum engineering for subsequent analysis, with the possibility of providing data-driven inputs for future spectrum policy.

“Given that supply of usable spectrum is increasing very slowly, relative to burgeoning demand (which is driven by all the bandwidth-hungry devices and apps, as well the increasing number of new consumers beginning to use data services on networks worldwide in developing nations), there is a great and urgent need for such refined policymaking,” Roy said. “A reasonable analogy is the scarcity of land in Manhattan. You can make Manhattan bigger; but only at great cost. Instead, a smarter initial starting point is to make better use of available land.”

Since spectrum use – like land – is divided into broadly civilian (cellular networks and unlicensed technologies, like Wi-Fi] and non-civilian (all the networks owned by the federal government) uses, a key policy question is how to apportion spectrum use into these two classes. In this sense, a few very interesting policy versus technology questions have come to the forefront in recent years concerning spectrum usage.

One question is what to do when it is determined that a “private” owner of some piece of spectrum (i.e. one with an exclusive license for its use) under-utilizes this scarce resource. Increasingly, there is a trend in policy circles to encourage sharing in such circumstances.

“Sharing would allow the licensee to keep its rights to the spectrum, but it would be obligated to ‘lease’ it temporarily to another network (under appropriate rules for sharing that includes protection for the licensee’s operations).” Roy said. “Overall, this leads to much more efficient use of spectrum, and that is what my research – including developing of the Spectrum Monitoring system – is broadly focused on. Through these efforts, we are placing Seattle at the forefront of the Smart Spectrum City prototype and providing a model for other cities to follow.”

[caption id="attachment_7790" align="alignright" width="285"]The RF sensor station on the top of Sieg Hall at the University of Washington, Seattle. The RF sensor station on the top of Sieg Hall at the University of Washington, Seattle.[/caption]

Broadband Access & Public Services in the Internet Era

Broadband access is often used as a socio-economic metric in this Internet Age. Nations continue to be ranked on the broadband scale. While this greatly affects economic progress for developing economies looking to integrate with global markets and supply chains, it is also impacts developed market-driven societies as well.

“In the U.S., the percent of households with broadband internet connection is upward of 80 percent,” Roy said. “However, this access is geographically concentrated. Reliable access largely exists in dense urban areas where the Internet service providers can turn a profit, but many low density areas (rural or otherwise limited by geographic factors) are poorly served.”

The limited lack of broadband access in these areas restricts the effective delivery of public services that require a mature, robust and ubiquitous telecommunication network (i.e., better education and healthcare), thus reducing economic development and self-empowerment.

A significant gap is the absence of a unified public safety/emergency response network. Cheri Marusa is the President and Founder of Life Support, a nonprofit focused on improving medical services in Upper Kittitas County. She has worked with the Washington State House of Representatives for four years to advance policy work dedicated to broadband coverage.

“My concern and passion is for public safety,” Marusa said. “This encompasses: an individual calling 911, first responders arriving at an emergency scene, law enforcement coverage, the management of wild land fires and the access of telemedicine. I advocate for critical access to communication and enhanced technology. Because spectrum is a finite resource, the communications sector and legislative policy have to focus on identifying opportunities to make both commercial and federal Spectrum use more efficient.”

From a policy perspective, what should communities have access to at a base level? Spectrum sharing will allow for more efficient use of the resource, but for a deeply Internet-dependent society, the concept of baseline is not easily identifiable.

“We need to ask ourselves,” Roy said. “What are the basic things we should have access to that should be provided as a public good?”
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Representative Publications

  • H-A. Safavi-Naeini, S. Roy and S. Ashrafi, ``Spectrum Sharing of Radar and Wi-Fi Networks: The Sensing/Throughput Tradeoff" IEEE Trans. Cognitive Comm. & Networking, 2016
  • F. Hessar and S. Roy, ``Spectrum Sharing between a Surveillance Radar and Secondary Wi-Fi Networks," IEEE Trans. Aerosp. Electronic Systems, 2016 (to appear).
  • A. Al-Mutairi and S. Roy, ``Impact of Traffic Load on OFDMA Femtocells Interference Mitigation," IEEE J. Sel. Areas Commn, Spl. Issue on Recent Advances in Heterogeneous Cellular Networks, Oct. 2015, pp. 2017-2026.
  • F. Hessar and S. Roy, ``Capacity Considerations for Secondary Networks in TV White Space," IEEE Tran. Mobile Comput., Sep. 2015, pp. 1780-1793.
  • Y. Yang and S. Roy, ``Grouping Based MAC Protocols for EV Charging Data Transmission in Smart Metering Network," JSAC Smart Grid Communications Series, July 2014, pp. 1328
  • C. S. Boyer and S. Roy, "Backscatter Communications and RFID: Coding, Energy and MIMO Analysis," IEEE Trans. Comm., Mar. 2014, pp. 770-785
Sumit Roy Headshot
Phone206-221-5261
roy@ee.washington.edu
Web PageClick Here
Mail
M330 EEB

Associated Labs

Research Areas

Affiliations

Education

  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, 1988
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • MA, Statistics, 1988
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, 1985
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • B. Tech, Electrical Engineering, 1983
    Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur