Congratulation to Prof. Patrick P.C. Lee, who won the best paper award in the ACM CoNext 2008 Conference ( The work is: "Opportunistic Use of Client Repeaters to Improve Performance of WLANs".

The paper shows that currently deployed IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi networks suffer the rate anomaly problem, in which stations with lower signal quality transmit at lower rates and consume a significant majority of airtime, thereby dramatically reducing the throughput of stations transmitting at high rates. The paper proposes a practical, deployable system called SoftRepeater, in which stations cooperatively address the rate anomaly problem. Specifically, a higher-rate WiFi stations opportunistically transform themselves into repeaters for stations with low data rates when transmitting to/from the AP. Prof. Lee and his co-authors analyze this problem, and propose a protocol that ensures that repeater functionality is enabled only when appropriate. SoftRepeater can also run directly on top of today's 802.11 infrastructure networks. Through simulation and testbed experiments, SoftRepeater can improve cumulative throughput by up to 200%.