Syllabus for

CS 6030: Pervasive Computing — Fall 2008

Dr. Leszek Lilien

Department of Computer Science

Western Michigan University


Instructor:      Dr. Leszek (LEH-shek) Lilien

                        CEAS B-249, phone: (269) 276-3116 (email preferred)

Email:  (must include “cs”)  Only messages conforming to the following email requirements will be read by me.

Email requirements for CS 6030-F08


Messages must be from an address ending with “” (e.g., from “” or “”).

Each message must have a descriptive subject, preceded by one of prefixes indicated next:

 (b.1) For messages not related to research projects or chapter/paper presentations (see below), use the following Subject line format:

CS6030-PervComp-F08--<your last name>: <subject>


CS6030-PervComp-F08--Smith: final exam date

 (b.2) If your message is related to your chapter/paper presentation, use the following Subject line format:

CS6030-PervComp-F08--TCPT<id>: <subject>

where TCPT = Textbook Chapter Presentation Team, and id is the id of your TCPT.


for id = 6:   CS6030-PervComp-F08—TCPT6: FiRR for presentation by TCPT3

for id = 3:   CS6030-PervComp-F08—TCPT3: response to FiRR by TCPT6


IMPORTANT: Any member of a PT sending a message to me _must_ Cc it to all members of this TCPT, so: (a) all TCPT members are informed, and (b) I can easily reply to all.

  (b.3) If your message is related to your research project, use the following Subject line format:

CS6030-PervComp-F08--PT<id>: <subject>

where PT = Project Team, and id is the id of your PT.


for id = 4:     CS6030-PervComp-F08--PT4: selected papers

for id = 8A:  CS6030-PervComp-F08--PT8A: selected papers


IMPORTANT: Any member of a PT sending a message to me _must_ Cc it to all members of this PT, so: (a) all PT members are informed, and (b) I can easily reply to all.


NOTE: Don't use "<" and ">" — they are only elements of format specifications


Attached files must be scanned with up-to-date anti-viral software, and the message including them must contain the following statement:

 I have scanned the enclosed file(s) with <name of software,   its version>, which was last updated on <date>.

where <date> should be the current date. (You should have the habit of updating your anti-viral software daily!)


Classes:              T and R 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm, CEAS C-122


Office Hours:     T 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm, R 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm


Class Web Pages:

Syllabus - main page (this page): index.htm

Course outline: outline.htm

Announcements and slides: announcements+slides.htm


Textbooks and Other Course Material:

Required:  “Pervasive Computing. The Mobile World” (2nd ed.) – by U. Hansmann, L. Merk, M.S. Nicklous, and T. Stober

Springer, 2003, 448 pp., hardcover, ISBN: 978-3-540-00218-5


Recommended:   “Cognitive Networks: Towards Self-Aware Networks”  – by Q. Mahmoud (Ed.)
Wiley, 2007, 368 pp., hardcover, ISBN: 978-0-470-06196-1,descCd-description.html

Other course material: Papers (e.g., from the IEEE Pervasive Computing magazine and the annual Ubicomp international conferences on Ubiquitous Computing), and e-books (mostly different for individual lectures or student presentations) will be announced. They will be divided into required and recommended (optional) readings.



Graduate student status.

Grade B or better in CS 5550: Computer Networks or instructor’s permission.

Grade B or better in CS 5950/6030: Computer Security and Information Assurance or CS 6910: Advanced Computer and Information Security or instructor’s permission.

Some knowledge of the following Wireless and Mobile Computing technologies will be assumed: traffic theories, mobile radio propagation, channel coding and error control, the cellular concept, multiple radio access and multiple access techniques, and traffic channel allocation. If you did not take the “Wireless Computing” course in our Department, use my slides for the previous offering of this course to learn the basics:



What is Pervasive Computing:        

Prof. M. Satyanarayanan (2001) states: “Pervasive computing represents a major evolutionary step in a line of work dating back to the mid-1970’s. Two distinct earlier steps in this evolution are distributed systems and mobile computing.  Some of the technical problems in pervasive computing correspond to problems already identified and studied earlier in the evolution. In some of those cases, existing solutions apply directly; in other cases, the demands of pervasive computing are sufficiently different that new solutions have to be sought. There are also new problems introduced by pervasive computing that have no obvious mapping to problems studied earlier.”

Pervasive Computing is also commonly known as Ubiquitous Computing (although, to be precise, Ubiquitous Computing should be viewed as the most advanced stage of Pervasive Computing). Other, less (and much less) popular equivalents include Invisible Computing, Ambient Informatics, and Everyware.

For more information, please see: M. Satyanarayanan, “Pervasive Computing: Vision and Challenges,” IEEE Personal Communications, 2001. Available at:



Course Overview:               

The course will help students to learn about and investigate the emerging issues in pervasive environments. A major focus will be on components that build pervasive computing systems: smart devices, smart environments, and smart services and interactions with users.

This is an advanced course for graduate students only.

The course will be research-oriented, with both “more theoretical” and “more practical” research projects in the areas including opportunistic networks (a specialized kind of pervasive ad hoc networks), smart office and home spaces, and sensornets. Project topics will be proposed by me, or proposed by students and accepted by me.



Course Requirements for Students:              

Attend and study the instructor’s lectures and student presentations.

Prepare and deliver a presentation on a lecture topic, based on the textbook chapter or related paper.

Work on team research projects (or individual projects, in exceptional cases). Projects will mostly belong to the “selected areas” identified or accepted by the instructor. There will be three basic types of projects: survey/overview projects, simulation projects, or implementation projects. All projects will be developed under instructor’s supervision.

Write a research report summarizing the findings of the research project.

If time allows, students will present the project results at the end of the semester (hopefully at least one presentation, lasting at least 20 min. + 5 min Q&A period per team).

We will have one exam: final exam.

We might have quizzes testing understanding of lectures, required readings, and project and other presentations by fellow students.



Course Policies:

1. Lecture

-   Lecture and presentation slides as well as announcements will be emailed to students (they might also be available on-line on the “slides and announcements” page). You should study the notes and read announcements (if any) after/before each lecture.

-   Taking notes during classes is highly encouraged.  Especially, you should write down anything that is written down using the board or the document projector. You are encouraged to slow me down if you need more time to take notes.

-   Attendance is required. If you must miss a lecture, make sure that you don’t miss announcements.

2. Group Projects

-   The group projects will be done in Project Teams (PTs) consisting normally of 1-2  students.

-   The instructor will propose a set of topics for the projects to help students in project selection. PTs are free to propose their own topics for the project but must obtain instructor’s buy-in before starting their work.

-   The results obtained in the final project will be communicated by the PTs: (a) in written reports submitted to me by the end of the semester, (b) if time allows, in slides presented in class before the end of the semester. Both technical contents and quality of (written or oral) presentation will be evaluated for the project grade (normally the same for all PT members).

-   All projects will be due no later than on the last day of regular classes.

-   More details about project requirements, including presentation and report requirements, will be provided later.

3. Lecture Material or Research Paper Presentation and Reviewing

-   Students, organized into Textbook Chapter Presentation Teams (TCPTs), will prepare and deliver presentations of Chapters (or their parts) from the main text. Also selected research papers might be included in the presentations in addition to presenting textbook material.

For each presentation, one TCPT in the pair will play the role of Presenters, and another TCPT—of Reviewers. Reviewers will work with presenters before the in-class presentation to assure the best quality (completeness, clarity, etc.) of presentation (incl. slides). Criteria for reviewing slides and presentations will be provided by the instructor. (More details below.)

-   The material selected for presentation by the members of a presenting TCPT may (but does not have to) be related to the group projects of the TCPT members. The material assigned for reviewing to a reviewing TCPT should be unrelated to the group projects of the reviewing TCPT members. (In this way, if the reviewers understand the presentation, anybody in the class will. J )

-   The instructor will work with students to assist in selecting Chapters or theirs parts for each TCPT for presentation.  Reviewing TCPTs have to accept the presenting TCPT’s selection.

-   Example scenario: Each pair of TCPTs participates in two presentation/review rounds, with their roles switched in the second round. Suppose that TCPT3 and TCPT6 are paired with each other.

   In Round 1, TCPT3 is selected for presentation and TCPT6 for reviewing of selected material. TCPT3 is responsible for preparing the initial presentation. Then, TCPT6 reviews the presentation (without reading the presented material in the textbook or papers since  TCPT6 members must be in a position in which other students will soon be). TCPT6 decides whether to review slides only, or request TCPT3 for  an entire mock presentation (at least the last TCPT6 review before the in-class presentation of the material should be a mock presentation.) TCPT3 uses the feedback from all reviews by TCPT6 to improve the presentation. A few iterations of the review-improve process might be needed, as determined by TCPT6 (and, maybe, as asked by TCPT3). The final mock presentation by TCPT3 ends with filling a form known as Final Review Report (FiRR), listing both strength and shortcomings of the presentation as perceived by TCPT6. TCPT3 can read and respond to the comments of the report. Both FiRR from TCPT6 and the response by TCPT3 must be submitted to the instructor (both email, with a proper header including “FiRR,” and a hard copy are required.

   In Round 2, TCPT6 is selected for presentation, and TCPT3 for reviewing of material presented by TCPT6.

-   Presentations will be graded by the instructor with the feedback from all students in class, who will be asked to fill simple Presentation Evaluation questionnaires. The final score for the presenting TCPT will be based on both inputs. The final score for the reviewing TCPT will additionally use FiRR as an important output produced by of the reviewing TCPT.

  1. Exams

-   There will be one exam: the final exam. It will be held during the finals week, as scheduled by the Registrar’s Office: (cf. for “All [classes] Tuesday 5:30 p.m. & after:  Tuesday, Dec. 9, 7:15 pm-9:15 pm”

-   If you miss the exam and are excused, you will be required to take a make-up final exam as scheduled by the Registrar’s Office (cf. To be excused, you must prove significant circumstances beyond your control.  Generally this will require documentation, such as a doctor’s note in case of an illness.   If possible, inform the instructor before the exam if circumstances beyond your control will cause missing the exam.

NOTE: No make-up exams will be given for reasons other than emergency situations completely beyond student’s control. If you know ahead of time that the final exam time conflicts with your plans, do not register for this class. (In particular, early flight reservations are not an acceptable reason for a make-up exam.)

5. Incomplete Grades

-   The incomplete grade - I - is intended for a student who has missed a relatively small portion of work due to circumstances beyond the student’s control.  In general, performance on work done must be at a level of C or better in order to qualify for an incomplete.  An I grade will not be given to replace an otherwise low or failing grade in the class. 



Team project (incl. final project presentation)            50%

Chapter or research paper presentation by PT              5%

Review of paired PT presentation                                 5%

Final exam                                                                  40%

In case chapter or paper presentations/reviews are not possible (e.g., due to time constraints), 5% will be added to Team project and 5% to Final exam.


Use of Electronic Devices:     [courtesy of Prof. Ajay Gupta and Prof. James Yang]

You are expected to stay alert and pay attention in class. Cellphones, PDAs, and other electronic devices should not be used during the lecture and should be turned off.

If available, you may bring your laptop to the class. Your laptop speakers must be turned off. Web-surfing of material other than lecture slides or another material indicated by the instructor is not permitted during the class. You may surf the web only when specifically told to do so. In order to maintain the integrity of the classroom and if I feel it is distracting you or others, I may ask you to turn off your laptop.


Other Notes:


Academic Integrity:  


Academic Honesty Statement (WMU Policy)

You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs that pertain to Academic Honesty. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. [The policies can be found at under Academic Policies, Student Rights and Responsibilities.] If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.

(The Code of Honor passed by the Faculty Senate in November 2004 and administration in December 2004, can be found at; cf. “Students Rights and Responsibilities.”)


[Based on text courtesy of Prof. Ajay Gupta and Prof. James Yang.]

Submission of another person’s work in part or whole is not permitted. Learning can certainly occur with discussion of class material and assignments with other students, but at all times ensure that you don’t represent the work of another person as your own.  In particular, remember the following:

·         If you rephrase ideas presented by others in your text, you must provide a reference in this text, and then list full bibliographic information for the reference at the end of your report, slides, etc.

·         Any quotes (as opposed to references) must be clearly indicated in at least two ways: (a) with a clear phrase or sentence (e.g. “Quoting Smith et al.:”), and (b) with a different form of the text (e.g., written in italics, boxed, etc.).

·         Easy availability of information, material, source codes, lecture notes, etc., on the Internet may make it possible to find text useful for your report, slides, etc. It is okay (even required for your projects) to refer to those, understand them and use them to enhance your solutions, generate your own ideas, etc. However, you must give proper and full credit to original authors of the work if you include their ideas or solutions (complete references and/or indication of quoted material are required).

·         Sharing information between PTs is encouraged. A PT using rephrased ideas from another PT must give a full reference to the “source PT.” A PT quoting text from another PT must clearly indicate the quotes and give a full reference.


Anybody found responsible for violation of academic honesty in the course, will receive a penalty up to and including an E grade in the class. Additional disciplinary actions can be taken by the Department, the College, and the University.



Students Rights and Responsibilities:

You are also encouraged to familiarize yourself with University policies on human rights, diversity issues, and students with disabilities. (They can also be found at; cf. “Students Rights and Responsibilities.”)





© 2006-2008 by Leszek T. Lilien                                                                                                        Last updated on 9/2/08