Wireless and Networking research group

Established: June 5, 2001

The Wireless and Networking group at Microsoft Research Asia engages in fundamental research on all aspects of computer networking. Our group members’ research interests span routing, infrastructure, cloud, wireless, mobile devices and systems, and new networking paradigms. We emphasize both analytical and empirical approaches, and build actual systems to validate theoretical results and refine system principles from experimental work.

Current Research

Data Center Networking — building connection fabrics for cloud computing infrastructure

dcnAs the IT industry enters the era of Cloud Computing, companies are building large data centers to host online services for our daily life. Data center networking (DCN) deals with how to connect millions of servers efficiently. Our group is among the first to make data-center networking a hot topic in research community.

  • Our pioneer work in DCN, on network architecture:DCell (SIGCOMM’08), BCube (SIGCOMM’09)
  • Network management: Address Configuration (SIGCOMM’10)
  • Virtualization: SecondNet (CoNEXT’10)
  • Congestion control: ICTCP (CoNEXT’10 – Best Paper), ECN* (CoNEXT’12)
  • Multicast and low-latency routing: Datacast (CoNEXT’12), RDB (CoNEXT’13)
  • Monitoring and diagnostics

Software-defined networks (SDN) — substrates for the new paradigm

ssWe are among the first to define our own vision on SDN — how to build high-performance network switches that are open, programmable, and manageable. Network devices should not be a separate class from compute/storage servers — they should all be part of an integrated system. We started with developing a new switch architecture (ServerSwitch) and building software layers as the SDN platform. We are researching better mechanisms and systems that will empower the new SDN paradigm and exploring new networking services on the new platform.

  • Publication: ServerSwitch (NSDI’11 – Best Paper)
  • Switch models, abstractions, software substrates, virtualization
  • End-host networking, network understanding

Software radio — empowering wireless revolution with the magic of software

sora-logoWe foresee that the increasingly powerful multi-core architecture and parallel data processing will fundamentally change wireless communications. Software-based cognitive wireless systems will become much more powerful, flexible, and efficient compared with existing wireless technologies. The enabling technology is software radio (or software-defined radio, SDR). For the past several years, we have strike to build the best software radio in a very different way, and to develop programming models and tools that will greatly reduce the effort involved in implementing state-of-the-art wireless systems.

Future Wireless Networks — computational thinking in the traditional field

wirelessThe explosive increase in mobile usage demands constant revolutions in wireless technology. We have been engaged in a broad range of wireless research in PHY, MAC, cross-layer, MIMO, dynamic spectrum, whitespace, measurement, reliability, etc. Our approach has been one with “computational wireless” — applying computer science methodology in a very traditional field.

Mobile Systems — connecting people, devices, and information

mobileOur large portfolio of mobile systems research covers exploring new paradigms and system mechanisms, and bringing mobile devices and the Cloud together to further improve a user’s mobile experience, and to enable a spectrum of new mobile applications that harness the power of the Cloud.


  • Best Paper Award, NSDI’11 (ServerSwitch)
  • Best Paper Award, CoNEXT’10 (Incast)
  • Best Demo Award, SIGCOMM’10 (Sora/MPAP)
  • Best Paper Award, NSDI’09 (Sora)
  • Best Demo Award, NSDI’09 (Sora)
  • Best Demo Award, MobiSys’08 (P&C)
  • Best Demo Award, SenSys’07 (BeepBeep)
  • Best Demo Award, MobiSys’07 (Mobius)




The Compound TCP for High-Speed and Long Distance Networks

Established: December 9, 2008

Introduction Many applications require fast data transfer over high speed and long distance networks. However, standard TCP fails to fully utilize the network capacity due to the limitation in its conservative congestion control (CC) algorithm. Many approaches have been proposed to…

Microsoft Research Software Radio (Sora)

Established: December 8, 2008

Software radio (or software-defined radio, SDR) is an engineering pursue in wireless communication technology field that one day all wireless signal processing functions, which are typically implemented in hardware today, will be done completely in software. Over the years, researchers and…


Sora high performance software radio is now open source

Posted by Jane Ma Microsoft researchers today announced that their high-performance software radio project is now open sourced through GitHub. The goal for Microsoft Research Software Radio (Sora) is to develop the most advanced software radio possible, capable of implementing…

July 2015

Microsoft Research Blog