Optional Learning Units

The following courses are available for 2011/2012. Students may choose any combination of three courses.


 Semester 2

Option 1 
Option 2
Option 3
Mobile Computing
Network Services and Applications
Optical Communications
Wireless Networks and Protocols


Mobile Computing

Lecturers: Helena Rodrigues (coordinator), Adriano Moreira, Rui Aguiar

Overview: Mobile Computing has been emerging as a new paradigm for computing systems, and essentially corresponds to a vision where computation is available everywhere, where everything communicates with everything else, and where virtual and physical environments become closely interconnected. With computing devices becoming progressively smaller and more powerful, it is reasonable to expect that almost any device, from clothing to coffee mugs, will be embedded with some sort of computational capability and able to connect with a large number of other networked devices. This will dramatically change our perception of what a computer system is, as the entire environment, with all its integrated devices and associated services, becomes indistinguishable from the computer. In such scenario, the environment becomes the interface and computation devices, as we currently know them, fade into the background. Pervasive computing systems are thus radically different from traditional distributed systems, and set many new research challenges that cut across various disciplines.

Aims: This course aims to introduce students to the current challenges and opportunities in Mobile Computing, to create some insight regarding the way that mobile computing is evolving towards a world of pervasive computing and networking. The focus of the course is on the challenges and reference approaches for enabling software infrastructures to become integrated into their physical and social environments. Reference case studies will be used to guide the study of the most commonly used approaches and issues. This course will also make the bridge between mobile and pervasive computing, exploring common objectives, design principles, and research challenges, but highlighting the way in which mobile computing can be seen as a step towards a new computing paradigm. It will also explore some recent results on usability studies and new types of applications and activities in the context of users’ continual and instantly accessible presence in mobile, ubiquitous and context-aware systems.


  1. Foundations of Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing
  2. Mobile devices and platforms
  3. Location techniques and space modelling
  4. Software architectures for mobile and ubiquitous computing
  5. Situated Computing
  6. Real world deployment


Network Services and Applications

Lecturers: Paulo Carvalho (Coordinator), Susana Sargento, Ana Aguiar, Pedro Sousa

Aims: The objective of the course is to provide an extensive study of the challenges and solutions to support today's network services and applications with emphasis on the Internet protocol stack. The range of topics under study includes recent developments at network, transport and application levels of the TCP/IP protocol stack, in order to provide support for multimedia services and applications. This course will give students the chance to ground their theoretical and experimental knowledge in the relevant field of Computer Communications and related technologies.


  1. Introduction
  2. Network infrastructure: Internetworking and Mobility
  3. Service integration and Quality of Service
  4. Support for multimedia applications
  5. Applications and Services
  6. New service architectures
  7. Future research directions


Optical Communications

Lecturers: Mario Lima (coordinator), António Teixeira, Henrique Salgado

Aims: The course aims to provide the students with the fundamentals related to optical communication systems and networks, presenting nowadays scenarios (core and access), and foreseeing next generation optical networks (NGN).

It discusses several issues covering in a first part the principles of optoelectronics and fiber optics operation, followed by optical networks aspects, namely related to access passive optical networks (NGA-PONs): standards, design and installation.

The students will be able to receive complementary lab formation, by performing some experiments related to the course topics.


1. Optical communication systems fundamentals

1.1. Optical fibers
1.2. Sources (Lasers)
1.3. Optical amplifiers (EDFA, Raman, SOA)
1.4. Photodiodes and receivers
1.5. WDM systems basics
1.6. Nonlinear effects in fiber (SPM, XPM, FWM, SRS, SBS)

2. Next generation optical networks

2.1. Nowadays scenarios (competing technologies) on metro/local networks
2.2. Design core/metro networks (long and ultra long haul)
2.3. Access networks (NGA): topologies FTTx, access, standards (xPON), design
2.4. NGN in Portugal/world


Wireless Networks and Protocols

Lecturers: Adriano Moreira (coordinator), Rui Aguiar, Manuel Ricardo

Aims: Wireless Networks and Protocols (WNP) is a course for students aimed at specializing in the mobile communications theme of MAP-Tele. The WNP course has two main objectives:

  1. to provide the students with the competences required to understand current wireless networks and their main functions;
  2. to provide students with the competences required to create future wireless networks and/or its associated functions. 
In order to meet these objectives a set of scientific topics were identified: a) wireless networking, b) mobility, c) authentication, d) Quality of Service (QoS), and e) network support for services.


  1. Introduction to Wireless Networks and Protocols.
  2. Fundamentals of wireless communications.
  3. Telecommunications systemss.
  4. IEEE wireless data networks
  5. Convergence and interoperability of wireless systems.
  6. Authentication and access control.
  7. Quality of Service aimed at providing abstractions, case studies, and research issues related to QoS topic.
  8. Support for services and applications