Optional Learning Units

The following courses are available for 2014/2015. Students may choose any combination of three courses.


Semester 2

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Information Theory: Principles and Applications
Mobile Communication Systems
Mobile Computing
Network Planning and Performance
Network Services and Applications
Optical Communications
Optical Networks
RF Circuits and Subsystems
Wireless Networks and Protocols


Information Theory: Principles and Applications

Lecturers: TBD

Aims: The objective of the curricular unit is to expose students to the fundamental elements and practices of information theory, covering both theoretical and applied is- sues of recognized importance in contemporary communications systems and networks. The first part of the unit covers the basic principles of information theory, such as source and channel coding for single-user (point-to-point) and multi-user communications systems. The second part of the unit covers advanced applications of information theory, including the analysis, design and optimization of wireless communications systems and networks, sensor networks, and network information flow, as well as security and privacy.


Part I: Principles

1. Information Measures
2. Source Coding
3. Channel Coding
4. Rate Distortion Theory
5. Multiuser Information Theory

Part II: Applications

1. Wireless Systems and Networks
2. Sensor Networks
3. Network Information Flow
4. Security and Privacy
5. Advanced Coding Applications


Mobile Communication Systems

Lecturers: TBD

AimsThe objective of this curricular unit is to provide a comprehensive and updated vision of the requirements and techniques used in the design of mobile and wireless communication links. It is expected that at the end of the course, students will be:

  • able to identify and understand the main requirements, issues, limitations, parameters and components used in the design of point to point and multi-user radio links,
  • using such a knowledge understand the rationale for the solutions adopted in existing or emerging systems and be able to participate in the development and proposal of new ones to answer the goals foreseen for future systems.


The curricular unit has four components:

1. Overview of current wireless communications.
2. Channel models used in wireless communications.
3. Project of point to point links.
4. Fundamental concepts for multi-user communication

Component One:

I. Introduction and basic principles

- Introduction
- Wireless networks

II. The wireless communication channel

- Wireless Channels
- Link design and performance evaluation
- Impairments and link degradation factors
- Diversity
- Spread Spectrum
- Multicarrier systems
- Multiple antenna systems

III. Multiuser systems:

- Channel classification for multiuser systems
- Access methods
- Fundamental access techniques in cellular networks
- Comparison of the different access techniques in cellular networks (elementary calculations)
- Random access techniques and protocols
- Multiuser diversity

Component Two:

Trends and emerging techniques in the field of wireless / mobile communication systems:

- Distributed antenna systems
- Cooperative diversity
- Network coding


Mobile Computing

Lecturers: Helena Rodrigues (coordinator), Adriano Moreira, Ana Aguiar, João Paulo Barraca

AimsThis course aims to introduce students to the current challenges and opportunities in Mobile Computing (MC), to create some insight regarding the way MC is evolving towards a world of pervasive computing and networking. At the end of this curricular unit, students should be able to:

  • Explain the general principles of MC and their implications in system design
  • Explain the implications of MC on new forms of user interaction with mobile devices and new paradigms for mobile application design
  • Explain the technical trends involved in the transition from desktop-oriented scenarios to mobile and pervasive computing scenarios
  • Explain the specific requirements imposed by smart spaces scenarios in terms of the underlying middleware and communication models
  • Explain reference approaches used in Pervasive Computing to address the requirements of software infrastructures for Smart Spaces
  • Plan de creation of a computing system for mobile users, considering the overall technical and deployment challenges.


1. Foundations of Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing

- Mobile Society
- Information Society
- Pervasive and self-learning environments
- Information and privacy

2. Mobile devices and platforms

- Current and future devices
- Sensors and tags
- Integrated local platforms
- Global platforms and SOA

3. Location techniques and space modeling

- Positioning technologies
- Location systems
- Location management
- Position forecasting
- Geographic and geometric space models
- Symbolic space models

4. Ubiquitous Computing

- Introduction
- Examples
- Physical-virtual integration
- Interaction models

5. Software architectures for ubiquitous computing

- Design Principles for Smart Spaces Pervasive Computing
- Software infrastructures for pervasive computing environments
- Design patterns and communication middleware
- Case studies analysis
- Global Services for Smart Spaces

6. Real world deployment

- Robustness, maintenance and usability issues
- Assessment of ubiquitous systems
- Examples of prototype systems
- Legal aspects

Network Planning and Performance

Lecturers: TBD

AimsThe objectives of this curricular unit are to describe the main tools used in the planning, traffic engineering and performance evaluation of telecommunications networks, and to characterize workloads and network traffic through statistical analysis and measurements. The learning outcomes of this curricular unit are:

(i) explain the main issues in the planning, traffic engineering and performance evaluation of telecommunications networks;
(ii) apply stochastic modeling and discrete-event simulation in the evaluation of telecommunications networks;
(iii) apply optimization tools in the dimensioning and traffic engineering of telecommunications networks;
(iv) apply statistical analysis and measurements in the characterization of workloads and network traffic.


Methodologies for performance evaluation: stochastic modeling (Markov chains, queuing systems and networks); discrete-event simulation; performance models for multiple access, routing, admission and flow control, scheduling.

Network dimensioning and traffic engineering optimization: ILP modeling and solving techniques; heuristic techniques; network dimensioning and traffic engineering optimization problems; optimization of unconstrained, shortest-path and tree based routing networks.

Network performance and monitoring: monitoring system properties; performance and QoS metrics; measurement techniques and tools: active and passive measurements, traffic sampling, packet and flow capturing; identification of Internet applications; tools for traffic data processing.

Traffic modeling and statistical characterization: traffic models (Poisson, long-tail distributions, self- similar, Markovian and fractal); statistical characterization and fitting procedures; fitting accuracy.

Network Services and Applications

Lecturers: TBD

Aims: With this course, students are expected to:

1) Understand the main challenges TCP/IP networks in the context of service integration and multimedia support
2) Understand the principles for internetworking with IPv6 and characterize distinct IP mobility aware protocols in IPv4 and IPv6 environments
3) Understand the need for QoS support in the network, discuss current QoS architectures and mechanisms, and develop QoS solutions for multi service networks
4) Characterize the range of options available at transport level and select the most appropriate transport protocol according to the application characteristics
5) Understand the most prominent signalling protocols involved in the operation of QoS-constrained applications
6) Characterize relevant applications and services and understand their underlying architecture and operation
7) Understand how peer-to-peer networks work and challenges involved in the design of algorithms and protocols for such networks
8) Identify current network research opportunities.


1. Introduction: Challenges in today’s networks, services and applications.

2. Internetworking and Infrastructure: Internetworking with IPv6.

3. Service integration and Quality of Service: Evolution steps and QoS. Multiservice IP networks. Service contracts.

4. Support for multimedia applications: End-to-end perspective - transport and signalling. Congestion control and avoidance. Protocols oriented to QoS, and real-time multimedia support. Resource reservation and session signalling.

5. Applications and Services: Voice over IP, Video/TV over IP. Security issues. Multiservice support architectures and evolution.

6. New service architectures: Virtual networks; Peer-to-peer networks; Structured overlay networks: distributed hash table, characterisation; Unstructured overlay networks: characterisation; reputation and incentives; Streaming over peer-to-peer networks.

7. Future research.


Optical Communications

Lecturers: Henrique Salgado (Coordinator), Mário Lima, António Teixeira, Luís Pessoa


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 laboratory 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. Nonlinear effects in fiber (SPM, XPM,); Pulse propagation

1.6. Advanced modulation formats

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

Optical Networks

Lecturers: TBD

Aims: Upon completion of this curricular unit, students will be able to understand the most important aspects of optical networks, including the techniques used to transport and switch information within the network (data plan), but also the management and network recovery aspects (control plane). Students will also learn how to design first and second generation optical networks.


I- Introduction to optical networking.
- Interconnection of heterogeneous systems (modified ISO/OSI model).

II- First generation networks – SDH/SONET.
- Network elements and topologies, SDH/SONET Layers. Frame format. Mapping of non-SDH/SONET signals. Protection schemes. Evolution to SDH over WDM

III- Elements for WDM networks.
- Optical MUX and DEMUX. OADM . ROADM (Reconfigurable OADM), OXC (Optical Cross-Connect), Impact of crosstalk on network performance.

IV- WDM networking architectures.
- Broadcast-and-select networks. Multihop networks. Wavelength routed networks. The optical layer (OTN).

V- Design of optical networks.
- Cost and expectation values. Traffic demand model. Restoration capacity. Quantifying equipment needs. Network elements quantities and costs.

VI- Optical access networks.
- Architectures and technologies. Multi-wavelength networks. Long-reach technologies.

VII- Emerging Trends.
- IP over WDM, MPLS, GMPLS, LambdaMPLS

RF Circuits and Subsystems

Lecturers: José Carlos Pedro (coordinator), Nuno Borges Carvalho, José Machado da Silva

AimsThis course is focused on RF electronic circuits and subsystems and is intended to complement the basic undergraduate knowledge on electronics of Telecommunications PhD students, as RF systems are the basis of all wireless systems. These currently include all types of mobile communication systems, Bluetooh, Zig-bee and WiFi, and they will be the basis for future solutions on 5G communications, especially Internet of Things, white space technologies and M2M.

It is expected that students have already undergraduate knowledge of electromagnetism, electromagnetic wave propagation in guided media and electronic circuits.

Summary of the expected learning outcomes at the end of the UC:

1. Understanding the basics of RF circuits and their operation
2. Understanding the basics of RF systems and their operation;
3. Analyse and design electronic circuits for RF;
4. Knowledge of radio-frequency communication systems with emphasis on implementations and practical aspects related to transceivers


Part 1 – RF Circuits

1. Linear RF Two-Port Networks
2. RF Components’ Models
3. Basic RF Circuits: Amplifiers, Mixers and Oscillators

Part 2 – RF CMOS Circuits

1. MOS RF technology overview
2. Passive components in CMOS technology; Noise modelling and calculations
3. Design of MOS Low-noise amplifiers; Design of CMOS mixers
4 - Design of MOS oscillators and VCO; Design of MOS PA

Part 3 – RF sub-system design

1. RF spectrum
2. Analog RF Receiver Architectures
3. Analog RF Transmitter Architectures
4. Digital approaches for Software Defined Radio transceivers
5. Internet of Things and RFID architectures
6. System level measurements and FOM for RF system evaluation

Wireless Networks and Protocols

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

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.

Students should be able to:

1. Describe the evolution path of the wireless and mobile communications systems;
2. Enumerate the most relevant wireless communications technologies and identify the corresponding standards and major players;
3. Explain how the current wireless network systems cohabit;
4. Describe the major technical capabilities and limitations of the current wireless communications systems;
5. Identify current trends in telecommunications systems integration, from networks to service support;
6. Describe the emerging paradigms in communications networks integration;
7. Explain the importance of authentication and access control mechanisms in integrated wireless networks;
8. Describe the most relevant models for the support of quality-of-service in wireless networks, and identify the challenges for their implementation;
9. Describe the concept of service oriented architectures and provide examples of solutions.


1. Introduction to Wireless Networks and Protocols: a) Overview; b)History; c)Standards and market issues; d)Evolution and trends.

2. Fundamentals of wireless communications: a) Transmission; b) Wireless data links and medium access control; c; Networking; d) Mobility concepts; e) Research issues.

3. Telecommunications systems: a) GSM; b) GPRS; c) UMTS; d) LTE; e) TETRA; f) Broadcast and satellite.

4. IEEE wireless data networks: a) WPAN; b) WLAN; c) WMAN.

5. Convergence and interoperability: a) Evolution of 3GPP networks; b) Wireless mesh networks; c) Research issues.

6. Quality of service: a) Characterization and models; b) Case studies: 3GPP-QoS, IEEE-QoS, IP-QoS; c) Research issues.

7. Support for services and applications: a) Web services components; b) Services and applications platforms; c) Research issues.

8. Authentication and access control: a) Fundamentals of Authentication and Access Control; b) Characterization and models; c) Case studies: 3GPP, 802.1x, 3GPP; d) Research issues.