Communication - in its electronic version - covers all aspects of sensing, transfer and storage of information. It deals with means and methods for transmission of information sources over physical media or data networks. Examples of sources include speech, audio, visual data (picture, video) and biological information; while the physical media can be a wired or wireless channel, or a storage device such as a compact disk or flash memory. Research in the EE-Systems department is devoted mainly to developing techniques and system architecture, based on mathematical models for the sources and channels.
The physical aspects of transmission (e.g., antennas, propagation and electronic devices) are investigated elsewhere. Since analog communication is slowly leaving our lives, most research today is focused on digital communication techniques. Our research activity covers both practical and theoretical aspects of digital communication. On the practical side, the research deals with modulation, equalization, detection and synchronization problems, speech and video compression, and more. Theoretical research in communications - usually referred to as "information theory" - looks for the ultimate bounds on transmission in the presence of noise and bandwidth constraints, where the system resources (in terms of complexity and delay) are unlimited. Subjects of interest include the information content of sources and the capacity of point-to-point channels, as well as the extension of these concepts to multi-user networks (e.g., the gain of feedback, the benefit of collaboration or the impact of interference), and to problems with unknown statistics ("universal communication"). Error-correction codes and efficient decoding techniques fall somewhat on the border between the practical and the theoretical disciplines. Current research in this area deals with low-density parity-check (LDPC), turbo and lattice codes, and with iterative decoding techniques (e.g., message passing and belief-propagation algorithms). Communications is a "live and kicking" research area, and almost every year there are new and exciting ideas to explore!