Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Abdallah Khreishah

Second Advisor

Nirwan Ansari

Third Advisor

Roberto Rojas-Cessa

Fourth Advisor

Hieu Pham Trung Nguyen

Fifth Advisor

Elgala Hany


Demands for indoor broadband wireless access services are expected to outstrip the spectrum capacity in the near-term "spectrum crunch". Deploying additional femtocells to address "spectrum crunch" is cost-inefficient due to the "backhaul challenge" and the exorbitant system maintenance. According to an Alcatel-Lucent report, most mobile Internet access traffic happens indoors. To alleviate the "spectrum crunch" and the "backhaul challenge" problems, visible light communication (VLC) emerges as an attractive candidate for indoor wireless access in the 5G architecture. In particular, VLC utilizes LED or fluorescent lamps to send out imperceptible flickering light that can be captured by a smart phone camera or photodetector. Leveraging power line communication and the available indoor infrastructure, VLC can be utilized with a small one-time cost. VLC also facilitates the great advantage of being able to jointly perform illumination and communications. Integration of VLC into the existing indoor wireless access networks embraces many challenges, such as lack of uplink infrastructure, excessive delay caused by blockage in heterogeneous networks, and overhead of power consumption. In addition, applying VLC to Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, such as communication and localization, faces the challenges including ultra-low power requirement, limited modulation bandwidth, and heavy computation and sensing at the device end. In this dissertation, to overcome the challenges of VLC, a VLC enhanced WiFi system is designed by incorporating VLC downlink and WiFi uplink to connect mobile devices to the Internet. To further enhance robustness and throughput, WiFi and VLC are aggregated in parallel by leveraging the bonding technique in Linux operating system. Based on dynamic resource allocation, the delay performance of heterogeneous RF-VLC network is analyzed and evaluated for two different configurations - aggregation and non-aggregation. To mitigate the power consumption overhead of VLC, a problem of minimizing the total power consumption of a general multi-user VLC indoor network while satisfying users traffic demands and maintaining an acceptable level of illumination is formulated. The optimization problem is solved by the efficient column generation algorithm. With ultra-low power consumption, VLC backscatter harvests energy from indoor light sources and transmits optical signals by modulating the reflected light from a reflector. A novel pixelated VLC backscatter is proposed and prototyped to address the limited modulation bandwidth by enabling more advanced modulation scheme than the state-of-the-art on-off keying (OOK) scheme and allowing for the first time orthogonal multiple access. VLC-based indoor access system is also suitable for indoor localization due to its unique properties, such as utilization of existing ubiquitous lighting infrastructure, high location and orientation accuracy, and no interruption to RF-based devices. A novel retroreflector-based visible light localization system is proposed and prototyped to establish an almost zero-delay backward channel using a retroreflector to reflect light back to its source. This system can localize passive IoT devices without requiring computation and heavy sensing (e.g., camera) at the device end.