Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Simone Silvestri

Second Advisor

Dr. Sajal K. Das


Ubiquitous connectivity plays an important role in improving the quality of life in terms of economic development, health and well being, social justice and equity, as well as in providing new educational opportunities. However, rural communities which account for 46% of the world's population lacks access to proper connectivity to avail such societal benefits, creating a huge "digital divide" between the urban and rural areas. A primary reason is that the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) providers have less incentives to invest in rural areas due to lack of promising revenue returns. Existing research and industrial attempts in providing connectivity to rural communities suffer from severe drawbacks, such as expensive wireless spectrum licenses and infrastructures, under- and over-provisioning of spectrum resources while handling heterogeneous traffic, lack of novel wireless technologies tailored to the unique challenges and requirements of rural communities (e.g., agricultural fields).

Leveraging the recent advances in Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) technologies like wide band spectrum analyzers and spectrum access systems, and multi-radio access technologies (multi-RAT), this dissertation proposes a novel Diverse Band-aware DSA (d-DSA) network architecture, that addresses the drawbacks of existing standard and DSA wireless solutions, and extends ubiquitous connectivity to rural communities; a step forward in the direction of the societal and economic improvements in rural communities, and hence, narrowing the "digital divide" between the rural and urban societies. According to this paradigm, a certain wireless device is equipped with software defined radios (SDRs) that are capable of accessing multiple (un)licensed spectrum bands, such as, TV, LTE, GSM, CBRS, ISM, and possibly futuristic mmWaves. In order to fully exploit the potential of the d-DSA paradigm, while meeting heterogeneous traffic demands that may be generated in rural communities, we design efficient routing strategies and optimization techniques, which are based on a variety of tools such as graph modeling, integer linear programming, dynamic programming, and heuristic design. Our results on realistic traces in a large variety of rural scenarios show that the proposed techniques are able to meet the heterogeneous traffic requirements of rural applications, while ensuring energy efficiency and robustness of the architecture for providing connectivity to rural communities.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

NSF, NATO, and DTRA grant