I had a lengthy meeting with Ian today to debrief my plan for the coming weeks and iron out some doubts I had about both the project itself and the dissertation.

  • According to Ian, I shouldn’t worry about expanding the literature review from my proposal yet, but keep it as-is, and add to it if/when I need to refer to new papers to help me making progress on practical work.

  • When designing the packet system, I wasn’t sure wether I should align packet boundaries on the start of new frames, or just treat the packet stream as a continuous stream of binary data and have some packets start in the middle of a frame. According to Ian, the bandwidth saved by having a continuous stream is not worth the increase in complexity. So each packet will start with a new frame, and will then spread over the next N frames:

     ______________________       ____________________________
     | packet 1           |       | packet 2                 |
     |____________________|       |__________________________|
     v____________  ______v______ v____________ _____________v
     | frame 1   |  | frame 2   | | frame 3   | | frame 4    |
     |___________|  |___________| |___________| |____________|
  • Ian confirmed that using FEC as a means to get a better overall bandwidth was not a good idea, as I’d suspected last semester when I started working on packet design.

  • Ian advised me to keep the hardware design part of the project for the end, if there is enough time left, to make sure I could get the important parts of the project (Computer Science) done properly first.