Ph.D. Student Develops a Math Model to Describe the Free Trials in IPTV Network

Chen Wang 2011 

Chen Wang is a dual degree Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), in the scope of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, who spent her first academic year in the Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP), in Portugal. A year that she considered “fantastic, and where I learned and improved my research skills.” Recently, Chen Wang travelled to Carnegie Mellon University to do her second year there.

Throughout her doctoral program, Chen Wang has two advisors: Ricardo Morla, professor at FEUP and researcher at INESC Porto, and Hyong Kim, professor and researcher at CMU. This fact is not a problem for her, because they are always available by skype, videoconference or for a meeting at the office. Chen Wang is very pleased to have two advisors from two different countries, two different cultures, which give origin to two different ways to act. Actually she already has a way to differentiate both realities: “the research atmosphere is more strict and theoretic in Portugal, and more creative and practical in the US.”

During her first year in Portugal, Chen Wang was mainly focused on research in a special Enterprise network, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) network. She used the Gaussian Mixture Models (GMMs) to model the network events and to try to detect anomalies by the mixture model. “I also described the free trials in IPTV network based on subscription equilibrium,” and “based on that, I have also done some economical analysis on the revenue and costs which are caused by free trials.” Chen Wang explained that “the first part of the work is about anomaly detections which is part of the fault localization, and the second part is more focused on economic analysis in network management and control.” After her first year, Chen Wang already submitted a paper about the second part of her research work to a top conference in her field (IEEE Infocom), and she is now working on a second paper about anomaly detection. “A journal paper is also in plan which will analyze the influence of network parameters on free trial economic effects,” Chen Wang added.

Chen Wang is a passionate for research and feels that her main goal is similar to the one that several Ph.D. students have: “to find a creative and practical idea is hard, and to prove it strictly and theoretically is even harder. But I think, since my two professors from two different continents have both of these features, they will help me a lot on my difficulties.”

“For me, the biggest challenge of this Ph.D. is from life and not from research,” says Chen Wang explaining that as a dual degree Ph.D. student she needs to spend time in Portugal and in the US, at Carnegie Mellon. These changes of location are not easy because of bureaucratic and logistic issues.

Above all, Chen Wang considers the program “wonderful” because “it let me see different educational environments in different geographical areas.”

Chen Wang was born on June 1985, in China. She holds a MSc. in Signal and Information Processing and a BSc. in Information and Communication Engineering, both by the Xi’ an Jiaotong University in China.

September 2011