Prof. Belding is the director of the Mobility Management and Networking (MOMENT) Lab. Currently, the primary research emphases of the MOMENT Lab are twofold. The first is techniques for accurate fixed and mobile broadband measurement in the U.S. Many homes and businesses still lack Internet connectivity. Many more that technically have access have service that is of too poor quality to be usable for modern applications. This need became even more acute during the stay-at-home orders of Covid-19, when schooling and work were moved online. Many Internet connections could not support current video conference sessions and other essential services. Our work on this topic studies what current crowdsourced speed test measurement techniques (such as Ookla and M-Lab) actually reveal about fixed and mobile broadband connections. We also are working to advance the state of the art, to help communities determine where additional deployments are needed to serve all community members with high speed Internet access.
The second current emphasis of the MOMENT Lab is on the development and assessment of network solutions, primarily but not exclusively wireless, suitable to expanding the reach of Internet access. The technological revolution of the past few decades has created a digital divide that separates the affluent and developed communities from the developing and under-developed regions of the world. This digital divide, which occurs both between and within individual countries, has also widened the gap in economic divisions. The goal of our research is to develop inexpensive and self-sustaining solutions that improve the usability of today's Internet in these remote regions. These regions include rural and tribal areas within the U.S., as well as similar regions outside of the U.S. As part of this work, we do extensive data collection and network analysis to understand how fixed and mobile networks in these contexts are used and how well they perform. We use the results of these analyses to motivate the solutions we put forth for improving the user experience and making the Internet more usable in these contexts. Our work has taken us all over the world, including Native American communities in the U.S., and rural communities in Zambia, South Africa, and Mongolia. In addition, in the 2010s, we traveled to the Za'atari refugee camp for a preliminary network assessment. Currently, we are working with ViaSat to study Internet access and quality of experience through geostationary satellite connectivity.
Past and current funding for our research has included NSF, the US State Department, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nokia, Google, Intel and ViaSat. We are extremely grateful to our funders.
In the distant past, the MOMENT group created a wireless mesh testbed at UCSB, called the UCSB MeshNet, for the purpose of rapid prototyping of wireless network solutions, monitoring of user behavior, and studying wireless network deployment issues. Also under this project the MOMENT group monitored the wireless network performance of the 60th, 61st, 62nd and 64th IETF meetings. We collected over 100GB of data on traffic and user movement, analyzed the data and developed models that represent user behavior. Our analyses of this data discovered a number of undesirable behaviors of IEEE 802.11 and other protocols in congested networks. Part of our work included the development of new solutions that improve network performance.
Finally, I am the co-developer of the AODV routing protocol, currently incorporated into the Zigbee standard and on which part of the IEEE 802.11s standard is based. The original AODV publication received the 2018 ACM SIGMOBILE Test of Time paper award.