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Complex Networks and Security Research (CNSR) Lab


The Complex Networks and Security Research (CNSR) Lab at Virginia Tech was founded in 2011 by Tom Hou, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Wenjing Lou, professor in the Department of Computer Science, to conduct basic and applied research in a broad range of topics in networking, wireless, and cyber security. In the lab, researchers explore concepts and ideas related to protocols and systems of the future pervasive cyber infrastructure and design scalable architecture and trustworthy protocols for next-generation wireless networks.

Research in the CNSR lab includes mathematical modeling and theoretical foundation; network optimization; and algorithm and protocol design. The second thrust is on cyber security and focuses on blockchain and IoT security; security and privacy in networked information systems; wireless security; and applied cryptography.


A number of projects have been completed at the lab since 2011. These include: 

  • Uncertainty Quantification (UQ): Mathematical Models, Analysis, and Optimization for Army’s Tactical Information Networks, funded by ARL

  • Hardware-Aided Secure Architecture for Software Defined Radio, funded by ARO

  • CPS: Synergy: Collaborative Research: Cognitive Green Building: A Holistic Cyber-Physical Analytic Paradigm for Energy Sustainability, funded by NSF

  • Collaborative Research: A Multi-Layer Approach Towards Reliable Cognitive Radio Networks, funded by NSF

  • Cognitive Security: A New Approach to Securing Future Large Scale and Distributed Mobile Applications, funded by NSF

  • A New Dimension in Radio Spectrum Sharing through Network Cooperation, funded by NSF

  • Novel Solutions for Cognitive Radio Ad Hoc Networks in Tactical Communications, funded by ONR

  • CSR: Small: Collaborative Research: Towards User Privacy in Outsourced Cloud Data Services, funded by NSF

  • Transparent Coexistence for Multi-Hop Secondary Cognitive Radio Networks: Theoretical Foundation, Algorithms, and Implementation, funded by NSF

  • A Framework for Implementing Trustworthy Self-Protecting Data, funded by SI Organizations

  • CSR: Small: Collaborative Research: Engineering Secure Data Computation Outsourcing in Cloud Computing, funded by NSF

  • NeTS: Medium: Throughput Optimization of Cooperative Relaying in Wireless Network, funded by NSF

  • NeTS: Small: Collaborative Research: Mobile Content Distribution in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks, funded by NSF

Current projects include:

  • MURI: Science of Tracking, Control and Optimization of Information Latency for Dynamic Military IoT Systems

  • SaTC: Medium: Toward Enforceable Data Usage Control in Cloud-based IoT Systems

  • CPS: Medium: S2Guard: Building Security and Safety in Autonomous Vehicles via Multi-Layer Protection

  • EAGER: A Novel Approach to Achieve Real-time Wireless Network Optimization

  • NeTS: Small: Smart Interference Management for Wireless Internet of Things

Graduate Student Research

Graduate students enrolled in either the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering or the Department of Computer Science can benefit from opportunities to conduct pioneering research in wireless networks and cyber security at the Complex Networks and Security Research Lab. Many Ph.D. graduates from the lab have been highly successful in their industry and academic careers. CNSR alumni include professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Purdue University, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, University of Arizona, George Mason University, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and University of Hawaii, Manoa. 


For more information contact: 

Tom Hou -- Wireless Networking 

Wenjing Lou -- Cybersecurity