WiSE - A Wireless System Engineering Tool

6. User Interface

The user interface controls a system of programs for predicting and optimizing indoor wireless coverage. It displays plan, elevation, and perspective views of a building and shows in living color the power received at each location for a given base-station site. The picture may be scaled and panned over; parameters may be set interactively.

Figure 3 shows the plan view of one floor of the Hynes Convention Center in Boston as it appears through this interface, with a base station placed at the center of the circular area near the bottom left. This building has 313 walls. Normally this would appear in brilliant color; you may be seeing a photocopy of gray scale, which is not nearly as nice.

Figure 3: Interface view of Hynes Convention Center, Boston

As may be seen in Figure 3, there are menu buttons across the top of the display for Buildings, Base locations, Predictors, Parameters, Displays, and Help. Each of these buttons raises a sub-menu of further choices. For example, the Buildings menu offers these choices (along with a few others):

Similarly, the ``Base locs'' menu includes these choices:

The Predictors menu offers choices of

Figure 3 showed the result of choosing the ``Predict rcvd power'' item. Figure 4 shows the result of a ray trace with a portable added near the upper-right corner; it shows all the 1-bounce rays from base to portable that exceed a threshold. In a color display, the color of a ray encodes its intensity.

Figure 4: Ray tracing

Figure 5 shows the result of running an optimization with the base originally at the location shown in Figures 3 and 4. This run took 7 minutes, and with 25 iterations managed to improve the coverage from 74.75% to 82.87%. We have included the elevation view along with the plan view to make it clear that the base moves in three dimensions. The yellow circles are intermediate positions at which an improvement was obtained; the blue circle is the final location.

Figure 5: Optimization of base location

The Parameters menu provides a variety of submenus for setting parameters of the predictors, radio, grid spacing, optimization, and color map. It also provides for saving and restoring current parameter settings and/or base locations, and for restoring all parameters to their default state. Figure 6 shows the Predictor and Radio parameter menus to illustrate the general style.

Figure 6: Menus for predictor and radio parameters

The Displays menu provides a variety of submenus

Figure 7 shows RMS delay, regular power coverage, and a display of strongest base, for the Crawford Hill building. Note that the regions of strongest signal for any specific base are not contiguous.

Figure 7: Clone display: RMS delay, coverage, strongest base

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