304 Sherrerd Hall
Princeton, NJ 08540
Email: pschmitt [AT]

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15 Aug. 2017
Excited to join CITP as a postdoctoral research associate!

13 Jul. 2017
I defended my PhD. Thanks to my committee members for all of you support and wisdom!

1 Apr. 2017
Our paper discussing fundamental limitations facing wireless networks was accepted to the Workshop on Computing within Limits (LIMITS '17).

13 Jan. 2017
I gave a guest talk at Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) about my work on mobile networks in refugee camps. Thanks to Nick Feamster for hosting me and to everyone that showed up for an interesting discussion!

22 Dec. 2016
Our ITID journal article about a bandwidth upgrade in a rural Zambian network that led to worse user performance was highlighted in ICTworks.

11 Dec. 2016
We've made our paper on Rangzen, a system for enabling anonymous communication between users in situations where network-level attacks are occuring, available on arXiv.

5 Dec. 2016
I completed my PhD proposal. Thanks to my committee members!

9 Sept. 2016
Our paper on automation of wireless network planning was accepted to HotNets 2016.

19 Jun. 2016
I'm spending the summer working as an intern at ICSI in Berkeley. We are working on a protocol to enable multipath for WISP networks.

20 May 2016
Our paper on PhoneHome, a system that allows for third-party extension of cellular networks was accepted to ICCCN 2016.

20 Apr. 2016
I was awarded a UCSB President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship for 2016-17.

16 Apr. 2016
Our paper exploring the future of communications infrastructure in resource-poor environments was accepted to LIMITS '16.

13 Apr. 2016
Our paper describing SmartCell, and application that provides cellular congestion awareness to users was accepted to the IEEE Communications Magazine special issue on Wireless Technologies for Development.

15 Feb. 2016
Our poster describing our system for scalable spectrum inventory was accepted to NSDI 2016.

15 Jan. 2016
Our work identifying community-level divides within a refugee camp was accepted to ICTD 2016.

18 Dec. 2015
Our paper investigating layer-3 characteristics of MVNO networks was accepted to PAM 2016.

27 Nov. 2015
Our HybridCell system paper on dynamically augmenting poorly operating commercial networks with local networks was accepted to Infocom 2016.

19 Oct. 2015
Our final technical report on mobile phone and Internet use in the Za'atari refugee camp was submitted to UNHCR.

8 Sep. 2015
My paper on media upload caching was accepted to ACM DEV 2015.

16 Jul. 2015
I was quoted in an Al Jazeera America article talking about connectivity in the Zaatari refugee camp.

10 Jun. 2015
Our ITID article was published today.

4 May. 2015
I was featured in a Q & A in the college of arts and sciences spotlight magazine at St. Thomas.

17 Mar. 2015 published a story about our recent research trip to Jordan.

24 Mar. 2015
I completed my major area exam. Thanks to my committee!

16 Mar. 2015
The UCSB Current covered our work in Zaatari.

29 Jan. 2015
I just returned from two back-to-back research trips. I was in a refugee camp in Jordan near the Syrian border to explore connectivity for residents of the camp and went to Guatemala to research mobile data network performance.

Paul Schmitt

My research interests span the areas of wireless network systems design, and network measurement and performance analysis. A common thread in my research is in-depth characterization of real-world connectivity in resource-limited environments, and the use of this analysis to subsequently inform system designs. Through comprehensive analysis across all tiers of real-world telecommunications infrastructure, my research produces solutions that solve fundamental connectivity problems, and in particular those that that manifest in challenging network environments.

I'm a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) at Princeton University. I previously completed my Ph.D. as a member of the MOMENT lab at UCSB under the supervision of Prof. Elizabeth Belding.


  • Low On Air: Inherent Wireless Channel Capacity Limitations PDF
    Paul Schmitt, Elizabeth Belding
    Third Workshop on Computing within Limits (LIMITS 2017)
    Santa Barbara, CA, June 2017

  • Rangzen: Anonymously Getting the Word Out in a Blackout PDF
    Adam Lerner, Giulia Fanti, Yahel Ben-David, Jesus Garcia, Paul Schmitt, Barath Raghavan
    arXiv:1612.03371 [cs.NI]
    December 2016

  • Cellular and Internet Connectivity for Displaced Populations
    Paul Schmitt, Daniel Iland, Elizabeth Belding, Mariya Zheleva
    book chapter to appear in ICTs for Refugees and Displaced Persons
    MIT Press, forthcoming

  • Helping the Lone Operator in the Vast Frontier PDF
    Thomas Pötsch, Paul Schmitt, Jay Chen, Barath Raghavan
    Fifteenth ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets 2016)
    Atlanta, GA, November 2016

  • PhoneHome: Robust Extension of Cellular Coverage PDF
    Paul Schmitt, Daniel Iland, Elizabeth Belding, and Mariya Zheleva
    International Conference on Computer Communication and Networks (ICCCN 2016)
    Waikoloa, HI, August 2016

  • SmartCell: Small-Scale Mobile Congestion Awareness PDF
    Paul Schmitt, Daniel Iland, and Elizabeth Belding
    IEEE Communications Magazine
    July 2016

  • Navigating Connectivity in Reduced Infrastructure Environments PDF
    Paul Schmitt and Elizabeth Belding
    Second Workshop on Computing within Limits (LIMITS 2016)
    Irvine, CA, June 2016

  • Community-Level Access Divides: A Refugee Camp Case Study PDF
    Paul Schmitt, Daniel Iland, Elizabeth Belding, Brian Tomaszewski, Ying Xu, and Carleen Maitland
    International Conference on Information and Communications Technology and Development (ICTD)
    Ann Arbor, MI, June 2016

  • HybridCell: Cellular connectivity on the fringes with demand-driven local cells PDF
    Paul Schmitt, Daniel Iland, Mariya Zheleva, Elizabeth Belding
    IEEE Infocom 2016
    San Francisco, CA, April 2016

  • A Study of MVNO Data Paths and Performance PDF
    Paul Schmitt, Morgan Vigil, Elizabeth Belding
    Passive and Active Measurements Conference (PAM)
    Heraklion, Crete, Greece, March 2016

  • AirPress: Towards Scalable Spectrum Inventory (Poster) PDF
    Timothy LaRock, Paul Schmitt, Petko Bogdanov, Elizabeth Belding, Mariya Zheleva
    Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI)
    Santa Clara, CA, March 2016

  • Internet Media Upload Caching for Poorly-Connected Regions PDF
    Paul Schmitt, Ramya Raghavendra, Elizabeth Belding
    ACM DEV 2015 (DEV-6)
    London, United Kingdom, December 2015

  • Youth Mobile Phone and Internet Use January 2015 Za’atari Camp, Mafraq, Jordan PDF
    Carleen Maitland, Brian Tomaszewski, Elizabeth Belding, Karen Fisher, Ying Xu, Danny Iland, Paul Schmitt, Amira Majid
    Tech. report prepared for UNHCR (Tech. Rep.)
    Penn State Univ., State College, PA, October 19 2015

  • Internet Bandwidth Upgrade: Implications on Performance and Usage in Rural Zambia PDF
    Mariya Zheleva, Paul Schmitt, Morgan Vigil, Elizabeth Belding
    Information Technologies and International Development Journal (ITID)
    Vol 11, Issue 2 Summer 2015

  • NosyNeighbor: Augmenting Post-Disaster Cellular Service with Local Cellular Networks (Poster) PDF
    Daniel Iland, Mariya Zheleva, Paul Schmitt, Elizabeth Belding
    Sixteenth Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (ACM HotMobile 2015)
    Santa Fe, NM, February 2015

  • The Increased Bandwidth Fallacy: Performance and Usage in Rural Zambia PDF
    Mariya Zheleva, Paul Schmitt, Morgan Vigil, Elizabeth Belding
    ACM DEV (DEV-4)
    Cape Town, South Africa, December 2013

  • Bringing visibility to rural users in Côte d'Ivoire PDF
    Mariya Zheleva, Paul Schmitt, Morgan Vigil, Elizabeth Belding
    International Conference on Information and Communications Technology and Development (ICTD)
    Cape Town, South Africa, December 2013

  • Community detection in cellular network traces PDF
    Mariya Zheleva, Paul Schmitt, Morgan Vigil, Elizabeth Belding
    International Conference on Information and Communications Technology and Development (ICTD)
    Cape Town, South Africa, December 2013

  • Communication flow patterns in the Orange Telecom D4D dataset PDF
    Paul Schmitt, Morgan Vigil, Mariya Zheleva, Elizabeth Belding
    NetMob Boston, MA, May 2013


  • WISPR: We design new network protocols that enable multipath over low-cost, heterogenous wireless links that have dynamic capacities and loss rates. We explore the idea of WISPR (Wireless Internet Service Providers with Redundancy), which is analagous to RAID, where we can explore functonality tradeoffs depending on desired outcome (e.g. network flow redundancy or resiliency to packet loss).

  • AirPress: We study techniques to efficiently represent spectrum occupancy information with the goal of creating a scalable global spectrum inventory that can be used for new spectrum sharing models such as licensed shared access and authorized shared access (LSA/ASA). We leverage wavelet decomposition and explore the ability to detect transmitters near the noise floor in a single-pass system while operating in the coefficient (compressed) domain.

  • Cellular congestion detection We created a system and algorithm for passive detection and characterization of cellular base station radio congestion. Counducted a measurement campaign comparing congestion in the United States, rural Guatemala, and a large refugee camp in Jordan. Findings of extreme congestion at the base station level in refugee camp allowed local organizations to approach carriers to find solutions.

  • Community-scale digital divides: We explore community-level physical access divides in the context of an active Syrian refugee camp. Our work illuminates digital divides at a local level and explores factors influencing their creation and potential solutions.

  • HybridCell: HybridCell allows coexistence and simultaneous use of commercial and locally-owned cellular networks. HybridCell monitors nearby commercial cellular networks and dynamically adjusts local network usage based on the "health" of the commercial network.

  • Mobile data network performance analysis: We study performance and behaviors for traffic on mobile network operator (MNO) and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) networks. We find that poor performance of MVNOs may be attributable to inefficient network topologies, lack of peering arrangements, and longer IP paths relative to the underlying carrier.

  • VillageCache: Previous work has observed strong locality of interest in content produced in rural networks. Videos and photos uploaded from a particular network are very likely to be consumed by other users in the same network. We engineer VillageCache to take advantage of this fact. User videos and photos that are uploaded to YouTube and Facebook are automatically stored in the local network and transparently redilivered in full quality to other local users. We also time-shift uploads to YouTube in order to better utilize network bandwidth. The system allows for users in a bandwidth constrained environment to experience media at their intended quality without the use of outside software while avoiding the use of costly bandwidth.

  • VillageCell: We deployed VillageCell, a local GSM network that provides basic voice and SMS functionality in a rural village in Zambia. The system allows users to use their existing handsets with just a SIM card replacement.

  • VillageShare: Users on networks in developing regions are often only consumers of Internet content rather than also being producers. Additionally, traditional Internet-based sharing of resources means content traverses constrained links twice (e.g. a user uploads a video to YouTube and their friend in the same village that wants to watch it must download the video from YouTube). We design VillageShare to allow for local content to be stored locally, with the system providing the ability for local sharing of content as well. Should the users choose, the system can upload their content to Internet services in an intelligent way using time-shifting or bandwidth sharing techniques.

  • Call Detail Record Analysis: We analyze large-scale network traces from a cellular carrier in Côte d'Ivoire in order to further understand user behavior. We find distinct usage differences between calls originating from rural antennas versus urban antennas. Particularly, we find high locality of interest in rural networks. Roughly 70% of rural calls are sourced from and destined for the same cell antenna. This leads us to conclude that local solutions can provide great benefit to rural communities even if they are not connected to the public network.


  • Spring 2013: CS 32 - Object Oriented Design and Implementation
    I was a teaching assistant for Mike Costanzo's OO course.

  • Winter 2013: CS 176b - Network Programming
    I was a teaching assistant for Prof. Ben Zhao's Network Computing course at UCSB.

  • Fall 2012: CS 32 - Object Oriented Design and Implementation
    I was a teaching assistant for Mike Costanzo's OO course.

  • Spring 2012: CISC 370 - Computer Networking
    I was an adjunct lecturer for the undergraduate networking course at the University of St. Thomas.

  • Fall 2011: CISC 310 - Operating Systems
    I was an adjunct lecturer for the undergraduate operating systems course at the University of St. Thomas.

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