Dr. Y. Thomas Hou
Professor, IEEE Fellow

Dr. Wenjing Lou
Assoc. Prof.


The Complex Networks and Security Research (CNSR) Lab at Virginia Tech was founded in 2011 by Professors Tom Hou and Wenjing Lou. It is a merger of the former Complex Network Systems Lab in the ECE department and the former Cyber Security Lab in the CS department.


The mission of the new CNSR@VT lab is to conduct basic and applied research in a broad range of topics in networking, wireless, and cyber security. We explore novel concepts and ideas related to protocols and systems of the future pervasive cyber infrastructure, and design scalable architecture and trustworthy protocols for next-generation networks.

Current Research Interests

There are two main research thrusts at CNSR@VT:

Wireless Networks Research

  • Mathematical Modeling and Theoretical Foundation: Interference cancellation modeling and analysis, MIMO ad hoc networks, cognitive radio ad hoc networks, wireless energy transfer
  • Network Optimization: Large-scale, discrete and continuous non-convex optimization problems that arise from cross-layer optimizations involving advanced physical layer technologies
  • Algorithm and Protocol Design: Provably optimal and near-optimal algorithms, distributed algorithms and light weight protocols for wireless networks (e.g., ad hoc and sensor networks, multi-hop cooperative communications, opportunistic routing, network coding)

Cyber Security Research

  • Wireless Security: security and privacy in wireless networks and mobile computing, confidentiality and authentication, anonymization and information privacy, cognitive radio networks security, cross-layer methods for security enhancement, location privacy
  • Information Security in Cloud Computing: outsourced data privacy, auditing, search over encrypted data, computation outsourcing privacy
  • Security and Privacy in Cyber-physical Systems: e-healthcare systems and smart grid


  • April 2014: Prof. Tom Hou's new book Applied Optimization Methods for Wireless Networks has been published by Cambridge University Press.
    This book is written in a unique style. It is a valuable resource for faculty, graduate students, and researchers in the communications and networking area whose work interfaces with optimization. It teaches you how various optimization methods can be applied to solve complex problems in wireless networks.
  • Dec 2013: Dr. Lou has accepted an invitation to serve on the editorial board of Journal of Computer Security (JCS). JCS is a top journal in the area of computer security that presents research and development results of lasting significance in the theory, design, implementation, analysis, and application of secure computer systems.
  • Nov. 2013: Prof. Tom Hou has been named an IEEE Fellow for contributions to modeling and optimization of wireless networks. The status of Fellow is one of the most prestigious honors of the institute, bestowed upon less than one-tenth of one percent of the annual voting membership of IEEE. See Virginia Tech College of Engineering news release.
  • October 2013: IEEE CNS 2013 will take place Oct 14-16 in Washington DC area. Check out this conference at IEEE CNS website and a brief introduction at IEEE ComSoc Blog
  • July 2013: Our research paper "Bicriteria optimization in multi-hop wireless networks: Characterizing the throughput-energy envelope" has been selected as the Spotlight Paper for the September 2013 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing! The paper will be highlighted on the journal home page and will be available to the public for free for 30 days. If you'd like to download the paper, you can access the journal's home page located at http://www.computer.org/tmc.
  • July 2013: Prof. Lou is to deliver a keynote address titled "Toward Privacy-Assured Data Services in Cloud Computing", at International Workshop on Network Forensics, Security and Privacy (NFSP), collocated with IEEE ICDCS 2013, in Philadelphia, PA.
  • June 2013: Prof. Lou is to deliver a keynote address on "Wireless Security and Privacy: From Crypto-based Protection to Cross-Layer Security Enhancement", at IEEE Workshop on Security and Privacy of Mobile, Wireless, and Sensor Networks (MWSN), collocated with IEEE SECON 2013, in New Orleans, LA.
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