Dr. Y. Thomas Hou
Bradley Distinguished Professor of ECE
IEEE Fellow

Dr. Wenjing Lou
W. C. English Professor of CS
IEEE Fellow


The Complex Networks and Security Research (CNSR) Lab at Virginia Tech was founded in 2011 by Professors Tom Hou and Wenjing Lou. The mission of the 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 2018: CNSR has produced two more professors! Congratulations to Ning Zhang and Wenhai Sun. Ning has accepted an offer from the Computer Science & Engineering department at Washington University in St. Louis. Wenhai has accepted an offer from the Computer Information and Technology department at Purdue University, West Lafayette. Both are tenure-track assistant professor position.
  • January 2018: Prof. Lou delivered a distinguished lecture on IoT security at University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
  • December 2017: Prof. Lou delivered a keynote speech on IoT security at IEEE IPCCC 2017, San Diego, California.
  • October 2017: Prof. Lou delivered a keynote speech on IoT security at IEEE MASS 2017, Orlando, Florida.
  • October 2017: Prof. Hou delivered a keynote speech on wireless network capacity at WCSP 2017, Nanjing, China.
  • August 2017: Prof. Lou delivered a keynote speech at the 6th N2Women Workshop collocated with ACM SigComm 2017, Los Angelos, California.
  • August 2017: Prof. Lou finished her rotation at NSF and returned to CNSR lab at Virginia Tech!
  • May 2016: Prof. Lou received the Technical Recognition Award for her contribution to Information Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing and Wireless Networks from the IEEE Communications Society, Communications & Information Security Technical Committee (award plaque).
  • March 2016: CNSR alumnus, Prof. Ming Li, received the prestigious Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award.
  • January 2016: Prof. Hou has been appointed as the Chair of GLOBECOM/ICC Technical Committee (GITC) of the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) for 2016-2017. GLOBECOM and ICC are the two largest conferences in ComSoc, each with an annual attendance over 2,000. The GITC oversees the technical programs of GLOBECOM/ICC to ensure they are current and of the highest level possible. The GITC appoints or approves the appointment of Technical Program Chairs of GLOBECOM and ICC.
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