Dr. Tom Hou
Bradley Distinguished Professor of ECE
IEEE Fellow

Dr. Wenjing Lou
W. C. English Endowed Professor of CS
IEEE Fellow, ACM 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 Research

  • Science of Modern Networks: Developing mathematical models and theoretical foundation for modern communication networks (e.g., 5G/next-G); exploring new understanding and unleashing the full potential of new advances at the PHY layer
  • Real-time Optimization: Solving large-scale, discrete and continuous non-convex optimization problems in real-time (sub-millisecond time scale) using low-cost COTS, small footprint devices such as GPU; applying such an approach to solve a wide range of problems requiring real-time optimization
  • Spectrum Sharing and Co-existence: Developing innovative solutions to allow heterogeneous wireless technologies to co-exist in the same spectrum band; maximizing spectrum utilization while protecting incumbent or passive users; real-time spectrum allocation
  • IoT and Applications: Identifying and addressing critical problems and emerging issues in wireless IoT systems across the layering stack, e.g., ultra-reliable low latency communications, autonomous vehicles; extending age of information (AoI) concept from theory to real-world applications

Cyber Security Research

  • Blockchain and IoT Security: blockchain-based systems, smart contract, consensus protocol, user data privacy protection, Internet of Things (IoT) security and privacy
  • Security and Privacy in Networked Information System: ABE-based data encryption and sharing, privacy-preserving data outsourcing in cloud computing, search over encrypted data, secure data computation, trusted execution environment (TEE)
  • 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
  • Applied Cryptography


  • May 2022: Congratulations to CNSR Ph.D. student Yang Xiao, who has successfully defended his dissertation and will join the University of Kentucky CS Department as an Assistant Professor. 
  • March 2022: CNSR graduate student Naru Jai won a Best Poster Award at CCI SWVA Student Researcher Showcase event. (VT News
  • February 2022: Prof. Lou is honored as one of the Highest Cited Researchers in 2021 by Clarivate Highly Cited list. (VT News
  • February 2022: CNSR alumni Dr. Xu Yuan received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award (UL Lafayette News).  Dr. Yuan is currently an assistant professor in the School of Computing and Informatics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
  • More News