In communication networks, cooperation is a strategy in which communicators exchange information not for the purpose of sending messages one to the other but instead for the purpose of enabling improved communication performance somewhere else in the network. For example, the transmitters of a multiple access channel may exchange information not because either has a message intended for the other but instead to increase the total rate at which both can communicate to the receiver. Measuring the cost of cooperation as the amount of information exchanged and the benefit of cooperation as the increase in sum-capacity to the intended receiver, we can ask simple yet surprisingly rich questions about when cooperation is worth its cost and how big the gains can be.
Michelle Effros is the George van Osdol Professor of Electrical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Professor Effros has served in numerous offices and on numerous boards and committees including serving as general co-chair for the 2009 Network Coding Workshop, technical program committee co-chair for the 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, and President of the Information Theory Society in 2015. She is a fellow of the IEEE and a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the Communications Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award, the Charles Lee Powell Foundation Award, the Richard Feynman-Hughes Fellowship, and a Technology Review citation for top young innovators. She received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.