The following list provides a selection of some research projects and other activities I have been previously been involved in.
SAIL (Scalable & Adaptive Internet Solutions) is aiming at designing architectures for the Networks of the Future, as part of the European Commission’s 7th Framework Program. SAIL has three main technical strands: Network of Information (information-centric networking), Cloud Networking (combining virtual networking with cloud computing), and Open Connectivity Services (transport and routing services that can be controlled and orchestrated over various technologies).
My main interest is the research on information-centric networking. The main idea is to move from a host-based communication paradigm, where host addresses/IDs are the principal communication objects, to a paradigm that is based on named-content. In some current application areas such as content distribution and peer-to-peer communication we can observe that communication is actually no longer about setting up end-to-end connections to origin server in order to access a certain service/content. Instead, users are interested in named content (represented by, for instance, Torrents or URLs) and a corresponding distribution system provides lookup and distribution services that enable interested receivers to obtain the content (copies of the content or content chunks).
So far, this paradigm is applied to isolated, mostly overlaid, applications or distribution platforms. The intention in SAIL is to generalize these concepts for a ubiquitous communication platform, where name-based content, in-network-storage, and efficient distribution is available to any application. Several research questions are related to this: 1) how to design a naming framework that allows to name all information objects, is scalable in terms of lookup table size and lookup latency while still meeting security requirements; 2) how to efficiently move content to appropriate location in the network; 3) how to manage mobility, multi-interface nodes and disruption-tolerance; and 4) how to evolve socio-economics with potential new roles for content providers/consumers, as well as network/cache operators.
More information on SAIL: http://www.sail-project.eu/.
CHIANTI is a Small or medium-scale focused research project (STREP) and part of the ICT initiative of 7th EU framework programme. CHIANTI is developing technologies for enabling effective, robust, and cost-efficient communication services in challenging network environments, e.g., for providing a productive and stable Internet access to passengers in high-speed trains. Different to many existing approaches, CHIANTI is developing technologies that do not require a complete network coverage. Instead, CHIANTI will provide perceived seamless connectivity despite disruptions, changing network characteristics etc. and will thus enable users on the move to use today’s and future network more productively.
More information on CHIANTI: http://www.chianti-ict.org/.
Within ScaleNet, academia and industry jointly work on the scaleable and converged multi-access operator’s network from tomorrow, focusing on 2010 onwards.ScaleNet is addressing both service and network convergence. The multi-play of services in ScaleNet embraces voice and video telephony, Mobile TV, massively multiplayer online gaming and Internet Access. Network convergence is seen as the migration of heterogeneous physical and logical network elements of fixed and mobile networks into one single (IP based) infrastructure.
TZI has been developing a robust Mobile TV application for the converged ScaleNet network infrastracture.
More information on ScaleNet: http://www.scalenet.de/.
- Network Service Maps
Network Service Maps are an enabling technology for facilitating network access in heterogeneous, potentially challenged networks, such as sparsely distributed WLAN hotspots. Networks Service Maps are based on the notion that future heterogeneous wireless networks will encompass different link layer technologies and allow selecting the most appropriate network depending on different criteria. To support mobile nodes in the selection process, network information services are developed that provide the mobile node with sufficient information about its network neighborhood, typically focusing on the optimization of handover processes. In this research, we take a more general approach towards network information services, which is needed to support mobile communications in the existing environments of WLAN hotspots and wide area mobile communications networks. We introduce the notion of “service maps”, a mobile data management approach allowing a mobile user to obtain a detailed view of available networks and the services they offer depending on the user context such as geographic position, mobility paths, and application requirements.
More information on Network Service Maps is available at: http://service-maps.net
- Kasuari Emulation Framework
The Kasuari framework is mainly intended to help with (IP) protocol development and testing. One of its features is the possibility to run unmodified real-world networked applications on a virtual host under simulated network conditions. The framework is based on Xen 3.0, and comes with scripts to run the virtual machines, a pre-configured filesystem image (with DTN and AODV implementations), a copy-on-write driver and a few other tools. It can be used for testing almost any kernel module or networked application that runs on Linux, and it allows to simulate complex and realistic (wireless) networks using a slightly adopted version of the ns2 network simulator.
More information on the Kasuari Emulation Framework is available at: http://www.kasuari.org/
- Drive-thru Internet
The Drive-thru Internet project investigates the usability of IEEE 802.11 technology for providing network access to mobile users in moving vehicles. The idea of Drive-thru Internet is to provide hot spots along the road — within a city, on a highway, or even on high-speed freeways such as autobahns. They need to be placed in a way that a vehicle driving by will obtain WLAN access for some (relatively short) period of time; if located in rest areas, the driver may exit and pass by slowly or even stop to prolong the connectivity period. One or more locally interconnected access points form a so-called connectivity island that may provide local services as well as Internet access. Several of these connectivity islands along a road or in the same geographic area may be interconnected and cooperate to provide network access with intermittent connectivity for a larger area.
More information about the Drive-thru Internet project: http://www.drive-thru-internet.org/
- Internet Media Guides
Internet Media Guides (IMGs) are a generalization of Electronic Program Guides (EPGs) as known from digital video broadcasting (DVB). They are independent of specific metadata formats and thus are able to support a broad range of applications, including EPG distribution for TV networks and distribution of session descriptions for Internet-based multimedia sessions. Unlike most existing approaches, the IMG framework is also completely independent of specific delivery networks for the media content described in media guides — and it is also independent of the distribution mechanisms for the media guides themselves: IMGs can be distributed in unidirectional broadcast networks, they can also retrieved over established query/response protocols such as HTTP, and they allow for asynchronous change notifications to interested subscribers.
At TZI we have developed IMG distribution implementations that are availabe for download. More information on the IMG work is available at: https://prj.tzi.org/cgi-bin/trac.cgi/wiki/TZI-IMG
The Message Bus (Mbus) is a light-weight local coordination protocol for developing component-based distributed applications that has been developed by Universität Bremen and University College London. Mbus provides a simple and flexible message oriented communication channel for a group of components that may be distributed on multiple hosts in a local network. The Mbus transport services include useful features such as peer location, point-to-point and group communication and security. The protocol specification has been published as RFC 3259.
Mbus implementations have been developed for different programming languages and platforms, including small one-chip computers. The protocol has been applied to different application domains, e.g., for coordinating application components in decomposed multimedia conferencing applications and for providing coordination services for pervasice computing environments such as home networks.
This web site provides some details on the Mbus protocol itself as well as on extensions, implementations and applications: http://www.mbus.org/
The 6WINIT project that has concluded January 2003 has validated the introduction of the new Mobile Wireless Internet in Europe. It has investigated and validated the set-up of one of the first European operational IPv6-3G Mobile Internet initiatives, providing the 6WINIT project customers with native IPv6 access points and native IPv6 services in a 3G environment.
More information about 6WINIT:
The objective of the MECCANO project that has concluded in May 2000 was to provide all the technology components, other than the data network itself, to support collaborative research and technical development through the deployment of enhanced tools for multimedia collaboration in Europe. The project has improved and deployed existing conferencing toolsets with a particular application aim of distance education and of conferencing.
The Winspect Project (Wearable Computing in Inspection) has developed a system to support the maintenance staff dealing with the inspection of industrial cranes at a Bremen steel plant. We have investigated the use of wireless, wearable computers in industrial environments and have developed different applications, e.g., multimedia conferencing and data inspection support applications on PC-platform based werable computers.
More information about Winspect:
The CONTRABAND project (Conferencing for Transport Breakdown and Accident Management and Networking of Dispatchers) has developed a multimedia multiparty conferencing system that is tailored for application in both engineering and accident management usage situations. For the latter type of application a mobile conferencing component has been developed that is based on a wearable, wireless computer.
The sensor network MEDUSA (Multispectral Environment Data Unit for Surveillance Application) enables a regular monitoring of waters regardless of optical visibility, an inspection of reported oil pollution, securing evidence regarding polluters and providing support for the ships assigned to combat pollution. To be able to operate regardless of the time of day and weather, several types of sensors e.g. radar, infrared and ultraviolet line scanners, and video or low-light-level cameras are used. With the help of this equipment it is possible to detect pollution (e.g. oil or algae) on or below the sea surface in parts even at a distance of up to 50 km, subsequently to classify it in overflight and determine its amount.