Intelligent Access & Core Networks

Kontakt: Manzoor Ahmed KhanSebastian PetersFikret Sivrikaya

 

We are experiencing a turning point in the role the Internet plays in our lives. On the one hand the introduction of highly capable computation devices to the masses and the large scale deployment of high speed wireless networking infrastructure are making the vision of "always on communication" a reality. This development promises enhancements in the citizens life through the introduction of increasingly more innovative applications, and new business opportunities. However this increased demand for always on applications  that are data intensive is already straining capacities of the wired and wireless infrastructure to the extend that the user experience out of these new applications are hurt.

On the other hand Internet is being used more and more often for the transfer of data that are coming not from humans, but sensors and electronic elements which are being embedded to the environments we live in. The integration of these new data sources holds the key to yet more enhancement in the quality of life of the citizens. Similar to the increase in human generated traffic, the machine to machine traffic is testing the capacities of the wireless and wired infrastructures. Industry predictions give the need for increase in the capacity in the orders of magnitude of thousands. 

In the face of these radical developments the academic, industrial and public institutions agree on the need for radical changes in the Internet architecture. Future Internet proposals have been coming from a wide range of institutions. Relying on its experience gathered through the development of user and network side solutions and testbeds for the previous cycle of Internet innovation, the Beyond 3G Networks, CC-NEMO has been evolving its capabilities and expertise in the design, implementation and testing of Future Internet proposals.

Instead of greedily investing in hardware, CC-NEMO believes a more environmentally and financially sound approach is to increase the cooperation among the players in the value chain. CC-NEMO proposes to introduce more computation power and intelligence to the nodes in the radio access networks, operator back-bone and to the user equipment and allow them to cooperate across administrative boundaries. The goal of this is to increase the reconfigurability, utilization, self sustainability, and manageability of the individual nodes, and to enhance the user quality of experience.  

Future Internet Architecture Proposal

The key components of our proposal are:

  • Cognitive and Cooperative Agents: We employ the state of the art results from the AI literature, specifically from decentralized cooperative/competitive decision making, Game Theory, specifically mechanism and auction design, in order to design and implement agents that can run on network nodes and allow them to interact with each other in order to reconfigure the nodes they are running on for the highest utilization and user satisfaction.
  • A Meaning Establishment and Knowledge Framework: We believe the prerequisite to any "intelligent" discourse between cooperating parties is the definition of a common knowledge space upon which cooperative actions can be built. CC-NEMO advocates the adoption of the ontology-defined semantics to the network control practices to achieve this goal
  • User Centric Quality of Experience Database: CC-NEMO is working with its partners from EU-sponsored FP7 project PERIMETER to implement a scalable user Quality of Experience database that can be exploited by the agents running on the end user devices and the network nodes. The key idea is to build an objective picture of the end to end networking conditions from subjective user opinions and measurement, and let this be exploited by the cognitive agents. 
  • Cross-Functionality Optimizations: Cross layer optimization has received a great load of interest in the recent years. Our proposal is to add yet another dimension to the enhancements to the IP control protocols. This dimension is the functionality, dimension. We recognise different functionalities such as AAA, Security, QoS, Mobility, Radio Resource Management implemented via a a family of control protocols. Our proposed node architecture and ontology-based semantic establishment framework allows optimizations to the control protocols across the functionalities. One example is taking mobility decisions by jointly considering the possibility of certain attacks and network load in taking handover decisions.

Theoretic Research

Internet Science is a new term used to describe the application of formal mathematical methods to the design and control of applications running on the intensely complex Internet architecture. In the spirit of this new term, we apply mathematical modelling to user, access and operator backbone network nodes in the end-to-end Internet application value chain, in order to improve current applications, control algorithms as well as to make a theoretically sound Future Internet Proposal.

The formal mathematical tools that we apply are:

  • Queuing Networks and Processor Sharing Abstraction: Processor sharing is an queueing method that is used to model a wide variety of systems from internet applications to Radio Access Networks. A resource is shared between the users of the resource in an egalitarian manner. We use networks composed of processor sharing nodes to model the performance of the current Internet architecture, as well as to take design decisions for the Future Internet Proposal. 
  • Decentralized Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes: We need a robust formalization for the design of the cognitive nodes in our proposals. Internet is a place where observations about the status of nodes are only partially correct. A robust decision making framework in the absence of complete observeabilty is Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDP). In the recent years this framework for single agents have been extended to multiple agents that we use in the design of the cognitive agents of our system. We have applied this formalization to the dynamic resource sharing problem between different operators. 
  • Auction Design: Auctions are powerful tools in the applied Game Theory. We use auctions as alternative decision making tools accessible to the cognitive agents. We have applied auction design to handover decision making and radio resource allocation problems. 
  • Mechanism Design: Another tool in the applied Game Theory field is the concept of mechanism design. It is involved with designing interactions between agents properly, so that not confirming to the terms of the interaction is not for the benefit of the participating agents. With a proper mechanism design, interactions between agents can proceed without the fear of deception by other agents. 
  • Ontology-Based Semantics: The lower the cost of communication between agents, the more effectively can a team of agents can solve a distributed optimization problem. A big cost in the communication between agents is the translation costs, and in the absence of a commonly agreed knowledge space they are infinite. We use ontologies to establish meaning for the interaction between cognitive nodes in the future internet architecture.

User Centric Future Internet Testbed

Due to the complexity of the Internet, simulative evaluations of Future Internet Architectures are problematic. CC-NEMO is a part of the EU Commision's Fire Initiative which aims to drive the innovation in Future Internet Research through Experimentation. DAI-Labor's in a suitable position for this task, since it has been involved in experimental networking research since 2003, with the inception of Berlin's Beyond 3G Testbed (BIB3R). BIB3R was a complete experimentation environment for 3G service provisioning over multiple operator networks. CC-NEMO is upgrading the infrastructure with configurable routers and access points to be able to test new architectural proposals. Furthermore, the architectural proposals are tested with actual end users with the Living Lab Methodology 

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