Research activities on networking have traditionally been directed to performance evaluation and protocol design in the major technologies (ATM, TCP/IP, cellular and wireless networks, optical networking).
The specific approach developed in the networking research couples analytic modelling, exploiting queuing and traffic theory methodologies, and experimental works, leading to the realization of test-beds and real network measurements. Recent activity on networking topics at INFOCOM includes the following topics:
Major research results and projects in the networking area, with focus on the above recalled topics, are given more detailed in the next Sections.
- Switching and routing
- Cellular, wireless and sensor networks
- Optical networking
- End-to-end congestion control
- Network security
SWITCHING AND ROUTING Testing and experimental evaluation of control plane of Linux based software routers, including multicast. This is mainly an experimental activity, that has yielded a number of published patches to Linux kernel for improvement and assessment of PC based software routers. This research line is carried on within national projects PRIN EURO and PRIN BORA-BORA.
Recent activity is directed on investigation of potential of indirection paradigms for addressing schemes in a next generation Internet, where network layer functions are oriented to data disseminations as well as more traditional point-to-point communications.
CELLULAR, WIRELESS AND SENSOR NETWORKS Wireless networks research items cover reconfigurability and optimized radio resource management, aiming at coupling traffic load and radio channel description to optimize allocation of radio resource in a cellular radio interface under fairness and QoS constraints; the approach is cross-layer between MAC and PHY. This research line started with national project PRIN RAMON and has been greatly extended in a major national project, FIRB PRIMO; it is currently continuing under a 6th Framework program with STREP SURFACE. Another major issue is on wireless sensor networks, where investigated research topics are topology control and routing energy trade-off optimization, including multi sink scenarios. This topic is framed within the 6th framework program Network of Excellence CRUISE. Finally, wireless LAN/PAN topics have been developed:
Items a) and b) fall within a major national project, FIRB VICOM. Part of work c) has been referred to the national project PRIN TWELVE and the IST project EPERSPACE.
- a) ad-hoc networks based on Bluetooth scatternets;
- b) support of multimedia streams over 802.11 based WLANs;
- c) evaluation and enhancement of 802.11 MAC protocol (e.g. collision recovery, multi-channel solution, TCP improvement for multi-hop networks) have been thoroughly studied both based on analytical models, simulations and test-bed measurements.
OPTICAL NETWORKING Optimization of optical switches complexity in DWDM based Optical Burst Switching and Optical Packet Switching paradigms. This is mostly a model based, theoretical line of research, that is being introduced within the 6th framework program Network of Excellence E-PHOTON1+.
END-TO-END CONGESTION CONTROL Research on end-to-end congestion control focuses on design, evaluation and experimentation of algorithmic variants of TCP congestion control for wireless and high speed environments. The aim is twofold: developing accurate analytic tools for performance evaluation of TCP connections in a variety of environments; to exploit the insight gained by means of models so as to define new algorithms enhancing TCP performance, e.g. in large bandwidth delay networks or over wireless links. To this end an 802.11 based and Gb Ethernet testbeds have been set up in the Networking Lab to assess performance or real protocol implementation on Linux kernel, along with simulation and analytical results. This research has been carried on since 2000 in the framework, among others, of national project PRIN FAMOUS and COST Action 279.
NETWORK SECURITY Network security is a more recent research line, as compared to more consolidated expertise of networkin group at INFOCOM. Currently two research lines are active: traffic monitoring and analysis for application layer classification purposes, within national research project PRIN RECIPE; automated management and consistency checking of firewall and security gateways policies. The latter is applied research carried out jointly with ELSAG of FinMeccanica industrial group. Finally, security of signalling protocols based on SIP within IMS have been investigated and experimented in na ad hoc testbed at the Networking Lab with special reference to security-performance trade-off. Other specific activities (e.g. WiMax security case study) are the result of contractual partnerships with Italian firms working on network security.