Research Projects


Wireless 8O2.16 Multi-antenna mEsh Networks (WOMEN)

The WOMEN project aim to design, implement and test a mobile and self-organizing wireless mesh network architecture and related protocols, required to support multimedia Internet services to users moving at vehicular speeds, in a large-scale, dynamic and interference-limited (possibly high-faded) environment. At the core of the WOMEN system is the mobile mesh router that exploits multiple antennas techniques and multiple radios capabilities to self-establish and self-manage an adaptive, scalable, high-capacity, and easily deployable mobile wireless backbone. Specifically, the WOMEN system consists of three kinds of wireless nodes, namely the Mesh Base Stations (MBSs), Mesh Routers (MRs) and Mesh Clients (MCs). MBSs are stationary nodes equipped with Multi-Antenna 802.16-like radio interfaces that provide gateway/bridge functionalities, so to integrate the mesh network with existing broadband core-networks. MRs consitute the mobile wireless backbone and then they perform the self-organization and self-management tasks requested to sustain the dynamic wireless mesh backbone. To improve the overall system flexibility and interoperability, in the WOMEN vision, MRs may be also equipped with multiple (possible multi-antenna) radio interfaces as, for example, 802.11 and 802.16 cards. Finally, MCs are the users' devices that connect to the wireless mesh backbone in order to access the broadband multimedia services supported by the overall Radio Access Network (RAN). MCs may operate also in ad-hoc mode but, due to complexity issues, are supposed to be equipped with a single wireless interface card (typically, an 802.11 one). In the WOMEN vision, MCs may connect to the wireless backbone by using single-hop links or they may act as relays for the traffic generated by other MCs. For implementing the above sketched system, the WOMEN project will design and implement novel protocols and mechanisms exploiting the unique characteristics of the underlying mesh network to support the advanced QoS control demanded by the interactive multimedia applications running on top of it.


Wireless multiplatfOrm mimo active access netwoRks for QoS-demanding muLtimedia Delivery (WORLD)


The "Wireless multiplatfOrm mimo active access netwoRks for QoS-demanding muLtimedia Delivery" (WORLD) project aims to define, design and validate the new paradigm of active user-centric self-scalable 4GWLANs. In the WORLD jargon, active means that both accessing radios and access network are context and content-aware and, in addition, self-configuring. Furthermore, user-centric means that metrics employed for self-configuring and self-scaling the overall system account for both subjective user expectations and objective media-depending QoS-requirements. Full scalability and network self-configurability are achieved by dynamically exploiting the adaptive capabilities of a peer-to-peer (P2P) wireless sub-network, embedded into the WORLD architecture and tailored to sustain multimedia (e.g., live and streaming) applications. In the WORLD vision, the nodes are movable, may be equipped with heterogeneous multiple IEEE802.1x-like radio interfaces and may be interconnected via (possibly) heterogeneous radio sub-networks. Specifically, at the core of the WORLD system there are three kinds of Multi-Antenna active nodes, namely, the Mobile Access Points (MAPs), Nomadic LAN Clients (NLCs) and Ad-hoc LAN Clients (ALCs). MAPs are nodes equipped with multiple IEEE802.11x-like radio interfaces (e.g., multimode nodes), that are able to self-learn the ambient-context and self-reconfigure their (multimode) radio-platform on the basis of the network-status and user requirements. MAP nodes also possess the intelligence to self-establish, self-manage and self-reconfigure both P2P wireless connections, as well as scalable QoS-guaranteed long-life media sessions for the accessing users. NLC nodes are nomadic clients that directly join to the MAPs for retrieving media contents. They may connect to the serving MAP via direct links, or may also act as relays for multi-hop connections to the wireless backbone. Finally, ALCs are active (possibly multimode) nodes equipped with the network intelligence needed to support the self-organization, self-management and multi-hop routing protocols requested to dynamically set-up and control the ad-hoc sub-networks possibly operating in the system. In the WORLD vision, ALCs should be able to both act as "ad-hoc" relays and producers of multimedia contents (e.g., they may be organized into community sub-networks). Furthermore, cross-layer design will be pursued to guarantee context and content-awareness at all layers of the protocol stack, so to enable all layers to self-adapt to specific QoS-requirements. The WORLD project aims at proposing and developing an enhanced version of cross-layer paradigm, where this last becomes conceived as an effective mean to attain self-adapting vertical QoS-mapping.
Overall, WORLD main targets are to:
- develop, at Physical Layer, an active Multi-Antenna multimode architecture for broadband access, that is able to learn the actual radio-ambient and self-adapt to it, so to optimize the radio resource reuse;
- develop space-division-based opportunistic cross-layer access policies able to guarantee fair-access, stream control and tight bound on transfer delay and delay jitter by resorting to the novel paradigm of queue diversity;
- design and validate, at Network Layer, competitive QoS-routing mechanisms able to optimize multiple (possibly heterogeneous) media-depending objectives, while effectively exploiting the server/path diversity offered by the embedded P2P Multi-Antenna sub-network;
- design, at Transport Layer, application-aware adaptive interworking protocols that allow both full scalability and end-to-end QoS-provisioning in heterogeneous error-prone sub-networks. The underlying idea is to combine per-class identification mechanisms with per-flow QoS control schemes;
- design, at the Application Layer, cross-layer application-aware media playout algorithms/protocols able to actively adapt to the current connection state, while meeting the QoS constraints induced by ongoing applications;
- develop and integrate into the WORLD protocol stack a P2P sub-layer able to dynamically support QoS-guaranteed long-life P2P streaming sessions in a fully-distributed and scalable way;
- develop protocols for multi-hop media-connections over heterogeneous wireless subnetworks, so to enable both secure authentication and secure media-transcoding.
The WORLD project is promoted by 5 Research Units, namely University of Rome "La Sapienza", University of Florence, University of Catania, University of Naples "Federico II", University of Trento. An aggregate working Group at IIT-CNR of Pisa completes the team. To assess performance and validate the WORLD system, trials will be carried out in the multimedia application scenarios of Intelligent Access Systems and Broadband Multimedia Delivery by using infrastructures already deployed by CREATE-NET Consortium and sited in Trento.