ARTICO - Architecture enabling the autonomous opeRation of complex, heTerogeneous and dynamIC wireless netwOrks

Start: 01 January 2009
End: 31 March 2012
Funding: National
Status: Due
Division: Communication Networks
Department: Mobile Networks (MONET)
Code: Project contract/code: TEC2008-06826/TEC

Next generation networks are expected to be composed of a variety of technologies and environments in which there is no clear winner access or backbone technology, as each of them show advantages in their respective application scenario. Additionally, there is an increasing interest in what could be genericaly referred to as hybrid wireless scenarios in which professionally managed legacy networks cooperate with more innovative self-managed all-wireless networks towards a common goal (e.g. cost-effective coverage extension). The cooperation of both philosophies is expected to generate a mutual benefit for both.

This hybrid networking scenario, however, entails a series of challenges that might require novel mechanisms for adaptability, self-organization, and self-reconfiguration in order to establish and interconnect different type of networks and support their dynamicity. These mechanisms may deal with routing, mobility and management in hybrid environments.

Taking all this into consideration, the project ARTICO (Architecture enabling the autonomous opeRation of complex, heTerogeneous and dynamIC wireless netwOrks) aims to investigate mobility, routing and management solutions in current managed and self-organized wireless networks and study the implications and possibility to extend them to more complex hybrid networking scenarios. ARTICO proposes an integral approach to the research topic where design, analysis and evaluation through simulation and experimentation combine to provide tangible solutions to the challenges posed. ARTICO defines four major research goals:

  • The first goal will be devoted to study the key issues related to handling heterogeneity of single-hop wireless access networks. Specifically connection admission control and intelligent interface selection algorithms will be treated from an experimental point of view over UMTS and WLAN testbeds.
  • The second goal is devoted to the design and assessment of efficient multi-radio multi-channel multi-hop routing algorithms to improve self-organization of unmanaged all-wireless networks. Also, distributed mobility management solutions will be studied here to improve connectivity of such networks. The approach to these issues will combine experimentation and analysis.
  • The third goal will face the challenges resulting from the combination of next generation networks and self-organized wireless network when revisiting all previous issues in this new context. This goal entails the definition of possible integration scenarios, study of the limitations of the mechanisms proposed in the previous two goals and design of extensions to be adapted to the new scenario. Furthermore, the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) as an unified network subsystem will also be studied, from an analytical perspective to support NGN services for clients of hybrid networks.

The final (fourth) goal deals with the adaptation and extension of the EXTREME experimentation framework to testing the needs of the above tasks. This leads to the extension of current management mechanisms and the development of three experimentation environments: a controlled UMTS experimentation platform, a Wireless Mesh Network deployment and  an environment to test hybrid network scenarios.