This area is focused on experimentally-driven research on Community-owned Open Local IP Networks. A cooperative development of Internet: scalable, self-organized and decentralized IP networks and services built and operated by citizens for citizens. In other words, departing from the established model of Internet as a service provide by telcos, this is a bottom-up model of Internet as an emerging and self-organized network out of commodity devices deployed by citizens. The research projects are:
- Confine (2011-2015, a FP7 Integrated Project coordinated by this group): Community networks are an emerging and successful model for the Future Internet across Europe and far beyond.The CONFINE project complements existing FIRE infrastructures by establishing a new facility built on the federation of existing community IP networks constituted by more than 20,000 nodes and 20,000 Km of links. These community networks incorporate a large and wide variety of commodity wireless and optical links, heterogeneous nodes, different routing protocols, applications and a large number of end-users, following an innovative model of self-provisioning using unlicensed and public spectrum.
The project develops Community-Lab, a unified access to an open testbed with tools that allow researchers to deploy, run, monitor and experiment with services, protocols and applications on real-world community IP networks.
- Clommunity (2013-2014, a FP7 STREP Project coordinated by this group): The project aims at addressing the obstacles for communities of citizens in bootstrapping, running and expanding community-owned networks that provide community services organised as community clouds. That requires solving specific research challenges imposed by the requirement of: self-managing and scalable (decentralized) infrastructure services for the management and aggregation of a large number of widespread low-cost unreliable networking, storage and home computing resources; distributed platform services to support and facilitate the design and operation of elastic, resilient and scalable service overlays and user-oriented services built over these underlying services, providing a good quality of experience at the lowest economic and environmental cost. This will be achieved through experimentally-driven research, using the Community-Lab testbed, the participation of large user communities and software developers from several community networks, by extending existing cloud service prototypes in a cyclic participatory process of design, development, experimentation, evaluation and optimization for each challenge.
Economics-inspired resource allocation
This area looks at how ideas from economics can be applied to understand, model and organize the interaction between diverse users, applications and resources that occur in distributed computing systems. The research projects are:
- Catnets Economic algorithms for resource allocation based on the idea of Catallaxy, were services negotiate with resource providers in the market of resources, and end users negotiate with service providers in the market of services. The project developed a simulator and a middleware that was used to evaluate the model under dynamic conditions. The project concluded in 2007.
- SORMA Development of methods and tools for an efficient market-based allocation of resources, through a self-organizing resource management system, using market-driven models supported by extensions for Grid infrastructures.
- Grid4All Grid4All aims at enabling domestic users, non-profit organisations such as schools, and small enterprises, to share their resources and to access massive Grid resources when needed, envisioning a future in which access to resources is democratised, readily available, cooperative, and inexpensive.
- P2PGrid P2PGRID project is focused on the design of innovative large scale distributed systems, decentralized, able to adapt to complex environments (in terms of infrastructure or use) and heterogeneous in the access to communication and computation resources.
Decentralized mechanisms and algorithms for Peer-to-Peer systems
This area looks at how diverse structured, unstructured and hybrid topologic algorithms allow the construction of a decentralized, robust and adaptive substrate for e-services.
Decentralized Systems applied to Ambient Networks
This area looks at how decentralized systems can be used in ambient networks through innovative mobile network solutions in an environment with a multitude of access technologies, network operators and business actors. The objective is the development of an open platform for composition/decomposition of ambient networks using P2P architectures. The platform will consider service management using web services and policies for context-aware services into one ambient network and between heterogeneous ambient networks.
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)
This area looks at how collaborative learning activities can be augmented with environment-aware applications. The objective is to study the different methods for obtaining and processing location data of a group of people who are working together in a same room with their respective mobile devices (e.g. laptops). This location information can be transformed into contextual information (e.g. emergence of groups, roles) that inform CSCL applications about the organization of the physical environment.
Resource management through virtualization
This area looks at the management of the capacity of virtualized resources that adapt according to service-level objectives such as rate or quality of response, and can respond to a varying external demand.