Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

Wi-5 Report Summary

Project ID: 644262
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Wi-5 (What to do With the Wi-Fi Wild West)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The Wi-5 project aims to address radio interference and spectrum inefficiency by integrating novel smart functionalities into Wi-Fi Access Points (APs) and enabling local coordination to reduce radio interference and optimize Wi-Fi spectrum usage. This will have a significant societal impact to combat the ever-increasing network performance issues related to Wi-Fi interference, currently experienced in both residential and commercial environments. Our inter-operator cooperation platform enables coordination between APs of different operators and supports seamless handover/offloading to other Wi-Fi networks or to non-Wi-Fi networks such as 3G/4G/5G or fixed networks. Wi-5 also supports the use of packet grouping techniques to maximise the efficiency of small-packet applications such as voice and gaming applications. The developed functionalities will be integrated into a single optimized Wi-5 architecture and an Openflow-based Software Defined Networking (SDN) approach has been adopted to manage the resulting wireless network. Figure 1 outlines the architecture and the main functionalities proposed in Wi-5 to be integrated in Wi-Fi APs.

The resulting Wi-5 architecture and its main functionalities will be able to efficiently reduce interference between neighbouring APs and provide optimised connectivity for new and emerging services. The project approach will develop and incorporate a variety of novel solutions, which will be disseminated through academic publications and to the general public, exploited for commercial applications by the industrial partners, and shared with the community through standardisation.

Wi-5 is funded by the EC for a duration of 3 years (January 2015 – December 2017) and is led by Liverpool John Moores University. The full consortium is as follows.
• Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), UK
• Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast (TNO), Netherlands
• Universidad de Zaragoza (UniZar), Spain
• AirTies Kablosuz İletişim San. ve Dış Tic. A.Ş (AirTies), Turkey
• PrimeTel Telecommunications (PLC), Cyprus

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Wi-5 has been developing, implementing and integrating advanced solutions. These include having designed and presented the Wi-5 architecture, business model and smart functionalities which take into account the requirements for new business roles to support Wi-5 operations and the use cases we envision. These roles will not only facilitate Inter-Operator Cooperation on the spectrum plane, but will also enable Inter-Operator Cooperation on the business plane. We have also now validated this approach through simulation and modelling, and extensive interaction with a group of network operators.

As part of the integrated Wi-5 solution, a novel set of functionalities have been developed that address the current lack of flexibility in the management and utilisation of IEEE 802.11 WLANs, which are not inherently cooperative in nature. These functionalities include the following notable features:

1. Radio Resource Management (RRM) to address interference in Wi-Fi networks by combining both AP channel assignment and transmit power adjustment techniques. Our RRM algorithm was compared against existing approaches and our results show that it performs better than the state of the art in terms of interference, Signal to Interference plus Noise Ratio (SINR), spectrum efficiency and users’ satisfaction.
2. Smart AP selection, which associates users to Wi-Fi APs based on an innovative performance and QoS evaluation metric called Fittingness Factor (FF). We compared our solution against two existing approaches found in the literature, demonstrating that our strategy performs better than the state of the art in terms of users’ satisfaction, blocking probability and Quality of Experience (QoE).

We have also made good progress to integrate our approach for dynamic AP channel assignment into a prototype SDN platform based on OpenWRT and Odin. In this work, local AP control functionalities have been extensively improved to provide fine-grained dynamic control over wireless parameters. We can now demonstrate seamless handovers for clients between APs operating in different channels and we are now extending this to support power control and load balancing. This is being developed as an open source project (https://github.com/Wi5/) and we are actively building a developer community around our work.

In addition, The Wi-5 project has developed an extensive monitoring platform to support the RRM and AP selection functionalities and we have proposed and validated a novel packet grouping approach which can be integrated in the near future.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

We have made good progress towards the following novel contributions expected from the Wi-5 project:
• Reduce interference between neighbouring APs in a smart and cooperative way.
• Optimise spectrum usage efficiency and QoE for end users using innovative techniques.
• Provide a new approach toward seamless handovers from a Wi-Fi network to other Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi networks supported by new multi-operator business models.
• Improve efficiency and QoE in emerging real-time and streaming applications and overcome the barriers that limit the performance of conventional mechanisms.
• Help to innovate a mature Wi-Fi market as an alternative to commercial 3G/4G networks. This Wi-Fi market will not only represent a cheaper alternative to mobile broadband but it will also provide higher bandwidth, and reduce the traffic load on 3G/4G networks.

Wi-5 has an extensive plan to maximize our impact through scientific dissemination, industrial exploitation, and standardization. During 2016 we have written and published journal papers, e.g. in IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management and IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, and presented papers at a number of international conferences including International Conference on Telecommunications (ICT 2016), IEEE Conference on Standards for Communications and Networking (CSCN 2016), and IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC 2017).

We also have an active presence online with our Wi-5 website (http://www.wi5.eu/), and our pages on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Wi5Project) and LinkedIn. The platform we are developing will be made available to the research community as open source software, and the results of the Wi-5 project are being shared with an Operator Board of European companies and organizations that provide periodic feedback on our progress. Along with the industrial consortium members, they will provide a first point of industrial exploitation for our work. Ultimately we aim to have our work adopted for inclusion in upcoming standards where possible.

Related information

Record Number: 186366 / Last updated on: 2016-07-11
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