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Self-organising MESH Networking with Heterogeneous Wireless Access

Final Report Summary - MESH-WISE (Self-organising MESH Networking with Heterogeneous Wireless Access)

Networks and services supporting ubiquitous wireless access to Internet is now part of the key infrastructure of modern society. New communications solutions rapidly emerge, to deliver better coverage, higher capacity and reliability, and lower delay. The evolution towards the fifth generation (5G) network promises much higher data rates with dense deployment integrating heterogeneous types of networks. In this context, the MESH-WISE project (http://www.mesh-wise.eu/) responds to the need of designing next-generation mesh-type wireless networks by mobilizing a joint academic-industry task force. Technically, the project develops of novel mechanisms for deployment and resource allocation of self-organizing mesh networks, and investigates new solutions for multi-purpose and heterogeneous mesh networking and heterogeneous networks and their emerging applications such as traffic offloading, and network deployment and provisioning for emergency services. In addition, the MESH-WISE project implements knowledge transfer between academia and industry, and competence development via training of researchers in the European information and communication technologies (ICT) arena.

The research and development work in the project consists in four work packages (WPs).

In WP1 “Fundamental performance characterization”, the focus has been fundamental re-search to set the foundation of performance evaluation of wireless networks. To this end, the work has developed mathematical models for optimizing network deployment and offloading, for maximizing throughput and reliability, and minimizing the end-to-end delay, taking into account the interference between the radio access nodes. The models are thoroughly analyzed in terms of inherent properties and tractability. Optimization algorithms are developed for delivering solutions for the models, for the purpose of performance benchmarking of networking protocols.

In WP2 “Distributed resource management and self-organization”, the work targets the anal-ysis and optimization of networking protocols, focusing on the WiFi access technology. The theme consists of the study of resilience against fluctuations, non-cooperative effects and auto-reconfiguration, and the development of novel mechanisms for network access to effectively deal with dense network deployment where contention is severe. The work has resulted in the derivation of a probabilistic countdown mechanism in the backoff process that is specifically tailored for the expected type of traffic in future networks.

WP3 “Multi-purpose heterogeneous mesh networking” has accomplished the objective of de-signing a mesh networking architecture that will accommodate wireless mesh networks of different technologies cooperate between each other and with other networks seamlessly, es-tablishing a federated network. The architecture addresses technical components for admis-sion control and inter-network handover to support mobility, using the new concept of soft-ware defined networks, with the target use scenarios for smart cities and emergence service.

In WP4 “Proof of concept, prototyping, and verification”, the work has been on implementing and verifying the concept and architecture. Specifically, the WP has specified the technical for a prototype of the mesh node, emphasizing the modularity of the solution. Based on the specification, an implementation has been successfully carried out. The WP has also per-formed two system demos, to demonstrate, respectively, automatic network configuration and reconfiguration, and the employment of heterogeneous mesh networks for emergency services.

The MESH-WISE project has disseminated its results and outcome via scientific publications and project workshops. The project has implemented a large amount of seminar activities targeting inter-sector knowledge transfer via secondments of people, and training events for early-stage researchers. Moreover, outreach activities have been organized to promote the project visibility and its funding scheme, to disseminate the benefits of research to the general public, and to encourage the youth to pursue a research career in Europe.