EPSRC INSP - EPSRC Early Career Fellowship (Apr 2015 - Mar 2020)

INSP: In-Network Service Providers


In this project, we will combine the functionality of Information-Centric Networks (ICNs) and Software-Defined Networks (SDNs) and take advantage of their novel concepts to design a new common Internet playground, where innovation will not be forcefully pushed at the application layer. We will follow pragmatic implementation routes to guarantee that the challenges faced in the areas of ICN and SDN are smoothly overcome.

The high-level objectives of the project are the following:
  • implement and integrate the required technology to allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) implement their own protocols of choice within their administrative domains, allowing for de-ossification of the Internet architecture.
  • allow in-network entities to execute logic and run instances of applications mid-path from source to destination, which are otherwise run within data-centres, more often than not, far away from the end-users.

  • The above targets will be achieved by introducing a new Internet market player, which we call In-Network Service Provider (or INSP) and who will take on the task (and cost) of implementing the proposed functionality.

    Project information: http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/M003787/1
    UCL News: http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/research/epsrc-early-career-fellowship


    EU H2020 ICN2020 (July 2016 - June 2019)

    ICN2020: Advancing ICN towards real-world deployment through research, innovative applications, and global scale experimentation


    Information access on the Internet is exploding. Usage is shifting to multimedia applications, social networking and IoE. Cellular networks are moving to the next generation. Networking technology is shifting towards virtualization, with SDN and NFV likely to change the infrastructure landscape. The cloud concept is transforming the Internet to a network of data centers, with a communication model consisting of computer-to-cloud-to-computer interactions. Security concerns are leading to an encryption of all traffic, wreaking havoc with established network mechanisms.

    In this scenario with dramatic growth and evolution, where abstractions and interfaces become fundamental, ICN is just the perfect solution. ICN2020 will build on the wealth of studies performed on ICN with six main aims: a) design and develop a set of innovative applications such as video delivery, interactive videos and social networks to exploit ICN; b) augment ICN with IoT features and cloud/CDN/virtualization services; c) accordingly enhance existing ICN solutions/ architectures; d) build local and global test-bed(s) to experiment the applications, services and ICN enhancements; e) contribute to common APIs and standards, by continuing the work that project partners are already doing; and f) Industry POCs of products and services exploiting ICN.

    The ICN2020 consortium includes leading experts in ICN and contributors to ICN testbeds in EU, Japan and USA, thus making the goal of federating them a credible one. Partners are also coordinators of running projects on 5G and Cloud topics, allowing fruitful cooperation with fellow projects of the EU-JP1, EU-JP2 calls and increasing the overall expected impact of the EU-Japan cooperation. In a time when 5G networks are being designed, with foreseen unprecedented flexibility due to the virtualization and slice concepts, the development of compelling demonstrations of ICN for real-world use-cases will encourage critical industry investment of resources.

    Project website: http://www.icn2020.org/


    EU H2020 UMOBILE (Feb 2015 - Feb 2018)

    UMOBILE: Universal, Mobile-Centric and Opportunistic Communication Architecture


    We develop a universal mobile-centric and opportunistic communications architecture (UMOBILE), which integrates the principles of Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) and Information-Centric Networking (ICN) in a common framework.

    We utilize the benefits of both ICN and DTN to enable resource exploitation at minimal bandwidth, opportunistic access to information and more localized access to information through novel caching strategies.

    UMOBILE focuses on assisting users in getting access to the content they want or content that may be of shared interest to their trust circles. By relying on an instance of the UMOBILE architecture, users are able to share information directly with other peers without relying on infrastructure or expensive connectivity services. The proposed architecture targets the mobile part of the networks, extends Internet connectivity to regions that are not typically covered enhancing network resilience and is fully backward compatible with the current Internet architecture.

    Project Website: http://www.umobile-project.eu/


    EPSRC COMIT (Jan 2014 - June 2017)

    COMIT: Content Management at Internet Scale


    Recent research in the general area of Information-Centric Networks (ICN) has revealed the benefits brought by a content-focused mode of operation. Little attention, however, has been payed on the deployment incentives and the migration path from today's IP-dominated Internet architecture.
    The COMIT project takes a closer look at the deployment challenges of Information-Centric Networks, focusing primarily on preserving the current Internet infrastructure, but at the same time taking advantage of the benefits of information-centricity and location-independence.

    The primary objectives of COMIT are:
    • Support incremental and smooth deployment of ICN but at the same time benefit directly from all the important features of content-aware or Information-Centric Networking.
    • Allow ISPs to migrate to this "hybrid" ICN operation but at the same time maintain full backwards compatibility with ISPs that do not migrate and operate those ICN features.
    • Give the opportunity to ISPs to do content-aware traffic engineering in their own network, deploying their protocols of choice, and making best use of their resources.

    Project website: http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/comit-project/


    EU FP7 GreenICN (Apr 2013 - Apr 2016)

    GreenICN: Architecture and Applications of Green Information Centric Networking


    Main Objectives

    Information Centric Networking (ICN) is a new paradigm where the network provides users with named content, instead of communication channels between hosts. Users are primarily interested in content and not where they retrieve the content from. ICN aims to focus on Information delivery, instead of the traditional host to host connectivity in IP, thereby allowing the user to obtain content from anywhere in the network. ICN has the potential to solve many issues prevalent in IP such as mobility, security, congestion and etc. Research on ICN is at an early stage, with many key issues still open, including naming, routing, resource control, security, privacy and a migration path from the current Internet. Also missing for efficient information dissemination is seamless support of content- based publish/subscribe. Further, and importantly, current proposals do not sufficiently address energy efficiency. GreenICN aims to bridge this gap, addressing how the ICN network and devices can operate in a highly scalable and energy-efficient way.

    The project will exploit the designed infrastructure to support two exemplary application scenarios:

    1. Disaster scenario:
      The aftermath of a disaster e.g., hurricane or tsunami, when energy and communication resources are at a premium and it is critical to efficiently distribute disaster notification and critical rescue information. Key to this is the ability to exploit fragmented networks with only intermittent connectivity.
    2. Video Scenario:
      Scalable, efficient pub/sub video delivery, a key requirement in both normal and disaster situations. GreenICN will also expose a functionality-rich API to spur the creation of new applications and services expected to drive EU and Japanese industry and consumers into ICN adoption. Our team, comprising researchers with diverse expertise, system and network equipment manufacturers, device vendors, a startup, and mobile telecommunications operators, is very well positioned to design, prototype and deploy GreenICN technology, and validate usability and performance of real-world GreenICN applications, contributing to create a new, low-energy, Information-Centric Internet. Our expertise and experience in standardization will enable us to make major contributions to standards bodies. Our efforts will foster continued close cooperation between both industrial and research communities of Europe and Japan.

    Project Website: http://www.greenicn.org/