NSF Wireless/Mobile Planning Group Workshop

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WMPG Technical Proposal

Internet Architecture White Paper

Presentation Abstracts

Position Papers

Breakout Sessions

Wireless Implementation

WMPG draft report Aug. 2005

Deborah Estrin

UCLA Computer Science Department

3531H Boelter Hall,
Box 951596
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1596

Wireless Sensor Networks for Environmental Monitoring: a Driver for Adaptive and Programmable Network and Distributed System Services.

Sensor networks are an exciting class of computing systems that combine distributed sensing, computation and wireless communication. On the technology side these systems are being touted as a technology as disruptive and enabling as the Internet; on the application side they are being driven as a means of monitoring public exposure to contaminants, managing land use, and supporting safer structures. I will discuss motivating applications and the need for new systems and network mechanisms including: tiered network-architecture and programming-model that reside somewhere in between client-server and peer-to-peer, and the importance of supporting interactive as well as autonomous system features.

Mario Gerla

UCLA Computer Science Department

3732F Boelter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1596

Mobile/Wireless Networking Scenarios/Requirements

Kevin Kahn


2111 NE 25th Avenue
Hillsboro, OR 97124-5961

Thoughts on Requirements Placed on the Network by Mobile Platforms

Mobile platforms continue to grow in capability and as a result grow in the demands that they place on the Internet. Looking at the future of handheld and laptop devices (as representative of the "smart" nodes in the mobile Internet) exposes requirements that the network must meet. These platforms will appear in a variety of network contexts within the Internet at large (in a home, hotspot, enterprise, etc.). They will move across various network types with a need to maintain services (e.g., roaming a voice call from an enterprise private net to a public WWAN to a private home network). They will simultaneously exist in multiple network contexts (e.g., the Internet at large, personal device clusters, accessing ad hoc sensor collections …). They will interact with both conventional network services for which the topological routing of today's net is optimal and with location based services where it is not. Looking at the network infrastructure from the perspective of the platforms that access it should provide useful requirements.

Srinivasan Seshan

School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891

Scaling Wireless Networks

Over the past few years, wireless networking technologies have made vast forays into our daily lives. Today, one can find 802.11 hardware and other personal wireless technology employed at homes, shopping malls, coffee shops and airports. Over the next decade, we can certainly expect the number of wirelessly connected hosts and networks connected to the Internet to continue to grow. In addition, there will be a much broader range in the sizes of these wireless networks. At some point, it is very likely that wireless hosts/networks will outnumber their wired counterparts. In addition, there a number of more subtle trends as well. I expect that there will be increased contention between wireless devices due to the increasing density of wireless networks. Similarly, there will be greater diversity in both the capabilities of the wireless devices/interfaces and the management of the wireless networks. These trends pose a number of challenges that the networking research community must address but they also create a number of opportunities for improved networking functionality. For example, these trends may enable solutions for near-ubiquitous high-speed connectivity and low-overhead localization. These trend also require carefully re-examination of a number of issues in routing, addressing, billing and Internet access. In this talk, I will discuss both the opportunities made possible and the challenges created as wireless network deployment scales along these multiple dimensions.

Badri Nath

Computer Science Department
Rutgers University

110 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

Near-Field Networks

Increasingly, the edge of the Internet is becoming wireless. Each of these wireless edge networks form its own ecosystem (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID, cellular, to name a few). How should network protocols be designed for such independent networks so that they can be integrated with the next generation Internet. What are the research issues in networks where communication is likely to happen only when the desired network is available or when the parties are in close proximity. Apart from performance, new metrics such as manageability will likely play a key role in network design. How can manageability be incorporated into these networks? Will non-standard metrics such as manageability, diagnosability, and configurability dominate network design?

Wade Trappe

Rutgers University

73 Brett Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8060

Security Challenges Facing the Future Wireless World

As wireless systems become the platform for computing and communication, they will become the platform for a variety of threats against the communication infrastructure. Many of these threats will be a simple translation of traditional security challenges. However, many of these threats will be quite different from what the security community has had to deal with in the conventional contexts of computer and network security. This talk aims to identify several threats that are unique to the wireless domain, as well as pose new security functionalities that should be integrated into the design of future wireless systems.

Phil Levis

Computer Science Division
University of California at Berkeley

467 Soda Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1776

Interfacing Embedded Sensor Networks to the Internet

As embedded sensor networks grow in size and number, connecting them to the Internet will become increasingly important. The problem of connecting embedded sensor networks to the Internet can be broken into two separate pieces. The first part includes the services, interfaces, and protocols that Internet-EmNet gateways export to the Internet for data querying, control, and management. The second part involves the services, interfaces, and protocols the EmNets themselves provide to the gateways. This decomposition drives a research agenda for what classes of services EmNets must provide in order to efficiently support the operations gateways require.

Experiences in the EmNet community have shown that the power and resource constraints of EmNets raise several challenges in evaluating and implementing protocols that are generally not present in Internet work. These challenges indicate some of the kinds of tools and test-bed networks researchers need to investigate and evaluate EmNet protocols and how to proxy them into Internet protocols.

Ram Ramanathan

BBN Technologies

Waveform Agility and the Next Generation Internet

Recent years have seen the emergence of a number of disruptive physical layer technologies, including beamforming, MIMO, dynamic spectrum, and UWB. Software radios will soon make it possible to deploy many of these different "waveforms" on a single device, and select the right combinations based on sensing the environment. What changes are required in the architecture of the Internet and the mobile wireless networks to accommodate and exploit the richness and flexibility provided by such capabilities? The talk will present some requirements and ideas, mostly from a MANET perspective.

David B. Johnson

Rice University
Department of Computer Science

6100 Main Street, MS 132
Houston, TX 77005-1892

Mobile IP and Ad Hoc Networking in the Internet

The Internet has a long history of work on mobility support in ad hoc networks and in Mobile IP. Through the packet radio program, work on ad hoc networking in the Internet dates back to 1972, and was part of the motivation for the creation of IP and the evolution of the ARPANET as a single network into the Internet as a network of different networks. To support other types of nodes that move between existing networks in the Internet, Sunshine and Postel proposed the first system like Mobile IP in 1980. More recently, the IETF has been involved in standardization work for Mobile IP since 1992 and for ad hoc network routing since 1997. Yet despite this long history of work by the research and standardization communities, neither technology is in widespread use in the Internet today. In this talk, I will describe some of the things I think we got right and some of the things we got wrong, and will point out what I think are some of the missing pieces needed for complete support for Internet mobility.

Nitin Vaidya

University of Illinois –Urbana/ Champaign

Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science
201 N Goodwin Ave
Urbana, IL 61801-2302

Protocol Layering in the Brave New World

With wireless devices becoming ubiquitous, the capacity requirements are expected to increase, necessitating greater emphasis on performance optimization. There is a virtual consensus that "cross-layer" interactions are necessary to achieve such optimization. However, *how* to achieve this is far from clear. This talk will present preliminary thoughts on how this issue may be addressed.

Shalini Periyalwar

Nortel Networks

Department DP30
Po Box 3511, Station C
Ottawa, Canada K1Y 4H7

Networking In The Small - Lessons for the Internet-at-large

The operation of the Internet requires a significant amount of infrastructure in order to function. Networking in the small, between appliances in a home network for example, requires a different network architecture - one that can be deployed anywhere and does not require an expensive (and complex) infrastructure to bootstrap itself. What aspects of this decentralized network architecture can be applied to the (next generation) Internet-at-large? What is the approach to be taken towards the design of the future internet given that wireless will dominate next-generation access?

Jim Kurose

Department of Computer Science

University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

Network X-ities for Wireless Networking

The need for “robust” network operation leads to a set of design considerations that we refer to as the X-ities (since they all end in “ity”): non-fragility, manageability, diagnosability, optimizability, scalability, and evolvability. Intuitively, we know that these X-ities are crucially important if we are to design and analyze robust networks and protocols. Yet, compared with standard performance metrics, these X-ities often lack theoretical foundations, quantitative frameworks, or even well-defined metrics and meaning.  As an example, consider the X-ity of “non-fragility”- the goal of operating a network under a wide range of conditions, not being so highly optimized so as to fail catastrophically when operating outside of the “normal” operating regime.

One way in which the “normal” operating regime may be defined is with respect to exogenous input traffic, which can be characterized by the existence of multiple traffic matrices (TMs). This gives rise to routing problems defined over multiple TMs, with the goal of finding a set of routes that result in good data plane performance over all TMs (but non-optimal performance for any particular TM). Traffic uncertainties/changes can also result from failures in the physical infrastructure, resulting in problems of finding a set of routes that performs well (and requires minimal shifting of traffic) in the face of single-link failures. In each of these cases, we are interested in the tradeoff in of achieving good performance over the set of possible changes versus non-optimal performance in the face of a specific single change.

In this talk, we’ll describe several X-ity-related research problems for wireline networks, and speculate on X-ity research problems for wireless networks as well.

Victor Bahl

Microsoft Corporation

One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Self-Managing Wireless Networks

We are posing the question of how one can operate large and complex wireless networks with little to no human intervention. The guiding principle for such self-aware management is the ability to build observability, controllability, verifiability directly into network components and to come up with dependency graphs and real-time models for fault diagnosis, manageability, and what-if analysis.

Peter Steenkiste

School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891

Architectural Implications of Multi-Dimensional Scalability in Wireless Networks

Future wireless networks must be "scalable" in multiple dimensions: number of nodes and subnets, diversity of node technologies and applications, physical coverage, and node density. In this talk, we will then look at the implications of these scalability challenges for the network architecture, including both the architecture of the internal wireless network and the network backbone, and we will review some technologies that can help address these challenges. Finally, we will consider the implications for experimental network infrastructures that can be used to evaluate these architectures and technologies.

Marco Gruteser

WINLAB, Rutgers University

73 Brett Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8060

Architectural Considerations for Location-Aware Networking

Mobile and wireless networking protocols increasingly rely on terminals’ location information. Geographic routing and geocast primitives incorporate location into the network layer, and several protocols require location information for medium access decisions. At the application layer, location finds its use in geographic search and proximity triggered functions. These protocols differ in their assumptions about the availability, accuracy, timeliness of neighbors’ and other terminals’ position information. This talk will distill common requirements for location-aware protocols and discuss architectural options for integrating location information into the Internet.

Ramesh Rao

University of California at San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, 0436
La Jolla, CA 92093-0436

Learning Wireless Networks

It is now possible to create a cognitive network that combines advances in storage, connectivity and processing to construct a wireless network in which users share information to enhance end-user experience. We envisage a large number of mobile end-user devices serviced by a combination of licensed and unlicensed band operators. End-users will actively gather, store and ultimately furnish relevant information to a community of their peers. The information gathered is derived from the state of their radio, the state of their protocol stacks and the nature of their traffic and usage patterns and other such sources. This persistent repository, which could be distributed physically, is organized as a single coherent entity that can be queried over the cyber infrastructure!

The need for this architecture is largely driven by user challenges in evaluating and optimizing wireless services. The essence of this approach is to exploit inexpensive storage and the availability of low cost "some time some where" communications to asynchronously and automatically gather large amounts of user data by enlisting users as probes. Once a good amount of data has been gathered algorithms that mine this data set can be developed to generate meaningful ways to improve user experience.

Jay Lepreau

School of Computing
University of Utah

50 S. Central Campus Drive
Rm 3190
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-9205

Barriers for Disruptive Network Innovation: Greater for Wireless or Wired? Emulab/Netbed Experience

It is well accepted that there are enormous barriers to effective innovation-- "innovation with impact"-- in the wired Internet. Indeed, these barriers, combined with the need for architectural innovation, are the primary motivations behind the recent proposal for a "meta-testbed" for the (wired) Internet. In the wireless and mobile world, however, the barriers to innovation are very different. Some issues and barriers are higher or completely new (e.g., spectrum regulation), while others are absent or lower (e.g., due to the inherent geographical localization of wireless).

The differences are manifold and in diverse areas: research, development, regulation, the legal system, and the commercial landscape. These differences between the wired and wireless worlds have important implications for the experimental infrastructure required to support effective innovation. This talk outlines the key differences and makes suggestions for required infrastructure development, both technical and non-technical.

Dirk Grunwald

Computer Science Department
University of Colorado

430 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0430

What is a Wireless Overlay?

One proposal for future network infrastructure is to allow the construction of orthogonal 'overlay networks'. In this model, the underlying transport is provided by a (possibly) extant infrastructure network. The specific overlay network is applied to a specific application, task or community. In this model, the overlay network is intended to simplify resource control and allow specialized routing or application layers. Some companies, such as Level 3, already use such a system, combining MPLS, RSVP and ethernet tunnels to build overlay networks. Such overlays may become a crutch that lets the application interface ignore physical layer connectivity completely; this may be bad for wireless networks. Can overlays be extended to wireless networks? I will describe an initial effort to build a network layer that allows multiple MAC layers to operate over a single PHY layer for a single radio and try to address the question of what a 'wireless overlay' may look like.

Gary Minden

Information & Telecommunication Technology Center The University of Kansas

226 Nichols Hall
2291 Irving Hill Road
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-6929

Cognitive/Programmable Radios

Arup Acharya

Network Server System Software

IBM TJ Watson Research Center
Hawthorne, NY

SIP/SIMPLE as an Overlay Protocol for the Internet

If appropriate, I would like to give a brief talk on why I feel SIP/SIMPLE is interesting in the evolution of the future Internet. I will cover its range of adoption, its features, some of the challenges and its potential role as an Internet wide overlay network. My intent would be to generate discussion rather than to state my thoughts only.

Krishan Sabnani

Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies

Holmdel, NJ

Technologies for Converged Networks of the Future – SoftRouter and Base Station Router as Building Blocks for Future Systems

It is widely accepted that all circuit switched networks and packet-switched networks will converge into a few networks with IP/MPLS core. These converged networks will transport best-effort data, voice, video and their blended combinations. Processing for each access technology will be terminated in an access box such as DSLAM for DSL links. Current cellular networks have complex radio access networks (RANs); these RANs will be replaced by a collection of access boxes. Base Station Router is a promising approach developed at Bell Labs for architecting such access boxes. Building the IP/MPLS cores for these converged networks poses several significant challenges. Current IP networks are best-effort, poorly managed, and not secure. For carrier-grade performance, these cores will need to provide QoS-support, manageability, and high levels of security. We are working on a unique way of building such core IP networks called softrouter. In the softrouter approach, routers are disaggregated into simple forwarding elements and control elements. This approach enables easy addition of new value-added functions to the IP networks. In these converged networks, common application level functions such as single sign-on, personalization, global roaming, and always-on would be provided by a common layer called service enablement layer.

Rajive Bagrodia


Computer Science Department

3531F Boelter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1596

The WHYNET Testbed

Max Ott

WINLAB/Rutgers University

73 Brett Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8060

ORBIT Testbed Experience & Experimental Platforms for Future Networks

We will discuss some of the design decisions we made for Orbit and how they influence our ability to grow beyond the initial scope. We will further present our ideas on how to apply the Orbit lessons to platforms for programmable radios, sensors, and applications. We will also highlight some of the non-technical issues which make open and re-usable testbed deployment and operation so challenging.

John Heidemann

USC/Information Sciences Institute

Suite 1001
4676 Admiralty Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-6695

Sensor Network Infrastructure: Re-created to Rarefied

This talk will examine sensor network infrastructure and testbeds, considering two kinds of infrastructure. Some is "re-creatable"---once created it is best shared by being easily "re-created" at many different sites. Other infrastructure is "rarefied"---the effort needed to assemble the infrastructure forces re-use of a centralized service. Balancing these directions is important to foster sensornet research.

Anthony D. Joseph


Computer Science Division
University of California at Berkeley

675 Soda Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1776

Large-scale Edge Services: 1 million lines of code, 1 million devices, 1 week

As a concrete grand challenge, I propose that we enable a one million lines of code service/application to be developed and deployed to one million edge devices in one week's time. A problem of this scale cannot be solved with today's communications protocols and infrastructure, application development environments, and deployment and management tools. The last two areas are primarily the domain and focus of distributed systems research, however there are important differences that must be considered (e.g., power, computational/communications limitations, fragility, etc.) in designing the environments and tools. I plan to collaborate with the distributed systems planning group by providing them with input and guidance about our domain-specific needs.

There are many sub-challenges to this problem, including:

  • Cross-layer and cross-network services: services vertically spanning the protocol stack and horizontally spanning access/backbone networks
  • Endpoint-mobility: moving live services across edge devices
  • Service-mobility: moving live services across access networks
  • Personal-mobility: network-/device-independent identifiers
  • Automated, dynamic service composition


Instructions for Workshop Participants

Directions to WINLAB Tech Center II facility

Directions to Workshop Dinner on Aug 2


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