Publications from UMOBILE activities

A. Arcia-Moret, I. Psaras, J. Crowcroft, "Bringing Information Centric Networking to Challenged Environments" (2017)

The Future Internet Architecture for Developing region (FI4D) is about bringing together academic participants working on innovative solutions for bridging the gap in Internet coverage for everyone (especially in remote regions) using cutting-edge technologies such as ICN, SDN, NFV within modern motivational frameworks such as 5G networks. FI4D is an initiative originally covering the need for synergy between RIFE (http://rife-project.eu) and UMOBILE (http://www.umobile-project.eu); these two projects have the common objective of fostering Internet connectivity in developing regions. In RIFE we are developing a solution for bringing Internet connection to rural and remote areas at a lowcost, whereas in UMOBILE we are developing a solution to bring the Internet in disaster scenarios; both of them using an Information Centric Networking approach. 

Parisis, George, et al. "Efficient content delivery through fountain coding in opportunistic information-centric networks." Computer Communications (2016)

Opportunistic networks can increase network capacity, support collaborative downloading of content and offload traffic from a cellular to a cellular-assisted, device-to-device network. 

They can also support communication and content exchange when the cellular infrastructure is under severe stress and when the network is down or inaccessible. Fountain coding has been considered as especially suitable for lossy networks, providing reliable multicast transport without requiring feedback from receivers. 

It is also ideal for multi-path and multi-source communication that fits exceptionally well with opportunistic networks. 

In this paper, we propose a content-centric approach for disseminating content in opportunistic networks efficiently and reliably. 

Our approach is based on Information-Centric Networking (ICN) and employs fountain coding. When tied together, ICN and fountain coding provide a comprehensive solution that overcomes significant limitations of existing approaches. Extensive network simulations indicate that our approach is viable.

O. Ascigil, V. Sourlas, I. Psaras, G. Pavlou - "Opportunistic Off-Path Content Discovery in Information-Centric Networks"

Recent research in Information-Centric Networks has considered various approaches for discovering content in the cache-enabled nodes of the network. Such approaches include scoped flooding and deploying a control plane protocol to disseminate the cache contents in the network, to name a few. In this work, we consider an opportunistic approach that uses trails left behind by data packets from the content origin to the sources in order to discover off-path cached content. We evaluate our approach using an ISP topology for various system parameters. We propose two new forwarding strategies built on top of our approach. Our results indicate that the opportunistic discovery mechanism can significantly increase cache hit rate compared to NDN’s default forwarding strategy, while limiting the overhead at acceptable levels.

K. V. Katsaros, V. Sourlas, I. Psaras, S. Reñé, G. Pavlou - "Information-aware access network selection"

Mobile devices are increasingly presented with multiple connectivity options, including WiFi hotspots, micro-/macrocells or even other devices in device-to-device communications. In this environment, connectivity management has been focused on contention, congestion and wireless medium conditions. In this paper, we assess the role of informationcentrism in mobile device connectivity management. Motivated by the increasing availability of content and services in in-network caches and micro-data centers, we design an access network selection scheme that takes into account information availability within each connectivity option. Using extensive simulations, we show that information-awareness results in a significant increase of experienced cache hit ratios, i.e., up to 115% in certain scenarios.

U.D.Silva, A. Lertsinsrubtavee, A. Sathiaseelan, K. Kanchanasut - "Named Data Networking Based Smart Home Lighting"

The current momentum gained by the Internet of Things (IoT) is encouraging the scientific community and industry to evolve the current silo-based IoT platform models towards a globally unified IoT platform—a platform capable of efficiently supporting 50-100 billions networked objects. To meet the challenge, several proposals have emerged, such as building a unified host-centric IoT platform overlaid on top of today’s host-centric Internet. Alternatively, the networking community suggests the use of Information Centric Networks (ICNs), such as NDN (Named Data Networking), to face the challenge. NDN uses name–based routing to deliver data packets in a simple stateful forwarding plane. It offers developers great flexibility in naming, security, caching and inherent multicast support. It avoids dependencies on separate protocols and various middleware used in IoT networks. In this paper, we use NDN to provide an initial evaluation of a home smart lighting system and demonstrate some of the advantages of using the ICN paradigm to meet the IoT challenge. We developed a prototype and benchmarked it against the IP cloud based approach.

I. Psaras, S. Rene, K. V. Katsaros, N. Bezirgiannidis, V. Sourlas, S. Diamantopoulos, I. Komnios, V. Tsaoussidis, G. Pavlou - "Keyword-Based Mobile Application Sharing" (2016)

The advent and wide adoption of smartphones in the second half of ’00s has completely changed our everyday mobile computing experience. Tens of applications are being introduced every day in the application markets. Given the technology progress and the fact that mobile devices are becoming strong computing devices, mobile applications are expected to follow suit and become computation-heavy, bandwidth-hungry and latency-sensitive. In this paper, we introduce a new mobile computing paradigm to alleviate some of the network stress that mobile applications are already putting into the network, e.g., in case of crowded areas and events, where the mobile network effectively collapses. According to this paradigm, users can share the applications that they have on their mobile devices with nearby users that want access to processed information, which their own applications cannot provide.

A. Sathiaseelan, A .Lertsinsrubtavee, A. Jagan, P. Baskaran, J. Crowcroft, "Cloudrone: Micro Clouds in the Sky", ACM Mobisys Dronet 2016

This paper presents Cloudrone- a preliminary idea of deploying a lightweight micro cloud infrastructure in the sky using indigenously built low cost drones, single board computers and lightweight Operating System virtualization technologies. Our paper lays out the preliminary ideas on such a system that can be instantaneously deployed on demand. We describe an initial design of Cloudrone and provide a preliminary evaluation of the proposed system mainly focussed on the scalability issues of supporting multiple services and users.

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Argyrios Tasiopoulos, Ioannis Psaras, Vasilis Sourlas, George Pavlou, "Tube Streaming: Modelling Collaborative Media Streaming in Urban Railway Networks", IFIP Networking 2016

We propose a quality assessment framework for crowdsourced media streaming in urban railway networks. We assume that commuters either “tune in” to some TV/radio channel, or submit requests for content they desire to watch or listen to, which eventually forms a playlist of videos/podcasts/tunes. Given that connectivity is challenged by the movement of trains and the disconnection that this movement causes, users collaboratively download (through cellular and WiFi connections) and share content, in order to maintain undisrupted playback. We model collaborative media streaming for the case of the London Underground train network. The proposed quality assessment framework comprises a utility function which characterises the Quality of Experience (QoE) that users (subjectively) perceive and takes into account all the necessary parameters that affect smooth playback. The framework can be used to assess the media streaming quality in any railway network, after adjusting the related parameters.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to quantify the perceptual quality of collaborative media streaming in (underground) railway networks from a modelling perspective, as opposed to a systems perspective. Based on real commuter traces from the London Underground network, we evaluate whether audio and video can be streamed to commuters with acceptable QoE. Our results show that even with very highspeed Internet connection, users still experience disruptions, but a carefully designed collaborative mechanism can result in high levels of perceived QoE even in such disruptive scenarios.

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Dimitris Vardalis, Christos-Alexandros Sarros, Vassilis Tsaoussidis "Buffering... energy for mobile devices: A “store and rendezvous” approach"

We exploit the traffic shaping potential of network storage and improve energy efficiency for mobile devices through the creation of idle communication intervals. We model the activity patterns between the WIRED/wireless gateway and the wireless battery-powered receiver, and employ a rendezvous mechanism that utilizes periods of inactivity created by the traffic shaping function of the network. In case multiple receivers are simultaneously active, a scheduling algorithm limits overlaps of buffer flushes. Our scenarios are based on the DTN paradigm, however, our approach is not DTN-specific. The presented simulation study involves three main types of Internet traffic (i.e. file transfer, streaming and web browsing) and demonstrates that our proposed scheme achieves significant energy conservation for mobile receivers involving, under most circumstances, only mild performance cost.

Christina M. Malliou, Nikolaos Bezirgiannidis, Vassilis Tsaoussidis "Bulk Data Transfers through an Airline Delay-Tolerant Network"

In the era of big data, the Internet engineering community is searching for solutions to alleviate the issues caused by the constantly increasing data traffic. In this paper, we at-tempt to revive the sneakernet paradigm as a possible solution for non-real-time bulk data transfers. We propose a sample net-work architecture that takes advantage of the existing worldwide airline infrastructure, and leverages Delay-Tolerant Networking architecture to transfer data over the air in an automated way. We exploit Contact Graph Routing algorithm, which utilizes flight schedules to route bundles based on delivery delay or cost minimization. We examine the applicability of our proposal in a scenario that includes bulk space-data transfers between ESA data centers. Through simulations, we illustrate that the pro-posed scheme can deliver data efficiently between connected data centers, while the achieved throughput increases with the amount of data transmitted.

Luis Lopes, Rute Sofia, Paulo Mendes, Waldir Moreira, "Oi! - Opportunistic Data Transmission based on Wi-Fi Direct", Proc. of IEEE INFOCOM, San Francisco, USA, April 2016 (demo paper)

This demo presents Oi!, an opportunistic data transmission tool. Implemented on Android and available as open-source, Oi! relies on social interaction, device-to-device short range wireless transmission, as well as on history of contact duration to perform opportunistic data transmission. In this demo we show how Oi! can be used with intermittent Internet access between sources and destinations, to transmit data in a reliable and yet opportunistic way.

A. Lertsinsrubtavee, L. Wang, A. Sathiaseelan, J. Crowcroft, N. Weshsuwannarugs, A. Tunpan, K. Kanchanasut, “Understanding Internet Usage and Network Locality in a Rural Community Wireless Mesh Network”,11th Asian Internet Engineering Conference 2015

Community networks owned and operated by local communities have recently gained popularity as a low cost solution for Internet access. In this paper, we seek to understand the characteristics of Internet usage in community networks and provide useful insights on designing and improving community networks in rural areas. We report the results of a socio-technical study carried out during a three month measurement of a community wireless mesh network (CWMN) which has been operating for two years in a rural area of northern Thailand. An on-site social interview was also conducted to supplement our analysis. The results reveal several interesting findings: rural users do use online social networks, instant messaging applications and online games similarly to urban users; they install unnecessary applications on their mobile phones and are completely obvious to their side effects – the traffic from these applications accounts for a major share of the traffic leading to numerous network anomalies. Finally our analysis uncovers the characteristic of locality in community networks where users in close geographical proximity interact with each other.

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Wang, Liang, et al. "Pro-Diluvian: Understanding Scoped-Flooding for Content Discovery in Information-Centric Networking." Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Information-Centric Networking. ACM, 2015

Scoped-flooding is a technique for content discovery in a broad networking context. This paper investigates the effects of scoped-flooding on various topologies in informationcentric networking. Using the proposed ring model, we show that flooding can be constrained within a very small neighbourhood to achieve most of the gains which come from areas where the growth rate is relatively low, i.e., the network edge. We also study two flooding strategies and compare their behaviours. Given that caching schemes favour more popular items in competition for cache space, popular items are expected to be stored in diverse parts of the network compared to the less popular items. We propose to exploit the resulting divergence in availability along with the routers’ topological properties to fine tune the flooding radius. Our results shed light on designing e!cient content discovery mechanism for future information-centric networks.

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Waldir Moreira and Paulo Mendes, "Pervasive Data Sharing as Enabler for Mobile Citizen Sensing Systems", IEEE Communications Magazine (2015)

Today, users can use their personal devices for a wide range of applications and services, such as controlling other devices, monitoring human physiological signals, or accessing information while on the move. Due to the communication and sensing capability of personal devices as well as embedded devices, their pervasive deployment and use may lead to an improvement of social and personal welfare by exploiting novel mobile citizen sensing applications. However, the pervasiveness of such large-scale sensing systems is only possible if devices are able to share sensing data independently of the available communication infrastructure, their location, and applications making use of the collected data. Hence, this paper describes a set of paradigms that should be considered to allow pervasive data sharing for the support mobile citizen sensing systems.

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Susana PEREZ-SANCHEZ, Jose Maria CABERO, and Inigo URTEAGA, "DTN routing optimised by human routines: the HURRy protocol", Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Wired & Wireless Internet Communications, LNCS Volumes by Springer (2015)

This paper proposes the HURRy (HUman Routines used for Routing) protocol, which infers and benefits from the social behaviour of nodes in disruptive networking environments. HURRy incorporates the contact duration to the information retrieved from historical encounters among neighbours, so that smarter routing decisions can be made. The specification of HURRy is based on the outcomes of a thorough experiment, which highlighted the importance of distinguishing between short and long contacts and deriving mathematical relations in order to optimally prioritize the available routes to a destination. HURRy introduces a novel and more meaningful rating system to evaluate the quality of each contact and overcome the limitations of other routing approaches in social environments.

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Mamatas, Lefteris; Papadopoulou, Alexandra; Tsaoussidis, Vassilis; "Exploiting Communication Opportunities in Disrupted Network Environments", The 13th International Conference on Wired & Wireless Internet Communications (WWIC 2015), Malaga, Spain,

The capability of a mobility model to detect certain patterns of user behavior (e.g., favorite walks or walking habits) enables solutions for a number of challenging networking problems, including efficient opportunistic communications and handoff / cellular planning. We argue that the limited viewpoint of a single mobile node and its scarce resources (e.g., energy, memory or processing) are major obstacles for accurate estimations. Targeting at hybrid network environments, we offload prediction capabilities to the fixed nodes that may be available in the area, offering a global view and the capability of resource-demanding calculations. Here, we introduce a solution running on top of the infrastructure nodes that: (i) implements a mobility model which provides a number of mobility forecasts to the mobile users in the area, (ii) supports proactively the routing decisions of opportunistic mobile devices being taken at times there is not connectivity. We introduce the corresponding semi-Markov model and demonstrate its efficiency using scenarios deployed in a pre-selected city center, where a number of mobile nodes seek for Internet access.

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A. Sathiaseelan, L. Wang, A. Aucinas, G. Tyson, J. Crowcroft, "SCANDEX: Service Centric Networking for Challenged Decentralised Networks", 13th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Florence, May 2015

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) networks are decentralised networks built by an (often) amateur community. As DIY networks do not rely on the need for backhaul Internet connectivity, these networks are mostly a mix of both offline and online networks. Although DIY networks have their own home- grown services, the current Internet-based cloud services are often useful, and access to some services could be benefi- cial to the community (e.g. Google Maps). Considering that most DIY networks have challenged Internet connectiv- ity, migrating current service virtualisation instances could face great challenges. Service Centric Networking (SCN) has been recently proposed as a potential solution to manag- ing services more efficiently using Information Centric Net- working (ICN) principles. In this position paper, we present our arguments for the need for a resilient SCN architecture, propose a strawman SCN architecture that combines mul- tiple transmission technologies for providing resilient SCN in challenged DIY networks and, finally, identify key chal- lenges that needs to be explored further to realise the full potential of our architecture.

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