Comnet carries out comprehensive research in the areas of communications and networking, two areas that have proven inseparable when tackling information exchange at any scale. Its expertise encompasses virtually all aspects of today’s and future communication systems and networks.
- The Communication part of Comnet addresses research at the “lower layers” of communication systems, enabling and enhancing (primarily wireless) information exchange.
- The Networking part of Comnet focuses on creating (global) networks, embracing wireless and core infrastructure networks, and offering suitable communication services and applications on top to satisfy user demands (“higher layers”).
These two parts represent the research theme of Future Networking Paradigms: architecting future communications and interactions from the transmission of individual bits to networked user applications spanning the globe (and even extending into space). Three cross-cutting themes span both parts and provide the fundamental tools to understand and develop these fields:
- Network economics captures needs/demands, behavior, and economics of users, operators, and other players in the marketplace.
- Performance analysis and modeling investigates characteristics of communications networks by means of traffic measurements and mathematical modeling and develops fundamental algorithms for
- Information and communications theory: Communications theory is the bridge between information theory and communications engineering. While information theory provides fundamental capacity limits for the link capacity, it does not provide guidelines on how these capacity bounds could be approached through using real systems that imposes various additional constraints and impairments.
With 8 professors and these complementary research fields, Comnet is well-positioned to approach research in communication and networking in a holistic fashion.
The fundamental research themes pursued by Comnet and the specific focus areas described above provide the foundation for strategic research missions following grand research challenges. Comnet has identified three such grand challenges we are pursuing in our research as long-term visions:
- Carbon-neutral networking: Connecting the remaining global users—2 billion to mobile networks and 5 billion to the Internet—creates, among many others, an enormous challenge in energy efficiency to be able to power wired and wireless network infrastructure, the backend and data center infrastructure, network access equipment, and all the end user devices. We believe that only holistic rethinking of network, protocol, and system architectures can enable this expansion in a carbon-neutral way.
- Instant wireless Internet: Internet access anytime, anywhere via wireless networks is becoming increasingly commonplace—provided that users are willing to put up with waiting for their desired content or their interactions to complete, leading to mostly inadequate Quality of Experience.
We pursue a comprehensive approach to future wireless access from the radio technologies to network operation to applications to reduce waiting time to delays below human perception.
- Scaling the Internet to a thousand devices per user: Not just the number of Internet users is growing, similarly is the number of their personal devices (for leisure, business, convenience, and medicine) and the number of shared devices penetrating private and public life.
This will ultimately shift the scale of networking by several orders of magnitude as these devices want to be networked, accessed, managed, and controlled.
Yet another rising theme that will affect our research in the coming years is cyber and network security.
Page content by: | Last updated: 23.09.2014.