Section: Research Program

Horizontal perspective

We aim at designing efficient tools for a plethora of wireless devices supporting highly heterogeneous technologies. We will thus investigate these networks from a horizontal perspective, e.g. by considering heterogeneity in low level communications layers.

Given the spectrum scarcity, they will probably need to coexist in the same frequency bands and sometimes for different purposes (RFID tag reading may use the same frequency bands as the wireless sensors). One important aspect to consider in this setting is how these different access technologies will interact with each other and what are the mechanisms needed to be put in place to guarantee that all services obtain the required share of resources when needed. This problem appears in different application domains, ranging from traffic offloading to unlicensed bands by cellular networks and the need to coexist with WiFi and radars, from a scenario in which multiple-purpose IoT clouds coexist in a city [64]. We will thus explore the dynamics of these interactions and devise ways to ensure smooth coexistence while considering the heterogeneity of the devices involved, the access mechanisms used as well as the requirements of the services provided.

To face the spectrum scarcity, we will also investigate new alternative communication paradigms such as phonon-based or light-based communications as we have initiated in [39] and we will work on the coexistence of these technologies with traditional communication techniques, specifically by investigating efficient switching techniques from one communication technology to the other (they were most focused on the security aspects, to prevent jamming attacks). Resilience and reliability of the whole system will be the key factors to be taken into account [14], [23].

As a more prospective activity, we consider exploring software and communication security for IoT. This is challenging given that existing solutions do not address systems that are both constrained and networked [53]. Finally, in order to contribute to a better interoperability between all these technologies, we will continue to contribute to standardization bodies such as IETF and EPC Global.