Ongoing Projects

A New Networking Stack For Mobile

Mobile devices are becoming the most pervasively available source to access the Internet. In spite of technological and economic advancements, fundamental problems related to web access still remain. The increasing complexity of web-pages most often translates to increased page-load time (PLT), the foremost challenge to the academic community in this space. Though well-studied across many years, we argue that the status quo is insufficient. We advocate thechanges modelled on inter-layer dependenices (or the lack of them), building on the various optimizations considered across the layers independently. The main aim of our architecture is to operate in a conservative manner, utilizing reduced network and compute resources, by making alterations (or wholistic replacements) at various levels of the network stack. Through this new framework, we wish to achieve our primary goal of reduced PLT.

Distributed Network Services

Majority of software-defined network design and implementation efforts have been focused on local area networks. These environments are highly controlled, with reasonable control over network failures, and very few truly random event occurrences. SD-WANs extend the traditional notion of SDNs to the wide area network where SDNs will face three fundamental challenges: increased latency, low-average bandwidth, and an increased probability of failures. We are currently exploring the design of distributed scalable, fault-tolerant and secure SD-WANs. Availability and tolerance towards network partitions have been well-documented, but their impact on consistency in moderate-bandwidth, increased latency environments is not well studied. We aim to architect SD-WANs using a new paradigm of Distributed Network Services (DNSs) as building blocks. These DNSs are extensions of ONUG’s vision of Network Service Virtualization (NSV), where service capabilities are tied to each instance of an application and are orchestrated and instantiated with the application.

Urban and Personalized Sensing

Urban informatics problems such as pollution and traffic monitoring require efficient systems for data acquisition, sensor control and actuation. We aim to build next-generation cellular architectures and use them to power futuristic Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Older Projects

Connectivity and Web Access

A significant fraction of rural regions remains disconnected with no network connectivity. Conventional wire-line connectivity solutions (fiber, broadband and dial-up) and wireless connectivity solutions (WiMax, cellular or satellite) are not economically viable for regions with low purchasing power and low user-densities. In contrast, cellular networks consume very high power and also face high capital and operational expenses (tower, power, management, spectrum). Achieving a combination of high-performance, high reliability and low power consumption is a fundamentally hard problem. Our long term goal in this area is to design an extremely low-cost, high-performance, low-power, highly reliable and easy to manage rural wireless network where the entire network is completely solar-powered with no dependence on the power grid.

Web for Emerging Regions

The World Wide Web is largely unusable or prohibitively slow for a majority of users in the developing world due to poor connectivity. The conventional model for Web access is fundamentally ill-suited for emerging regions due to four basic challenges. In contrast to connectivity, Web pages have grown in size and complexity over the past decade. The average web page size has grown roughly by a factor of 40-50 in the last decade. Addressing the Web access problem has been a large-scale initiative and several Masters and PhD students have worked on different parts of this project.