Wireless Networks (WN)

Head: Paolo Barsocchi


The thematic area "Networking Science & Technology" addresses all aspects relevant to networks and new networking technologies. It includes three main research activities, strictly related to them: wireless networks, domotics, and cyber-physical systems.

 Wireless networks include all the aspects of modern wireless communications, such as satellite communications,  wireless ad hoc networks, and sensor networks. 

Wireless ad-hoc networks are the ultimate response to the needs of self-adapting and rapidly-deployable networks, to cope with situations, where either wired or cellular networks are unavailable or unfeasible. Ad-hoc and sensor networks implement a distributed cooperation environment, maybe using a peer-to-peer paradigm. Given the limited range of wireless communication and mobility of nodes, the network connectivity is variable and, to some extent, unpredictable. Major issues are how to implement communication in such a dynamic context and how to guarantee the consistency and integrity of global information. Wireless sensor networks are a key technology in the implementation of the context information acquisition layer as part of the Internet of Things.

 Domotics constitute a special applicative scenario for wireless networks, exploiting several home automation technologies, to increase the quality of life for elderly and disabled persons. At the core of the domotic system, artificial intelligence provides a wholly innovative approach to home automation, moving from simple commands and controls to an active/proactive behavior of the environment itself. Research on this topic is being conducted to achieve further enhancements to users' comfort and security. 

Through context-aware systems, new scenarios arise, where automatic learning and adaptive processes can be exploited to provide a responsive domotic system, able to gather knowledge and experience both in the current context.

 Although Internet services are now based on widely adopted versions of protocols and stable products, a distinctive feature of this field is its rapid development. Updates are constantly released, and new protocols, products, and services are introduced. In such an environment that requires the high reliability of services, it is not easy to propose innovations if they are not effective and dependable. 

It is frequently commissioned, by public and private organizations, to evaluate and test new solutions and products, often being involved in network projects, starting from the development of the underlying network infrastructure, all the way to Internet application services, as well as important projects on Public Key Infrastructures (PKI), for large, public organizations. 

Activities of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) - the international organization for the development and promotion of Internet standards and protocols - as well as involvement in the development and dissemination of innovative network technologies in the research and academic communities are normally carried out.