Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Smart Wireless Communication is the Cornerstone of Smart Infrastructures

June 22nd, 2017 / in Announcements, CCC, research horizons, Research News / by Helen Wright

Contributions to this post were made by CCC Council member Jennifer Rexford and Mary Ann Weitnauer.   

Today’s wireless networks cannot meet the demands of emerging smart infrastructure, such as Smart Cities, Smart Grids, Smart Health, and Smart Transportation. We are desperately in need of wireless networks that have more agility, reliability, security, scalability, and partnerships.

Recently, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) in collaboration with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) released white papers describing a collective research agenda for intelligent infrastructure. We will be blogging about each paper over the next few weeks.

Today, we highlight a newly release intelligent infrastructure paper called Smart Wireless Communication is the Cornerstone of Smart Infrastructures.

Some of the specific needs in advanced wireless technologies and the recommendations to address them include:

  • Scaling to a large number of devices: The number of radio connections will see staggering growth in the next decade.
    • Recommendation: Study extremely high bandwidth radio access technologies.
  • Scaling mobile data volume by 1000X: The data rate needed per mobile device is expected to increase by a factor of 100, owing to emerging applications such as HD video streaming, virtual reality, and 3D gaming.
    • Recommendation: Optimum distribution of computation, storage, and communication resources ranging from the cloud to the mobile edge (e.g., fog computing), for better performance (e.g., lower latency and higher reliability) and cost (e.g., lower bandwidth usage on the wired network to the cloud).
  • Supporting energy-efficient devices: The network of the future must support vast numbers of moderate-to-low data rate and energy-constrained IoT devices, e.g., sensors that are powered by harvesting ambient energy or whose batteries need to last for many years, to generate the data that feeds the smart infrastructure.
    • Recommendation: Effective techniques such as caching and mobile infrastructure for handling intermittent connectivity to work with low-power devices that may be temporarily unreachable to save energy.
  • Protecting security and privacy: As more devices are connected to each other and to the internet, our wireless infrastructure must be protected from cyberattacks, including new threats on (and from) IoT devices.
    • Recommendation: Security solutions for authentication to prevent wireless infrastructure attacks and privacy leaks.
  • Low latency for real-time control: Latency, or the round-trip delay in a network, must decrease by more than a factor of 10 to support real-time control applications such as multi-player gaming and virtual reality.
    • Recommendation: Dynamic clustering of communication resources along the edge, achieved with high speed, extreme bandwidth routers, to support low-latency applications.
  • Integrated free access option: The trends in free WiFi access tell us that a new integrated wireless infrastructure must support some amount of free access.
    • Recommendation: Integration of limited public access options for businesses that wish to offer free access. For example, knowing in the beginning that a free public access channel will eventually be offered almost ubiquitously by businesses, include this service option as part of the design of the new integrated architecture.
  • Meeting the needs of the community: Designing a new wireless infrastructure that truly meets the needs of communities is extremely challenging and demands a vision beyond what the wireless industry alone can provide.
    • Recommendation: Partnerships with academia in the training of students, government employees (e.g., law enforcement), and retraining of workers in many fields, to create and use wireless technologies to build solutions to address important societal and business problems.

We need a wireless infrastructure that is ubiquitous (across a large and diverse country), reliable, resilient, secure (worthy of society’s trust), energy-efficient, and cost-effective for smart infrastructures that can support the most advanced 21st-century society.

Please read the paper for more information about research investments needed for Smart Wireless Communication.

Stay tuned to learn more about the other intelligent infrastructure papers!

Smart Wireless Communication is the Cornerstone of Smart Infrastructures

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