$8 Million for New Projects

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-09-07 Print this article Print


Meanwhile, the NSF on Aug. 27 announced awards for three other new projects, each worth up to $8 million over three years, as part of the FIA program. These programs are known as MobilityFirst, NEBULA, and eXpressive Internet Architecture.

"As our reliance on a secure and highly dependable information technology infrastructure continues to increase, it is no longer clear that emerging and future needs of our society can be met by the current trajectory of incremental changes to the current Internet." said Ty Znati, director of the Computer and Network Systems Division within the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) at the NSF. "Thus our call to the research community to propose new Internet architectures that hold promise for the future."

"While to the ultimate goal is the  design and deployment of a network that serves all the needs of society, we realize that these projects are just the beginning of what it would take to create a full scale Future Internet," said Darleen Fisher, NSF's program director for the FIA projects. "We expect that the knowledge obtained from this research will inform the development of future networks."

The four basic research and system design projects funded under FIA explore different dimensions of the network architecture design space and emphasize different visions of future networks, NSF officials said. NSF anticipates that the teams will explore new directions and a diverse range of research thrusts within their research agenda but also work together to enhance and possibly integrate architectural thinking, concepts and components, paving the way to a comprehensive trustworthy network architecture of the future, the NSF said.

"Over the next three years the FIA effort will include the design, prototyping, and evaluation of different aspects of network architectures," said Victor Frost, program director for the FIA projects.

Moreover, the FIA projects include leaders in computer science and electrical engineering as well as experts in law, economics, security, privacy, and public policy. The program will support 60 researchers at over 30 institutions across the country.

The MobilityFirst project is being led by Rutgers University with collaboration from Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, the University of Massachusetts/Lowell, the University of Michigan, the University of Nebraska/Lincoln, and the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill.

According to the NSF, MobilityFirst is as follows:

"The design principles of the Internet, its flexibility, adaptability and ubiquity, have enabled an unprecedented wave of innovation, which transformed our lives; yet the increasing user demand for seamless communication on the move brings about new challenges that stress the current Internet, originally designed to support communications between fixed end-points. The MobilityFirst project takes a different approach and proposes an architecture centered on mobility as the norm, rather than the exception. The architecture uses generalized delay-tolerant networking (GDTN) to provide robustness even in presence of link/network disconnections. GDNT integrated with the use of self-certifying public key addresses provides an inherently trustworthy network. Dealing with mobility as a first class entity allows functionalities like context--and location--aware services to fit naturally into the network. The project focuses on the tradeoffs between mobility and scalability and on opportunistic use of network resources to achieve effective communications among mobile endpoints."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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