Computer networking is a core part of the internet of today. It fundamentally underpins the consumption of many services that we take for granted, including social media, video-on-demand and gaming.
We have a diverse range of interests, including developing cutting-edge computer networking technologies, understanding new deployment contexts and ensuring that both of these are done safely and securely. We underpin our work with rigorous scientific methodology and evaluation.
The explosion in these services has led to a growth in the requirements of the networks that they rely upon. The need to grow in capacity, become more efficient and deliver a better quality of service is higher than ever - computer networking is key to addressing this demand.
Networks are diverse, and the list of technologies keeps growing. The research group has an interest in a number of these, including packet-based, wireless, optical, mobile and sensor network technologies.
Together, these technologies form part of the future internet, and the group's primary aim is to discover how this is built. This research includes an all-encompassing architecture and design, and the challenges that we face in this.
The group’s work also focuses on the need for new flexible and virtualised technologies to support this expansion. This includes understanding how potentially diverse networks and services interact together and how they can be better combined and managed for the benefit of operators and users alike.
We participate and host several testbed facilities, some of which are located solely at Lancaster University. Others systems are federated facilities connected to partners in the UK, the EU and the rest of the world.
These enable the evaluation of technologies and systems in environments similar to those in production networks. Working with techniques in this way is key to creating realistic and genuine assessments that have real-world implications.
Specific examples include a multi-site testbed used as a tool to understand multi-domain technology convergence in the future Internet. We complement this with local IPv6 and software-defined networking testbeds that give researchers the flexibility to work and experiment in an unconstrained environment.