Group Leader: Professor Nicholas Race
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 in a safe and secure way. Our work is underpinned by rigorous scientific methodology and evaluation.
The explosion in popularity of these services has led a simultaneous 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 greater than ever - computer networking is key to addressing this demand.
Networks are diverse in nature, 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 includes an all-encompassing architecture and design, and the challenges that are faced 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.
The group participates and hosts a number of diverse testbed facilities, some of which are located solely at Lancaster University, whilst others 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 technologies in this way is key to creating realistic and genuine evaluations 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. This is complemented with local IPv6 and software-defined networking testbeds that give researchers the flexibility to work and experiment in an unconstrained environment.