Computer network illustration

Networking

Group Leader

Professor of Networked Systems

+44 (0)1524 510123

Group Members

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Research Activity

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.

Facilities

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.

Research Areas

Software-defined Networks and Systems

Our work in this area including applying software-defined networking techniques to new domains, such as content delivery, smart grids and network monitoring. The flexibility and control granted by software-defined networking have been matched with similar advancements in the services and infrastructures that support networks. We are interested in how these can be built in secure and resilient ways, as well as tackling complex challenges, such as fairness and pricing in the face of increasing demand.

Networked Media Systems

We have also focused on understanding and advancing the ways in which media content is stored, cached and delivered using the future internet. This includes work around scalable networks built specifically to meet the enormous demand for content, as well as the technology used by the clients and servers used to distribute this in a way which adapts to fluctuations in network condition.

Distributed Embedded Systems

The Networking group also has interests in Wireless Sensor Networks and Cyber-Physical Systems. Most computer systems surrounding us in our daily life are no longer traditional personal computers but embedded devices. Recently, these embedded devices have become increasingly networked together to form distributed embedded systems. Examples of networked embedded systems are home automation systems, physical intrusion detection systems, smart cities or wireless sensor systems for factory automation. The group’s work looks at communication mechanisms and software used to construct these systems. An important aspect of this work is to deploy and test systems in real-world application scenarios.

Network Management, Security and Resilience

The Networking group’s work in this area includes investigating the management and security of home networks and IoT deployments, as well as large-scale networks such as those operated by Internet service providers. Other, more unusual contexts, include those faced by emergency services crews in highly mobile and changeable environments. This broad scope of deployments has been matched with consideration for the resiliency and privacy in these cases. This includes monitoring networks in near real-time, diagnosing and addressing potential issues, and understanding the complex interactions between different actors and layers of these systems.

We shed light on the advantages of network virtualisation and OpenFlow for large enterprise organisations. This event helped senior network, technology and business leaders to make informed technology planning and investment decisions as they transition towards virtualised networking. It also enabled professionals charged with purchasing, deploying and transforming their network architecture to define and justify the business case for SDN implementation.

Projects

Secure Cloud Computing for Critical Infrastructure IT

The SECCRIT project is a multidisciplinary research project with the mission to analyse and evaluate cloud computing technologies with respect to security risks in sensitive environments and to develop methodologies, technologies, and best practices for creating a secure, trustworthy, and high-assurance cloud computing environment for critical infrastructure IT.

Situtation-Aware Information Infrastructure

In this project, we propose to design and develop a generic, resilient and adaptive situation-aware information infrastructure (SAI2) that would predict and confront the broad range of challenges faced by the network.

Pozibot: Quantum-secured remote monitoring and data logging technology that enables a dynamic insured warranty for battery packs
01/03/2019 → 28/02/2021
Research

5th Generation Rural Integrated Testbed
02/04/2018 → 29/03/2019
Research

5GRIT : 5G Rural Integrated Testbed
01/04/2018 → 30/09/2019
Research

Enable Ancillary Services bY Renewable Energy Sources
01/03/2018 → 30/06/2021
Research

SL: Upside Energy Ltd (KTP)
01/03/2018 → 29/02/2020
Research

NG-CDI : Next Generation Converged Digital infrastructure
01/11/2017 → 31/10/2022
Research

INITIATE : UK Interconnected Test Beds to support a research and innovation internet evironment
01/02/2017 → 31/01/2021
Research

Resilient communication services protecting end-user applications from disaster-based failures
01/03/2016 → 29/02/2020
Research

Cyber Security of the Internet of Things
29/02/2016 → …
Research

Cyber Security of the Internet of things
28/02/2016 → 31/08/2019
Research

A Situation Aware Information Infrastructure
02/11/2015 → 04/09/2017
Research

Research Investment Equipment Grant
09/03/2015 → 31/03/2015
Research

Secure Architectures of Future Emerging Cryptography (SAFECrypto)
01/01/2015 → 31/12/2018
Research

MUMBA: Multi-faceted Metrics for ICS Business Risk Analysis
01/10/2014 → 31/12/2017
Research

Towards Ultimate Convergence of All Networks (TOUCAN)
11/08/2014 → 10/08/2019
Research

Towards Ultimate Convergence of all Networks (TOUCAN)
11/08/2014 → 10/08/2020
Research

Establish a Pan-European Information Space to Enhance Security of Citizens (EPISECC)
01/06/2014 → 31/10/2017
Research