We want to design open communication systems that enable multiple services providers to share network resources as they compete to satisfy the demands of a diverse set of end users.
Mission-critical innovations such as remote surgery, autonomous vehicles and Industry 4.0 will require an exceptionally high quality of service from ultra-reliable, low-latency communications networks.
Research challenges for this thematic area include:
– How to design, deploy, and configure robust networks, beyond the ‘five 9s’
– How to provision networks so they provide ultra-low, deterministic latency towards the milli-second range, possibly even lower
– The use of data analytics to properly design, monitor and tune the performance of dependable networks
This research theme explores four specific challenges involved in building sustainable IoT devices:
– Energy harvesting and storage, with power-management algorithms to allow the device to be completely energy autonomous for its entire lifetime
– Efficient protocols and networking principles for connecting devices at the edge to the network
– Highly reconfigurable software-defined devices based on low-power platforms, which can be reused for new use cases by changing, for example, communication protocols and sensing algorithms.
– Resilient security mechanisms beyond classical cryptography to address future threats
5G and beyond networks will require multi-Gbps wired and wireless data transmission. In addition to increased capacity, ultra-reliable low latency links will be required.
Research challenges for this theme include:
– New RF circuitry, new waveforms and significant improvements in the design of power amplifiers to increase the wireless link capacity at three orders of magnitude
– Building a converged photonic networking platform that can seamlessly bridge the wireless and the wireline links
– Use of advanced signal processing algorithms and modulation schemes for multiple-antenna systems, addressing error correction codes for short packets to support ultra-reliable, ultra-low latency communication links
– THz communication and the design challenges for building RF systems
– Biological nano-communication models that can be deployed within the human body, e.g., to support medical applications
The shared network is the essential platform to build affordable customised networks where resources can be sliced and stitched together to provide an end-to-end network substrate with an allocation and configuration of resources to suit niche operators.
There are several important research aspects in this theme:
– Virtualisation and dynamic resource sharing, as well as resource characterisation, provisioning, and isolation
– Isolating each network slice, with embedded trust and security mechanisms, so that each tenant only sees and monitors the resources and the performance of that slice of the network
– Stitching together the resources and various segments of a shared network to provide a complete end-to-end network service
-Monitoring resources and the performance of individual network slices but also the composite
Data-driven optimisation and management:
A new approach, beyond traditional network and service management solutions, is required to manage the massive amount of data retrievable from increasingly diverse and complex networks.
Our work in this research theme investigates the use of novel AI/ML techniques to improve and optimise the overall performance of networks before adverse conditions arise. Research challenges become further pronounced by taking into consideration ever fluctuating and changing network loads, specifically when resources are constrained and trade-offs must be made to provide high Quality of Experience.
Telecommunication networks and the research that produces them exist within, and as part of, larger social and environmental networks. Network Ecologies brings research from broad disciplinary contexts into networks research.
In the research theme we:
– Find ways to understand the complex interactions of emerging technologies with the contexts in which they are deployed
– Look at how different forms of knowledge and context shape the outcomes of our research process
– Investigate policies, tools and frameworks that can help direct innovation towards wider forms of social and environmental benefit
– Identify strategies from art practice and social sciences that can contribute to greater understanding of networks
Testbeds are an area of important strategic focus for CONNECT. They allow us to take ideas and make them real, engage with industry and agencies, and help us imagine the future.
The Open Ireland testbed takes an end-to-end approach to the network, and including real-world testing capabilities in the wireless, optical and cloud-based domains using open interfaces and open source. It will investigate intelligent control plane technology and protocols and enable 100X scalability, to allow the research on challenges such as capacity, latency, availability, energy, and automation.
Led by Prof. Marco Ruffini at Trinity College Dublin, Open Ireland is funded by Science Foundation Ireland.
RadioSpace is a national facility for radio wave measurement and experimentation, located in Maynooth University. It consists of a large shielded facility for the testing of radio-enabled electronics and devices without interference.
Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, RadioSpace is led by Prof. Ronan Farrell at Maynooth University.
Pervasive Nation is the CONNECT Centre’s national-scale Internet of Things research infrastructure based on a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networking technology. It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland having won a Research Infrastructures Award in January 2016.
The objective of Pervasive Nation is to build an Internet of Things testbed of scale which will become a resource for industry, government and academia and act as a strong catalyst for Internet of Things research and innovation.
The Data Centre is located within the Walton Institute at Waterford Institute of Technology. It has a total IT power load of 300Kw with some cabinets engineered to house 30kw of IT equipment. The Centre was designed with high-density, power efficiency and separation of services as its primary goals.
The energy–efficient Data Centre supports network-based research projects in the area of telecommunications networking and cloud computing.
Smart Docklands facilitates and enables the testing of smart city solutions by identifying real-world challenges and working with diverse stakeholders to come up with lasting solutions in areas such as disruptive technology, environmental monitoring, waste management, and smart mobility.
The Smart Docklands testbed is a partnership of CONNECT with Dublin City Council, and is co- funded via the Enable smart cities research programme led by Prof. Siobhán Clarke in Trinity College Dublin.
IRIS: Software Defined Testbed
CONNECT at Trinity College Dublin uses a cognitive radio testbed based on a software-defined radio (SDR) system. The testbed is organized in experimentation units each consisting of three parts: a virtual computational platform, SDR software, and flexible radio frontend hardware.
The SDR system, known as IRIS, has been developed in-house over the past fifteen years and allows the construction of a broad range of radio systems. Each experimentation unit is designed to serve a range of needs: Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS) provides a highly configurable computation platform, IRIS provides real-time radio re-configurability, and the radio frontend hardware (based on the National Instruments USRP platform) offers a broad range of wireless interfaces.
CONNECT researchers currently lead several international research projects and collaborate with others on many more.
Coordinated by TCD, EDGE is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND project and a major research, training and development programme for postdoctoral researchers. Leveraging the resources of three SFI Research Centres hosted in TCD (CONNECT, ADAPT and AMBER), excellent researchers are recruited through an open competition to work on cutting-edge research topics.
SPATIAL (Security and Privacy Accountable Technology Innovations, Algorithms, and machine Learning)
Black box AI refers to AI systems that receive input and produce output without the end-user understanding. As inputs and outputs cannot be easily seen or understood, it can lead to issues within and across organisations. The EU-funded SPATIAL project will address the challenges of black box AI and data management in cybersecurity. To do this, it will design and develop resilient accountable metrics, privacy-preserving methods, verification tools and system framework to pave the way for trustworthy AI in security solutions. In addition to this, the project aims to help generate appropriate skills and education for trustworthy AI in cybersecurity on both societal and technical aspects.
CONFIDENTIAL6G (Confidential Computing and Privacy-preserving Technologies for 6G)
6G infrastructures must ensure reliability, trust and resilience on a globally connected continuum of heterogeneous environments supported by the convergence of networks and IT systems to enable new future digital services. The substantial increase of coverage and network heterogeneity, raises severe concerns that 6G security and privacy can be worse than the previous generations. The 6G network should be a deep integration of emerging AI tools, new hardware components and accelerators, compute and networking functions, IoT and edge nodes. Contemporary security is not designed for serving a massive number of connected and high-mobility heterogeneous devices. CONFIDENTIAL6G emphasizes on privacy preservation and security of sensitive data by focusing on protection of data: • In use. This is an unsolved issue with solutions just emerging with Confidential Computing. • In transit. CONFIDENTIAL6G will enhance communication protection with post-quantum cryptography, blockchain technologies and secure data access control and traceability platforms. • At the Edge. CONFIDENTIAL6G will work on specifying the post-quantum cryptographic approach most appropriate to cater for constrained Edge and IoT devices. Additionally, in order to avoid data movement from the Edge and increase trust and security, Federated AI/ML will be researched. CONFIDENTIAL6G will base its research on 3 pillars: Post-quantum cryptography, Confidential Computing and Confidential Communication. CONFIDENTIAL6G will test and validate the developed solutions in three use cases: 1) Predictive maintenance for airline consortium using blockchain-based data sharing platform and federated AI/ML orchestration, 2) Privacy-preserving confidential computing platform that enables mitigation of internal threats for telecom cloud providers and 3) Intelligent connected vehicle, mission-critical services, OTA updates, FL/ML and vehicle to infrastructure communication.
Coordinated by MTU under the scientific leadership of Dr Susan Rea and Dr Alan McGibney, DENiM is a consortium of 17 partners from academia and industry.
Digital technologies will play a significant role in supporting
Manufacturing industries are adopting working methods to monitor and optimise energy usage in order to ensure industry can remain competitive while also supporting the global energy transition.
DENiM aims to develop an integrated toolchain for the provision of advanced digital services including secure-edge connectivity leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, digital twin, energy modelling and automation.
Coordinated from WIT’s Walton Institute under the scientific leadership of Alan Davy and Brendan Jennings, TERAPOD is a collaboration with 10 partners from academia and industry. The project investigates and demonstrates the feasibility of ultra-high bandwidth wireless access networks operating in the Terahertz band. By leveraging recent advances in THz components, TERAPOD aims to demonstrate the benefit of THz communication for future networks.
Coordinated from WIT’s Walton Institute under the scientific leadership of Steven Davy, this project is a collaboration involving 31 partners from academia and industry. CYBELE aims to demonstrate how high-performance computing (HPC), Big Data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things can transform farming and bring major social, economic and environmental benefits.
Coordinated from WIT’s Walton Institute under the scientific leadership of Alan Davy and James Clark, NGIAtlantic is part of the wider NGI (Next Generation Internet) initiative which is supported by the European Commission. Through the mechanism of “cascade funding”, NGI Atlantic supports collaborations between EU-based researchers and US-based researchers. This supports the EU-US collaborators teams to carry out experiments using EU and/or US based experimental platforms.
Led by CONNECT’s Francesco Pilla in University College Dublin, and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020, the iSCAPE project aims to advance the control of air quality and carbon emissions in European cities in the context of climate change through the development of sustainable and passive air pollution remediation strategies, policy interventions and behavioural change initiatives.
Led by CONNECT’s Luiz DaSilva in Trinity College Dublin, and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 (ICT-2015), FUTEBOL is the Federated Union of Telecommunications Research Facilities for an EU-Brazil Open Laboratory.
Led by CONNECT’s Steven Davy at Waterford Institute of Technology, and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 5G PPP programme, Cognet aims to build an intelligent system of insight and action for 5G network management.
The Cognet project focuses in particular on applying Machine Learning research to these domains to enable the level of Network Management technology required to fulfil the 5G vision.
Led by CONNECT’s Alan Davy at Waterford Institute of Technology, the CIRCLE (Coordination European Research on Molecular Communications) project aims to provide a structured research agenda in Molecular Communications across Europe.
Molecular Communications seeks to leverage biological phenomenon at the molecular level such as inter cell communication, usage of immune system, bacteria DNA transfer, neuronal signaling and calcium signaling to build a communications infrastructure for nano-scale devices that can be deployed and coordinate sophisticated operations within biological systems such as the human body.
Led by CONNECT’s Dirk Pesch in University College Cork, E2District aims to develop, deploy, and demonstrate a novel cloud enabled management framework for DHC systems, which will deliver compound energy cost savings of 30% through development of a District Simulation Platform to optimise.
Led by CONNECT’s Steven Davy at Waterford Institute of Technology, AQUASMART’s enhances innovation capacity for the aquaculture sector by addressing the problem of global knowledge access and data exchanges between aquaculture companies and its related stakeholders.
AQUASMART will have a very positive impact on the environment by helping companies to better estimate daily biomass, optimize feeding rates and management practices.
CONNECT is involved in several large-scale and highly strategic initiatives which allow us to expand our vison for future communications networks.
ENABLE is a €14.5 million Science Foundation Ireland Spoke on Smart Communities. It involves collaboration among three SFI research centres: CONNECT, Lero and Insight. It aims to “connect communities to smart urban environments through the Internet of Things.”
Led by Prof. Siobhán Clarke at Trinity College Dublin, ENABLE addresses the challenges currently limiting the potential benefits of IoT for communities. It seeks to enabling smarter buildings, more efficient transportation/mobility, better handling of environmental issues, better decision support, and enhanced cyber and infrastructure security and data privacy.
Visit the ENABLE website
CONNECT has partnered with Dublin City Council to spearhead this initiative, which sees the capital’s docklands as a smart city technology testbed. Over 40,000 people work in this thriving business district, and it is home to 26,000 residents. It is also home to many of the world’s leading global technology companies.
The objective is to unite SMEs, technology companies, residents and local government officials in developing, testing and improving innovative technology-based solutions to living and working in the district.
Visit the Smart Docklands website
EDGE is Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Action, led by CONNECT in Trinity College Dublin on behalf of a group of academic institutions from across Ireland. EDGE offers 71 prestigious Fellowships for experienced researchers (post-doctoral or equivalent) relocating to Ireland over two calls for proposals. EDGE is also a training and development programme for scientific excellence, offering a unique combination of interdisciplinary research themes, career development opportunities and industry engagement to the community of Fellows we recruit.
EDGE leverages the strengths and assets of three Science Foundation Ireland research centres: CONNECT, AMBER and ADAPT. These Centres together perform world-leading research on the three main pillars of ICT.
Visit the EDGE website
CONNECT integrates creative practices into its research and outreach activities.
Orthogonal Methods Group
The Orthogonal Methods Group (OMG) looks at the creative interventions that can be made in bringing together researchers from diverse backgrounds across CONNECT. In 2016, for instance, it focused on Internet Of Things and new forms of currency.
The group includes CONNECT’s Artist in Residence (Dennis McNulty), Writer in Residence (Jessica Foley), and Curator in Residence (Kate Strain). These individuals, their practices, and the practices of all of OMG, are increasingly an intrinsic part of CONNECT’s research processes.
In 2016 the first PhD thesis emerged from this group and focused on ‘inreach’. It looked at creative interventions that can be made in bringing together researchers from diverse backgrounds across CONNECT.
Artsformation is a Horizon 2020 funded research project with the aim of understanding, analysing, and promoting the ways in which the Arts can reinforce the social, cultural, economic, and political benefits of the digital transformation. It aims to support and be part of the process of making society adaptive to the changes brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution (artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, nanotechnologies, etc.) through research, innovation, and applied artistic practice.
Within the Artsformation project, CONNECT researchers lead a work package that investigates the role and impact of the arts on the digital transformation through its integration with enterprise.
Department of Ultimology
Co-founded by Fiona Hallinan and Kate Strain, the Department is the first of its kind in the world. Ultimology is the study of that which is dead or dying in a series or process. When applied to academic disciplines, it becomes the study of extinct or endangered subjects, theories, and tools of learning.
When applied to CONNECT, it is also the study of what we need to give up and relinquish to refresh our perspectives and move forward.
Engineering Fictions (EF) is an experimental writing workshop devised by Dr Jessica Foley, CONNECT’s Writer in Residence at Trinity College Dublin. It is an instrument that can support and improve conceptual and verbal literacy within interdisciplinary contexts, seeking to “subtly interrupt everyday communication across academic, artistic and techno-scientific contexts.”
In particular, the platform supports conversations in relation or tension with technological research through various kinds of writing. Previous sessions have explored themes such as “Interrupting Things”, ‘A Wake A Wake’ and ‘Primate Vision’.
Designing for the Unknown
Designing for the Unknown (DFTU) is a research platform within CONNECT that brings researchers from different disciplines into critical proximity in order to produce new conversations and understandings of research beyond disciplinary boundaries.
DFTU aims to aid CONNECT researchers in producing cutting edge research with an awareness of its role and impact in society across technical, social and environmental domains. DFTU operates through the organisation of a series of regular discussions and other events along with developing tools and workshops for developing communicative and critical capacity amongst CONNECT researchers.