27 April 2008

Future Internet Assembly (Bled, March/April 2008)


The TSSG is at the heart of EU funded research into the Future Internet. The TSSG also has Irish funding (from the HEA and SFI that funds related basic research into the management of future networks). The TSSG was well represented at the recent event in Slovenia: Future Internet Assembly (31st March - 2nd April 2008). This post tries to summarise TSSG Future Internet activity, EU-funded and Irish-funded, and how this range of expertise links to events like the one in Bled.

The key point of this posting is to illustrate how the TSSG is at the centre of Future Internet activity in Europe. In addition to the active projects, and participation in the EU Technology Platforms, the TSSG has also led the way in building events that integrate the North American view of the Future Internet with the European view, in particular through the TridentCom event (held this year in Austria in March, chaired by Miguel ponce de Leon, and next year in Washington DC) chaired by our colleague and visiting Professor in Waterford IT, Thomas Magadanz (Fraunhofer FOKUS and the Technical University of Berlin).

The TSSG's engagement in Future Internet activities builds upon our prior experience in communications infrastructure and services (and in particular the management challenges of heterogeneous environments including wireless access networks), and our experience in EU FP4, FP5, FP6 and FP7 projects from 1996-2008.

TSSG active in EU Future Internet projects

  • 4WARD [IP FP7 ICT Call 1] (TSSG: partner)

    The 4WARD project is looking to the new architecture and design for the Future Internet and has set itself the task of creating a new approach to networking architecture that is more flexible and better adapted to present and future requirements.

  • EFIPSANS [IP FP7 ICT Call 1] (TSSG: partner)

    The EFIPSANS project aims at exposing the features in IP version six protocols that can be exploited or extended for the purposes of designing or building autonomic networks and services.

  • AutoI [STREP FP7 ICT Call 1] (TSSG: partner - coordinated proposal submission)

    The Autonomic Internet project will design and develop a self-managing virtual resource overlay that can span across heterogeneous networks, support service mobility, quality of service and reliability.

  • PERSIST [STREP FP7 ICT Call 1] (TSSG: coordinator)

    The Project PERsonal Self-Improving SmarT spaces (PERSIST) deals with personal smart spaces that a user carries with his mobile devices and that are able to interact in an ad hoc way. Thus, PERSIST complements the vision of a operator driven Pervasive and Context-Aware Computing environment (e.g. Daidalos I and II projects in FP6) by extending it to environments where neither network connectivity nor smart space features are available. Major research challenges of the PERSIST project are service provisioning and composition in ad hoc scenarios, context awareness and context semantics, pro-activity and learning and privacy and security issues. All of these objectives except security and privacy are covered by the Internet of Services Working Group of the Future Internet Assembly. PERSIST is a member of the Internet of Services Working Group and is active in the Security and Privacy cross-domain subgroup which interfaces to the Security and Privacy Working Group of the Future Internet Assembly.

  • Inco-Trust [CA FP7 ICT Call 1] (TSSG: coordinator)

    INCO-TRUST is an FP7 international cooperation project within the F5 Unit Security, bringing together researchers in ICT Trust, Security and Dependability from the EU, U.S., Japan, Australia, South Korea and Canada. The project will address problems where the interconnected trans-national world of “things” (and attacks, impact, enforcement) gives incentive to join forces with other countries. The topic areas include Future Internet, interlinked infrastructures and their protection.

  • Think-Trust [CA FP7 ICT Call 1] (TSSG: coordinator)

    Think-Trust Project is investigating Trust, Security, Dependability, Privacy and Identity from ICT and Societal Perspectives. The project and its Advisory Board (RISEPTIS) will be supported by targeted working groups from the stakeholder and research community that will address focussed issues and questions. These WG will focus on 1) Security, Dependability and Trust in the Future Internet and 2) Privacy and Trust in the Information Society. Its objective is to formulate recommendations on future policy and research priorities.

  • PII [IP FP7 ICT Call 2] (TSSG: partner)

    The PII (PanLab 2) project is a Pan-European laboratory infrastructure implementation project which has the objective to enable the federation of innovation clusters on a European level, applying the framework developed by the Panlab SSA in FP6, which consists of basic legal, operational, and technical rules.

  • Perimeter [STREP FP7 ICT Call 2] (TSSG: partner) Project kick-off is May 2008

    The Perimeter project is looking to establish a new paradigm of user-centrality for advanced networking. In contrast to network-centric approaches, user-centric strategies could achieve true seamless mobility putting the user at the centre rather than the operator enables the user to control his or her identity, preferences and credentials, and so seamless mobility is streamlined, enabling mobile users to be “Always Best Connected” in multiple-access multiple-operator networks of the Future Internet.

  • VITAL++ [STREP FP7 ICT Call 2] (TSSG: partner) Project kick-off is May 2008

    Emerging types of applications, rich in user-created or provider-created content, enabled by P2P technology, with high demands for network resources are rapidly changing the landscape of network requirements and operations creating new challenges in network and service management, configuration, deployment, protocols etc. P2P is primarily a technology that fosters self-deployment and self-organisation, thus, reducing operational costs, while it achieves optimised resource utilisation for the deployed applications and services. In contrast, IMS as a control plane technology primarily addresses issues of heterogeneity of access technologies, addressing schemes, AAA, security and mobility management. This project's major objective is to combine and experiment with the best of the two worlds, namely, IMS-like control plane functionality and P2P technology giving rise into a new communication paradigm that will bring a wide range of benefits. The key to achieving this objective, is to put this paradigm under strenuous experimentation, carried out under realistic network conditions using popular applications. To this end, the project is putting together a pan-European testbed comprised of existing geographically distributed test sites integrated by IMS technology. This will be thoroughly tested by reference content applications and services that use P2P technology as a means for their distribution and achieving satisfactory QoS levels through network resource optimisation algorithms rather than non-scalable QoS reservation operations.

(Note on types of EU project: IP = Integrated Project; STREP = Strategic Research Project; CA = Coordinated Action; SSA = Strategic Support Action).

TSSG active in EU Technology Platforms

All of the EU Technology Platforms in which the actively participate have signed up to support this Future Internet activity in the EU. Technology Platforms are the EU's mechanism for allowing key industrial sectors to define the research challenges for the sector, providing a mechanism for these challenges to be integrated into the research funinding programmes of the EU Commission. The descriptions below describe the EU-TPs activity at the Future Internet Assembly in Bled in March 2008:

  • eMobility (TSSG: board member)

    Objective: To reinforce Europe's leadership in mobile and wireless communications and services and to master the future development of this technology, so that it best serves Europe's citizens and the European economy.

    eMobility participated to a number of the breakout sessions at the Future Internet Assembly. WIT/TSSG were responsible for finding a speaker from eMobility for session BO5 Security and assisted with the presentation entitled security cross-issues as seen from the perspective of the eMobility European Technology Platform made during the breakout session. As Steering Board member, WIT/TSSG were requested to help with the questionnaire for eTPs during the preparation phase of the event.

  • NEM (TSSG: board member)

    Networked and Electronic Media (NEM) is one of the European Industrial Initiatives, also known as Technology Platforms, established by relevant key European stakeholders, which address the convergence of media, communications, consumer electronics, and IT as a wide opportunity for future growth, by taking advantage of generalized broadband access, increased mobility, availability of richer media formats and contents, as well as new home networks and communications platforms.

    NEM were very active during the sessions, especially the BO session on content. They also participated to the other sessions and, for example, presented the security challenges to the BO5, which included ensuring data integrity and resiliency, sustainable user privacy and trustworthiness and content management. This calls for interoperability and scalability of security measures. WIT/TSSG is the leader in an activity within NEM called NEM Security. WIT/TSSG is representing NEM Security in a cross platform panel session on ICT TSD in July 2008 at the DEBS 2008 conference.

  • NESSI (TSSG: member)

    The NESSI (Networked European Software and Services Initiative) Technology Platform is a public/private partnership that aims to develop and implement a common European strategy for achieving global leadership in software and services. NESSI addresses European research in services architectures and software infrastructures including Grids and will develop technologies, strategies and deployment policies fostering new, open, industrial solutions and societal applications that enhance the safety, security and well-being of citizens. Software and services have become a strategic capability for industry and society. Advances in Web services, Grid technologies Software and communication networks are changing the Internet, wireless and audiovisual worlds into a worldwide platform for building and delivering distributed applications, services and information. Today, this trend is emerging as a market for "on-demand services" that build on web services, Grid technologies and SOAS. This will have a profound effect on existing IT business models. Rather than customers having to adapt their processes to make use of off-the-shelf software, they will be able to procure, relatively cheaply, tailored systems that directly support their work and that can evolve in step with their businesses.

    NESSI were active during most sessions, especially the BO session on services. A representative also presented in the Security session on the implications of virtualization for security and the related specifications of security requirements in the virtual environment. WIT/TSSG is a member of the NESSI Working group on Trust, Security and Dependability.

TSSG in Irish-funded Future Internet projects

  • AMCNS (Science Foundation Ireland, SFI PI Cluster)

    The “Autonomic Management of Communications Networks and Services” research programme addresses the essence of Autonomic Management, which is the ability for a system to self-govern its behaviour within the constraints of the business goals that the system as a whole seeks to achieve. It aims to develop a reference architectural framework for autonomic communications, which will facilitate the definition, creation, deployment and management of communications services in line with high level business goals, but without the requirement for significant human intervention. Fundamental part of the work is the use of information modelling to capture knowledge relating to network capabilities, environmental constraints and business goals/policies, together with ontological engineering to provide inferencing capabilities. This foundation is supplemented by reasoning and learning mechanisms to enhance and evolve this knowledge. Policy-based network management systems incorporating translation/code generation will use this knowledge to automatically configure network elements in response to changing business goals and/or environmental context. This realises an autonomic control loop, in which the system senses changes in itself and its environment, analyses these data to ensure that business goals and objectives are being met; expedites changes should these goals and objectives be threatened, and observes the result to ensure that closed-loop operation is maintained.

  • Serving Society (Higher Education Authority, HEA PRTLI Cycle 4)

    The proposed research programme aims to address the following long-term research question: How do we realise future communications services and infrastructure that reflect changing individual and societal preferences, and that can be effectively managed to ensure delivery of critical services? The project will adopt an inter-disciplinary approach to the specification of artefacts including models, algorithms, processes, methodologies and architectures that will collectively constitute a framework that can guide the realisation of future communications environments to effectively provide critical societal services and, in doing so, support and sustain interactions between various communities of users. Three closely-linked strands of research (and one smaller sub-strand) constitute the project: Future Communications Services, Future Communications Networks, Capturing and Addressing Societal Needs.

  • IMS ARCS (Enterprise Ireland, EI ILRP)

    IMS is the IP Multimedia Subsystem, a core component of the mobile telephony architecture defined by the 3GPP, and of the fixed-mobile convergence standards defined by ETSI TISPAN. IMS can be viewed as an important aspect of the telecommunication industry's view of how the Future Internet will be structured. The IMS ARCS project aims to develop IMS expertise within the Irish Software and Telecommunications Industry. The project stakeholders consists of an academic consortium lead by the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) and a number of industry partners including operators, hardware and software vendors, and mobile service providers and developers. The IMS ARCS project is developing a set of prototype services together with a set of common enablers which will serve as exemplars of what can be achieved using IMS technology and will help springboard the creation of innovative new IMS products and services within the stakeholder group. A further objective of the project is the creation of a national centre of excellence in IMS technology and the setup a world class IMS test environment which will be operated by TSSG, and which will be accessible by companies developing IMS focused products.

Bled Declaration

Current Internet: Success & Challenges

With over a billion users world-wide, the current Internet is a great success – a global integrated communications infrastructure and service platform underpinning the fabric of the European economy and European society in general. However, today's Internet was designed in the 1970s for purposes that bear little resemblance to current and foreseen usage scenarios. Mismatches between original design goals and current utilisation are now beginning to hamper the Internet’s potential. A large number of challenges in the realms of technology, business, society and governance have to be overcome if the future development of the Internet is to sustain the networked society of tomorrow.

Future Internet: Vital to continued economic Growth in Europe

In the future, even more users, objects, services and critical information infrastructures will be networked through the Future Internet which will underpin an ever larger share of our modern and global economies. It is therefore time to strengthen and focus European activities on the Future Internet to maintain Europe’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.

A significant change is required and the European Internet scientific and economic actors, researchers, industrialists, SMEs, users, service and content providers, now assert the urgent necessity to redesign the Internet, taking a broad multidisciplinary approach, to meet Europe’s societal and commercial ambitions.

Future Internet: Addressing the Challenges through EU Collaboration & Cooperation

EU member states have already committed, through the renewed Lisbon Agenda and the i2010 initiative, €9.1 billion of funding, as part of a public-private partnership, for ICT research over the duration of FP7. However, we must ensure that, within this, continuous and long term support is given to the design of the Future Internet as a key element of the future networked society. It is of strategic importance for Europe to fully engage in the conception, development and innovation of a Future Internet ensuring the long term growth of the ICT sector, full support to an ICT based economy, and the elimination of the digital divide for all citizens.

The research projects assembled here in Bled represent the first phase of this public-private partnership, a joint investment of over €400 million, that recognises the challenges above and emphasises a concerted and comprehensive process of redesign, based upon novel network, service, trust, security and content technologies together with strong initiatives towards new innovations in societal, governance and service domains, in order to ensure that the Future Internet fulfills its potential.

More specifically, building upon the obligations of our individual project contracts and the goals of the Strategic Agendas of the European Technology Platforms, we confirm our ambitions include:

Fostering Favourable Conditions through Coordinated Action

  • Coordinate our efforts to foster cross-disciplinary innovation and creativity.
  • Work together through a European Future Internet Assembly of research projects strengthening cross-discipline activity and optimising the impact of our actions.
  • Cultivate and foster the skills and knowledge required to develop the Future Internet.
  • Create the conditions for the deployment of services and service oriented systems.
  • Communicate through open standards for Future Internet technologies and architectures.
  • Open the European Future Internet Assembly to new projects and actors over time to widen the coordination and consistency of the action.

Jointly Designing, Developing and Experimenting

  • Services and networking architecture for the Future Internet.
  • Location independent, interoperable, coherent, consistent, scalable, pervasive, reliable, secure and efficient access to a coordinated set of services.
  • Tools supporting collaborative business models and social network applications.
  • Technologies ensuring the robustness and security of the networks, managing identities, protecting privacy and creating trust in the on-line world.
  • Approaches and tools to leverage the full potential of the Internet of Things.
  • Capabilities for supporting the creation, sharing, locating and delivery of new-media content.

Increasing Awareness at Policy Level

  • Raise awareness of the economic, policy and regulatory issues as identified by the newly proposed European Future Internet Assembly, the UN Internet Governance Forum, the OECD and the European regulatory frameworks.
  • Contribute to the definition of European positions within global forums and arenas.

Call for European action towards the Future Internet

To help us meet these major challenges, we call on the:

  • European Member States to strengthen and coordinate their national R&D efforts and initiatives toward the Future Internet.
  • European Commission to stress the vision and amplify the related R&D in order to drive Europe ahead of tomorrow’s Internet transformations in the way we work, live, and interact.
  • European Member States and the European Commission to support the creation and activities of the European Future Internet Assembly proposed in this declaration.

This declaration is endorsed by the following European Technology Platforms and European Research Projects

Accession to this declaration is open to existing and future EU Projects that wish to actively contribute



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16 April 2008

TSSG spin-out creates location-aware interactive battlefield guide: Culloden Battlefield (Scotland)

The latest spin-out from the TSSG is called Zolk C Ltd., which recently launched an innovative new wireless tourism service for the Culloden Battlefield in Scotland (see quote below from the Sunday Telegraph, 24th February 2008).

It was all a long time ago, but the voices and images conjured by the new time machine at Culloden linger hauntingly in the memory.

On April 16th 2008, the National Trust for Scotland has organised the Grand Opening of the new Culloden Battlefield centre and exhibition. This will also include the new Zolk C service 'The Culloden Battlefield Guide'. Led by Paul Savage, a number of TSSG staff are attending this event.

The Culloden Battlefield Guide.
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The innovative Battlefield Guide developed by Zolk C Ltd is the world's first GPS triggered electronic guide in use in tourism and heritage sites. With specially created audio, video and supporting illustrations (including key content from the BBC), the multimedia content is triggered automatically as visitors explore Culloden Moor, at their own pace, allowing them to understand and appreciate better what actually happened on 16th April, 1746.

Visitors to the exhibition at the new STG 9million Culloden centre can enhance their experience by walking the Moor with the Battlefield Guide. They will receive unobtrusive, location specific multimedia content while they soak up the atmosphere of the battle in situ. Initially in English and Gaelic the guide in time will be available in a range of languages from Spanish to Japanese and will be offered to all those visiting the moor.

Why use satellite technology? A key objective of the Culloden project was that the battlefield site should be restored, as close as possible, to that seen by the forces on that fateful day in April 1746. More traditional techniques such as interpretative panels or markers were not felt to be in keeping with the sanctity of the Moor as a war grave. As well as the multimedia content that is automatically triggered, addition information is available on a menu that changes depending on the visitor's position on the battlefield, allowing them to gain a more complete understanding of the events of 16 April, 1746.

Who is Zolk C?

Zolk C is a new venture based in Waterford, Ireland and Inverness, Scotland. Its remit is to create and operate technology solutions that enable interpreters to deliver a better, more effective user experience at tourism and heritage centres internationally. Zolk C provides full project lifecycle including design, development and management of interpretive solutions. The company is a joint venture between the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) of the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), who specialise in the research and design of pervasive, mobile technologies and of Zolk Ltd, an Inverness based company specialising in the design, deployment and management of on-line services. The Zolk portfolio includes Learning Works, Careers Scotland and UHI Millennium Institute. Zolk C has used their combined expertise to design, develop, deploy and manage the Battlefield Guide for the National Trust of Scotland (NTS).

For further information contact: Paul Savage, Zolk C Ltd. on +353 51 302923

For more information on the Culloden Battlefield project click here.

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