Networking Research Lab

Welcome

Welcome to the Networking Research Lab (NRL) in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. NRL’s research areas include network protocols and architectures, network measurement, management and security, wireless/mobile networking, integrating wired/wireless networks, and networked systems.

We are particularly interested in developing and prototyping protocols, algorithms and systems to solve real-world engineering / research problems in the domain of the Internet and internetworking.

The Networking Research Lab is led by Dr Qiang Fu.

News

Fully funded PhD position in 5G mobile networks

The Networking Research Lab (NRL) is offering a fully funded PhD scholarship in 5G mobile networks. See details

Funding approved for a PhD scholarship

NRL will team up with Harmonic and Telecom to explore how SDN technology could be used to solve the performance issues in mobile networks. The team will work on a project entitled "Software defined Coordinated Multipoint schemes in LTE-A networks".

Research Assistantships

I am looking for a couple of research assistants to work on SDN/CCN projects. If you are highly motivated and strong at programming, feel free to contact me.

NRL PhD Candidate Heading to ON.Lab

NRL PhD candidate Jonathan Hart will take up an internship at ON.Lab, a partnership between Stanford and UC Berkeley. As part of the internship, Jonathan will be working on SDN projects.

Summer Scholarships

We have 6 Summer Scholarships available over this summer (2012/13). All these scholarships are industry-funded and therefore will be counted as work experience.

If you are good at programming and motivated to do networking projects, feel free to contact me.

Priority will be given to the students that I know or do well in my classes (NWEN241, 302 and 403).

Students

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout
  • Jonathan Hart
  • Dong Xia
  • Ruichen Li
  • Cameron Owen
  • Caleb Pearce
  • Benjamin Lawn
  • Xu He
  • Joe Stringer

Projects

Software Defined Networking (SDN) / OpenFlow

The current Internet architecture and protocols handle Internet applications (e.g., content distribution) by adding complexity to network routers/switches. The added complexities require sophisticated coordination between complex functionalities. These extra burdens significantly impair the performance of routers/switches. Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a new networking paradigm. SDN allows a software controller to control network routers/switches remotely. SDN breaks with conventional network architecture by removing complexity from switches and adding flexible external control in software controllers. In this project, we will investigate the utility of SDN in real-world testbed.

Content Centric Networking (CCN)

The traditional content distribution is based on client-server model. However, this architecture is not scalable. The Internet community has been looking at a few solutions such as IP multicast, multicast overlay networks, content distribution networks (CDN) and peer-to-peer distribution (P2P). In reality, some of these technologies have gained popularity, e.g., P2P by BitTorrent, CDN by Akamai. However, it is not clear how these technologies will evolve and be used in the future. On the other hand, new challenges are being introduced by the emerging wireless networks such as Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs). A WMN forms a local network through multiple wireless links. The content distribution and storage model in a WMN would be significantly different from the ones in the Internet. This is due to the constraints on media access control, delay variation and bit errors. This project investigates content storage and distribution models, facing these new challenges.

Network Measurement for Protocol Design

The Internet is getting faster and ubiquitous, and we have seen the integration of Internet core networks and wireless access networks. Unfortunately, the current Internet protocols were not designed for this. They cannot fully utilise the bandwidth the Internet can provide (e.g., UFB) and perform poorly in wireless environments - we need better network protocols. Understanding network traffic is fundamental to protocol design and evaluation. For example, one issue that we are currently investigating is TCP synchronisation. It is widely conjectured that the high-performance TCP variants such as HSTCP tend to create strong synchronisation between flows, which could cause poor bandwidth utilisation. In this project, we will be measuring Internet traffic using PlanetLab, Measurement Lab and customised testbeds. We will establish the indication of the measurement results on protocol design and evaluation.

Adaptive Wireless Networking

IEEE 802.11 rate adaptation is a mechanism that adapts channel data rate in response to varying channel conditions. Rate adaptation has been considered a key component to achieve high performance. Indeed, many access points use rate adaptation as the default setting. However, how well rate adaptation performs in comparison with fixed rate has never been clearly identified. Our initial results have shown that in many scenarios fixed rate can outperform rate adaptation. In this project, we will carry out a comprehensive experimental study using commercial access points to understand the performance of rate adaptation, and design new rate adaptation algorithms. On the other hand, radio spectrum is by nature scarce and expensive. It is critical that the current wireless systems incorporate organic self-adaptive mechanisms to allow efficient spectrum access through adaptive allocation of wireless resources. In this project, we will also investigate the use of deterministic spatial spectrum reuse schemes by exploiting the fact that some well-established wireless systems have asymmetric characteristics in spectrum utilisation and wireless station deployment.

Other projects

Lab Facilities

SDN testbed

IEEE802.11 testbed

Smartphone testbed

PlanetLab

Measurement Lab

Network simulators: NS2/3, QualNet, OMNeT++

Industry Sponsors/Partners

InternetNZ, REANNZ, CityLink, Go Wireless, Harmonic, Telecom, HP, Google.

Recent Publications

  • Jeffrey Lai, Qiang Fu, Tim Moors, “Using SDN and NFV to enhance request rerouting in ISP-CDN collaborations”, Computer Networks.

  • Jeffrey Lai, Qiang Fu, “Man-In-the-Middle Anycast (MIMA): CDN User-server Assignment Becomes Flexible”, the 41st Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN 2016), Dubai, UAE, November 7-10, 2016.

  • Trung Truong, Qiang Fu, Chris. Lorier, “FlowMap: Improving Network Management in SDN”, short paper, IEEE / IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium (NOMS 2016), Istanbul, Turkey, 2016.

  • Jeffrey Lai, Qiang Fu, Tim Moors, “Rapid IP Rerouting with SDN and NFV”, IEEE Global Communications Conference (Globecom 2015), San Diego, USA, 2015.

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout, Qiang Fu, Marcus Frean, “An Efficient Replica Placement Heuristic for Community WMNs”, IEEE 25th Annual International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC 2014), Washington DC, USA, 2014.

  • Jonathan Stringer, Dean Pemberton, Qiang Fu, Josh, Bailey, Christopher Lorier, Richard Nelson, Carlos Corrêa, Christian E. Rothenberg, “Cardigan: SDN Distributed Routing Fabric Going Live at an Internet Exchange”, 19th IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC 2014), June 23-26 2014, Madeira, Portugal.

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout, Qiang Fu, and Marcus Frean. “On the Local Popularity Impact in Object Replica Placement over WMNs,” WIP, 15th IEEE International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks (WoWMoM 2014), 10 – 14 June, Sydney, Australia.

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout, Qiang Fu, and Marcus Frean. “On the Placement of Web Content Replicas in WMNs,” IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2014), 10 – 14 June, Sydney, Australia.

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout, Qiang Fu, Marcus Frean, "A Divide-and-conquer Approach for Content Replication in WMNs", Computer Networks, Volume 57, Issue 18, 24 December 2013, Pages 3914–3928

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout, Qiang Fu, Marcus Frean, "Exploiting Graph Partitioning for Hierarchical Replica Placement in WMNs", the 16th ACM International Conference on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems (MSWiM 2013), Barcelona, Spain, November 3-8, 2013.

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout, Jonathan Hart, Qiang Fu, Marcus Frean, “Link-Quality Aware Object Replication and Placement for Multi-hop Wireless Mesh Networks”, 21st IEEE International Symposium on on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (MASCOTS'13), 14 - 16 Aug. 2013, San Francisco, USA.

  • Jonathan Stringer, Qiang Fu, Christopher Lorier, Richard Nelson, Christian E. Rothenberg, “Cardigan: Deploying a Distributed Routing Fabric”, short paper, ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Hot Topics in Software Defined Networking (HotSDN), 16 Aug. 2013, Hong Kong, China.

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout, Jonathan Hart, Qiang Fu and Marcus Frean, "MP-DNA: A Novel Distributed Replica Placement Heuristic for WMNs", the 37th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN 2012), Clearwater, Florida, October 22-25, 2012.

  • Dong Xia, Jonathan Hart and Qiang Fu, "On the Performance of Rate Control Algorithm Minstrel", the 23rd IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC 2012), Sydney, Australia, September 9-12, 2012.

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout, Qiang Fu, and Marcus Frean, "A content replication scheme for wireless mesh networks", Proceedings of the 22nd international workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV 2012), Toronto, Canada, June 7-8, 2012.

  • Lichun Bao, Shenghui Liao and Qiang Fu, "Efficient Spectrum Band Packing for Hosting Multiple Wireless Systems", Emerging Wireless Networks Concepts, Techniques and Applications, CRC Press, 2011.

  • Dong Xia, Qiang Fu, "An Experimental Study on Performance Comparison of Rate Adaptation and Fixed Rate in IEEE 802.11g", Australasian Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (ATNAC 2011), Melbourne, Australia, Nov 9-11, 2011.

  • Zakwan Al-Arnaout, Qiang Fu, Marcus Frean, "A Novel Distributed Content Replication and Placement Scheme for Wireless Mesh Networks", Australasian Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (ATNAC 2011), Melbourne, Australia, Nov 9-11, 2011.

  • Lichun Bao, Yuan Zhang, Shih-Hsien Yang, Max Welling, Gaochao Xu and Qiang Fu, "Location Estimation for Wireless Sensor Retrieval", the 11th IEEE International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks (WoWMoM 2010), June 14-17, 2010.

  • Qiang Fu, “Improving Throughput in High Bandwidth-Delay Product Networks with Random Packet Losses”, IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2009), Dresden, Germany, June 14-18, 2009.

  • Qiang Fu, “Delay-Based Congestion Avoidance for QoS Provisioning in Wired/Wireless Networks”, IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2009), Dresden, Germany, June 14-18, 2009.

  • Qiang Fu and Philip Jay, “A Step towards Understanding Loss Synchronisation between Concurrent TCP Flows”, the 11th IEEE Global Internet Symposium 2008 (IEEE Infocom Global Internet Symposium 2008), Phoenix AZ, USA, April 11-18, 2008.