A location system to drive future wireless innovation
06 September 2018
There are many barriers to innovation in wireless communications. Inadequate documentation; uncooperative chipset manufacturers; widely varying hardware and software specifications; steep learning curves in the experimentation phase and difficulties in prototyping are among the biggest issues that hamper development.
WiSHFUL, a research project funded by the EU H2020 Future Internet Fire program, has addressed these challenges with the goal of stimulating greater wireless experimentation and innovation and providing control over disparate radio and network technologies, such as Wi-Fi and LTE, which share the same environment.
But effective innovation demands excellent experimentation — a requirement that has not always been possible given the complexity of the environment provided by competing wireless technologies. So, a further aim of WiSHFUL has been to provide the opportunity for experimenters to do so through an open call process. This has enabled them to use and extend the WiSHFUL architecture, whilst helping them to conduct wireless innovation tailored to meet the needs of specific sectors. The WiSHFUL findings have proven to be very relevant both for the academic research and the industrial innovation process.
IMDEA Networks Institute has collaborated since July 2017 as experimenter on this last but critical phase of the WiSHFUL project. The work was conducted by the Institute's Pervasive Wireless Systems Group, led by Dr. Domenico Giustiniano.
A key deliverable of the group has been the integration of a positioning system, developed and used extensively by the group (see 'Indoor Location Technology Has Become Simpler'), and its experimental evaluation in the WiSHFUL testbed. Another has been the study of intelligent MAC resource allocation algorithms in challenging conditions, similar to industrial environments with many metallic surfaces, exploiting the context information provided by the location system (see 'Location-aware MAC scheduling in Mobile and Dense Networks'), and programming the experiments through the support of the software platform and hardware radios integrated in WiSHFUL.
The new system will enable the early experimental investigation of network applications that use real-time location data and other context information in challenging indoor environments to improve the efficiency of wireless networks. Those environments may include a mix of static and mobile devices in densely populated networks. Shopping malls, office buildings, industrial installations and even the home are all examples of environments where a multitude of devices using different technologies may be found.