Research

The following research lines are currently being investigated:

Agent Based Computing (ABC)

Agent Based Computing has shown great potential and flexibility for designing and developing complex distributed systems and applications in a variety of industrial sectors ranging from telecommunications to manufacturing; in fact software agents are particularly suited for developing applications that require distributed components which collaborate on common goals or compete to maximize their results.

Our research on Agent Based Computing focuses on three topical research lines:

Agent Oriented Software Engineering (AOSE). The aim is to define agent-oriented modeling techniques and methods which fully support the development of complex software systems by using the agent-oriented paradigm.

Agent-based Modeling and Simulation. The main objective is the definition of new agent-based models and simulators for the analysis of complex distributed systems.

Agent-based Applications and Multi-Agent Systems. The aim is to develop complex and heterogeneous agent-based applications in several strategic business domains.

 

Wireless Sensor Networks and Internet of Things (WSN & IoT)

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are already well-established IT infrastructures enabling a great variety of applications ranging from health-care to environmental monitoring, from building automation to Smart Cities.WSNs are also a main enabling technology for the emergent Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded pervasive environments, which will be the main technology for enabling the next-generation of smart pervasive environments.

Our research on WSN & IoT mainly focuses on the following topical research lines:

Methodologies and frameworks for efficient and autonomic wireless body sensor networks (WBSN). The SPINE (Signal Processing In-Node Environment) framework has been developed to address the research challenges of the development of effective and efficient BSN applications. SPINE provides flexible and efficient mechanisms for the programming and management of body sensor networks. Variants of SPINE has been also defined to enable task-oriented, collaborative and autonomic WBSN. They are SPINE2, C-SPINE and SPINE*, respectively. Moreover, the integration of WBSN and Cloud computing is being addressed and the BodyCloud architecture, a Cloud-assisted Body Area Network system, proposed.

Design of protocols and systems for wireless sensor and actuator networks (WSAN). WSAN are a key technology for the automation of buildings, houses, factories. After eliciting the most important requirements for building automation, the research defined a novel framework, the Building Management Framework (BMF), for the effective and efficient programming and (remote) management of heterogenous building WSANs. Moreover, to address the deployment of WSAN, which is a critical task affecting the WSN connectivity and the efficient resource utilization, a simulation-driven approach has been defined that allows for evaluating BMF-based WSANs before their actual deployment.

Agent-based programming of wireless sensor networks (WSN). The agent-oriented paradigm is very suitable for modeling WSNs and captures all their features. Specifically, our framework MAPS (Mobile Agent Platform for SunSPOT), is a research platform for the experimentation of agent-based WSN protocols and applications.

Development methods and programming frameworks for distributed smart objects (DSO).

 

Content Distribution Networks (CDN)

Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) have recently emerged as an innovative technology to improve the efficiency of static, time-dependent and rich media content delivery atop large-scale IP-based networks. In particular, CDNs maintain geographically distributed clusters of surrogate servers, positioned at the network edge, that store copies of identical content, so that users’ requests can be met by the optimal surrogates. The benefits of using CDNs are significant and involve not only more efficient content delivery but also decongestion of the network core.

Our research on CDNs focuses on three topical research lines:

Performance evaluation of novel CDNs. The definition of new CDN architectures and their supporting mechanisms requires the adoption of new paradigms and tools. We defined an extensible framework based on agent-oriented methodologies and tools to model and validate (both from functional and non-functional perspectives) well-established as well as novel CDN solutions.

Synchronous collaborative streaming services supported by CDNs. The aim is to define models, protocols and architectures for supporting collaborative media streaming through CDNs on IP-based networks. The COMODIN system, a full-fledged implementation of a CDN-based cooperative playback system, jointly developed with the UPV (Spain), is a main outcome of this research activity.

CDN architectures based on P2P, Grid and Agent technologies. The aim is to define new architectures based on three emerging technologies (P2P, Grid and Agents) to ease the design and boost the efficiency of next generation CDNs. A main outcome is the UPGRADE system, a CDN systems based on an effective integration of the aforementioned technologies.


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