Autonomous Configurability and Control in Dynamic Wireless Networks


Stuart Milner;
Post Doctoral Research Fellow: Alistair Shilton.


M. Palaniswami, UniMelb;
Sylvie Perreau, University of South Australia;
Peter Soubridge, DSTO;
Robert Bonneau, US Air Force Office of Scientific Research;
LtCol William Nace, US Air Force Office of Scientific Research;
Jonathan Manton, ARC;
Robert Herklotz, US Air Force Office of Scientific Research;
Lars Rasmussen, ACORN.

Introduction: Networks that are selforganizing or autonomously reconfigurable can automatically change their fundamental structure or network topology in response to degradation and/or the absence or loss of system function/connectivity. They allow real-time and ad hoc insertion and deletion of physical links and communications nodes - comprising a mobile network topology. In addition, such systems are capable of intelligent and automatic control of platforms or base stations.
Significance: Such networks are currently of great interest in defence applications, especially tactical, network centric operations as well as civil applications such as emergency response.
Applications: A workshop is being organised alongside 2007 ISSNIP conference which will bring together program managers and researchers from the defence industry, government research organizations and academia in order to explore new research directions addressing self organizing and autonomously reconfigurable networks and to establish a fundamental understanding of methods of investigation and techniques for the design of autonomously reconfigurable engineered systems. The questions of how to optimise the network topology, routing and resource allocations under constraints will be addressed in the contexts of defence and civilian applications.
Challenges: While the benefits of deploying totally decentralised ad hoc networks in these kinds of uncertain and dynamic environments have been demonstrated, the topology of such decentralised networks may not always be appropriate for hierarchy based control commands and decision making strategies characteristic of these military and civilian applications. In other words, the network topology should enable and facilitate the chain of events driving decision making and planning strategies, while taking advantage of the flexibility offered by a mobile ad hoc network. This flexibility of course, comes with the cost of signalling and latency associated with the complicated task of routing and reconfiguration in such volatile and uncertain environments.
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