Thanks to Wi-Fi and cellular networks, nearly all technology today is connected in ways that were difficult to comprehend 20 years ago. Computational wireless systems enable secure, robust, and high-performance applications in education, business, transportation, healthcare, entertainment, and more.
Ensuring that those communication networks continue to function in the face of natural disasters or malicious attacks has become a priority for both government and private industry.
Earlier this year, the National Science Foundation announced a new investment of more than $37 million aimed at developing intelligent, resilient, and reliable next-generation networks – aka NextG -. The RINGS program — which stands for Resilient and Intelligent Next-Generation Systems — is a public-private research partnership that aims to increase U.S. competitiveness in NextG computing and networking technologies, while enhancing security. and resiliency of NextG technologies and infrastructure.
The private sector partners include big names in the technology industry such as Apple, Ericsson, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm and VMware. On the federal side, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology are also involved.
Assistant Professor Jian Li – a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science – and a collaborative team from New York University accepted received a 3-year $1 million grant through the RINGS Program.
Their research will address vulnerabilities that can affect the availability, reliability, and resiliency of wireless edge networks, making response times faster by putting compute and storage capacity at risk. Store data as close to the source of the request as possible instead of a larger data center far away. Edge networks can also be more resilient to failure because they disperse around resources rather than centralizing them.
“Our sponsors talk a lot about the 6G network, even though consumers won’t see it for years,” Li said. “There are challenges in next-generation networks, and we want to be prepared for what happens in the future.”
Through advanced data modeling, Li and his colleagues wanted to invent new learning-based algorithms that make it easy to recover from major network interruptions by strategically using backup and external resources.
As part of the RINGS program, technology companies are partnering with grant recipients that will provide real data, technical expertise and other support for research.
“The RINGS program is a visionary and ambitious endeavor that will benefit many critical aspects of social infrastructure and will have lasting, transformative impacts on the world. the next network,” said NSF Network and Computer Systems Division Manager Gurdip Singh when the initiative was announced. “I am pleased to see the awardees of this program leading the way toward new communication capabilities that improve our lives, from education to infrastructure and national security.” .