The communication world amplified the power of computing unleashing a global digital revolution - much of the future advancements in the converged digital economy in large measures shall be dependent on the advances in the communication technology which in turn would be an output of the research agenda for the industry.Making the world (of communications) a different place, is the report of a working session of the End-to-End Research Group, which is part of the Internet Research Task Force. The report slashdotted currently focusses on the research agenda for the communications industry - How might the computing and communications world be materially different in 10 to 15 years, and how might we define a research agenda that would get us to that world? .In Part 1 we covered some part of the research agenda - here we cover the remaining topics. Excerpts with edits:
- Assume Quantum Computers Work: At this point, quantum computers are a little bit of working logic In 10 years, we should have a network ready for the existence of quantum computers. Such a network would allow quantum computers to communicate, and would also have a security architecture that protects the privacy of data, even if quantum computers are available to crack keys.
- Rethinking the Control/Data Plane Dichotomy : One of the features of the current Internet is that it is designed to provide a general transport service capable of supporting many different applications. This "data plane" is not designed or optimized for any single application, but is designed for generality and evolvability. The core of the network just forwards packets; knowledge of the application is localized to the edges, where the attached hosts sit.In parallel to the data plane sits a control plane, which manages the network infrastructure and ensures that data can continue to flow. But the control plane is often equally oblivious to the applications being used. In 10 years, the Internet should be augmented with a new set of mechanisms for diagnosis and configuration, which can improve the usability of the Internet,reduce the need for manual intervention, and provide a linkage betweenapplication intentions and network behavior.
- Giving everything a presence in cyberspace : Any physical object has an appearance- a manifestation in physical space. In many cases, these are public. Buildings present a facade. Products are wrapped in packages with attractive marketing. People have an appearance, and may choose to offer you a business card. In 10 years, any physical object should be able to tag itself in a way that links it to relevant information and functions in cyberspace. A context of scanners and online viewers will allow users to see this information in a convenient an dinteractive manner.
- Reduce the energy required for communications :Given current trends in energy-consumption by computing chips (falling sharply per unit of computation thanks to Moore’s Law) and radios (largely determined by the laws of physics and thus going down only if we think hard about how to drive them down), it seems likely that in 10 to 20 years, the wireless interface will be the primary consumer of energy in any device that combines computation and radios (be it a sensor, laptop, or handheld device). For battery-operated devices, the energy consumption will become the single most important figure of merit. Current research suggests that the community could set itself a bold goal here—not a fractional reduction but orders of magnitude:
In 10 years, in a wireless network, the energy cost per bit of data transferred should be 1/1000th the cost it is today.
- Embrace the software radio revolution : The advent of software defined radios clearly portends a potential revolution in wireless communication. Software radios allow us to view every aspect of wireless transmission and reception as programmable: how data is encoded, what frequencies the data is sent on, what energy is used to transmit, what media access layer is used, and so forth. All these characteristics are "soft" instead of hard-wired. Fielding new coding techniques or new media access rules is a matter of a software change.In 10 years, we should have working software radio systems that demonstrate that spectrum can be used and managed in revolutionary ways. We should demonstrate highly efficient use (and reuse) of spectrum, and establish aregulatory regime that permits these modes of operation.
- Getting there—research and experiment : These describe how the world might be different. It does not describe the research agenda to get there. A research plan is a necessary next step, but this meeting did not provide the time to discuss that. Nor does this document provide citations to the body of work that would sustain these visions. The two challenges to the research community: first, to set itself some long-range visions and work to achieve them, and second to agree as a community on the test infrastructure necessary to support those visions In the coming weeks, we shall dicuss a few of these agenda points and assess their impacts and potential.
Category : Emerging Technologies, Emerging Trends