Research

The Network Reconnaissance (NetRecon) Lab is directed by Professor Corey E. Baker. The NetRecon Lab conducts research in the area of cyber physical systems specializing in opportunistic wireless communication for the Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities, smart homes, and mobile health environments. Our research is situated in the evaluation and real-world application of delay tolerant networks (DTNs), mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs), and software defined networks (SDNs) to empower device-to-device (D2D) social networks for crowd sourcing information. Leveraging D2D communication provides complementary solutions to traditional networks which are typically dependent upon centralized infrastructures such as the Internet. The goal of our research is to make data accessible in the midst of intermittent and poor connectivity while minimizing delay.

Ongoing Projects

2018

Pragmatic Applications of Delay Tolerant Networks

Evaluating in simulation provides the convenience of expediting time and node interactions, but often leads to misleading real-word performance due to the intricacies of capturing important attributes such as radio broadcasting capabilities, transmission range, buffer size, restraints on power consumption, CPU availability, and operating system restrictions. This led to an interest in investigating real-world evaluations of DTN protocols. This led to the creation of AlleyOop Social, a secure delay tolerant social network for Apple iOS devices that leverages a patented middleware and allows users to interact, publish messages, and discover others that share common interests without requiring cellular or WiFi infrastructure mode. Instead, AlleyOop Social relies on D2D connections using either Bluetooth or peer-to-peer WiFi over various DTN routing protocols to deliver messages in an intermittent social network. AlleyOop Social is an attractive evaluation tool for the DTN community due to the modularity of its underlying framework which abstracts away security, privacy, and connectivity to allow researchers to focus on the design of DTN routing protocols that facilitate message dissemination.

Reference Paper

Smart Cities That Leverage Software Defined Networks

The proliferation of smart cities stimulates researchers in DTN and MANET to investigate innovative solutions that will enable developing and metropolitan cities to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to become smart cities without the huge costs of retrofitting current infrastructure, particularly when coupled with SDN. The decoupling of the control and data planes in SDN equips network service providers with the flexibility of adapting network configuration dynamically and seamlessly allocating resources to fit customer specifications. For smart cities in particular, the data plane consists of many mobile nodes and sensors that operate independently of each other but can form a MANET to deliver information. A well known caveat to MANET is the dependence on routing tables that often contain out-out-date link-state information due to the mobility of nodes. We investigate how control strategies can be used to circumvent the stochasticity of link-state in a wireless data plane. Properly accounting for intractable factors in link-state such as length of the link and environment surroundings allows for optimal dissemination of data even when constant communication between the control and data plane is not available.

Smart Homes and the Internet of Things

Advancements in technology along with the affordability and accessibility of sensors to residents has spurred interest in IoT — particularly pertaining to Smart Homes. Sensing in a home environment provides the convenience of automating home appliances and accessories to respond to its owners, collocation, and time-of-day, which can lead to improved living conditions, optimal power consumption, and the detection of anomalies in behavior such as home intrusion or unexpected health emergency. Leveraging opportunistic wireless communication in Smart Home scenarios also provides a low-cost solution to elderly health-care which enables patient vitals to be monitored by family members and medical officials. We investigate how opportunistic wireless communication can enable Smart Homes to flourish off the grid allowing residents to monitor, control, and protect their smart homes in the midst of Internet connectivity and cloud dependence.

Interested in Joining the Lab?

The NetReconLab is always looking for motivated students