University of Leicester


Algorithmic Aspects of Communication Networks

Associated Researchers: Dr. T. Erlebach

The importance of communication networks is ever-increasing. After the advent of mobile and easy-to-use devices for computing and communication, people expect to be able to communicate efficiently with friends, collaborators, or service providers at any time, no matter whether they are in an office, at home, or travelling. New applications such as video-on-demand, telemedicine, or distance learning place high demands on the quality and bandwidth of transmissions. In order to provide a ubiquitous and powerful communication infrastructure that can satisfy these demands, sophisticated network technology, protocols and algorithms are required.

We are interested in the design and analysis of algorithms that are useful in the design, evolution, and operation of complex communication networks. Examples of problem areas that we study are:

  • All-Optical Networks
    In all-optical networks, data is transmitted from the sender to the receiver in optical form. Wavelength-division multiplexing is used to partition the huge capacity of optical fibre into channels. The challenges arising in the design and operation of such networks include routing and wavelength assignment, throughput maximisation, and placement of wavelength converters.
  • Algorithms for Internet Analysis
    The Internet is a large and complex network that is the result of distributed growth without central control. It is a challenge to understand and analyse the structure and behavior of the Internet. We are interested in designing algorithms that can be used to assess the robustness and reliability of the Internet or that can improve its efficiency or security.
  • Call Admission Control
    For applications such as video conferences or distance learning, it is desirable to reserve bandwidth for each established connection in order to provide a guaranteed quality of service. But often the capacity of the network is not sufficient to accomodate all connection requests made at any time. Thus, it is important to find a good strategy for deciding which requests to accept and which to reject. The goal is to accept as many requests as possibe without exceeding the capacity of the network. We are interested in on-line and off-line approximation algorithms for this optimisation problem for various network topologies.
  • Wireless Networks
    With the increasing mobility of users and the availability of low-cost wireless communication devices (e.g. mobile phones), wireless networking is becoming an increasingly important research topic. The characteristics of transmissions in wireless networks differ substantially from conventional wired networks, and thus innovative approaches and techniques are required. We are interested in problems such as resource allocation, scheduling and load balancing arising in cellular networks or mobile ad-hoc networks.

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