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  DISI -> Research -> Areas -> Parallel and distributed systems -> Research topic

Research topic: Mobile wireless networks

KEYWORDS

Wireless networks, Distributed computing, Handheld devices

ACTIVITIES

This research work is focused on wireless communication algorithms and applications to provide ubiquitous access to wireless resources for mobile users. Communication protocol considered is mainly the IEEE 802.11 radio frequency. Particular emphasis is given to the location and context awareness, needed in order to adapt the behavior of the application to the information received from the network and the environment.

Complex context information can be derived from a GPS system installed on handheld devices, from sensor data integration and territorial recognition, by using signal strength or performing signal triangulation. Our application context is that of an handheld based tour guide systems that may vary the content it displays (video or audio) on a pocketPC unit, in accordance with the users physical location during an archaeological site visit. Another field that we experienced is that of medical applications: mobile units can be context aware and support doctors and nurses in the selection of drugs from a wide lists of available drugs and diseases connected to specific symptoms.

Another research field is in ad-hoc networking environment (MANET), with power-restricted communication protocols. An ad hoc network is a collection of wireless hosts forming a temporary network without the aid of any centralized administration. Hosts communicate establishing multi-hop paths by means of a route discovery algorithm, usually based on the flooding mechanism. These networks show a high probability of disconnections, with a reduced communication bandwidth. Moreover hosts are often heterogeneous and with limited battery power. Middleware for these systems must ensure network connectivity, and adapt the quality of service to resource availability: such middleware shall be developed, using location awareness and application awareness to improve the quality of service in an experimental emergency disaster environment, where rescue personnel must coordinate efforts.