Ctrl-APP: An application control plane enabling appdaptive configurations of wireless networks and their verification

01 January 2019 → 31 December 2022
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Applied mathematics in specific fields
wireless networks
Project description

Everyone that makes use of wireless communication technologies such as Wi-Fi has definitely
already experienced a badly performing network. Simply googling "better Wi-Fi performance" yields
64.000 results! Quite often this resulted in dissatisfaction and frustration, not only because of the
bad performance itself, but also the inability to pinpoint the cause of the problem. Why aren't
wireless networks sufficiently intelligent to optimise their configuration to the needs of the diverse
applications on top?
Looking at the latest evolutions, we see that these networks become increasingly flexible, exposing
control capabilities that can be used to define how data must be handled. So, there is flexibility and
the networks can be managed, but we argue that without rethinking the way how applications fit
into network management, one will continue to perform configurations based on incomplete
information. This way, suboptimal wireless network performance and user dissatisfaction will
remain commonplace.
Therefore, Ctrl-APP aims to establish a new networking paradigm, called appdaptive networking.
This is achieved by extending the separation of data and control plane, a typical networking
concept, to applications. This way, applications become able to pass intentions to the network, the
networks can be properly instrumented to perform fine-grained diagnostics and the resulting
knowledge can used to automatically learn and enforce the best configuration.