Interdisciplinary and Multidimensional Perspectives in Telecommunications and Networking: Emerging Findings

Interdisciplinary and Multidimensional Perspectives in Telecommunications and Networking: Emerging Findings

Michael Bartolacci (Penn State University - Berks, USA) and Steven R. Powell (California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, USA)
Release Date: April, 2011|Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 318
ISBN13: 9781609605056|ISBN10: 1609605055|EISBN13: 9781609605063|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-505-6


Telecommunications plays a significant role in shaping modern information sharing and economic growth, as the global exchange of information and data has revolutionized modern business practices and social interaction.

Interdisciplinary and Multidimensional Perspectives in Telecommunications and Networking: Emerging Findings offers research on new technologies, models, security issues, and telecommunications and networking applications that are informed by disciplines including electrical engineering, computer science, and information technology. Offering interdisciplinary perspectives on telecommunications and networking issues and problems, this publication provides case studies and research findings useful to researchers and students in a number of related fields.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Enterprise 2.0
  • Internationalization of the wireless telecommunications industry
  • Mobile Internet
  • Mobile wireless networks
  • Network performance and reliability
  • Parametric cost estimation model
  • Peer-to-peer location management
  • Self-organizing networks
  • Strategic business models for Internet service providers
  • Wireless Communications

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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This book containing articles from the four issues of Volume 1 of the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Telecommunications and Networking (IJITN) reflects the journal’s mission of publishing high-quality original interdisciplinary academic and practitioner research, surveys, and case studies that address telecommunications and networking issues, answer telecommunications and networking questions, or solve telecommunications and networking problems. The articles represented in the book also reflect the journal’s objective of covering a wide variety of topics related to telecommunications and networking technology, management, policy, economics, and social impact from a diversity of disciplinary viewpoints, including electrical engineering, computer science, operations research, business, and law. The interdisciplinary approach can be beneficial to researchers, educators, and practitioners for solving complex problems and synthesizing knowledge.

Steven Powell investigates the subject of interdisciplinarity and its benefits, especially as they relate to telecommunications and networking research and education, in greater depth in his article, “Interdisciplinarity and Telecommunications and Networking,” published in Issue 1 and included here. While a great deal has been written about interdisciplinary activity in relation to the humanities and the natural and social sciences, he observes that interdisciplinarity also has been important in telecommunications and networking research and education. In Bell Laboratories, to take an industrial example, some of the most innovative teams working on very challenging end-to-end communication issues are interdisciplinary. Some university degree programs and professional conferences related to telecommunications and networking also emphasize interdisciplinarity. Powell concludes his article by examining how IJITN can provide a home for interdisciplinary telecommunications and networking research, practice, and education.

An example of a professional conference that emphasizes interdisciplinarity in telecommunications and networking is the Wireless Telecommunications Symposium. With global mobile connections now topping five billion and expected to reach six billion by the first half of 2011 according to the research firm Wireless Intelligence, the key role that wireless communications plays in society today is undeniable. Issues Number 1 and Number 4 of IJITN are special issues containing articles from researchers who participated in the seventh annual Wireless Telecommunications Symposium, WTS 2008, and the eighth, WTS 2009. The Wireless Telecommunications Symposium is an interdisciplinary mobile communications and wireless communications conference which brings together leaders and experts from industry, government, and universities around the world to discuss advances in wireless technology, management, policy, applications, and security. WTS is hosted by the College of Business Administration and College of Engineering at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; the IEEE Communications Society is technical co-sponsor for WTS. WTS 2008 was held in Pomona, California USA on April 24-26, 2008; WTS 2009 was held in Prague, Czech Republic on April 22-24, 2009.

William Webb, who is Head of Research and Development at the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) and a wireless communications visionary, was a guest speaker at WTS 2008. His article in Issue 1, “Wireless Communications: Is the Future Playing Out as Predicted,” was based on his presentation at the conference and addresses the future of wireless communications from a technological, socio-economic, structural, and regulatory perspective. Webb investigates predictions of the future he made a few years ago, considers whether they need to be modified in the light of events, and makes his own suggestions as to where things might go from here. He concludes that much of what he had predicted is still correct.

In his article in Issue 1, “Analysis of the Forces Reshaping the Mobile Internet Business,” Hannu Verkasalo describes the evolution toward Internet-based mobile networks and analyzes the mobile industry’s transformation from different strategic perspectives. He suggests that there are six main ways companies in the mobile industry can change their business models and adapt to the changing business environment: (1) position the company differently in the value network; (2) acquire and develop critical sustainable assets and competencies; (3) invent new business models; (4) pay greater attention to end-users in defining, pricing, and delivering new services; (5) leverage and focus on new, disruptive, and winning technologies that may change the rules of business; and (6) adapt to new regulatory schemes and policy initiatives on the mobile Internet.

In their article in Issue 1,“Strategic Technology Options in the Wireless Industry: A Case Study for U.S. Wireless Carriers,” Hak Kim, Martin Weiss, and Benoit Morel discuss a real option based model for technology decisions and apply it to the U.S. wireless industry as a case study. The authors also discuss what decisions are made, what the outcomes are, and how the options model is validated. Their preliminary results show that inter-generation migration is desirable, while intra-generation migration is undesirable.

In the final article in Issue 1, “Time-Based Confidentiality Enhancement Scheme for Mobile Wireless Networks,” Qunwei Zheng, Xiaoyan Hong, Jun Liu, and Lei Tang propose a novel approach that exploits mobility to enhance confidentiality in mobile ad hoc wireless networks. The authors used simulation with different parameters and network scenarios to evaluate their scheme and found that it is particularly suitable for delay tolerant applications and networks where spatial multi-paths are not available.

The second volume of 2009 contained a variety of articles ranging from a security architecture for self-organizing networks to channel assignment for Wi-Fi networks; but all dealing with some aspect of wireless communications. The importance of wireless communications research is growing as the world becomes ever more dependent on networks from the “smart home” to the battlefield to health care. Wireless networks of one form or another are becoming ubiquitous in an effort to organize and control aspects of daily life on a real time basis from anywhere in the world. Leonard Kleinrock of UCLA, and a founding father of the Internet, in the 1990's coined the term “nomadic networks” to describe the future ability of mobile networks connected to the wired worldwide system to connect anyone to any piece of information or application from any point on the earth. Although his terminology has been substituted with other network names describing the type of wireless technology employed such as WiMAX or Mesh Networks for making the final link to the user from the wired network, the overall concept is steadily progressing towards reality.

In the first article of this volume, entitled “Hybrid Trust Structure in Self-Organizing Networks,” authors Zhou and Harn deal with a topic of ever-increasing importance: trust in self-organizing networks. Ad hoc networks are those which arise “on the fly” with nodes joining and leaving in a usually unpredictable pattern. The ability to identify nodes of authority in this type of a network is key to its operation and efficiency. Without such a mechanism, security could be easily breached and the network rendered ineffective or worse yet destructive for the nodes that use it. This work examines a methodology for developing trust within such a network type.

The second article of the issue, “On Peer-to-Peer Location Management in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks,” deals with another aspect of wireless mobility: location management for mobile vehicular nodes in an ad hoc network. Vehicular nodes present a great challenge when put into an ad hoc networking context. Their mobility makes network management very challenging since the topology of the network can change so rapidly. One of the key issues in network management for MANETs such as these is the tracking of locations for all nodes in the network. Without careful tracking of locations for nodes, network routing becomes an exercise in futility and the network may become disconnected or painfully slow in its speed of transmission from source node to destination node. The authors of this article present a protocol that contains a two-step process for tracking nodal locations. The first step involved mobility-assisted location information dissemination (informing nodes of the locations of other nodes). The second step is a Kalman filter-based location information prediction methodology (using current information on nodal locations to predict future locations). The authors use simulation to justify the merits of their proposed protocol.

The third article of this second volume, entitled “Distributed Algorithms for Delay Bounded Minimum Energy Wireless Broadcasting,” deals with a critical issue in most types of wireless networks: the management of battery life for mobile nodes. In particular this work by a group of researchers from Turkey proposes a tree structure algorithm for communication between wireless nodes that seeks to minimize energy use, and therefore maximize battery life, while keeping the average source-to-destination transmission delay below a maximum tolerable threshold. Sensor networks in particular are very susceptible to battery failure problems if they are not designed to maximize battery life. The tradeoff between maximizing battery life and minimizing the number of hops for transmissions with the network is address in this work through the development of their algorithm.

The final article of this second volume for 2009, “User-Based Channel Assignment Algorithm in a Load-Balanced IEEE 802.11 WLAN,” dealt with channel assignment for Wi-Fi, more technically defined as the IEEE 802.11 set of standards for wireless local area networks. This collaborative work introduces an approach that seeks to manage channel assignments to wireless access points with the goal of minimizing their power use and also their overall utilization. In other words, the algorithm seeks to spread capacity across access points such that interference between wireless access points on the network, overall power use by access points, and overall access point utilization are all minimized. The authors' eleven step algorithm first attempts to assign channels to access points based on the minimization of interference between access points and then adjusts for power consumption in an iterative fashion. The authors successfully test their approach via simulation.

The third volume of 2009 contains four articles of greatly varying topics in telecommunications. All four articles do share one commonality: a mathematical or statistical approach to modeling a telecommunications problem versus the use of a qualitative or narrative model.

The first of these articles, entitled “Multi-Layer Network Performance and Reliability Analysis”, details work conducted at AT&T Research Laboratories which is well known for its groundbreaking research in various aspects of telecommunications over the years. The authors present an operations research-based approach for evaluating both the reliability and the operating performance of a large telecommunications network. The approach is based on a the theoretical analysis and solution of a hierarchical network model which is in direct contrast to the most common approach of utilizing a simulation model for network evaluation. Their approach was able to find solutions for realistic-sized networks and provide their company with a tool for network evaluation and planning. Such a tool must prove invaluable to a company such as AT&T and its affiliated entities due to the sheer scale of the size of networks they build and operate. What might seem like a small cost savings realized in a planning model using a tool such as the one the authors describe can be magnified when actually implemented in a network's construction and operation.

The second article of this volume, “Next-Generation Strategic Business Model for the U.S. Internet Service Providers: Rate-Based Internet Subscription,” involves a detailed analysis of the relevant factors in rate-based pricing for U.S.-based Internet service providers. Author Willow puts forth three hypotheses regarding which factors influence pricing and demand for Internet access. These hypotheses dealt with the issue of pricing Internet access strictly by access speeds. He then statistically analyzes these hypotheses using stratified cluster sampling for New York City, New York State, the United States, and Seoul, South Korea. Chi-Square goodness of fit tests were conducted and showed that strict rate-based pricing would not be appropriate for the American market.

The third article of this volume, “Application of Parametric Cost Estimation to Telecommunication Networks,” proposes a parametric pricing model for provisioning telecommunication networks. Network provisioning is an important process where each component of a network must be specified in order to ascertain total cost of construction, purchase or construct required components, and develop a timeline for completion. A parametric cost model seeks to include all the necessary parameters for network construction such as bandwidth, distance, and geographic terrain. The authors put forth a parametric model that includes these and additional parameters with the goal of optimizing total cost of construction subject to restraints on the parameter values. They bring to light what they term the “Capacity Distance Conflict”, which describes the situation where the overall cost for a network can be lower even when the overall link distance is larger than the theoretical minimum total link distance. In other words, due to the nature of traffic and other parameters, provisioning for longer links sometimes can actually save money in the construction of a network even though it raises the total cost of the link media and link construction.

The final article of this issue, entitled “Performance and Complexity Evaluation of OTR-UWB Receiver,” deals with an emerging wireless technology that may soon replace infrared and Bluetooth technologies that are common in personal electronics and home appliances. This technology is Ultra Wideband technology (UWB) and it is based on a low power signal with a wide bandwidth footprint for short range communications. Remote controls and wireless mobile phone handsets that currently use infrared or Bluetooth could soon use UWB as the basis for their short range communications. The authors of this article examine a modulation scheme for UWB from an electrical engineering-oriented point of view. UWB represents a form of what is known as “spread spectrum” technology, and as such, presents unique challenges with respect to channel modeling and modulation. The authors give an overview of current approaches with respect to these activities and present their own approach based on orthogonal transmitted reference UWB (OTR-UWB). They use simulation to test this approach against other approaches with promising results.

Francois Cosquer, who is CTO Security and Technology Strategist for the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Verticals Business Group, was a guest speaker at WTS 2009. His article in Issue 4, “Mobility and Enterprise 2.0,” which was co-authored with Annie Ohayon-Dekel, strategy director for the group, was based on his conference presentation. The article reviews the emergence of Web 2.0 and its rapid adoption by the corporate world, known as Enterprise 2.0, which has radically modified access to tacit knowledge and significantly reduced business latency. The next step is to combine Enterprise 2.0 with mobility. The authors consider three scenarios selected from different vertical domains (healthcare, education and emergency services) to illustrate the benefits of mobility support for Enterprise 2.0.

In his Issue 4 article, “On the Internationalization of the Wireless Telecommunications Industry: A Market-Based Analysis of Six European Service Providers,” Steven Powell analyzes the internationalization efforts from 2002 to 2007 of six European wireless telecommunications service providers which have followed different internationalization paths: Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Vodafone, Telenor, and TeliaSonera. Using a proportionate weighting scheme based on the number of subscribers in each market, the author ranks the companies with respect to three aspects of their internationalization efforts: their degree of internationalization; the attractiveness of their foreign market portfolios from a growth, profitability, and risk perspective; and the distance between their foreign market portfolios and their home markets.

In their Issue 4 article, “Revisiting the Gatekeeping Model: Gatekeeping Factors in European Wireless Media Markets,” Vassiliki Cossiavelou and Philemon Bantimaroudis examine the impact of wireless technology on gatekeeping practices in the context of the European Union news markets. The authors argue that the role of continuously changing media technology, especially wireless technology, should be incorporated into the established Shoemaker/Reese gatekeeping model. Their argument is supported by a preliminary survey of media content and network related gatekeepers indicating that the digital media landscape is being influenced by ICT technologies.

In the Issue 4 article, “Trust-Based SAODV Protocol with Intrusion Detection, Trust Management and Incentive Cooperation in MANETS,” author Floriano De Rango introduces enhancements to the SAODV routing protocol that will improve its performance and improve its security. Simulation results support the effectiveness of the security features he proposes.

In the final Issue 4 article, “Modeling and Simulation of Self-Similar Traffic in Wireless IP Networks,” Dimitar Radev, Izabella Lokshina, and Svetla Radeva examine the self-similar properties of telecommunications traffic data over a wide range of time scales. The authors present new efficient algorithms for modeling fixed-length sequence generators to simulate the self-similar behavior of wireless IP network traffic and analyze simulation results based on the models.

We would like to thank our colleagues on the IJITN editorial board – especially Qing-An Zeng and Izabella Lokshina, who edited the special issues 1 and 4, respectively - as well as the many authors and reviewers for their contribution to the journal. We would also like to thank the staff at IGI Global – especially Heather Probst, Director of Journal Publications - for their support for IJITN and their help publishing it. We hope that you will enjoy reading this book and find the articles informative.

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Michael R. Bartolacci is a full professor of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University’s Berks Campus. He teaches courses in the areas of telecommunications and computer networking, systems integration, information security, and business information systems. He has a PhD in Industrial Engineering with a concentration in information systems from Lehigh University and a MBA from Lehigh University. He was formerly an elected member of the INFORMS Telecommunications Section’s governing board and sits on the editorial boards of several telecommunications journals. His research interests include wireless telecommunications modeling, and cultural aspects of information technology.
Steven R. Powell is Professor Emeritus at California State Polytechnic University (Pomona, USA), where he led the university's efforts in interdisciplinary telecommunications education and research. He is the founder and General Chair of the Wireless Telecommunications Symposium, a leading interdisciplinary mobile communications and wireless networking conference supported by the IEEE Communications Society. Dr. Powell has taught telecommunications, engineering management, electrical engineering, IS, and computer science courses at the California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, Claremont Graduate University, Long Island University – C.W. Post Campus, and the University of Southern California. His industrial experience includes positions as Director of Corporate Planning at American Express Company and Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories. He organized and chairs the IEEE Communications Society Foothill Chapter. Powell's research interests are primarily in the areas of telecommunications strategy, telecommunications management, telecommunications policy, international telecommunications, and wireless communications. He holds an MBA from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business, a PhD and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, and a BS in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.