Next Generation Data Communication Technologies: Emerging Trends

Next Generation Data Communication Technologies: Emerging Trends

Debashis Saha (Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, India) and Varadharajan Sridhar (Sasken Communication Technologies, India)
Release Date: December, 2011|Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 416
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-477-2
ISBN13: 9781613504772|ISBN10: 1613504772|EISBN13: 9781613504789
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Description & Coverage

Data sharing is central to the existence of any computer network. Research on the types of networks used to transmit data, as well as the nature of the data itself, is essential for computer engineers and information technology professionals.

Next Generation Data Communication Technologies: Emerging Trends contains case studies, theories, and empirical research aimed to assist individuals and organizations in understanding the critical concepts of data networking and communications. The transmission of different types of media, along with resulting business implications, is studied in depth and applications for service providers are policymakers are offered in this rigorously researched collection.


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

  • Authentication Protocols
  • Cross-Layer Design
  • Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
  • Mobile Content Delivery
  • Next generation networks
  • Optimization in 4G Networks
  • Process Scheduling
  • Scalable Video Streaming
  • Trust Based Authentication
  • Vehicular ad hoc networks
Reviews and Testimonials

These research essays provide a snapshot of the emerging communications technologies, related telecom market evolution, associated novel business models, and the resulting research issues.

– Debashis Saha, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, India; and Varadharajan Sridhar, Sasken Communication Technologies
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Editor Biographies
Debashis Saha is currently a full professor with the MIS Group, Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Calcutta (Kolkata, India). Previously, he was with CSE Department at Jadavpur University (Kolkata, India). He received his BE (Hons) degree from Jadavpur University (Kolkata, India), and the MTech and PhD degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur (India), all in electronics and telecommunications engineering. His research interests include pervasive communication and computing, network operations, management and security, wireless networking and mobile computing, ICT for development, and network economics. He has supervised thirteen doctoral theses, published about 250 research papers in various conferences and journals, and directed four funded research projects on networking. He is a member of the organizing/program committee of several international conferences, and is a regular reviewer of several international journals. He has co-authored several book chapters, a monograph, and five books including Networking Infrastructure for Pervasive Computing: Enabling Technologies and Systems (Norwell, MA: Kluwer, 2002) and Location Management and Routing in Mobile Wireless Networks (Boston, MA: Artech House, 2003). Dr. Saha is the recipient of the prestigious career award for Young Teachers from AICTE, Government of India, and is a SERC Visiting Fellow with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. He is a Fellow of West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology (WAST), Senior Life Member of Computer Society of India, Senior Member of IEEE, member of ACM, member of AIS, and member of the International Federation of Information Processing Working Group’s 6.8 and 6.10. He was the founding Chair of Calcutta Chapter of IEEE Communications Society (2003-2008) which won the ‘Best Chapter of the World’ award in 2008.
Varadharajan Sridhar is a Research Fellow at Sasken Communication Technologies, Bangalore (India) wherein he looks after strategic research initiatives, knowledge management, and academic partnerships. Prior to Sasken, he was a professor of information management and Dean (Research and Consulting) at the Management Development Institute (India). He had also taught at Ohio University and American University in the US; University of Auckland in New Zealand, and at the Indian Institute of Management (Lucknow, India). He received his BE from the University of Madras (India), Post Graduate Diploma in industrial engineering from the National Institute for Training in Industrial Engineering (Mumbai, India), and PhD in MIS from the University of Iowa (USA). Dr. Sridhar's primary research interests are in the area of telecommunication management and policy and global software development. He has published many research articles, business cases, and chapters in edited books in his area of research. The book co-edited by him titled “Recent Advances in Broadband Integrated Network Operations and Services Management” was published by IGI Global in 2011. His latest book titled “The Telecom Revolution in India: Technology, Regulation and Policy” has been published by the Oxford University Press India in October 2011. He has been a member of the Government of India committees in telecom and IT. Dr. Sridhar contributes regularly in leading Indian business newspapers on telecom policy related issues. He is the Co-Editor of International Journal of Business Data Communications and Networking and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Global Information Management. He is a member of Association for Computing Machinery and Association of Information Systems.
Editorial Review Board
  • Jit Biswas, Institute for Infocom Research, Singapore
  • Samir Chatterjee, Claremont Graduate University, USA
  • Pascal Lorenz, University of Haute-Alsace, France
  • David Taniar, Monash University, Australia
  • Amjad Umar, Fordham University, USA
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The editors bring you, in this edited volume, a collection of select articles, which were published in the International Journal of Business Data Communications (IJBDCN) in recent past. These research essays provide a snapshot of the emerging communications technologies, related telecom market evolution, associated novel business models, and the resulting research issues. The book is divided into four sections, namely (a) Next Generation Communication Networks: Towards enhanced design, interoperability and performance, (b) Communication Network Security: Improved Architecture and Prevention Mechanisms, (c) Network Data Services and Applications: Improving Interoperability and Performance, and (d) Network Economy: New Business Models, which are briefly introduced later.

Ever since mobile wireless networks have taken the center stage, wired networks have gone into the background just as they have been pushed to the core by the wireless access. It all began with voice in the wireless domain, but now data as usual is surging ahead as the killer service. A recent research study points out that mobile data traffic will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 92 percent from 2010 to 2015, reaching 6.3 Exabytes per month by 2015. The study also points out “The mobile-only Internet” population will grow 56-fold from 14 million at the end of 2010 to 788 million by the end of 2015 (Cisco, 2010). These trends clearly indicate the possible exponential growth in the use of mobile devices to access Internet and bandwidth intensive applications. Though technologies such as Long Term Evolution (LTE), LTE-Advanced, WiMAX, and mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e) are gaining ground in different geographical areas and being actively adopted by the mobile operators worldwide to provide enhanced user experience, spectrum crunch is evident. In tune with these trends, there are two active research areas in networking. One is Cognitive Radio (CR), which enables flexible and dynamic spectrum usage with cognitive capabilities for opportunistically seizing vacant Radio Frequency spectrum blocks in both licensed and unlicensed bands (Chapin & Lehr, 2007). In a major breakthrough to the proponents of CR technologies, IEEE released 802.22 standards earlier this year that define the unlicensed use of frequencies between TV channels in the Very High Frequencies (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) bands. However, there are still evolving research problems on interference management, frequency allocation algorithms, and power management that need to be addressed as early as possible.

Wireless technology is also in the midst of an important stage in its techno-commercial evolution from radios with behavior fixed in hardware to radios with behavior determined by software. The flexibility demanded by the radio systems can potentially be embedded best in software rather than hardware and hence the development of Software Defined Radios (SDR) (Partridge, 2011). Though the SDRs on their own could not stand commercially, the CR combined with SDRs to provide flexible spectrum management provides an enlarged space for wireless researchers to find ways to allow software radios to use the spectrum appropriately.

Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANETs) continue to generate interesting research problems in the area of connectivity, routing, security, and power management. Dynamic topologies, bandwidth constraints, energy-constrained operations, wireless vulnerabilities, and limited physical security are among the characteristics that differentiate mobile ad hoc networks from fixed multihop networks. These networks when connected to high-bandwidth wireless backhaul networks require efficient hand-off mechanisms, and bandwidth shaping rules.

However, the non-proliferation of multi hop mobile ad hoc networks, despite their practical usefulness and need, is mainly due to their poor performances caused by the lack of viable low signaling and high validity routing algorithms. Routing still plays the central and vital role to yield an appropriate and efficient running of these networks, yet it stands out as one of the most crucial actors to attain adequate performances and viable deployments. The crux of routing in such networks lies in its ability to maintain and provide routes that are valid at the instant of their requests otherwise traffic may wander inside the network without ever being able to be delivered to its ultimate destinations. Worse yet, invalid routes amount to over using the wireless communication medium and hence throttling the network from being able to yield good performances.

The proliferation and advancement of wireless communication technologies have revolutionized human lifestyles by providing the best convenience, safety, and flexibility ever in deploying various types of personal communication applications and accessing the Internet services. Car manufacturers have already started equipping cars with the technology that allows drivers and passengers to communicate with each other as well as with the roadside infrastructure, in order to improve the driving experience and make driving safer through Vehicular Ad hoc NETworks (VANETs).

Developments of low power, low cost, embedded wireless devices capable of gathering useful environmental information has led to the developments of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). The WSN technology has gained importance in a range of application scenarios such as military, healthcare, environmental monitoring, and surveillance. In this context, there is a strong need for open protocols to enable the cohabitation of various medium technologies and interfacing facilities between devices.

The field of sensor and mesh networking is reemerging amid unprecedented growth in the scale and diversity of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) networking. M2M enables one device to communicate its status continually or sequentially to another device, often linked to a central management system. People and vehicles can be internetworked in areas without a pre-existing communication infrastructure, or when the use of such infrastructure requires wireless extension. Therefore, such networks are designed to operate in widely varying environments, from military networks (with hundreds of nodes) to low-power sensor networks and other embedded systems.

As more and more devices get networked, need for managing these heterogonous devices on the network is challenging. The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), comprised of leading consumer electronics, computing industry, and mobile device companies, envisions a wired and wireless network of interoperable consumer electronics, personal computers, and mobile devices in the home and on the road, enabling a seamless environment for sharing and growing new digital media and content services. This provides a fertile ground for researchers to work on issues relating to addressability, routing of multimedia content, protocol optimization, radio access network problems, content security, and authorization.

The ubiquitous Power Line Communication (PLC) medium - the electricity distribution network, is being looked at actively for providing high-speed access. While PLC proprietary protocols restrain its usage, collaboration with classic RF solutions is possible using open standards, such as IPv6. Efforts are on to adapt the IEEE 802.15.4 standard over PLC.

Topology control is one of the fundamental research topics in wireless ad hoc and sensor networks. There are varieties of means to perform topology control such as turning on/off network nodes, changing transmission power of network nodes, and building hierarchical network topologies. When designed properly, topology control can improve the operation of wireless ad hoc and sensor networks in terms of energy efficiency, mobility resilience, network capacity increase, interference reduction, et cetera. Nevertheless, many aspects need to be addressed when designing suitable topology control mechanisms for wireless ad hoc and sensor networks. For instance, both the gains by means of topology control and the drawbacks (e.g., relevant overhead on communication & management) from it need to be taken into account. In addition, the realistic networking environments (such as homogeneous & heterogeneous devices, stationary or mobile nodes, QoS requirements, traffic patterns) pose challenges on topology control to work together with other networking tasks. Moreover, topology control has interactions with other layers in the protocol stack such as MAC (Medium Access Control) and routing mechanisms. Hence, comprehensive research efforts on topology control techniques are necessary to meet the various requirements in wireless ad hoc and sensor networks.

Sensor networks and grid computing are being deployed to better manage public utilities such as electricity, water and transport. Smart grids improve the efficiency of electricity grids through active monitoring and reducing reliance on centralized electricity production. Smart city networks monitor traffic, carbon emission, energy usage and help reduce traffic congestion and help earn cities earn carbon credit. Smart M2M communications are a growing area in wireless telecommunications and are expected to be behind 80% of the total carbon savings. Research issues abound in this area relating to optimization of sensor network topologies, performance improvement, energy and power optimization.

Historically, telecom service providers were focused on supplying connectivity based on the concept of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Over the years, these services have evolved to facilitate outsourcing of advanced functionalities such as routing and even security (L3 IP VPNs, security as a service, etc.). Soon VPN service providers started to offer dynamic access (through VPNs) to their own skeleton cloud services and also to 3rd party cloud services; e.g., the “VPN gallery service” of Orange Business Services. Recently, advances in distributed systems technology have made it easy for the provisioning of services on an unprecedented scale and with increasing flexibility. At the same time, businesses have started to embrace a model wherein 3rd party services that can be acquired with minimal service provider interaction, replace or complement those that are managed internally. Organizations have only started to grasp the economic implications of this evolution where service and cloud computing enable resource to be employed in utility-based fashion.

With the evolution of wireless Wide Area Networks, the wireless Local Area Networks (LANs) technologies have also evolved from 802.11b/g to 802.11n, offering about 600 Mbps access speeds. Interconnection of LANs with WANs presents opportunities for researchers to explore problems with capacity and access constraints. Seamless Connectivity in such networks entirely depends on efficient optimized handoff mechanisms in order to ensure non -disruptive session continuity and traffic redirection in a seamless and secure transparent manner. The network dynamics due to node mobility, the nature of the wireless channel, interference between different users and collisions adversely impact network performance across all layers of the protocol stack.

In the core network, through IP multimedia sub systems are being deployed currently, research on next generation core network protocols, addressing schemes, routing methods, and dealing with more sophisticated and bandwidth intensive edge networks will require substantial attention in the years to come.

To take care of the burgeoning demand for the Internet bandwidth, scientists are turning to optoelectronic technology – transmitting data using light. However, research question remains on its capacity to handle huge bandwidth demand at low cost in an energy efficient way. As the Internet paves way for people across the globe to engage in intense collaborative activity, need for efficient, scalable, and energy efficient Internet architecture, and technologies are required and research questions in this domain remain abundant.

While these bandwidth intensive technologies are getting deployed, it becomes imperative for these heterogeneous networks to inter-operate seamlessly. On the other, as various multimedia applications with different Quality of Service (QoS) requirements are becoming popular, provisioning these services seamlessly to the end customers is becoming a business challenge for wireless service providers. Research problems in the area of defining, measuring, and monitoring multimedia QoS are of interest in the days to come.

With this brief background on what is happening around us nowadays, the editors introduce the four relevant sections of the book next.


In the first section on “Next Generation Networks,” the editors included research articles that address the challenges in design and performance optimization in the next generation wireless enabled networks.

In their chapter titled “A Dimensioning Study for UMTS Core Networks”, Quyang and Fallah discuss about Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) - one of the third-generation (3G) mobile telecommunications technologies, which is also being developed into a 4G technology. The chapter provides detailed guidelines and algorithms for dimensioning the UMTS core networks to enable any mobile operator’s network planning process to be independent from the vendor bias. The authors claim that though the current literature provides many practical tools or theoretical methods to design, plan, and dimension Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and UMTS radio networks, they mostly overlook the algorithms for network planning and dimensioning for core networks of GSM, UMTS, and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). This chapter introduces an algorithm for traffic, bandwidth, and throughput dimensioning of the network entities in the UMTS core network. The analysis is based on the traffic and throughput generated or absorbed in the interfaces of the network entities in the UMTS core network. The chapter ends with a case study to verify the algorithms created for UMTS core network. The algorithms developed have been successfully applied in dimensioning a nationwide UMTS network in North Africa and also adopted in an optimization tool by a mobile operator in the United States recently. This chapter is aimed at helping UMTS network operators in dimensioning an optimum network size and building an optimum network structure to deliver an optimum quality of service for users. The dimensioning rules and guidelines provided in the chapter could also help the mobile operators to appropriately size their networks to minimize their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which includes capital and operational expenditure.

In the chapter “Period size self-tuning to enhance routing in MANETs” by Abid and Belghith, the authors propose a novel proactive routing protocol for wireless mobile ad hoc networks. The novelty of their proposal stems from the fact that they allow different nodes to adopt different routing period sizes calculated individually, locally, and dynamically. As such, stationary or slowly moving nodes adopt a large period size while fast moving nodes utilize rather a small period size. The size of the routing period depends on the level of the dynamics perceived by each node in an autonomous way where no synchronization is required. Moreover, and to better track node mobility and further mitigate its effect, every node integrates a self- regulating process that keeps calibrating the currently chosen period size. A detailed performance investigation is carried out to demonstrate the betterment brought by their proposal against the de facto OLSR.

The paper by Paul et al., titled “Handoff Cost Minimization and Planning of Next Generation Heterogeneous Integrated Overlay Networks: Meta Heuristics Based Approach,” analyzes the problem of hand-off cost minimization in such overlay heterogeneous networks. The authors present an optimization problem that seeks to find an optimal assignment of each WLAN to a specific WiMax base station subject to capacity constraints of the WiMax base station. The problem is modeled as a generalized assignment problem with a non-linear hand-off cost function. A simulated annealing based heuristic approach is used to solve the problem.

The chapter on “Predictive dynamic uplink/ downlink resource reservation for vertical handoff optimization in 4G networks,” by Trabelsi and Boudriga, tackles one of the major issues in 4G networks: optimizing the handoff procedure to ensure seamless session continuity with minimum latency. They proposed various dynamic and predictive radio resource reservation algorithms in order to enhance the handoff performance in 4G networks. These algorithms concern both of the uplink and downlink and maximize the handoff success probability. A detailed performance study is carried out to demonstrate the efficiency of their proposals.

In general, WSNs consume high energy due to path loss, retransmissions, congestion, and high Bit Error Rates. Hence, optimizing energy consumption in WSNs is the biggest challenge. In WSNs, the transport layer protocol plays a significant role in maintaining the nodes’s energy budget. In the chapter on “Dependency of Transport Functions on IEEE 802.11 and IEEE 802.15.4 MAC/PHY Layer Protocols for WSN: A step towards cross-layer design,” Sharif et al. focus on the role of transport agent for ensuring data delivery subject to nodes’ energy cost. To find out the dependency of the transport layer on physical and Medium Access Control layer, the authors have extensively tested various transport protocols using IEEE 802.11, 802.15.4 physical, and MAC layers protocols for WSNs. The work paves way for the future development of cross-layer energy efficient transport protocols for WSNs.

This concludes Section 1.

As bandwidth-intensive applications and networks diffuse, the need for effective security management, not only in organizations, but also across national infrastructure, continues to increase. As each country is creating equivalents of the US Department of Homeland Security, the need for providing surveillance, monitoring, and management is increasing.

Besides weak security, the biggest weakness in today's Internet and Intranet is the lack of built-in network management techniques. Among the ideas under consideration are automated ways to reboot systems, self-diagnosing protocols, finer grained data collection, and better event tracking. All of these tools will provide better information about the health and status of networks so that security, availability, and reliability of networks can be improved.

The VANETs come with certain challenges of security and privacy preservation aspects, in which any malicious behavior of users, such as a modification to the disseminated messages, could be fatal to the other users.


In the second section of the book, “Communication Network Security,” contemporary research articles address the challenges in the design of a proper security architecture and appropriate prevention mechanism.

The chapter by Subathra, et al., “Detection and Prevention of Single and Cooperative Black Hole Attacks in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks” addresses one of the important problems of security in Mobile Ad-hoc NETworks (MANETs), which are still an interesting option for the regions where infrastructure deployment is not exactly profitable. The MANETs that use Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) protocol to discover routes between the nodes often suffer from single and cooperative black hole attacks. The chapter discusses a solution for probing the nodes of the network to determine whether they are malicious and discovers a secure route between the source and destination by identifying and isolating such malicious nodes. Simulation results show that the protocol provides better security and performance in comparison with trust based and probe based schemes.

The chapter by Sivagurunathan, et al., titled “Distributed Trust Based Authentication Scheme in a Clustered Environment Using Threshold Cryptography for Vehicular Ad Hoc Network,” discusses next generation mobile wireless networks that are infrastructure-less and dynamic. In particular, the chapter addresses the security issue in VANETs. Analysts predict that inter-vehicle networks, when fully deployed across the globe, will be the largest open MANET. VANETs have their own challenges not encountered in usual MANETs due to vehicular mobility that may range from a few kilometers to hundreds of kilometers. To support common daily life applications on VANET requires the creation of a virtual network infrastructure that is scalable, robust, and secure. The authors claim that a stable clustering of nodes is the key to creating this infrastructure, and to this end, present a threshold security mechanism with mobility based clustering for open inter-vehicle communication networks.

The chapter “A distributed secure architecture for vehicular ad hoc networks,” by Gazdar, et al., proposes a novel distributed Public Key Infrastructure for VANETs based on the election of a small subset of trusted vehicles to play the role of the Certification Authorities. The novelty of their proposal stems essentially from the following facts: first an election process based on various metrics including the relative mobility, a constrained cluster size, a d-connected cluster, and a security criterion; second, a dynamic demilitarized zone composed of confident nodes within one hop of the elected cluster head to shield it from any malicious node behavior; third, a trust metric to measure the level of confidence of each vehicle within the platoon. Using extensive simulations, they studied the performance of their proposal and investigated the impact of the vehicle speed, the vehicle average arrival rate, and the percentage of confident vehicles on the stability and efficiency of the security infrastructure. In particular, they showed that their proposal is scalable, stable, and efficient, and that only a very small fraction of the nodes need to be confident to attain a very adequate high level of stability and efficiency.

With the extensive usage of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in applications such as personal identifications in passports, payment systems in the financial sector, ticketing in transportation sector, supply-chain management in manufacturing and process industries, and asset tracking in the retail sector, vulnerability and security risks of these systems have increased recently. Since the RFID medium can be easily accessed, the messages between communicating nodes can be easily observed, eavesdropped, or forged. Furthermore, customers possessing RFID tags can be tracked, and the transactions can be recorded, leading to violation of their privacy. In their chapter on “Simple Lightweight Authentication Protocol Security and Performance Considerations,” Gódor and Imre model the attacker and the well-known attacks in RFID environment with small computational capacity. They analyze the performance of hash based secure Simple Lightweight Authentication Protocol under various attach scenarios. Using simulation, the authors benchmark the performance of their algorithms and indicate the possibility of embedding this in commercial RFID systems.

This concludes Section 2.

The demand for wireless broadband continues due to exponential growth of Smartphone adoption. Smartphone growth has also fuelled intense mobile platform technologies and associated business models. Apple’s iOS, Microsoft’s Windows Platform, Google’s open source Android, and RIM’s Blackberry have sparked interesting research problems in two-sided market theories and applications. These multiple platforms have also resulted in the need to look at the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) and patents.

The availability of multiple platforms and devices has provided users with tremendous choice. This has necessitated the IT infrastructure in organizations to be more flexible in accommodating the diverse needs of the users in terms of device support and management. Research problems in the area of converging IT infrastructure and optimization of organization policies do become important.

With convergence in devices, the network operators are thus are forced to differentiate themselves in the market place by way of Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS). One such MVAS service that provides new business opportunities to both the network operator as well as the content provider is mobile media content service. There are business alliances possible with media firm partnering with wireless service providers to offer content. Financial models using the theory of real options are being used by researchers to analyze firms’ responses towards such alliances and investment.

Business communication has undergone a sea change lately, thanks to mobile telepresence that connect virtual meeting rooms to smart phones via wireless broadband networks. Using wireless telecommunications products, organizations create virtual offices that enable employees to work remotely and from home, reducing travel and office space. However, these throw up challenges in the management of remote offices, collaborative tools for enabling efficient knowledge sharing, and effective configuration systems for communication of work artifacts.

While the newer technologies in networking and applications are getting diffused through society, the dire need of applications and solutions for addressing the digital divide continues to increase. Innovative applications that use less energy and memory, and are at the same time capable of scaling up to provide the desired economies, continue to pose interesting research problems.


In the third section, on “Network Data Services and Applications,” the editors present a rich set of research papers that address the challenges in improving interoperability and performance in next generation data services and supported applications.

Melendi, et al. discuss the performance issues of one of the popular services on the Internet, namely the Internet radio, in their chapter on “Performance Evaluation of Different Architectures for an Internet Radio Service Deployed on an Fttx Network.” The authors of this chapter have built a simulation model of an Internet radio service configured with user behaviour and corresponding traffic generation patterns adopted from real cases. The model is validated by comparing simulation results with the data gathered in a real service. The model has been used to evaluate various possible architectures which may be requested by a content provider to deploy an Internet radio service on a cable network. The evaluations show the performance of each of these architectures and the effect they have on the underlying network infrastructure. Moreover, for the least efficient architectures, the most suitable parameters to configure the network infrastructure have been presented in order to improve the behaviour of the service as much as possible. The evaluation of different architectures and the results of the analysis will be useful for service administrators to achieve the optimal configuration for their Internet radio services.

With the commercialization of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and other server based video distribution, congestion problems in a multimedia network are becoming common. In a conventional model for multimedia distribution, network resources are shared amongst the users, and hence, as more and more users join the network, network capacity is exhausted, degrading the quality. Alhaisoni, et al., in their chapter on “Scalable P2P Video Streaming,” introduce a new methodology using Peer-to-Peer (P2P streaming that can overcome the congestion problems in video distribution over networks. With P2P streaming, as more users want to consume content, the very same users act as distribution relays, contributing to increasing the overall throughput. The authors introduce a layered scalable video coding technique that enables the users to use the portion of the video stream that suits their needs best. The overlay network in which the users’ nodes are interconnected to each other provides virtual, transient, and dynamic inter-user communication. The authors explore the effectiveness of a combination of P2P strategies to assess the viability and benefits of scalable video coding over a multi-layered network. The resulting performance shows the promise of this technique over the conventional video distribution mechanisms.

The chapter “Interoperable IPv6 sensor networking over PLC and RF media,” by Chauvenet, et al., investigates the interoperability between Power Line Communications (PLC) and Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). Different applications from smart metering and environment monitoring to home control and energy efficiency are targeted. They proposed an adaptation of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard to the low power, lossy channel and low data rate context of the PLC transceivers using pulse modulation. They focused on the convergence of the IPv6 protocol with the 6LoWPAN adaptation layer and proposed an implementation, called RPL, for the IETF proposed Routing Over Low Power and Lossy (ROLL) networks. The interoperability is then demonstrated using a real test bed integrating PLC and WSN running IEEE 802.15.4/6LoWPAN/IPv6/RPL stacks.

With the availability of Smartphones and the associated location information provided systems such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), location dependent information services are gaining popularity. By including location as part of users’ context information, many VAS can be provided, targeted at mobile users in the areas of geographic, traffic, and logistic areas, apart from providing vital dynamic information for emergency and disaster management services. In such applications, data caching is an important technique to enhance data availability and data access response time. Due to cache size limitations, cache replacement policies are used to find a suitable subset of items for eviction from the cache. Jane, et al., in their chapter on “A Spatio-Temporal Cache Replacement Policy for Location Dependent Data in Mobile Environments,” propose a new cache replacement policy for location dependent data. The policy, based on re-entry probability of cache item, area of scope of cache item, and rate of access of the item, takes in to account both spatial and temporal characteristics of cache data items in order to provide better system performance in terms of cache hit ration of mobile clients.

Chaudhuri and Elcock show how to schedule processes in heterogeneous multiprocessor systems using task duplication method in “Process Scheduling in Heterogeneous Multiprocessor Systems Using Task Duplication.” Process scheduling in a multiprocessor environment is still a challenging problem, and this classical problem deals with the assignment of tasks to different processors, satisfying a given set of constraints, so that the schedule length or overall task completion time is minimized. In this chapter, the authors have combined the idea of task duplication with the ranking concept used in an earlier algorithm and developed an algorithm that outperforms the earlier algorithm significantly when the conventional metrics, such as average schedule length, speedup, and frequency at which the schedule length is better, were used. Using the metric average running time, the performance of the proposed algorithm, is comparable to the others.

This concludes Section 3.

Internet and the associated WWW have introduced a second economy, normally referred to as the “Digital Economy” (Arthur, 2011). The processes in the physical economy are being entered into the digital economy, where they are speaking to other processes in the digital economy – mainly through the Internet, in a constant conversation among multiple servers and multiple semi intelligent nodes that are updating things, querying, checking off, readjusting, and eventually connecting back with processes and humans in the physical economy.

Along with the digital economy, the emergence of Internet-based social media has made it possible for one person to communicate with hundreds or even thousands of other people in the network. Social media encompasses a wide range of online, word-of-mouth forums including blogs, discussion boards and chat rooms, consumer-to-consumer e-mail, consumer product or service ratings websites and forums, Internet discussion boards and forums, moblogs (sites containing digital audio, images, movies, or photographs), and social networking websites, to name a few (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). An important disruption is that the high-speed access networks and Smartphones enable users to access and use these social media through mobile phones, anytime, anywhere. These many-to-many group forming transactional communication networks and the associated exponential value generation in such networks was characterized in 2001 by Reed (Reed, 2001). The analysis of communication patterns in such social media and peer-to-peer networks will shed a light on their impact on network capacity, topology, routing, and furthermore, the various business models that can be followed by various stakeholders.

The growth of mobile Internet, Smartphones, and the mobile operating platforms has renewed research interest in two and multi-sided markets (Cusumano, 2011). The interaction between mobile network operators, mobile device manufacturers, and mobile application providers enables strong cross-side network effects. The success or failure of a platform, and hence the associated ecosystem, depends on the magnitude of this effect, and hence, pose challenging research problems in the area of network economics (Basole & Karla, 2011).


Finally, in the last section, “Network Economy,” the editors picked a few research papers that discuss the emerging alternative business models suitable to address upcoming network evolution.

One of the significant entry in to the digital economy is content provisioning. The disruption caused by Apple’s iPad, followed by other Tablet manufacturers, have provided easy-to-use, affordable, and compact devices through which digital content can be accessed and consumed. This content provisioning has introduced many new business opportunities to both the network operator as well as the content providers. In their chapter “Using Real Options Theory to Evaluate Strategic Investment Options for Mobile Content Delivery: A Case Study,” Liginlal, Khansa, and Chia present a case study of a media company. They analyze two business models: one wherein media firm partners with wireless service providers, and another in which the firm provides media content through strategic alliances with mobile content syndicators. The models are evaluated based on their resource requirements, market share acquisition, revenue generation, and nature, scope, and control of content and bandwidth. Real options analysis is used to value the firm’s managerial flexibility in responding to uncertainty in investment. The authors prove how real options analysis can be better than traditional discounted cash flow analysis for long-term decision making, especially for determining the value of technology investments under uncertainty in growing areas such as mobile media markets.

The chapter by Nascimento and Santos, “Valuation of Alternative Business Models in Information, Communication and Media Markets: Convergence, Ubiquity and Pervasiveness,” discusses business models for convergent and ubiquitous services. The adoption of the Internet Protocol (IP) platforms has allowed service providers to mix and match telephony, Internet, and broadcast services. It is in the context of the EU Framework Program, called DAIDALOS (Designing Advanced network Interfaces for the Delivery and Administration of Location independent, Optimized personal Services), which is in its second phase of development, that the authors propose a valuation method for investing in pervasive and ubiquitous services. Real options approach is used for the evaluation of various alternatives apart from the widely used net present value analysis. The authors claim that the value of a project to a service provider is highly dependent on the exercise of its inherent options and that operators are likely to adopt a vertical integrated business model in urban areas.

This concludes Section 4 and completes the summary of the book.

All the above chapters lead to the emerging domain of next generation networks – something akin to a hyper-Internet. When Tim Berners-Lee, then a graduate of Oxford University, invented the World Wide Web at CERN circa 1990 as an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing, little did he think that after 20 years it would become such a hyper-phenomenon. In its early days, the Internet and the associated WWW involved read-only traffic, retrieved from the server to the client terminals. There was no possibility of adding new content or modifying the Internet and WWW content. Evidently, WWW has travelled a long way from what it started with. It has come of age by breaking the digital divide and making the information available for everyone. The move from information to interaction has changed the web from read-only to read-n-write. From a developer’s perspective, the Web moved from html based web to more sophisticated Ajax platform.

Since the Web now is more about the user-developed content, the underlying networks adapt more to users’ preferences, likes, and dislikes. As far as the ownership over the resources is concerned, the individual has gained in terms of democracy as she has every right to express freely on the Web. The flow of information has recently changed further drastically with the emergence of online social networks. People are connected with their friends, acquaintances, and relatives through virtual communities and are constantly fed with what they want to share. The scalability of the next generation communication platforms from voice-only or data-only or video-only services to multimedia, value-added services is very much critical to the diffusion of the future Web services and applications.

Debashis Saha

Indian Institute of Management - Calcutta, India

Varadharajan Sridhar
Sasken Communication Technologies, India


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