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Wireless Software and Hardware Platforms for Flexible and Unified Radio and Network Control (WiSHFUL)

  • Autori: Nicholas, K.; Spilios, G.; Tinnirello, I.; Peter, R.; Piotr, G.; Garlisi, D.; Jan, B.; Anatolij, Z.; Robin, L.; Gallo, P.; Ivan, S.; Luiz, ; Dasilva, A.; Sunghyun, C.; Jose De Rezende And Ingrid Moerman,
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2017
  • Tipologia: Capitolo o Saggio (Capitolo o saggio)
  • OA Link:


In the last years, we have assisted to an impressive evolution of wireless technologies for short distance communication (like IEEE 802.11, IEEE 802.15.4. Bluetooth Low Energy, etc.) due to the need of coping with the heterogeneous requirements of emerging applications, such as Internet of things, the Industry 4.0, the Tactile Internet, the ambient assistant living, and so on. Indeed, for optimizing the technology performance in these scenarios, it is often required to support some forms of protocol adaptation, by allowing the dynamic reconfiguration of protocol parameters and the dynamic activation of optional mechanisms, or some targeted protocol extensions.In both cases, prototyping, testing and experimentally validating potential solutions is a complex task, which generally requires significant time and resource investment. On one side, off-the-shelf wireless interfaces are based on radio chips which implement only the obligatory parts of the standards and arbitrarily selected optional parts, with only partially documented interfaces and with drivers being either closed or limited in functionality. On the other side, many powerful Software Defined Radio (SDR) platforms, while offering excellent flexibility at the physical layer, typically have limited performance and lack high-level specifications and programming tools as well as standard APIs for developing protocols. Consequently, testing of new solutions often proves problematic, as experimenters can only rely on the limited optimization space enabled by the drivers, or on open software architectures where many functionalities have to be written from scratch and are tightly dependent on the specific hardware platform. In many cases, different experimentation platforms have ss, because experimenters have to be familiar with platform-specific architectures and programming tools before prototyping their solutions. To overcome the aforementioned shortcomings and reduce the threshold for experimentation, we propose a novel approach within the European project WiSHFUL [1]. The project main goal is the design and development of a software architecture enabling a flexible radio and network control of heterogeneous experimentation platforms, based on standardized wireless technologies and SDRs, through unified programming interfaces. More specifically, the architecture is devised to allow: Maximal exploitation of radio functionalities available in current radio chips, as opposed to today’s radio drivers that restrict radio functionality. For example today’s radio drivers for IEEE 802.11 do not supportTDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) operation, while the hardware perfectly supports it. Clean separation between radio control and protocol logic, as opposed to today’s monolithic implementations, which do not allow to work separately on the logic for enabling specific protocol features and the definition of these features. To frame this effort, several driving scenarios were identified to capture the challenges associated with the increasing density and heterogeneity of wireless devices in a concrete and tangible manner. These scenarios directly present a set of relevant and significant requirements for developing the functionalities required by the WiSHFUL control framework in order to investigate the challenges of future wireless systems experimentation. Each showcase focuses on a different source for inter-device and inter-technology interference and displays a scenario, which requires novel experimentation functionalities. Following the definition of this set of motivating scenarios, an architecture is presented to support future wireless experimentation. This architecture is constructed to address the requirements of the tangible scenarios, capturing key challenges of future systems while allowing for extensions to support investigation of as yet unforeseen challenges.