Ubiquitous Internet research group
Ubiquitous access is one of the main characteristics of the Internet; the EU Commission defined it as a Key enabling technology of the information society. Recent data show that in the following years the Internet users with mobile/wireless access will outnumber users with fixed-line connections. Moreover, proliferation of mobile devices with processing capacities is leading to a new era of ubiquitous communications where the user will simultaneously use different electronic platforms, enabling him to get all the information he needs, wherever he is. Mobile terminals are becoming gateways between sources of information (e.g. sensors) and global Internet mobile services (health, education, government, etc.). This activity is aimed at developing architectures, algorithms and protocols necessary to make the Internet an ubiquitous network, able to support users in the access to information (including multimedia information) or to communicate with other users, every time, everywhere and with any device. Solutions, whether possible, should be designed apart from specific network technologies. In order to improve the system performances, cross-layer architectures will be used, together with information also coming from network technologies. The research activity is focused on network architectures without infrastructure (ad hoc mobile networks, mesh networks, opportunistic networks and sensor networks) where the users' devices are able to self-organize themselves in order to create a communication network where and when it's necessary. These networks are the best way to create communication systems able to substitute/support traditional communication systems in the case of emergencies due to natural disasters, failures and/or attacks. It is important to note that ad hoc networks can play a key role not only after an emergency but also as a prevention tool. Indeed, within the sector of ad hoc networks, sensor networks and RFID are a valuable tool to monitor the environment (land control to anticipate emergency situations, ranging from detection of toxic/noxious substances, control of volcanic/fault/waterway activity, etc.) and the society (control of goods and people in public places as airports and train stations). Within the framework of these activities, in 2004 IIT- CNR and the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Pisa, established the joint research lab "PerLab" - The Pervasive Computing & Networking Laboratory (http://www.perlab.it), aiming at developing high profile international research activities in the field of pervasive computing, and at stimulating cooperation between the scientific and the entrepreneurial worlds in order to get a better exchange of knowledge. The lab represents a trail-blazing centre based on research activities carried out through joint projects funded by public (the EU and the MIUR) and private (firms and foundations) institutions.