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Dr. Stuart Milner

Dr. Stuart Milner


Office: Air Force Office of Scientific Research


Award: $1,048,279 (33 months)



Stuart Milner, CEE, P.I.

Christopher Davis, ECE, Co-P.I.

The University of Maryland, Cornell University and the University of Illinois will conduct a theoretical investigation of next generation, complex, heterogeneous, wireless networks aimed at quantifying, controlling and managing information transfer for theater, tactical and strategic support. Our previous AFOSR-sponsored research focused on scalability, control, and capacity limits of heterogeneous, wireless networks, ones that involve mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), links with disparate data rates from bits-per-second to above Gb/s, and directional wireless (free-space optical and RF) backbones, while the emphasis was on the transfer of packets. In this effort, we propose to focus network architectures and protocols that support information transfer. The fundamental question is whether a user can ultimately get the information needed, rather then what throughput lower network layers can deliver. In other words, we address information-centric topology management and control vis--vis network topology management and control. We propose to address fundamental questions including: 1) how can the transfer of information (not just bits) be assured over a network topology where the channels are dynamically changing? and 2) How do you assure high information availability (as opposed to network reliability), high information delivery rate (as opposed to network throughput), and high information security (as opposed to network security), simultaneously and in a dynamic heterogeneous network environment?

The project is an integrated, multi-investigator, multi-year research agenda designed to explore the three elements of information topology: (1) Heterogeneous Dynamic Network Behavior; (2) Dynamic Information Topology; and (3) Mixed Analytical Models. Furthermore, we will study the interaction and interdependence of each one of those three elements on the others.

This proposed research project is intended to provide new analytical and mathematical tools to understand the factors affecting communications in complex wireless networks and their effect on network performance. We propose the investigation of mathematical models from information theory, physics, molecular dynamics, graph theory, statistics, and optimization, which can provide a global understanding of the network and its interaction with the environment.

March 27, 2009

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