Vision of Oki Laboratory
In the era of Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and artificial intelligence (AI), evolution of information and communication networking technologies is required. Information and communication networks connect people and things, including data collectors (e.g., smart phones and IoT devices), data aggregators (e.g., data centers), data processors (e.g., clouds), and various applications. They are expected to maximize the benefits to people. Our laboratory is working on the research and development of high-speed, reliable, and flexible networking technologies, with both theoretical and practical approaches. The followings are major research topics in our laboratory.
1. Optical networking
We study various aspects of optical networking technologies including network design and control, systems, and devices. Especially, we research elastic optical networks and space division multiplexing networks, which flexibly assign network resources including spectrums and fiber cores under the condition of unpredictable traffic demands, from mathematical approaches.
2. Network softwarization/virtualization
With software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies, network devices are deployed as virtual functions working on general hardware devices, which enables network operators to provide customized services for their users flexibly and dynamically. Our laboratory works on the design and control technologies of virtualized networks based on network traffic observations and user demands. We focus on improving the efficiency of network resource usage by using methods such as mathematical optimization and machine learning.
3. Heterogeneous network consisting of IoT and smart devices
The number of IoT and smart devices is expected to be more than 50 billion in the future. Types of such devices are also diversified. Services that interconnect devices by networks and utilize the collected data for prediction and system controls are emerging one after another. Our laboratory researches on the technology that coordinates a wide variety of devices in the heterogeneous network to provide services with acceptable quality.
4. Highly reliable network control
There are uncertainties in the traffic amount and data processing time in real network systems. In addition, nodes and links on the network can fail. The allocation of network and computation resources need to be determined so that services can be continuously provided even under these situations. Our laboratory works on this topic by exploiting mathematical optimization modeling, algorithm design, and demonstration experiments.