North Carolina State University researchers are part of a team that will be designing a blueprint for a future version of the Internet, with funding from the National Science Foundation.
The research team’s goal is to build a new architectural model for the Internet, which would foster innovation and make the Internet infrastructure more flexible, efficient and economically sustainable. The overarching grant funding is for $2.7 million over the next three years. The lead research institution is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Other institutions involved are NC State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Kentucky. NC State’s funding under the grant is $650,000 over three years.
The new Internet architecture will hinge on Internet users being able to make choices about which features and services they want to use, and which entities they want to pay to provide those services. “The NC State research team will be working on technology to enable users to be informed about available choices, and then exercise those choices,” says Dr. Rudra Dutta, an associate professor of computer science at NC State and leader of the NC State effort. Dr. George Rouskas, a professor of computer science at NC State, is also part of the research team.
Specifically, Dutta says, NC State “will be working on designing and producing software that allows users to indicate their preferences in general terms, software that permeates the network to translate these preferences into concrete choices in many parts of the network, and an information exchange language allowing the two to interact, as users’ data travels down the Internet.”
The NC State team will also be working on technology that will measure network performance among different service providers, helping users understand the consequences of their preferences, thus helping them make more informed choices.
NC State’s Department of Computer Science is part of the university’s College of Engineering.