elcome to the website for the HEA PRTLI Cycle 4 programme entitled "Serving Society: Management of Future Communications Networks and Services", known as HEA FutureComm. The partners in this programme are TSSG (Waterford IT), IDC (University of Limerick), Hamilton Institute (NUI Maynooth) and the NUI Maynooth Sociology Dept. (NUI Maynooth)
As the move towards convergence of communications networks gains momentum, the academic and industrial research community is increasingly focussed on the evolution of networking technologies to enable the “Future Internet.” However, we believe that addressing evolution of networking technologies in isolation is not enough. Instead, it is necessary to take a holistic approach to address the issues of communications services, their societal drivers and the requirements they place on the heterogeneous communications infrastructure. The three programme partners have strong track record in the areas of: communications network and service management (WIT-TSSG); network performance analysis (NUIM-Ham); interaction design and usability (UL IDC); and analysis of usage patterns of ICTs (NUIM-Soc). They are ideally positioned to collaborate on the development of a framework for creation, deployment and management of communications services that serve societal needs.
The Project is divided into 3 main strands of research, which are:
Strand 1: Future Communications Services
This strand will focus on specification of models, algorithms and processes that, when applied in service execution environments, will allow communications services to adapt their behaviour based on contextual information emanating from the underlying networking infrastructure. Furthermore, this strand will address how to facilitate service users in the creation of personalised services, possibly through orchestration of a number of pre-existing services, which can be configured to behave in accordance with particular user preferences.
Strand 2: Future Communications Networks
In this strand models, algorithms and processes will be specified which, when deployed in core and access networks, work together to optimise the operation of those networks subject to constraints relating to both the current state of those networks and, crucially, relating to the business goals of network operators and the goals of users of the communications services support by those networks. Of particular interest will be how services critical from a societal perspective (for example e-health and e-government) can be delivered across heterogeneous networks in a highly dependable manner.
Strand 3: Capturing and Addressing Societal Needs
Strand 3 will develop models, processes and tools to aid users of communications services, be they individuals or social groupings, managing aspects of their interaction with each other as mediated by the communications infrastructure. To achieve this it will be necessary to capture and analyse information relating to social interactions between citizens and harness this information to guide the development of communications services that exhibiting high levels of usability and that promote sustenance and growth of communities.