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Access Provider / Personal Router Interactions

Primitive-based Payment Systems for Flexible Value Transfer in the Personal Router

The Personal Router is able to select and negotiate connectivity with local providers for different kinds of services and interfaces. Crucial to actually enabling this and creating a viable market is designing payment procedures that support these services. Since the PR is designed to be used in many distinct contexts, it is essential to support multiple payment mechanisms.

This research considers a new approach to payment mechanisms based on building blocks. Payment systems are split into primitive operations; each of which implements one step of a transaction. The combination of these building blocks constitutes a payment protocol. The characteristics of a payment system can then be derived from the analysis of the implementation of each of these primitives. Payment systems can then be compared through their primitives and even slightly modified to be closer to users ideal system by altering the primitives. This framework has been successfully tested on three major electronic payment systems.

To learn more read: Primitive-Based Payment Systems for Flexible Value Transfer in the Personal Router

An Auction-based Method for Shared Wireless Medium Access Control

In this research we have designed and implemented a wireless allocation system that uses pricing and a bid-auction process to arbitrate access to a shared wireless channel. It may be used within an arbitration framework where users agree on a protocol for shared access to spectrum. To fairly control access and reduce congestion, a set of economic methods for valuing traffic, funding, and generating bids are incorporated within the medium access control and link layers of a wireless network. They allow wireless nodes and hubs to distributively prioritize usage both by individual traffic classes and by node.

The IEEE 802.11 wireless specification was used as a baseline for modification. A number of variations of the system were tested in the ns-2 Network Simulator to quantify the e ectiveness compared to 802.11. We found that this system may be useful for unlicensed wireless networks and networks with both centralized and adhoc routing. Existing and future spectrum allocation policies to permit expanded use of spectrum for wireless networks are examined, and the arbitration framework proposed as a blend of the two major policy approaches: opens-commons and auctionmarkets. Possible areas where the framework can be used with respect to related technologies and policies are suggested.

While not immediately applicable in today's wireless networks, this work represents a vision of how wireless networks could operate more efficiently in the future. To learn more read: An Auction-based Method for Shared Wireless Medium Access Control

Transparent Mobility Between Wide Area Wireless Services

Our project aims to create an environment rich with a variety of wireless service providers and wireless service offerings. The wireless service selected at any point in time is a function of application requirements, the current activities with the applications, and the user's preferences. Obviously these could vary frequently. Users will also be mobile in their environment bringing new services into their range and dropping out of the range of other services. Even without the mobility of the user, the fundamental nature of wireless signal propogation makes the set of wireless services and their quality vary with time.

Given these constraints, our system requires rapid mobility of users traffic from one service to the next. Network mobility is a popular research area and we expect to be able to leverage the research efforts of other groups in some respects. The following research questions related to mobility are important to the personal router project.What are the limitations of current mobility solutions? How can the switching costs be modelled so that they can be considered in the service selection algorithms? What are the right mobilitiy models to adopt for the personal router project?

Authentication, Security, and Privacy Concerns of the Personal Router

Similar to the primitive based payment mechanisms discussed in the first section of this page, we are developing technology that enables the PR clients and service providers to reason about and negotiate compatible service terms for security, authentication requirements and privacy. This is crucial flexibility that both clients and providers require. The concerns of participants is simply too diverse to mandate one technological solution in each space. By providing a framework in which these concerns can be reasoned about and negotiated for, the PR encourages participation from people and businesses with a wide range of requirements and preferences.