Projects

WISE is funded from third-party projects. Below, we list the projects that we are currently involved in and those that we have contributed to in the past.

DFG B5G-Cell

until December 2024

B5G-Cell transfer project addresses key issues in millimeter-wave communication with the cooperation of NEC Laboratories Europe. The feasibility of communication in millimeter-wave bands has been the focus of extensive research in academia and industry. Initial studies show that Gigabit-per-second throughput is achievable in static point-to-point scenarios. To cope with the high propagation loss in millimeter-wave bands, millimeter-wave communication systems use highly directional beamforming techniques. Such a high level of directionality implicates three main procedures in millimeter-wave cellular networks, namely, beam alignment, scheduling, and mobility management. Firstly, beam alignment is required so that users and base stations can establish a connection. Once connected, the base station should schedule the users. The high directionality has the advantage of enabling spatial frequency reuse since the interference area is limited to the coverage area of the beam. However, this location-dependency significantly adds to the complexity of scheduling. Last but not least, maintaining the beam alignment for mobile users is very challenging and demands accurate mobility tracking/prediction. It is extremely challenging to design practical mechanisms that facilitate fast beam alignment, low-complexity scheduling, and effective mobility support. To make such a complex system functional, we often require a multi-mechanism design which can proactively transition to the most suitable mechanism with reference to the network conditions. MAKI not only developed several optimal mechanisms for the challenges above, but also has the required expertise for handling multi-mechanism systems with the ability of proactive transitions.

DFG B5G-Cell

DFG mmCell

until December 2023

Cellular networks suffer from two fundamental problems: (i) wireless spectrum scarcity, and (ii) inefficiency of the existing centralized architecture. The scarcity problem is tackled by going beyond the current sub-6GHz frequencies and exploiting extremely high-frequency bands (30-300 GHz), i.e., millimeter Wave (mmWave) band [3]. The inefficiency of the existing architecture can be solved by decentralization. In the legacy architecture, the base station relays all communications from the transmitter to the receiver. Eliminating this man-in-the-middle enhances the efficiency significantly and allows direct communication between the transmitter and the receiver, i.e., Device-to-Device (D2D) communication.Although the solutions to the above problems seem intuitive, there are significant challenges to ahead of such solutions. On the one hand, mmWave bands suffer from severe signal attenuation making long range and non-line-of-sight communications -both essential to cellular networks- very challenging. On the other hand, D2D communication demands sophisticated interference control, resource allocation, and privacy/security provisioning which is hard to support in the existing network design. In mmCell, we present a realistic pathway to address these fundamental problems. We propose solutions to the problems of mmWave D2D communication in cellular networks with special focus MAC layer aspects, e.g., discovery, scheduling, energy efficiency, and mobility. In this proposal, we leverage analytical tools such as game theory and machine learning for system modeling and optimization. Going beyond theory, we will empirically validate the analytical solutions via the state-of-the-art Software-Defined Radio (SDR) platforms. In particular, this proposal aims to facilitate mmWave D2D support for cellular networks.

DFG mmCell

MINTS – Millimeter-wave Networking and Sensing for Beyond 5G

until December 2023

The potential of mmWave technology (30 GHz to 300 GHz, but usually also frequencies above 10 GHz are included) for future mobile networks led to a significant investment in research in the form of H2020 projects and specifically several large 5G Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects. It also motivated the European Commission to recommend opening up parts of the mmWave spectrum for broadband services. At the same time, enabling communications at mmWave frequencies remains challenging. The mmWave radio propagation behaviour is characterized by high path loss and penetration loss, which limits the native communication range of mmWave signals to a few meters. Highly directional beamforming antennas can mitigate the impact of path loss and increase the communication range, but this in turn requires fast and precise beam alignment which in itself is challenging in dynamic mobile environments. Moreover, mmWave signals are easily blocked by most objects, such as walls, the human body, etc. Preliminary studies on mmWave communications and early trials have thusfocused onshowing the feasibility of multi-Gbps data rates in low-density scenarios with limited dynamics such as fixed point-to-point links. Products focusing on such relatively static scenarios (e.g., fixed wireless access, WLAN 802.11ad) are already available on the market. However, these products are not designed for mobile environments and may suffer from frequent connection outages due to the inefficiency of their beamforming and interference control techniques.

MINTS – Millimeter-wave Networking and Sensing for Beyond 5G

NICER – Networked Infrastructureless Cooperation for Emergency Response

January 2015 – December 2019

Crises, disasters and major catastrophic events are triggered by the forces of nature, human or technical failure or violence and terrorism. They present a threat to human life, public safety in the area concerned and interregional economics. Technical infrastructures are damaged or destroyed. The LOEWE research cluster NICER (Networked Infrastructureless Cooperation for Emergency Response) is exploring how infrastructureless information and communications technology can establish links between people in the event of a crisis, thus enabling them to work together to overcome the crisis.

NICER – Networked Infrastructureless Cooperation for Emergency Response