Emerging Networks Laboratory.
Focusing on research challenges relating to the evolution of the communications networking

Recognised as a leading research group in the network and service management field worldwide.

The Emerging Networks Laboratory (ENL), is a TSSG Research Unit comprising 23 researchers focussing on research challenges relating to the evolution of the communications networking and service technologies that will see widespread deployment in the next 10 years. ENL is recognised as a leading research group in the network and service management field worldwide, producing high quality scientific publications and graduating highly skilled PhD and MSc graduates. Its work is in large part driven by its research partnerships with the Irish R&D divisions of leading technology companies including IBM, Cisco, and Intel.

There are three thematic areas to ENL and they include:

  • Beyond 5G Technologies.
  • Knowledge Defined Networks.
  • Fundamentals in Molecular Communication.

The saturation of wireless spectrum access is leading to innovations in areas such as spectrum resource usage and massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) systems. It is widely thought however that the low hanging fruits of innovation for wireless communication are all but exploited with only marginal gains possible.

Current 5G standards report maximum throughput capacities of up to 10 Gbps, however this will still not meet capacity needs as we head towards 2025. For a real step change towards the coveted 1Tbps wireless transmission, new areas of the spectrum must be utilized. Under Beyond 5G Technologies, we are working on novel technology to meet future wireless and network capacity demands. These include TeraHertz communication technologies and next generation network technologies.

Line of sight communications based on the proposed plant model

THz communication and Next Generation Internet.

Fig 1. Line of sight communications based on the proposed plant model. N1 can communicate with M1, whereas the line of sight between N2 and M1 is blocked. N3 cannot communicate with M1 as it is located in a different quadrant. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nancom.2015.01.001


Knowledge Defined Networks


The emergence of virtualisation technologies has revolutionised how services are delivered over the Internet and paved the way for the ‘Software as a Service’ model used within Cloud Computing. This is also revolutionising the telecommunications industry, meaning operators will no longer depend on expensive hardware systems to deliver dedicated network functions.

These functions can be virtualised and run on cheap commodity hardware, impacting on the overall cost of network operators’ investments. Commodity hardware can also be distributed geographically and opportunistically to allow improved and customised services to be delivered across a distributed network of compute resources. However, the management and operation of virtualised systems over such infrastructure becomes increasingly more complex. Under Knowledge Defined Networks, we apply novel Artificial Intelligent and Machine Learning techniques to dramatically improve the management of virtualised telecommunication networks and services.

Knowlege Defined Networking

Fig. 2 Graph Neural Network model including the encoding network to iteratively determine the states of VNFCs, and the gfunctions to determine the VNFC resource prediction.doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNSM.2017.2666781

Fundamentals in Molecular Communication

  • H2020 CIRCLE

The theoretical and experimental basis of molecular communication involves a broad range of disciplines including ICT, Biology and Medicine. In essence this research field seeks to leverage biological phenomenon at the molecular level such as inter cell communication, usage of the immune system, bacterial DNA transfer, neuronal signaling and calcium signalling, to build a communications infrastructure for nano-scale devices that can be deployed and coordinate sophisticated operations within biological systems such as the human body. Under Fundamentals in Molecular Communication, we are investigating the fundamental theory behind molecular communication and defining novel applications of such techniques in various applications such as therapeutic medicine.

The placement of bacteria have an impact on the spatial distribution of the virus

Foundations of Molecular Communication

Fig.3 The placement of bacteria have an impact on the spatial distribution of the virus. (a) At the start of the simulation, the bacteria where placed along the y-axis (x = 0 ) and the virus is randomly distributed within the chamber; (b) at 360 seconds, bacteria could filter a small portion of the area; (c) at 720 seconds, bacteria mobilized to more than 30% of the chamber’s length. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8359015/