Read at Cordis Europe:
“We’re not looking to replace the internet with the flick of a switch,” warns Dias de Amorim. “What we’re proposing is a robust, flexible, optimised and above all user-friendly set of technologies and standards that will mean any user, anywhere, can identify and network with any nearby devices. Without any technical expertise whatsoever.”
An example helps illustrate the concept. You live in an apartment building. You find neighbour’s wifi connections and invite them to join a new ‘building network’ with a few clicks. Now you can share and communicate with everyone.
You all have internet connections via an ISP, ranging from 1, 2 and 5 megabits/second (Mbits/s). You decide to pool your money and rent a fibre-optic line that handles voice, data and TV for the whole building. Suddenly you all have 10Mbit/s connections.
Taken from: P. Antoniadis, B. Le Grand, A. Satsiou, L. Tassiulas, R. Aguiar, J.P. Barraca, and S. Sargento, Community building over Neighborhood Wireless Mesh Networks, To appear in IEEE Technology and Society, special issue on Potentials and Limits of Cooperation in Wireless Communications, 2008:
The fourth generation (4G) network paradigm has long been sought. A user-centric vision for such “always best connected” next-generation 4G networks is neighborhood Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs).
The vision for WMNs reflects the tradeoff between the immediate selfinterest of the user, and the user’s need for social contacts: Users would pool their resources in order to support the creation and operation of the underlying communication network (participating at all physical, access, and network layers), but also for service provision on top of it.
We argue that the design of communities suitable for this environment will encourage users to participate, enable trustworthy network creation, and provide a social layer, which can be exploited in order to design crosslayer incentive mechanisms that will further encourage users to share their resources and cooperate at lower layers.
Communities are an increasing guiding line for future networks. Their social nature reflects human communication needs, and they seem particularly adequate as a basis for future usercentric communications, based on wireless technologies. In this context, communities span from the physical layer to the higher social layers, reflecting human interests, and creating self-organizing wireless mesh networks (WMNs).
Social relations will encourage users to participate in the formation of the envisioned neighbourhood WMNs, and will generate the necessary information to ensure that the underlying network is formed among trusted and interested users. To this end, cross-layer incentive mechanisms are nevertheless required, using either reward or punishment strategies at different levels, reflecting the current user (node) behaviour towards the community.