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Heuristic Optimization

Objective

The main goal of NET consists in the performance analysis, evaluation and optimization of communication networks such as the Internet, wireless cellular systems, or other complex interconnected systems. We design mathematical models to capture the dynamics of fundamental aspects of real-world systems in order to achieve a better utilization of resources. For instance, we look for designs that make a balance between energy consumption and system performance in order to offer a sustainable service to customers. We aim at understanding the phenomena, developing tractable mathematical methods, algorithms, and software tools to provide interpretable and implementable solutions for the industry and for the society.

Description

The development of complex interconnected systems requires smart and novel solutions for efficient resource management and their sustainability. The idea of NET is to offer an interdisciplinary team dealing with resource allocation problems in systems arising in different industries. The main techniques we use and develop belong to the intersection of mathematics, computer science, and economics. Our work is closely linked with the branch of mathematics known as operations research or management science.

The Internet is today the fundamental component of worldwide communications infrastructure. In recent years, the use of both the Internet and wireless services has experienced an explosive growth and has had a striking impact in the world-wide economy. Network operators and service providers anticipate further expansion, boosted by the emergence of all-optical networking as well as the convergence of wireless and Internet access, along with a fundamental trend towards service integration. It is expected that future information and communication systems will accommodate a variety of new applications with a diverse range of Quality-of-Service (QoS) requirements. These observations have raised the need for the development and analysis of mathematical models to predict and control the QoS of information and communication systems, including wired and wireless networks and large-scale distributed systems.

Our scientific contributions are both theoretical, with the development of new modeling formalisms, and applied, with the development of algorithms and software tools. More specifically, the main mathematical tools that are used and to which we aim to contribute are: theory of stochastic processes (Markov process, point process, Palm measure and large deviations), theory of dynamical discrete-event systems (queueing theory, fluid approximations, mean-field limits) and theory of optimization and control (dynamic programming, Markov decision process, game theory, deterministic and stochastic scheduling, relaxation techniques, and path-wise comparison). We further pursue research on the frontier between mathematics and computer science, belonging to areas such as statistical learning, probabilistic algorithms for control under incomplete information, and evolutionary computation.

An important part of our work are simulations and computational experiments. Areas of research interests currently range over optimal scheduling in wireless networks and call centers, energy-efficient networking, flow-aware congestion control of TCP, network economics, approximations for resource sharing, perfect simulations, revenue management, etc.

Applications

The main applications fields of our knowledge and research are typically within the fields such as telecommunications, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, business administration and finance.

The main application area is networking and in particular Internet infrastructure (routing, admission control, congestion control, Voice over IP, quality of service), Internet applications (content distribution systems, peer-to-peer systems, cloud computing, data centers) and wireless cellular networks (scheduling, wireless-LAN, WiMax, UMTS, CDMA 1xEV-DO, LTE, power control, medium access control, transmission rate control).

We have an ongoing collaboration with industrial partners such as INGETEAM-TRACTION (on optimal control of trains) and C.D. FORTUNA (on analysis and optimization of the organization of the Behobia-San Sebastian marathon).

Eusko Jaurlaritza - Gobierno Vasco ikerbasque - Basque Foundation for Science Bizkaia xede. Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia innobasque - Agencia vasca de la innovación Universidad del PaÌs Vasco (UPV/EHU)