India-UK Advanced Technology Centre (IU-ATC) of Excellence in Next Generation Networks Systems and Services

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Computing & Communications

Abstract

This UK-India consortium-based initiative has been established in direct response to a previous request from the British High Commission in India. The IU-ATC consortium has developed through a series of workshops supported by EPSRC and the British High Commission in India, commencing with a Technical Workshop in January/February 2006. The consortium comprises 8 research-leading universities in UK, 5 leading IITs, major industrial partners in UK and India (including companies such as BT, InfoSys, Wipro, Sasken, and Tejas), and a number of SMEs. The initiative aims to establish the first virtual India-UK Advanced Technology Centre (IU-ATC) in Next Generation Networks, Systems and Services, which will put in place the support infrastructure to facilitate, develop and enable the Digital Economy of both countries. This will be achieved through scientific investigation of the technical and functional requirements of Next Generation Networks through the promotion of industry collaboration with research-leading academic institutions and government departments as part of an initial 30 month Phase 1 of an overall 5-year joint programme between the UK and India. The current proposal builds on the existing and well formed consortium, which has already attracted EPSRC support (Travel Grant GR1, INTERACT 5 GR2), UKTI Grant, GOF, and most recently UKIERI-DST Research Award (S083). The explosive growth in advanced telecommunication networks and multimedia services in the last decade has offered exciting opportunities across a wide range of sectors, including communications, education, entertainment, and health. These opportunities have been successfully embraced within Europe and USA, and there is an increasing need to provide similar opportunities for the rapidly expanding economy of India. However, given India's special requirements, this cannot easily be achieved by transference of existing technical and engineering solutions, and a fundamental rethink is required to adapt or develop novel solutions and provide for research, innovation and wealth creation opportunities between UK and India. The IU-ATC initiative is focused on promotion of the Digital Economy, a priority identified under the recent government Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 . The Digital Economy aims to support research and skilled people to effect early adoption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by a variety of user sectors. Understanding and enabling the impact of information, better positions the UK and India to reap the economic and social benefits offered by emerging Telecommunications Engineering hardware and software together with fixed/wireless/mobile Broadband technologies for low cost sensor and user devices, and service delivery platforms. The challenges in exploiting the promise of the technological advances within NGNs, and achieving their potential performance, economic and social returns, require not only a thorough understanding of the lower layers of the communications networking stack but also a strong ability and interest in exploiting the core technologies for citizen-facing applications. This often implies an appreciation of business and government strategies in specific areas such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing and management and requires close collaboration between academia and industry to realise the full potential.

Publications

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Alberto Schaeffer-Filho (2011) An Adaptive Approach to Network Resilience: Evolving Challenge Detection and Mitigation in Proceedings of 8th International Workshop on the Design of Reliable Communication Networks (DRCN)

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Andreas Louca (Author) (2010) Autonomic Network Management for Next Generation Networks in proceedings of PGNET 2010

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Azman Ali (Author) (2010) Justifying a Policy Based Approach for DDoS Remediation: A Case Study in Processings of PGNet2010

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Cathryn Peoples (Author) (2011) Towards the Simulation of Energy-Efficient Resilience Management in in proceedings of 4th International Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques (SIMUTools 2011)

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Marnerides A (2011) MULTI-LEVEL NETWORK RESILIENCE: TRAFFIC ANALYSIS, ANOMALY DETECTION AND SIMULATION in ICTACT Journal on Communication Technology

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Sifalakis M (2011) Functional composition in future networks in Computer Networks

 
Description The work developed within IU-ATC Theme 4 produced three major findings. These findings are not only research and technical findings but also findings with respect to the perception of key-resileince properties of future and emerging threats within the expert domain. Hence, the project has produced results in major research areas but also have got findings that are relevant in a context beyond the research domain. The key findings are:



(1) Policy-based management provides flexibility in the configuration of system/network components to adapt in response to events and context changes. We have found this to be a key property when building resilient systems and networks, as the range and nature of the attacks a network may face cannot be fully anticipated; (2) More robust resilience strategies are characterised by an holistic approach based on the end-to-end monitoring of Internet threats, at both edge and core networks (horizontally), and at different layers of the protocol stack (vertically); (3) While concentrating on malicious traffic attacks or data integrity, industry experts and researchers may be underestimating the threat to Internet security posed by physical attacks to telecommunications infrastructure.
Exploitation Route The work developed within IU-ATC has helped us to attract significant R&D investment through a number of CASE studentships with BT Labs and EADS, and the consolidation of the Lancaster Cyber Security Centre of Excellence. We are also further developing the use of policy-based management strategies and multi-level network resilience in collaborations with our industry partners. We have been developing the work on management policies, multi-level network resilience and the investigation of future threats through a number of academic collaborations, both in Lancaster as well as in India, Australia and in the US. Also, we have been discussing the impact of some of these aspects with our industry partners, e.g., BT Labs. Hence, the exploration routes are o the one hand through traditional scientific and research exploitation and on the other hand target industrial partnerships
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education

URL http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/resilience/
 
Description In research activities led by the UK side, IU-ATC Theme 4 has published 8 conference/workshop papers and 2 journal papers on security and resilience in computer networks. Additionally, 1 PhD thesis and 3 Master dissertations have been completed in Lancaster in areas related to IU-ATC Theme 4. The IU-ATC project has established an active collaboration framework between the UK and Indian partners, both in academia and industry. This allowed us to jointly explore and combine expertise (from the UK and Indian sides) in a multi-level network resilience framework for end-to-end monitoring of Internet threats. Research results obtained in IU-ATC Theme 4 have gained significant media attention and promoted the research to the wider public. In particular, initial results of our survey on Future and Emerging Threats to Network Operation have been widely publicised in the Internet and featured in important IT news broadcasters, including ZDNet UK and Computer World UK. This has generated considerable public interest and helped to engage policy makers and experts at different levels. The research aspects investigated in IU-ATC Theme 4 have attracted considerable R&D investment, in the form of two joint CASE studentships with BT Labs and another CASE Studentship with EADS.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Future and Emerging Threats to Network Operation
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
 
Description Airbus Group
Amount £97,121 (GBP)
Funding ID CASE-EADS 
Organisation Airbus Group 
Sector Private
Country France
Start 05/2012 
End 04/2015
 
Description BT
Amount £95,838 (GBP)
Funding ID CASE-BT 
Organisation BT Group 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2011 
End 06/2014
 
Description Joint CASE Studentship with EADS
Amount £69,121 (GBP)
Organisation Airbus Group 
Sector Private
Country France
Start 04/2012 
End 04/2015
 
Description Joint CASE studentships with BT
Amount £29,000 (GBP)
Organisation BT Group 
Department BT Research
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2011 
End 06/2014
 
Description Lancaster Cyber Security Centre of Excellence
Amount £15,458 (GBP)
Organisation JANET UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2007 
End 04/2012
 
Description Collaboration with City University 
Organisation City, University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr. Andreas Mauthe and Dr. Raj Muttukrishnan (City University) have been discussing possible collaborations (e.g. joint papers) and synergies between IU-ATC Theme 4 and the EPSRC INTERACT project.
Collaborator Contribution This has been a series of discussions regarding joint activities in the area of network resilience
Impact Outputs were mainly regarding insights into the relevant activities of the partners
Start Year 2010
 
Description Collaboration with EPSRC project on ?Understanding and Managing Energy Usage in Future Networks? 
Organisation Lancaster University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The EPSRC project on ?Understanding and Managing Energy Usage in Future Networks? deals with issues on how to minimise end-to-end (servers, networks and clients) energy usage in networked infrastructures by combining centrally planned management actions with end-user participation in the management process. By aligning this research with Theme 4, we aim to investigate management strategies that tackle energy-efficiency and resilience requirements simultaneously. This has been initially explored
Collaborator Contribution This internal partner has provided test-bed collaboration and has shared results from their end-user interaction with us.
Impact The results of this collaboration has mainly helped us to understand the user perspective better and was taken as input in other activities such as the expert questionnaire
Start Year 2011
 
Description Collaboration with EU FP7 ResumeNet/University of Sydney 
Organisation University of Sydney
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution ResumeNet is funded by the European Union Research Framework Programme 7 (EU FP7). The project investigates the need for resilience mechanisms and resilience metrics in current and future networks. Due to its close relation to the research addressed within the scope of IU-ATC, members of Theme 4 and members of ResumeNet jointly developed a simulation platform for the evaluation of policy-driven resilience strategies. This work included collaboration with Prof. Michael Fry (University of Sydney). The experiments and results were reported in the paper "An Adaptive Approach to Network Resilience: Evolving Challenge Detection and Mitigation", accepted and presented at the 8th International Workshop on Design of Reliable Communication Networks (DRCN 2011, http://www.drcn2011.net), Krakow, Poland, in October 2011, and the paper "A Framework for the Design and Evaluation of Network Resilience Management", accepted and to be presented at the 13th IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium (NOMS 2012, http://www.ieee-noms.org/), Maui, Hawaii, USA, in April 2012.
Collaborator Contribution The partners had an equal share in the project according to their workpackes
Impact A number of joint publications (this with Paul Smith as co-author in this period) and further research discs ions
Start Year 2011
 
Description Joint Theme 4 Workshop at IIT Mandi (22-23/01/2011), and at IIT Madras (31/01/2012) 
Organisation Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Partners from Lancaster and IIT Madras identified promising collaboration opportunities within IU-ATC Theme 4. Both IIT Madras and Lancaster use time series models on different datasets, the former focusing on application and packet data from the network edge and the latter focusing on network flows at the network core. This led the two groups to start investigating the benefit of a multi-level resilience approach, through a hybrid, multi-level resilience architecture combining mechanisms for anomaly detection both at the edge and at the core of the network.
Collaborator Contribution The partners focus on the algorithmic part of the joint research
Impact A joint paper:Multi-level network resilience: traffic analysis, anomaly detection and simulation A. Marnerides, C. James, A. Schaeffer-Filho, S. Sait, A. Mauthe, H. Murthy, in ICTACT Journal on Communication Technology, Special Issue on Next Generation Wireless Networks and Applications. Vol. 2, No. 2, June 2011.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Lancaster Cyber Security Centre of Excellence 
Organisation Lancaster University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Lancaster Cyber Security Centre of Excellence is a multi-disciplinary centre spanning the School of Computing and Communications, the Department of Psychology and the University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language (UCREL). The centre involves three full professors, one reader, five senior lecturers and one lecturer, in addition to a dedicated member of staff managing the flagship Masters program in Cyber Security. This centre has been funded from a variety of sources including research councils (EPSRC, ESRC), the European Commission, JANET and direct investment from security organisations. The centre?s income from external research grants in the past five years totals £3.52m. Two key aspects distinguish the centre from typical cyber security research: (a) its multi-disciplinary nature that combines traditional network security and communications research with approaches from data analysis and human behaviours informed by psychological and linguistic approaches, and (b) its close engagement with users in both governmental organisations and industry. The work being carried out within IU-ATC is instrumental with respect to the infrastructure security research in this initiative.
Impact The outcome is are more non-tangible in form of collaboration opportunities and infrastructures that can be jointly used.
Start Year 2007
 
Title Policy-driven Resilience Simulator 
Description The Policy-driven Resilience Simulator implemented within IU-ATC Theme 4 has been used in Lancaster as the main experimental platform for the evaluation of resilience strategies. This toolset is based on the integration between the OMNeT++ simulation environment and the Ponder2 policy framework. It offers a platform that allows the simulation of attack scenarios, and the implementation and evaluation of a range of resilience strategies. It has been used in several published papers in the scope of the IU-ATC. The toolset has also been used in Lancaster University as the main platform for the development of a number of master dissertations. The toolset is publicly available for download (http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/resilience/software) and we expect that it will continue to be used by students both from Lancaster and from other institutions. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2011 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The software has been used by a number of international partners in India, Austria, Australia and Brazil 
URL http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/resilience/software
 
Description A. Mauthe: Future and Emerging Threats to Network Operation (Public Engagement) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact For the survey on Future and Emerging Threats to Network Operation, we are counting with the help of experts who are members of specialised research organisations including IEEE, British Computer Society (BCS) and the IU-ATC Security Forum in India. Through this survey and its results we have engaged with the wider public by publishing the press release mentioned above which had generated considerable public interest.

After their activity we were contacted by other research institutes and societies (e.g. ENISA) to have further discussion on the researched area and topics addressed in the study
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Cyber Challenges for National Security (Experts Panel) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr. Andreas Mauthe was invited to participate in an experts panel at the Cyber Challenges for National Security conference (http://www.rusi.org/events/ref:E4DF62C94761FA). The conference was organised by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and was held on November 15th-16th 2011, in London. At the RUSI, Dr. Andreas had the chance to engage with members of government offices and business leaders. A number of contacts have been established and there are ongoing talks about collaborations within the scope of the work on network resilience being developed in IU-ATC Theme 4. . Awarding Body - Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Name of Scheme - Membership of a Panel

After the event we have been approached by other national and international research institution in the field asking for further information and collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Future and Emerging Threats to Network Operation (Influencing Policy) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Within IU-ATC Theme 4 we have designed an online survey on Future and Emerging Threats to Network Operation. The information gathered not only highlights the general perceptions and trends, but also investigates and contrasts the answers of respondents from different backgrounds, in particular between experts from research and industry, and between experts from the UK and India. A report describing our initial findings has been made publicly available (http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/resilience/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/interim-report-future-threats-2011-august.pdf). Our findings will be able to provide additional inputs into the government strategy and cyber security policy development.

There were numerous requests for discussions from media but also policy makers. The work has been reported in a number of online media outlets and has also let to an invitation to present and participate in a panel discussion at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) Cyber Security Conference, 2011
I
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/resilience/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/interim-report-future-threats-2011...
 
Description Future and Emerging Threats to Network Operation (Press Release) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A press release describing the initial results of our survey on Future and Emerging Threats to Network Operation has been widely published in the Internet. The press release was initially made available at the Lancaster University website (http://www.infolab21.lancs.ac.uk/news_and_events/news/?article_id=1185) on the 29th of July 2011, and soon after it was also featured in important IT news broadcasters, including ZDNet UK (http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/security-threats/2011/08/08/the-overlooked-risk-to-the-internet-40093568/) and Computer World UK (http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/networking/3295546/security-experts-complacent-about-physical-network-attacks-study-finds/). Further websites where the press release was featured include Computer World HK (http://www.cw.com.hk/content/cyber-attacks-drive-demand-network-security-staff-uk), Computer World NZ (http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/telecommunications/security-experts-complacent-about-physical-network-attacks-study-finds), CSO Online (http://www.csoonline.com/article/687375/security-experts-complacent-about-physical-network-attacks-study-finds), Eurasia Review (http://www.eurasiareview.com/experts-complacent-about-communication-network-attacks-29072011/), IT World (http://www.itworld.com/it-managementstrategy/192105/cyber-attacks-drive-demand-network-security-staff), PC Advisor (http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/network-wifi/3295582/security-experts-complacent-about-physical-network-attacks-study-finds/), Science Daily (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728111452.htm), among others. The aim of this press release is to promote awareness of the work developed within IU-ATC Theme 4 to a wider audience, including the general public and policy makers as well.

There have been further requests for interviews and information, and invitations onto expert panels, etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.infolab21.lancs.ac.uk/news_and_events/news/?article_id=1185