CHEDDAR: Communications Hub For Empowering Distributed ClouD Computing Applications And Research

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Computing

Abstract

From our mobile phones, to large datacentres to the thousands of sensors in our cars, hospitals, and electrical grids, there is no denying the influence that modern computing has. The glue that underpins all these systems is the communications networks. Much like how our railways and roads connect where we live and underpin the prosperity of a country so too do our communications infrastructure, but perhaps even more so as we live in an increasingly digital age.

We are currently at the intersection of two major drivers for changing the way we design and use communication networks: (1) rapid revolutions bring about a new continuum of computing types (e.g., ranging from silicon-based edge to cloud compute, to quantum, neuromorphic, molecular computing, etc.) - offering unprecedented speed, parallelism, and miniaturization; and (2) increased use of autonomy across society and industry which is changing our expectations of a network and the way we articulate the ability of our networks to serve us. In short, traditional communication systems are now a step behind where they need to be to fully unleash the potential of emerging cloud and distributed computing. Not only that, without the joint up thinking between those who research the fundamental parts of a communications network; the signal processing, spectrum utilisation and network interoperability people etc. and those who research the next generation autonomy and computation, we are simply not able to build agile fit-for-purpose communications infrastructures to catch up.

The CHEDDAR: Communications Hub for Empowering Distributed clouD computing Applications and Research lies on this interface between communications fundamentals and an infrastructure that serves our many communities. Bringing together a spectrum of experts not only in communications but across quantum, neuro-symbolic AI, autonomy etc who have worked in application areas from Farms to Space via Smart Cities, and who understand security and privacy, CHEDDAR aims to build a community that will provide the step change in research and be agile to address new opportunities as they arise.

CHEDDAR also aims to take a different and inclusive approach to this research which includes clear opportunities for community engagement and dialogue across the UK, and in researcher development providing both technical and soft-skills round inclusivity and responsible research. With a particular focus on security/privacy and sustainability and resilience this Hub aims to accelerate the national scale innovation process in connected computing research and make UK a lighthouse globally.

This is necessary as the UK has demonstrated its ability to be world leading in topics such as AI, Autonomy etc., but many EPSRC and UKRI funded advances are set to unleash their £Bn's of potential on the economy - it requires new communication interfaces to connect them and unleash these benefits, whilst mitigating the new risks that emerge. We aim to develop the pathways to enabling new communication network design and innovation, through connections with the other 2 hubs, with centres of doctoral training and innovation knowledge centres, institutes, government and standards bodies etc. and identify mechanisms for joint capability and facility sharing and cross-fertilize the co-design of connected computing capabilities.

Publications

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