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1.3 Novel Networking and Relationship with Applications

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Title of the workshop

Novel Networking and Relationship with Applications -- The Value of Information Flows between Applications and Networks

Format of the workshop

Panel discussion

Problem Statement and Objectives of the workshop

Future networked ICT systems will offer smart applications, smart services and smart  content in smart environments such as smart cities. Due to the naturally distributed nature of resources and consumers, communication networks have to handle and mediate application data flows in clever and reliable ways. In order to achieve the latter, capabilities of involved resources need to be known. This implies an exchange of relevant data between applications and networks.

On the other hand, the predominant principle has been a strict separation of concerns between applications and networks, and also between different layers in the communication stack. So far, IP networks have tried to “do their best” to deliver data, and if this was not sufficient (e.g. for acceptable content distribution), applications have tried to “do better”. In the light of increasingly stringent demands of applications in combination with increasing mobility and flexibility requirements, it becomes obvious that the classical separation of concerns is hitting its limits. Instead, a certain exchange of explicit information between applications, services and networks is expected to provide added value for successful provisioning of smart applications and services in smart environments.

In face of those challenges, several research efforts around the globe are studying and proposing architectures which achieve tighter coupling between user services/applications and the underlying network infrastructures. Such a coupling allows the deployment of Network Aware Applications (NAAs), which are able to self-adapt according to network conditions. At the same time, Application-Aware Networks (AANs) recognise the applications and services which they convey and are able not only to provide the appropriate QoS to each one but also to perform application-specific in-network operations. Cross-layer and Software Defined Networking (SDN) approaches are promising candidates to support such functionalities. In any case, a good understanding and skilled use of information flows between smart applications, services and networks is required.

Establishing mechanisms to enable such interactions becomes even more challenging in multi-domain scenarios, where the underlying network spans across several Network Infrastructure Providers – in this case, integrated frameworks are required which achieve at the same time inter-network federation and application-network coupling.

Furthermore, it is also essential to study such issues from a market perspective, in order to produce solutions which are not only technically sound but also feasible and realistic. Economic aspects involve assessing the actual value of network-aware and application-aware knowledge and also extending network brokerage mechanisms to include these aspects. Diverse Economic Traffic Management (ETM) mechanisms may be designed, deployed, and studied in order to facilitate a sustainable, incentive-compatible interaction between applications and networks – considering in particular not only the requirements of different stakeholders but also the value that information flows between applications and services expose.

The goal of the session is to contribute to the understanding of the technical, economical, and societal value of information exchange between smart applications, services and networks, by stimulating fruitful discussions on questions such as:

  • Which information is important to know in order to enable smart operations of applications and networks?
  • Is it really worth to tighten the application/network coupling, escaping from the current “separation of concerns” paradigm, and do the actual benefits outweigh the technical complexity?
  • Is it feasible to provide network awareness in multi-domain networks across heterogeneous physical infrastructures? What about accounting and accountability?
  • Can the actual value of network- and application-aware information be assessed?
  • Which are (more or less) successful use cases? Which are key factors for success?

Session organisers:

undefinedMarkus Fiedler, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden & FP7-Euro-NF
undefinedGeorgios Gardikis, NCSR "Demokritos", Greece & FP7-ALICANTE
undefinedMartin Waldburger
, University of Zurich, Switzerland & FP7-SESERV 

Target audience:

  • Application developers
  • Content providers
  • Service providers
  • Network operators
  • Equipment vendors
  • Researchers

Build on previous FIA sessions:

The explicit treatment of the information flows between smart applications, services and networks is a new topic. Implicitly, it was addressed amongst others in the session “Information-Centric Networking” at FIA Budapest,

Draft Agenda



undefinedIntroduction to the session (Session Organisers)


Statements from each of the five panellists



Moderated panel with the five panellists and active involvement of the audience




End of the session


Euro-NF: Second update of the Euro-NF vision regarding the network of the future


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