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Foto: Judith Kraft

CROWD - Connectivity management for eneRgy Optimised Wireless Dense networks


Wireless traffic demand is currently growing exponentially. This growing demand can only be satisfied by increasing the density of points of access and combining different wireless technologies. Mobile network operators have already started to push for denser, heterogeneous deployments; however, current technology needs to steer towards efficiency, to avoid unsustainable energy consumption and network performance implosion due to interference. While some efforts have already been devoted to evolving the technology, these efforts mostly take a restricted PHY perspective and do not consider higher-layer mechanisms, which are required to fully optimise global performance.


In this context, CROWD promotes a paradigm shift in the future Internet architecture towards global network cooperation, dynamic network functionality configuration and fine, on demand, capacity tuning. The project targets very dense heterogeneous wireless access networks and integrated wireless-wired backhaul networks. In this framework, CROWD pursues four key goals: i) bringing density-proportional capacity where it is needed, ii) optimising MAC mechanisms operating in very dense deployments by explicitly accounting for density as a resource rather than as an impediment, iii) enabling traffic- proportional energy consumption, and iv) guaranteeing mobile user’s quality of experience by designing smarter connectivity management solutions.


The key components of the CROWD architecture are illustrated in the figure.

The proposed architecture comprises the following key functionalities:

  • Connectivity management mechanisms to exploit new opportunities due to the density of access points.
  • Energy efficient operation mechanisms, that are able to provide network-wide energy savings and traffic-proportional consumption.
  • MAC optimisation mechanisms for IEEE 802.11 to understand and solve performance misbehaviours due to the network density.
  • MAC optimisation mechanisms for 3GPP LTE, including inter-cell cooperation, schedulingm, link adaptation and power control.
  • Backhaul optimisation mechanisms in order to dynamically configure it for optimal performance based on current load.
  • Global control framework able to configure the network for global optimal operation.

Transfer of the results

The bandwidth demand explosion that we are currently witnessing in the Internet can only be tackled by the deployment of denser networks. Followign this, one key goal of the project is to propose an energy-efficient future Internet infrastructure, in which density and heterogeneity will be used as unique broadband networking resources rather than counteracted as sources of interference.

The research conducted in CROWD will also aim at driving the mobile network evolution while strengthening current mobile core and wireless access solutions, yielding new and enhanced products with improved user performance, in addition to IPR generation (when applicable) as well as dissemination in prestigious scientific fora.

The project will follow and contribute to the main standardisation bodies such as 3GPP, IETF, IEEE and Femto Forum, which have already started early activities (to which the partners of this consortium are already contributing) to address the challenges of the increased density scenarios.


  • S. Auroux, H. Karl: “Flexible Reassignment of Flow Processing-aware Controllers in Future Wireless Networks”, in Proceedings of the 26th IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC). (2015)
  • S. Auroux, M. Dräxler, A. Morelli, and V. Mancuso: “Dynamic Network Reconfiguration in Wireless DenseNets with the CROWD SDN Architecture”, in Proceedings of EuCNC 2015, Paris, France, June 2015.
  • M. I. Sanchez, A. Asadi, M. Draexler, R. Gupta, V. Mancuso, A. Morelli, A. de la Oliva and V. Sciancalepore: “Tackling the increased density of 5G networks; the CROWD approach”, in Proceedings of VTC2015-Spring (5GArch 2015 Workshop), Glasgow, Scotland, UK, May 2015.
  • M. Dräxler, J. Blobel, P. Dreimann, S. Valentin, H. Karl: “SmarterPhones: Anticipatory Download Scheduling for Wireless Video Streaming”, in International Conference on Networked Systems (NetSys) 2015. (2015)
  • S. Auroux, H. Karl: “Efficient Flow Processing-aware Controller Placement in Future Wireless Networks”, in Proceedings of IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC). (2015)
  • M. Dräxler, H. Karl: SmarterPhones: “Anticipatory Download Scheduling for Segmented Wireless Video Streaming”, in 1st KuVS Workshop on Anticipatory Networks. (2014)
  • M. Dräxler, P. Dreimann, H. Karl: “Anticipatory Power Cycling of Mobile Network Equipment for High Demand Multimedia Traffic”, in IEEE Online Conference on Green Communications (IEEE Online GreenComm'14). (2014)
  • S. Auroux, H. Karl: “Flow processing-aware Controller Placement in Wireless DenseNets”, in Proceedings of the 25th IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC). (2014)
  • M. Dräxler, H. Karl: “Feasibility of Base Station Coordination and Dynamic Backhaul Network Configuration in Backhaul Networks with Limited Capacity”, in European Wireless 2014 (EW2014). (2014)
  • P. Wette, M. Dräxler, A. Schwabe, F. Wallaschek, M. Hassan Zahraee, H. Karl: “MaxiNet: Distributed Emulation of Software-Defined Networks”, in Proceedings of the 2014 IFIP Networking Conference (Networking 2014). IEEE, pp. 1-9 (2014)
  • H. Ali-Ahmad, C. Cicconetti, A. de la Oliva, M. Dräxler, R. Gupta, V. Mancuso, L. Roullet, V. Sciancalepore: CROWD: An SDN Approach for DenseNets. In Second European Workshop on Software Defined Networks. (2013)
  • C. Cicconetti, A. Morelli, M. Dräxler, H. Karl, V. Mancuso, V. Sciancalepore, R. Gupta, A. de la Oliva, I. Sánchez, P. Serrano, L. Roullet: The Playground of Wireless Dense Networks of the Future. In Future Network and MobileSummit 2013. (2013)
  • A. de la Oliva, A. Morelli, V. Mancuso, M. Dräxler, T. Hentschel, T. Melia, P. Seite, C. Cicconetti: Denser networks for the Future Internet, the CROWD approach. In MONAMI OConS Workshop: Workshop on Open Connectivity Services for the Future Internet. (2012)
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Information about the project:     
Project members:Holger Karl
Sébastien Auroux
Martin Dräxler
Project website:
Started:January 2013
Finished:June 2015
Contact:Holger Karl

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