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Multi-Touch-Tisch aus dem Institut für Informatik, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft
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Multi-Touch-Tisch aus dem Institut für Informatik, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Falko Dressler

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Falko Dressler

Distributed Embedded Systems / Heinz Nixdorf Institute

Head - Professor

+49 5251 60-6510
+49 5251 60-6502
Fürstenallee 11
33102 Paderborn
Postal Address:
Warburger Str. 100
33098 Paderborn

Open list in Research Information System

Not All VANET Broadcasts Are the Same: Context-Aware Class Based Broadcast

F. Dressler, F. Klingler, C. Sommer, R. Cohen, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (2018), pp. 17-30

A major building block of Vehicular Ad Hoc Net- works (VANETs) is broadcasting: the use of wireless communication for sharing information among vehicles, or between vehicles and infrastructure. Dozens of broadcast protocols have been developed in recent years, including protocols for 1-hop broadcasting of vehicle status information (beaconing) and for geocasting-based applications. However, most of these protocols were designed for one application and cannot co-exist, nor can one broadcast solution meet the demands of all applications. These observations motivated our effort to develop a holistic Network layer for VANETs. We identify the need for making VANET broadcast context-aware, and for supporting four different classes of broadcast protocols, each with its own properties. These classes are not only able to co-exist on the same Network layer, but also to complement one another's functionality. Thus, large applications as well as more holistic Transport protocols can be designed by combining two or more broadcast classes. We discuss the specific characteristics of these classes and design candidate protocols for each class.

Cooperative Driving and the Tactile Internet

F. Dressler, F. Klingler, M. Segata, R. Lo Cigno, Proceedings of the IEEE (2018)

The trend towards autonomous driving and the recent advances in vehicular networking led to a number of very successful proposals towards cooperative driving. Maneuvers can be coordinated among participating vehicles and controlled by means of wireless communications. One of the most challenging scenario or application in this context is Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) or platooning. When it comes to realizing safety gaps between the cars of less than 5m, very strong requirements on the communication system need to be satisfied. The underlying distributed control system needs regular updates of sensor information from the other cars in the order of about 10 Hz. This leads to message rates in the order of up to 10 kHz for large networks, which, given the possibly unreliable wireless communication and the critical network congestion, is beyond the capabilities of current vehicular networking concepts. In this article, we summarize the concepts of networked control systems and revisit the capabilities of current vehicular networking approaches. We then present opportunities of Tactile Internet concepts that integrate interdisciplinary approaches from both control theory, mechanical engineering, and communication protocol design. This way, it becomes possible to solve the high reliability and latency issues in this context.

Performance Assessment of IEEE 802.11p with an Open Source SDR-based Prototype

B. Bloessl, M. Segata, C. Sommer, F. Dressler, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (2018), pp. 1162-1175

We present a complete simulation and experimentation framework for IEEE 802.11p. The core of the framework is an SDR-based OFDM transceiver that we validated extensively by means of simulations, interoperability tests, and, ultimately, by conducting a field test. Being SDR-based, the transceiver offers important benefits: It provides access to all data down to and including the physical layer, allowing for a better understanding of the system. Based on open and programmable hardware and software, the transceiver is completely transparent and all implementation details can be studied and, if needed, modified. Finally, it enables a seamless switch between simulations and experiments and, thus, helps to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Comparing the transceiver's performance with independent results from simulations and experiments, we underline its potential to be used as a tool for further studies of IEEE 802.11p networks both in field operational tests as well as for simulation-based development of novel physical layer solutions. To make the framework accessible to fellow researchers and to allow reproduction of the results, we released it under an Open Source license.

Cyber Physical Social Systems: Towards Deeply Integrated Hybridized Systems

F. Dressler, in: IEEE International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications (ICNC 2018), IEEE, 2018, pp. 420-424

Research on Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) has led to quite a number of astonishing technical solutions that are becoming standard in many application domains affecting our everyday life. The technical innovations range from control theory concepts to real-time wireless communication to networked control. Some of the most challenging applications include cooperative autonomous driving and industry automation. Despite all these great findings, our research community frequently lost track on the impact of individual human beings that are an integral part of the systems - both as a user as well as a source of disruption. We thus need a paradigm shift from classical CPS to Cyber Physical Social Systems (CPSS). Studying the impact of CPS on humans and vice versa, hybridization, i.e., machines and human users covering parts of the system function in deep interaction, is required as a novel core concept. This is also a basis for final public acceptance as a key to success of new technologies. We investigate these ideas based on the application domain of cooperative autonomous driving and identify core research challenges of such hybridized CPSS.

From Radio Telemetry to Ultra-Low-Power Sensor Networks: Tracking Bats in the Wild

F. Dressler, S. Ripperger, M. Hierold, T. Nowak, C. Eibel, B. Cassens, F. Mayer, K. Meyer-Wegener, A. Koelpin, IEEE Communications Magazine (2016), pp. 129-135

Sensor networks have successfully been used for wildlife monitoring and tracking of different species. When it comes to small animals such as smaller birds, mammals, or even insects, the current approach is to use extremely lightweight RF tags to be located using radio telemetry. A new quantum leap in technology is needed to overcome these limitations and to enable new ways for observations of larger numbers of small animals. In an interdisciplinary team, we are working on the different aspects of such a new technology. In particular, we report on our findings on a sensor network based tracking solution for bats. Our system is based on integrated localization and wireless communication protocols for ultra-low power systems. This requires coding techniques for improved reliability as well as ranging solutions for tracking hunting bats. We address the technological and methodical problems related to system design, software support, and protocol design. First field experiments have been conducted that showcase the capabilities of our system.

Connecting In-Body Nano Communication with Body Area Networks: Challenges and Opportunities of the Internet of Nano Things

F. Dressler, S. Fischer, Elsevier Nano Communication Networks (2015), pp. 29-38

Nano-communication is considered to become a major building block for many novel applications in the health care and fitness sector. Given the recent developments in the scope of nano machinery, coordination and control of these devices becomes the critical challenge to be solved. In-Body Nano-Communication based on either molecular, acoustic, or RF radio communication in the terahertz band supports the exchange of messages between these in-body devices. Yet, the control and communication with external units is not yet fully understood. In this paper, we investigate the challenges and opportunities of connecting Body Area Networks and other external gateways with in-body nano-devices, paving the road towards more scalable and efficient Internet of Nano Things (IoNT) systems. We derive a novel network architecture supporting the resulting requirements and, most importantly, investigate options for the simulation based performance evaluation of such novel concepts. Our study is concluded by a first look at the resulting security issues considering the high impact of potential misuse of the communication links.

Towards Communication Strategies for Platooning: Simulative and Experimental Evaluation

M. Segata, B. Bloessl, S. Joerer, C. Sommer, M. Gerla, R. Lo Cigno, F. Dressler, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology (2015), pp. 5411-5423

Platooning, the idea of cars autonomously following their leaders to form a road train, has huge potentials to improve traffic flow efficiency and, most importantly, road traffic safety. Wireless communication is a fundamental building block - it is needed to manage and to maintain the platoons. To keep the system stable, strict constraints in terms of update frequency and communication reliability must be met. We investigate different communication strategies by explicitly taking into account the requirements of the controller, exploiting synchronized communication slots as well as transmit power adaptation. As a baseline, we compared the proposed approaches to two state of the art adaptive beaconing protocols that have been designed for cooperative awareness applications, namely ETSI DCC and DynB. Our simulation models have been parameterized and validated by means of real-world experiments. Our results demonstrate that the combination of synchronized communication slots with transmit power adaptation is perfectly suited for cooperative driving applications, even in very crowded freeway scenarios.

Vehicular Networking

C. Sommer, F. Dressler, Cambridge University Press, 2014

The intensive use of networked embedded systems is one of the key success factors in the automotive industry also triggering a massive shortening of innovation cycles. Hundreds of so called Electronic Control Units (ECUs), connected by kilometers of electrical wiring, operate in today's modern car enabling a huge variety of new functionalities ranging from safety to comfort applications. All this functionality can only be realized if the ECUs are able to communicate and to cooperate using a real-time enabled communication network in the car. Today we are at the verge of another leap forward: This in-car network is being ex- tended to not only connect local ECUs but to connect the whole car to other cars and its environment using Inter-Vehicle Communications (IVCs). Relying on existing wireless Internet access using cellular networks of the third (3G) or fourth generation (4G), or novel networking technologies that are being designed specifically for the use in the vehicular context such as IEEE WAVE, ETSI ITS-G5, and the IEEE 802.11p protocol, it becomes possible to use spontaneous connections between vehicles to exchange information, promising to enable novel and sometimes futuristic applications. Using such IVC, safety relevant information can be exchanged that could not have been obtained using local sensors, enabling a driver to virtually see traffic through large trucks or buildings. This new idea of networked vehicles creates opportunities to not only increase road traffic safety but also to improve our driving experience. Traffic jams can be prevented altogether (or at least we would be informed of jams well in advance) - and we might even be able to enable the driver to enjoying fully automated rides in a train-like convoy of cooperating of vehicles on the road. Vehicular networking, the fusion of vehicles' networks to exchange information, is the common basis on which all of these visions build upon. Being fascinated with all the opportunities and challenges related to vehicular networking, we have been a part of this research community for close to ten years. In this time, many new and sometimes crazy ideas have been formulated how to connect cars of the future. Many of these ideas have been found not suitable after thorough investigation - yet, several survived and paved the road for what are now close to market-ready solutions. From a research perspective, we are able to identify many open challenges, both in the in-car and inter-vehicle communication systems. To investigate these further, we co-organized two Dagstuhl seminars inviting leading experts from all over the world and bringing together practitioners from industry and scientists from research institutes and universities. In this scope, we were able to formulate directions guiding the ongoing research activities at least in the medium term. We also established a complementary seminar series for newcomers to the field, which is being organized in the context of the international FG-IVC series of seminars and organized by the German computer science and electrical engineering societies GI and ITG. This textbook is based on a tutorial series on the same topic presented at all the major IEEE conferences including IEEE CCNC, IEEE ICC, IEEE GLOBECOM, and IEEE VTC, as well as in the scope of Falko Dressler's IEEE Distinguished Lecturer Tours in Europe, the U.S., South America, and Asia-Pacific. We also designed a new graduate level university class, which is being held at different universities in Europe. This has inspired us to collect our experiences in the form of a textbook, collecting in one place the common concepts of past and future vehicular networking topics for a broad range of readers - from students that want to enter this exciting new field to practitioners looking for a comprehensive overview. This book would not have been possible without the many people that have inspired and supported us over the last decade in our research activites on vehicular networking - first and foremost the community centering around the IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference, the premier conference in the field. In particular we'd like to name Prof. Ozan K. Tonguz (CMU) and Prof. Mario Gerla (UCLA) who collaborated with us investigating some of the mentioned crazy ideas, and finally identifying valuable and lasting solutions. The aforementioned tutorial lectues have been prepared together with Dr. Onur Altintas (Toyota ITC) and Prof. Claudio Casetti (Politechnico di Torino). We also wish to express our appreciation for the support we received from the most helpful staff at Cambridge during the preparation of this book. Finally, we would like to sincerely thank our families, friends, and colleagues for their enduring help and support. We hope you will enjoy reading this textbook as much as we enjoyed preparing its contents for you. We gladly welcome any feedback and invite you to leave us a note or peruse supplementary material we are offering on this book's companion website

Bidirectionally Coupled Network and Road Traffic Simulation for Improved IVC Analysis

C. Sommer, R. German, F. Dressler, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (2011), pp. 3-15

Recently, many efforts have been made to develop more efficient Inter-Vehicle Communication (IVC) protocols for on-demand route planning according to observed traffic congestion or incidents, as well as for safety applications. Because practical experiments are often not feasible, simulation of network protocol behavior in Vehicular Ad Hoc Network (VANET) scenarios is strongly demanded for evaluating the applicability of developed network protocols. In this work, we discuss the need for bidirectional coupling of network simulation and road traffic microsimulation for evaluating IVC protocols. As the selection of a mobility model influences the outcome of simulations to a great deal, the use of a representative model is necessary for producing meaningful evaluation results. Based on these observations, we developed the hybrid simulation framework Veins (Vehicles in Network Simulation), composed of the network simulator OMNeT++ and the road traffic simulator SUMO. In a proof-of-concept study, we demonstrate its advantages and the need for bidirectionally coupled simulation based on the evaluation of two protocols for incident warning over VANETs. With our developed methodology, we can advance the state-of-the-art in performance evaluation of IVC and provide means to evaluate developed protocols more accurately.

Self-Organization in Sensor and Actor Networks

F. Dressler, John Wiley & Sons, 2007

Self-organization is a rather fascinating concept that enables systems consisting of huge numbers of autonomously acting subsystems to perform a collective task. Moreover, self- organizing systems show an overall behavior that cannot easily be predicted or even preprogrammed in a scalable way. It was in the early 1960ies that people like Ashby and Eigen investigated self-organization properties in (natural) systems. Since these days, a great number of (technical) solutions have been developed, which, either on purpose or unintentionally, inherently the basic concepts of self-organization. The aim of this book is to investigate the concepts of self-organization in the context of autonomous sensor and actor networks. The primary objective is to categorize the basic self-organization methods and to survey techniques for communication and coordination in massively distributed systems according to the developed classification scheme. Basically, two possible approaches can be thought of for organizing this book. First, we could start analyzing sensor and actor network technology and figure out what basic mechanisms are employed and how these relate to self-organization. A second approach would be to introduce self-organization as a methodology, apparently used everywhere in our life (in nature and in technical systems), and afterwards to continue with technical issues in sensor and actor networks searching for previously learned self-organization methods. I decided to follow the second approach in order to keep the focus on self-organization while studying the term in the world of sensor and actor networks. The term self-organization is still often misunderstood and misinterpreted. Therefore, this textbook is intended to be a basis for a better understanding of the concepts of self-organization, especially in the domain of sensor and actor networks. It provides a stepwise introduction of definitions, methodologies, and corresponding techniques relevant in the context of self-organization. Recent advances in miniaturization and wireless communication enabled the development of low-cost sensor nodes. Additionally, new application domains of sensor and actor networks emerged that demand for huge numbers of interacting devices. Thus, the relevance of self-organization methods is rapidly increasing as it is considered the primary control paradigm for distributed and massively distributed systems. The reader will see that self-organization has a number of advantages compared to other control paradigms. So, it becomes possible to operate huge numbers of collaborating subsystems even in case of limited resources, unreliable communication, and in case of massive failures of single systems. Unfortunately, these advantages are accompanied by some rather annoying side effects such as the increasing complexity and a nondeterministic behavior. By using optimal combinations of the basic methods of self-organization, these disadvantages can be minimized to some extent. According to the objective of this textbook - to study sensor and actor networks - the most relevant domains of communication and coordination are deeply investigated based on well-known algorithms and mechanisms and a number of case studies. This includes networking aspects of medium access control, ad hoc routing, data-centric communication, and clustering techniques. Additionally, control mechanisms for cooperation, task and resource allocation, and collaborative actuation are investigated. The book is concluded by a brief introduction of the domain of bio-inspired algorithms. This study is included for two reasons. First, to demystify the term bio-inspired networking, and secondly, to show the capabilities of such bio-inspired approaches.

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