BLACKSBURG, Va., September 23, 2008 – The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a four-year, $1,000,000 grant to the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory (NDSSL) at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech to develop high-performance computer modeling tools for wireless telecommunication networks. The NDSSL will work with the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs to develop models and algorithms that support the work of policy- and decision-makers who want to design efficient wireless spectrum markets.

Anil Vullikanti, Senior Research Associate in the NDSSL and Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, commented: “We are experiencing unprecedented advances in radio-technologies that heighten the demand for the optimal design of spectrum markets. The need for this type of research is being driven by the rapidly growing demand for wireless communications, the limited availability of spectrum for wireless communication, and apparent under-utilization of some spectrum bands.”

“Researchers at Virginia Tech will be working closely with collaborators at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs using a transdisciplinary approach that spans the fields of wireless networking, social sciences, algorithmics and economics,” remarked Madhav Marathe, Deputy Director of the NDSSL and Professor in the Department of Computer Sciences at Virginia Tech.  He added: “Practical modeling tools for market-driven design of future wireless networks require an understanding of the inter-dependencies between the communication networks that carry data traffic, the social network that generates the load, and the market mechanisms that act as distributed admission control and load balancing systems.”

Team members will build a realistic end-to-end Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) architecture for cellular networks. This architecture will be robust, economically viable and efficient. Achla Marathe, Lead Economist at NDSSL and Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, noted: “The envisioned markets are different from the one-time auctions of wireless spectrum conducted by the Federal Government. This research should provide a better understanding of how to design secondary wireless markets and institute these designs in practice. Flawed market designs can lead to significant market inefficiencies and adverse economic outcomes. We, therefore, have a responsibility to design these markets with great care.”

Anil Vullikanti will serve as the principal investigator on the new grant. Madhav Marathe and Achla Marathe are co-principal investigators. The new project is entitled “A market driven approach to dynamic spectrum sharing.” The proposal is a part of a broader initiative in policy informatics undertaken by the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. The initiative aims to develop high-performance computing models of complex networks in conjunction with scalable web-service-based architectures to support public policies.

Written by Barry Whyte

About the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute

The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech has a research platform centered on understanding the "disease triangle" of host-pathogen-environment interactions in plants, humans and other animals. By successfully channeling innovation into transdisciplinary approaches that combine information technology and biology, researchers at VBI are addressing some of today's key challenges in the biomedical, environmental and plant sciences.

About the NDSSL

The Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory pursues an advanced research and development program for interaction-based modeling, simulation, and associated analysis, experimental design, and decision support tools for understanding large biological, information, social, and technological systems. Extremely detailed, multi-scale computer simulations allow theoretical and experimental investigation of these systems.

For more information on the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory at VBI, please consult

Published by Tiffany Trent, September 23, 2008
Tags: Infrastructure, Security, and Resilience