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Future Information Networks

Shaping the development of next generation information networks and innovate future network-enabled digital transformations (5G and beyond) that bring transnational and multidimensional impact to our global community. 

Future Information Networks cluster at Birmingham City University

Driven by the aim to address the communication challenges faced by the progressively connected world today, FINET thrives to shape the development of next generation information networks and innovate future network-enabled digital transformations (5G and beyond) that bring transnational and multidimensional impact to our global community.

Future networks are envisioned to pave a way in solving many of the most pressing global issues. A vast majority of people want richer, interactive, faster and responsive data, but existing networks are struggling to cope with this traffic.

FINET undertakes research and development in networks that effectively respond to the requirements of future services in responsive and adaptive manners.

Our team have a demonstrated history and expertise across vast areas of information networks, ranging from digital infrastructures (smart sensing and transmission) and networking technologies to analytics of natural and artificial networks.

These areas are brought together by a common underpinning framework of pushing borderless integration of communication networks and Artificial Intelligence (AI), manifesting in the forms of:

  •         AI methods for future communication networks
  •         Network-enabled AI
  •         Network-enabled AI-powered applications.

Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of our research and our core technological expertise continuously brings impact to our works across network fundamentals, smart cities and ecosystems, intelligent manufacturing, smart building and education.

Our ultimate vision is to bring greater benefits for the world through research in networks for the future that enable integration of seamless, intelligent and pervasive human-machine interactions and services.

Areas of activity

FINET aspires to solve challenges of future information networks from the following perspectives.

Communication network system design

Engaging in the innovative research and development of novel techniques, tools, protocols and architectures for future network infrastructures, targeting at the following four key objectives.

  • Capacity: delivering manifold data rate growth requirement in emerging networks such as 5G & beyond and Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Mobility: addressing diverse mobility profiles, from static/slow moving (e.g., pedestrian types) to highly mobile environments (e.g., cars, trains, aerial vehicles).
  • Flexibility: flexible adaptation and proactive tuning to variation of future connectivity requirements.
  • Multi-scale: computing solutions ranging from large-scale cloud-driven enterprise and IoT monitoring networks to small-scale wearable, pervasive and ubiquitous computing and finally nano-molecular networks.
Multifarious applications

Bringing a new paradigm of reliable end-to-end application development, ranging from smart sensing and processing to interactive business visualisation, that is responsive to user demand and quality of service and is adaptive to dynamically changing network behaviours.

Network intelligence and analytics

Embedding machine intelligence in networks to self-configure and self-adapt to numerous environmental conditions and leveraging upon a variety of short- and long-range networks to provide data analytics services, which in turn create values for human-machine-environment interaction.

Softwarisation technologies

Levering network virtualization technologies such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) will play a major role in future information networks (such as 5G and LPWAN) development and development.  It is expected to fill the void of programmable control and management of these networks resources.

Urban computing solutions

Developing network-based analytics solutions to enhance socio-economic-ecological-technological connectivity, which in turn promote equality and inclusion in smart city and urban services. 

This includes delivering urban sensing, monitoring capability, analytics and prediction. This will provide intelligent services and innovative solutions for urban/rural regions supported by local authority and citizen engagement.