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Enabling Cooperation of Home Wi-Fi routers by porting ResFi to legacy Home Wi-Fi Gateways

In dense deployments of residential WiFi networks individual users suffer performance degradation due to both contention and interference. While Radio Resource Management (RRM) is known to mitigate this effects its application in residential WiFi networks being by nature unplanned and individually managed creates a big challenge. ResFi is a framework enabling the creation of distributed Radio Resource Management (RRM) functionality in residential WLAN deployments. The radio interface of participating APs is used for efficient discovery of adjacent APs and as a side-channel to exchange connection configuration parameters. Those parameters namely the public IP of each APs RRM unit and security credentials such as symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic keys are then used to build up secured communication tunnels between adjacent APs via the Internet. Different RRM applications like channel assignment and interference management were implemented on top of ResFi. ResFi is available as open-source (github.com/resfi) and provides a well-defined northbound and southbound API. While the southbound API enables vendors and researchers easily to connect their current AP solution with the ResFi framework, the extensible northbound API is used by ResFi application developers to implement their own RRM solution. The ResFi run-time supports the concurrent execution of multiple applications. For more details please take a look at the paper (www.tkn.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/fg112/Papers/2016/zehl16resfi.pdf). Currently, the ResFi prototype is implemented using mostly Python and is runnable stable on Ubuntu x86 machines. A prototype for OpenWRT is currently under development and still unstable.
The goal of this project is to investigate on which legacy consumer home Wi-Fi access point platforms it is feasible to port the ResFi framework. Good candidates are certainly OpenWRT (www.openwrt.org) based APs, but also the possibility to port ResFi to not that popular candidates such as Freetz (freetz.org, for FritzBox WLAN routers) or LEDE (www.lede-project.org) should be investigated. During the project a prototypical version of ResFi which is able interoperate with the original framework has to be developed for at least the Freetz and the OpenWRT platform. As the current prototype is currently based on Python and relies on some external libraries, this task will be challenging. Moreover, during the work on this project, the differences between the different platforms have to be investigated as well as the resulting prototypes have to evaluated in terms of resource consumption of e.g. processor or RAM and guarantee of standard mode of operation e.g. providing sufficient quality of network access (TCP throughput, delay) to end devices. Moreover, depending on the progress and the capabilties of the student group, one more objective of this project would be to further port the ResFI to the popular Paradrop platform (www.paradrop.org , dl.acm.org/citation.cfm) which includes converting ResFi to a docker container and make it fit to the Paradrop requirements. Depending on the number of group members, the project group may be devided into up to three sub groups which may operate in parallel on the aforementioned topics. An important part of the project is also to enable replicability of the whole porting process. Therefore the student group has to document all steps within a Wiki Webpage and and a final project report.  
  • Knowledge of the Linux operating system and experience in C kernel programming
  • Good understanding how Wi-Fi works
  • Good Python programming skills
  • Good C programming skills
  • Willingness to work on resource constrained devices such as embedded Wi-Fi consumer routers
  • Experience with OpenWRT, Freetz OS or Paradrop is a plus.
Sven Zehl ()





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