Oi!: Communicating directly, without Internet access

COPELABS is developing, in the context of the H2020 UMOBILE project, a set of applications that does not require Internet access for users to exchange information. Such opportunistic transmission applications rely on social interaction between devices to better propagate (route) information.

Oi! is one of such tools. Under development with the purpose of allowing message exchange without Internet access, Oi! considers the SOCIO framework to better select nodes to propagate the messages to.



NSense presented in IEEE Healthcom2016

NSense: A People-centric, non-intrusive Opportunistic Sensing Tool for Contextualizing Social Interaction

The scientific paper NSense (Rute C. Sofia, Saeik Firdose, Luis Amaral Lopes, Waldir Moreira and Paulo Mendes) has been accepted in IEEE Healthcom 2016 (September 14th-18th, Munich). NSense is a software tool developed by COPELABS that tracks and infers social interaction aspects in the form of computational utility functions that aim at describing two indicators of interaction: propinquity, and social interaction level.


Ddicas goes to the Mobicom16 app contest

Ddicashas been presented in Mobicom2016, Mobile application contest, on October 4th 2016, NY,USA. Ddicas is a tool that relies on Wi-Fi fencing to perform user recommendations concerning local events or activities.


NSENSE traces available @CRAWDAD

NSENSE:  Data concerning social interaction and propinquity based on wireless  and bluetooth, contributed by S. Firdose, L. Lopes, W. Moreira, R. Sofia, P. Mendes.  This data set comprises experiments carried out considering Android devices carried by people around.


Oi!: Opportunistic Data Transmission in Infocom2016

New COPELABS publication in Infocom 2016: Oi! - Opportunistic Data Transmission Based on Wi-Fi Direct, by L. Lopes, R. Sofia, P. Mendes, W. Moreira Jr. Oi! is a simple and opportunistic application that allows exchange of data even in the verge of no Internet access, by relying on opportunistic communication approaches. Developed in the context of the H2020 UMOBILE project, Oi! is open-source.


DDicas Pilot at the LxFactory OpenDay 6th to 8th May 2016!

Together with its spin-off Senception and with MainSide SGPS, COPELABS is organizing a pilot of the DDicas project to occur in Lisbon, LxFactory OpenDay in May 2016. The pilot allows visitors to get real-time information concerning available activities and events to occur on May 2016. Download the DDicasM application at! and enjoy announces in advance about activities to occur!


Social Technology for Well-being workshop

COPELABS, OPIN Clinic, Municipality of Caldas da Rainha: 07.04.2016 workshop, social technology for well-being.


SITI Vision 2016


During 2016, SITI keeps the vision of considering “user-centricity” (the core indicator of the Internet science thematic line) as a key innovation aspect, both in terms of scientific productivity, as well as in terms of the development of potential applications. SITI vision relates to a simple and at a first glance disruptive approach: mobile people become the centre of the networking and computational system.

Users on the move are part of communities and will not only be consumers of information (including sensing data), but also active providers of different Internet services, as well as coordination of sensing activities about human behaviour.

Based on its vision, SITI mission is to assist in demonstrating that user empowerment is a trend that should be looked into from a global Internet architecture perspective. Based on this mission, SITI activities are aligned with the Internet Science area and are focused, as happened in the last two years on the following two lines of research: pervasive wireless systems; social networking dynamics (formerly: social Internet design).


New Book on User-centric networking: Future Perspectives


Within the context of the European project ULOOP (2010-2013), COPELABS has participated in the development of a new Springer book dedicated to User-centric networking. The book covers the main findings of the European project ULOOP with particular emphasis on social trust management, cooperation incentives, community building, mobility estimation, and resource management. The book provides a holistic view to UCN's and future development trends, including business and cooperation models that help to sustain the growth of wireless architectures and exploit the Internet value chain. The book covers also the impact of user-centricity on opportunities, legislation, standardisation.


Dynamic Frequency Sharing, wireless multi-station downstream transmission


DFS is a software-based mechanism that targets short-range wireless networks where transmission is based on a shared medium (e.g. broadcast) and which rely on OFDM for data transmission. DFS is applicable downstream, from the antenna to the station, and relies on techniques both from OSI Layer 1 and 2 to assist data transmission to multiple stations within a time-frame that based only in OFDM could only serve the purpose of serving a single station.

Allowing downstream transmission via one symbol to multiple stations provides the means to improve the performance of current solutions three-fold. Firstly, by allowing data to be transmitted on the same time-frame to multiple stations, the control overhead is reduced in comparison to the current standards, as the same control information is used to transmit data to multiple stations. Secondly, for real-time traffic there is an upper bound on usable data rates. For instance, for Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic it is approximately 486 kilobits per second (kbps), and for video traffic such limit is of 1 megabit per second (Mbps). Due to this limit, increasing the capacity of the wireless link does not suffice to improve performance as buffering cannot be used in real-time traffic. With the increasing popularity of VoIP, online-gaming, this inefficiency becomes an important problem to be solved. By multiplexing data downstream (from controller to stations) to several stations our solution is expected to provide a better usage of high data rate channels, which is a beneficial aspect in terms of real-time traffic. Thirdly, instead of transmitting to stations one by one, thus wasting time in particular if the first station that captures the medium is what is known as „slow“ station (e.g. away from the antenna or attaining severe interference around), our solution provides a way to transmit „simultaneously“ data to several stations within the same time frame thus decreasing the round-trip time and the latency of the transmission.

DFS has been conceived, validated, and implemented by COPELABS (Rute Sofia and Luis LOpes) and University of Kent (Huseyin Haci, Hassan Osman, Huiling Zhu) in the context of the European project ULOOP - User-centric Wireless Local Loop.

Related work:




Wireless networks abound around us, in paritcular in urban environments. Most portable devices provide a list of visited wireless networks and our devices connect to some of them, based on several aspects, such as signal quality.
WiRank is a tool that allows a citizen to be connected to its preferred networks, from the list of available wireless etworks. The preference is based on a series of parameters, such as the number of visits a deork over timevice pays to a network over time.
 Wirank provides a seamless way for the citizen to keep its preferred connections, thus assisting handovers.
If there are no available wireless networks, WiRank disables the regular wireless scanning process, and activates it again when there is some likelihood of the device being in the vicinity of a new preferred network.


 Energy-awareness, exploring multihop routing metrics



Energy awareness is a hop topic today that is being explored often in the context of "Greener" technology, e.g. devising devices that are less energy dependent, or designing software that takes into consideration energy consumption, trying to reduce as far as possible such consumption.

While these aspects are essential today due to the large availability of devices, another category of relevant work relates with the need to devise communication systems, and communication protocols, in a way that is energy-aware. In the context of pervasive wireless systems, the routing protocols being applied have not been devised having in mind energy awareness.

In this context, this field of work has explored metrics that can be applied to different families of multihop routing protocols and yet assist in a reduction of energy by providing better choice of paths to disseminate the information carried by nodes. The novel metrics have been validated in different protocols (OLSR; AODV), showing significant improvements in terms of network lifetime, while at the same time not jeopardizing the network operation in terms of throughput; packet loss; end-to-end delay. An IETF draft has been produced, explaining how to set the metrics in shortest-path derived approaches, as well as in new approaches, such as the RPL protocol.

Related work:


 Addressing Human Behavior Aspects on Social Opportunistic Forwarding


Given the increased capabilities of mobile devices in terms of processing, storage, and built-in wireless communication technologies, their users are producing and consuming information anytime and anywhere. However, the current Internet design does not cope suitably with challenges resulting from such anytime/anywhere access. Long delays, intermittent links, lack of end-to-end communication paths are examples of these challenges to name a few.

Opportunistic and delay/disruption networking provide means to overcome these challenges and still allow users to exchange information at their will. Moreover, since these users have social relationships among themselves, social opportunistic forwarding has shown great potential in challenged networking environments. Yet, humans present specific patterns in behavior, which can influence the performance of these forwarding algorithms.

This is a topic of interest in COPELABS, which is addressed in the paper “Impact of Human Behavior onSocial Opportunistic Forwarding” recently accepted for publication in the Elsevier Ad Hoc Networks Journal. This paper discusses how the dynamicity of human behavior can be exploited to improve the performance of social opportunistic forwarding, and how delay/disruption-tolerant networking can reduce communication costs.

Related work:

·         Video, demo of dLife

·         SCORP software

·         dLife software

·         IRTF DTNRG dLife draft

·         SCORP Paper, AdHocNets 2013

·         dLife paper, AOC2012

·         Content-awareness or obliviousness in social opportunistic forwarding, AOC 2014


Trust schemes in user-centric networking



Within the context of User-centric Networking, distributed trust schemes are being considered as a way to assist in developing connectivity only between devices whose owners "trust" each other for the specific purpose of relaying some form of data. Such trust does not necessarily imply that users know each other; instead, it relates to social interaction and to the interests shared by familiar strangers, i.e., users that knowingly or unknowingly share some aspects of their daily routines (e.g. visiting the same coffee shop every Saturday morning). Hence, the user anonymity is kept, while social interaction metrics related to direct and non direct recommendations of nodes around, as well as to the trust openness of a user towards strangers assists in developing more robust connectivity links, in the sense that connectivity becomes intertwined with circles of trust that are built on-the-fly.

Previous work that SITI developed in the context of the European project ULOOP considers the partial integration of social trust schemes as a way to provide non-repudiation, while still mitigating attacks. By using such techniques, ULOOP provides a single-sign on approach that can assist in creating trusted communities of devices. We have shown that such communities can assist in non-repudiation as well as in providing better QoE, due to allowing fairness in multiple users transmission.

In PEOPLE, we are currently exploring an interdisciplinary approach to networking, by finding more realistic ways to explore aspects such as trust, a belief that is also dependent on cognitive aspects.

Related work:

Rute C. Sofia and Luis Amaral Lopes, Trust as a Fairness Parameter for Quality of Experience in Wireless networks, chapter III, pages 159-169, Springer, Lecture Notes in Social Networking, volume Contribution To Appear, 2014

Rute C. Sofia, Paulo Mendes, José Manuel Damásio, Sara Henriques, Fabio Giglietto, Erica Giambitto and Alessadro Bogliolo, Moving Towards a Socially-Driven Internet Architectural Design (2012), in: ACM SIGCOMM CCR Newsletter, 42:3 

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