The Internet is arguably the greatest human innovation of the last 50 years, having profoundly changed the world in ways matched only by the likes of the printing press, electricity, penicillin, and the combustion engine. At its root is a simple idea: To seamlessly transport information between devices. However, there is an inherent conflict between a service that is ‘seamless’ and a service that is safe, secure, scalable. The modern Internet is being used in ways that were never anticipated. Moreover, the ever increasing growth, changing demands, and attempts to subvert, further stress the current Internet architecture.
There is now considerable expertise in networking research in Scotland, addressing the practical aspects of networking, together with leading theoretical work on performance analysis and security in networked systems. Major on-going and emerging projects in Scotland address the wide range of research challenges in this area. Among them are projects to investigate and promote software-defined networking (SDN), a technology regarded as being the key to maintaining the Internet’s flexible and adaptable nature in the face of growth. Network protocols, the ‘languages’ of the Internet, are under scrutiny across the region, out of a need to protect from and provide much needed features. Finally, securing the next-generation internet against myriad current and future exploits is the single most critical challenge to resolve.
These challenges demand a return to first principles, with collaboration between networking practitioners and theorists, and mark the strength of Scottish institutions.
The Research Theme Leader for Next Generation Internet is Marwan Fayed (email@example.com).