e-PHOTON ONE: Optical Networks: Towards Bandwidth Manageability and Cost Efficiency
[March 2004 – February 2008]

Project Overview

The Network of Excellence (NoE) “e-Photon/ONe+: Towards Bandwidth Manageability and Cost Efficiency” covered the technical area of optical networking.

The project was funded for 24 months in FP6 Call 4 under strategic objective “Broadband for All”, with starting date March 1st, 2006, in temporal and technical continuation with a previous project called e-Photon/ONe funded in FP6 Call 1. Overall, the two phases of the NoE were funded for 4 years (plus a one-month extension).

 

The broad objectives of the e-Photon/ONe Network of Excellence (in its two phases) have been the following:

  • Integrate and focus the rich know-how available in Europe on optical communications and networking (from optical technologies, to networking devices, to network architectures and protocols, to the new services fostered by photonic technologies), both in universities and in research centers of well-positioned telecom manufacturers and operators.
  • Favor a coordination among the participants to reach a consensus on the engineering choices towards the deployment of optical networks, possibly providing inputs to standardization bodies and guidelines to operators.
  • Provide guidelines for the design of an optical Internet backbone, metro, access and in-home infrastructure, supporting traffic engineering and quality of service management in an end-to-end perspective.
  • Understand how the intrinsic characteristic of optical technologies can be exploited to provide large bandwidth together with acceptable levels of quality of service and protection/restoration inside and across network domains.
  • Promote and organize integration activities aiming at establishing a good exchange of information, and long-term collaborations in terms of research, infrastructure sharing, education and training, among participating institutions.
  • Promote and organize activities to disseminate knowledge on optical networks in the technical community and to the general public, through coordinated publications, technical events, and interactions with other consortia in the same technical area.

 

In addition to research and technical activities, e-Photon/ONe put a strong emphasis on dissemination activities, with the aim of converting the international reputation of individual partners into a quality label for the network. Specific dissemination goals were:

  • Regularly organize technical schools on selected topics;
  • Organize workshops with these schools where young researchers can present their research work;
  • Establish regular links with, and provide active support to, major international conferences on optical networking and communications;
  • Present and promote e-Photon/ONe within the international scientific community;
  • Establish links with other EU-projects in the field, and with a number of industry associations or professional organizations;
  • Favor technical interactions with excellent institutions outside Europe (USA, Japan, China, ecc.);
  • Publication of joint technical papers;
  • Active participation to editorial boards of optical networking journals (Elsevier Optical Switching and Networking, IEEE Transactions on Networking, etc.);
  • Management of the e-Photon/ONe web site.

 

Finally, given the strong presence of universities in the project, a significant effort was devoted to teaching and training activities. Training activities must help improve the skills and knowledge of the future young workforce and indirectly help to establish a competitive and knowledge economy. e-Photon/ONe focused on organizing technical schools (mainly for PhD students), and on searching consensus in teaching programs. More specifically, e-Photon/ONe partners collaborated to define a syllabus for a master program in optical communications and networks, with collection and joint editing of teaching material (slides and course notes).

 

The management of e-Photon/ONe was implemented in a number of bodies and committees:

  • Project Office and Project Co-ordinator at Politecnico di Torino
  • General Assembly, composed by all NoE partners
  • JPA Committee: main executive body of the network, responsible for the implementation of the Joint Program of Activities (JPA); it was articulated in four boards:
  • Integrating Activities Board
  • Joint Research Projects Board o Exchange and Mobility Board
  • Dissemination and Training Board and two panels:
  • Gender Issue Panel
  • Innovation and IPR Panel
  • Quality Assurance Committee (QAC): it comprised four experts external to the NoE, and provides content monitoring and quality control
  • Local Administrators and JPA representatives for each partner

 

The follow-up project of ePhoton/ONe was the NoE BONE in FP7.

Summary of project context and objectives

The basic technical goal of e-Photon/One was to point out the advantages offered by optical technologies to telecommunication networks with respect to electronic technologies.

Given the large consortium size, integration among partners was the main mission of e-Photon/ONe. Specific integration goals and actions have been the following:

  • Strengthen contacts between project partners
  • Enable the coordination and sharing of research activities involving several institutions, with exploitation of complementarities and research re-focusing, and joint dissemination of results
  • Stimulate the regular, short-term exchanges of people between partners, and the long-term exchanges of young researchers between partners
  • Stimulate the integration and sharing of lab infrastructures
  • Develop common educational programs
  • Support knowledge management and circulation of information
  • Formulate joint proposals for new research projects

 

According to a framework borrowed from the organization of most universities, integration activities were organized in six thematic structures called Virtual Departments (VDs). They focused on:

  • VD-C: “Core networks: technologies, architectures, and protocols”; it mainly referred to backbone networks, with the goals of exploiting the large bandwidth available on fiber links and of reducing time-domain operations, buffering requirements and amount of information processing (all of which are more difficult to provide in the optical domain than in electronics); attention was devoted to the identification of the multiplexing granularity and of the optical switching paradigms which provide the best cost/performance trade-off by exploiting the available technologies at best; heterogeneous networking and internetworking techniques were studied, together with multi-layer traffic engineering and resilience schemes;
  • VD-M: “Metro networks: technologies, architectures, and protocols”; metro networks jointly demand large flexibility and large bandwidth, possibly making optical switching techniques economically viable in the metro environment, in which traditional solutions based on stacked SDH rings, or newer solutions based upon switched Ethernets may fail to provide adequate solutions; a packet-based transport is a natural fit with the ubiquitous IP traffic, and appears to be one of the best choices for overtaking the metro-gap in a cost-effective manner; considered requirements for the metro scenario are flexibility, scalability, fairness and quality-of-service, bandwidth manageability;
  • VD-A: “Access networks: technologies, architectures, and protocols”; optical technologies can overcome the current performance bottleneck due to the dominating xDSL access; passive optical networks (BPONs, GPONs, EPONs) are a first reply to this need, but other innovative architectures, such as WDM PONs, WDM rings, and broadcast-and-select networks, were studied; key issues are again flexibility and efficiency in resource allocation;
  • VD-H: “Home networks and other short-reach networks” ; short reach introduces different requirements with respect to traditional long-haul transmission, also due to non-traditional telecom application (e.g., in-vehicle networks); low cost and easy deployment are mandatory; transmission media include plastic fibers and multimode fibers; fiber-wireless architectures were studied, in which a low-cost and low-complexity optical wired infrastructure complements short-reach wireless links;
  • VD-S: “Optical switching systems”: cross connects, burst switches, packet switches; the domain was optics in switches and optical switching, including optical designs for large switching fabrics and optical interconnects, and reduced electromagnetic interference, smaller footprint, and lower power requirements; key issue was the identification of the best-suited switching technologies;
  • VD-T: “Transmission techniques for broadband networks”; optical transmission is already the winning option today; considered open issues are cost reduction, higher manageability, better monitoring in the optical domain, and wise balance between optical and electrical transmission/reception operations/processing.

 

VDs were devised as the key instrument to enable integration in e-Photon/ONe. Examples of typical VD activities have been the following:

  • coordination of similar existing research
  • allocation of available resources
  • editing of joint technical reports and papers
  • encouraging mobility
  • coordination of teaching activities
  • coordination of proposals for new research projects
  • dissemination and workshop organization

 

Five joint research projects (JPs) were defined, so that e-Photon/ONe partners could work together towards on well-defined technical issues.

  1. JP-G: “Optical networking for grids and e-science”: how optical architectures can be adapted and extended to enable the efficient support of various grid services?
  2. JP-B: “Optical burst switching”: OBS is becoming the natural evolution of current circuit switched networks, since optical technology is not fully mature to support optical packet switching. JP-B addressed various OBS research issues, from physical layer to service aspects.
  3. JP-T: “Dynamic and distributed optical monitoring and equalization”: which are the best techniques to increase the reliability and performance of dynamic optical networks with respect to propagation impairments?
  4. JP-E: “Mitigation of optical transmission impairments by electronic means”: electronic processing circuits, implemented either at the transmitter or the receiver to mitigate linear and non-linear optical transmission impairments, are viewed as disruptive technologies that will revolutionize the optical communication industry once again.
  5. JP-S: “Electro/optic switching architectures”: which are the most effective blends of optical and electronic functions in switching architectures?

JPs have been an important tool to favour research coordination. For each JP, a narrowly focused research area was identified mainly by the activity leader, and integrated research activities among participating partners were organized around the selected topic. Partners had the opportunity to interact on common technical grounds, to compare different approaches, and to bring complementary skills. JP topics need to be timely and short-lived: the first set of four JPs in e-Photon/ONe was terminated in Phase 1, and a new set of JPs have been in place for Phase2.

Researchers’ and students’ mobility was recognized as an important and measurable action to support integration. e-Photon/ONe therefore significantly promoted mobility, and a significant number of mobility actions were implemented within VDs. Students and staff members spent extended periods (up to several months) visiting other institutions, to conduct coordinated research, to share and jointly publish research results.

Main Scientific and technical (S&T) results and foregrounds

The activities of e-Photon/ONe+ were organized in 15 WorkPackages (WPs).

One WP covered administration and operation of the project, which was mainly in charge to the Project Office at Politecnico di Torino. Six WPs referred to VDs (Virtual Departments), and five referred to JPs (Joint Projects). The other three WPs organized dissemination, teaching, and lab sharing activities.

  • WP-O: Coordination and Management (WP leader: PoliTO)
  • WP-VDC: VD on Core Networks (WP leader: DEIS-UniBo)
  • WP-VDM: VD on Metro Networks (WP leader: Telenor)
  • WP-VDA: VD on Access Networks (WP leaders: Tu/e & UPC)
  • WP-VDH: VD on Home Networks and Other Short-Reach Networks (WP leaders: UDE & PoliTO)
  • WP-VDS: VD on Optical Switching Systems (WP leaders: DTU & CTI)
  • WP-VDT: VD on Transmission (WP leader: PoliTO)
  • WP-JPG: JP on Optical networking for grids (WP leaders: IBBT & UEssex)
  • WP-JPB: JP on Optical burst switching (WP leader: UAM)
  • WP-JPT: JP on dynamic optical networks (WP leader: IT)
  • WP-JPE: JP on optical transmission impairments by electronic means (WP leader: AIT)
  • WP-JPS: JP on Electro/optic switching (WP leader: UoPelop)
  • WP-T: Teaching Activities (WP leader: TELFER)
  • WP-L: Joint and Virtual Laboratories (WP leader: UCL)
  • WP-D: Dissemination (WP leaders: UEssex & UoPelop)

 

Key technical issues

  • Core networks: technologies, architectures, and protocols, including a.o.:
    • Switching and multiplexing technologies
    • Optical burst switching
    • Control plane protocols
    • Multilayer and multidomain networking
    • Resilience schemes
  • Metro and access networks: technologies, architectures, and protocols, a.o.:
    • WDM PONs
    • Innovative optical network architectures
    • Techno-economical studies
  • Home networks and other short-reach networks
    • Fiber-wireless
    • Fiber-coax
    • Coarse WDM Protocols
    • Easy deployment
  • Optical switching systems: cross connects, burst switches, packet switches, including:
    • Optical packet/burst switching and routing
    • Switching fabric and optical interconnects design
    • Optical switching technologies
    • Label generation, swapping and detection
    • Footprint and power consumption reduction
  • Transmission techniques for broadband networks, including a.o.
    • Broadband optical amplifiers
    • Tbit/s transmission, 40 and 100 Gbit/s per channel
    • Optical signal monitoring
    • New modulation formats
    • Electronic compensation of physical layer impairments

 

Project execution

This section provides a summary of the major achievements of e-Photon/ONe+ (second Phase).

Several project meetings were organized, including three general meetings (Paris, May 2006; Barcelona, February 2007; Torino, January 2008), meetings of governing bodies and dedicated WP meetings; WP meetings were either co-located with major events (e.g., at the ECOC conference), or held on purpose. The final e-Photon/ONe+ plenary meeting was held in Torino on January 28-29, 2008, jointly with the kick-off meeting of the follow-up FP7 NoE BONE.

Virtual Departments (VDs) were active towards integration. Interactions were typically implemented by means of extensive e-mail exchanges, and of (in-person and by teleconference) meetings, to build a picture of partners’ interests and activities, to coordinate joint research in the specific topics, and through the joint preparation of vision and activity reporting documents. Being VD activities rather different from usual research projects with well-defined goals, the level of partners’ involvement has been initially rather uneven, and VD chairmen had to make a strong effort to keep the integration process alive. However partners became more aware of the aims of VDs, and of NoEs in general, and tangible results of the integration effort have appeared. The number of proposed and realized mobility actions, and the number of joint papers, witness the level of partner interactions. But, more importantly, the number of interactions among partners largely increased over the lifetime of the NoE, paving the way for durable integration.

Joint Projects (JPs) were conceived in e-Photon/ONe as more traditional research activities, but they were focused on new topics on which partners could do common research bringing their own (often complementary) expertise and background. The five JPs activated in e-Photon/ONe+, were selected after recommendations issued by the Virtual Departments in Phase 1 (e-Photon/ONe). JPs were therefore typically run in strict collaboration with and under the control of a VD, and this fit very well the general e-Photon/ONe framework.

All JPs successfully concluded their activities. JP plenary meetings, with strong technical emphasis, were organized. The final outcome of JPs was a technical report, with a commitment to prepare at least a joint paper summarizing JP achievements.

The Project Office was established and has been operative as a central dedicated management structure at the EU Affairs Office of the Politecnico di Torino. The Project Office was responsible for the operational management and ensured a strong and continuous interaction with the members of the network, as well as a tight coordination of network activities. In particular, the main activities carried out by the Project Office have been the following:

  • handling overall legal, contractual, financial and administrative issues;
  • NoE reporting and financial monitoring towards the governing bodies and EC;
  • acting as an interface between the local partners representatives and the WP leaders;
  • obtaining audit certificate by each contractor;
  • handling the enlargement of the Noe (e.g. in the form of Collaborating Institutions);
  • drawing up of all the management documents such as a management hand-book;
  • maintaining of consortium agreement and definition of other agreements decided by the governing boards;
  • organising and running all the coordination meetings (agenda set-up, draft of minutes, dissemination of documents, etc.).

Two technical review meetings were successfully held in Brussels at the end of each project year, with full support from the Project Office.

A significant portion of the EC grant was distributed by WP leaders to partners according to tangible achievements. This implied the collection of quantitative performance indicators of the involvement of partners in WP activities, such as published papers, contributions to deliverables, mobility actions, joint research activities, etc. Most WPs established a score system to translate these indicators in a quantitative ranking of partners with respect to the specific WP. This process was not implemented in the first phase of e-Photon/ONe, and it took some time to set up, but proved to be quite effective in raising the level of partners’ participation to the integration effort, and permitted a much better monitoring of NoE’s activities. The collection of quantitative information on achievements was a continuous process, and was implemented with the support of the project website.

Two edited books, with contributions by several e-Photon/ONe partners were prepared:

  • joint book on optical burst switching (OBS), coordinated by Prof. J. Aracil (UaM) in the framework of VD-C
  • joint book on next-generation passive optical networks (PONs), published by Springer Verlag, coordinated by Prof. J. Prat (UPC) in the framework of VD-A

Above 210 joint papers (with authors from multiple partner institutions) were published or submitted in two years. These include coordinated tutorial-style papers, invited papers to present e-Photon/ONe, research papers on the achievements of JPs, and papers stemming out of mobility actions.

To graphically depict the increased level of integration within the e-Photon/ONe+ consortium, the following two graphs show the number of joint papers after the first year and at the end of the projects. An arc is present in the graph when two partners contributed to the same paper.

Figure 1: Joint papers at the end of the first year
Figure 1: Joint papers at the end of the first year
Figure 2: Joint papers at the end of the project
Figure 2: Joint papers at the end of the project

In addition to joint papers, over 260 other papers with authors from a single partner institution were published with e1+ support. These numbers are a tangible outcome of the dissemination effort of project partners, of the technical achievements enabled by the NoE, and of the positive effects of the integration effort (as proven by the large number of joint papers).

A large joint tutorial papers on photonic in switching was coordinated within VD-S and accepted for publication on a special issue of Computer Networks on “Challenges and Opportunities in Advanced Optical Networking”.

53 personnel exchanges took place among partners in the framework of mobility support activities, involving 33 e-Photon/ONe+ partner institutions, and 2 Collaborating Institutions, for a total of approximately 120 person months. These mobility actions are roughly evenly split between the first and the second project year.

The effort towards integration of lab activities and sharing of lab infrastructures was pursued in WP-L, leading to an updated inventory of existing labs, to a plan for coordinated lab experiments, and to significant implementation of these joint experiments, which were realized at different labs with comparison of results and exchanges of researches. The significant amount of experimental and testbed setup activities requested resources (both human and equipment resources) well beyond the funding level of e-Photon/ONe+.

Two technical schools were organized by WP-T. At these schools, in addition to tutorial-style presentations by international experts, sessions were organized in which PhD students were given the opportunity to present their recent research work. Attendance to these schools was very good and fruitful. The first technical school on Optical Grid and Optical Network Resilience” was organized and held in Zagreb in September 2007. The second technical school on “Advanced optical communications systems: from short range to long haul networks” was successfully organized and held in Brest at ENST, France, in July, jointly with COST 291; over 70 attendees followed lectures by 6 expert speakers, and 22 presentations were contributed mainly by PhD students.

Always within WP-T, the work towards the definition of the jointly defined master program in Optical Communications and Networks progressed. 8 courses were identified, the syllabus of each course was agreed, and the slides used by several partners were merged to generate a commonly agreed teaching framework within the technical scope of the project.

The dissemination workpackage WP-D collected information (funding programs and involvement of e-Photon/ONe partners) on national research projects related to optical communications and networks.

A roadmapping activity for the area of optical networking was organized by WP-D on dissemination. In addition to collecting information from similar activities within the international research community, input was received first from e-Photon/ONe WP leaders and then from all partners willing to contribute.

In the framework of dissemination activities, the project newsletter was regularly published. e-Photon/ONe was able to obtain high international visibility, and to gain international reputation. Overview papers on e-Photon/ONe were invited at several international conferences, including ECOC and OFC.

Strong support was given to the organization of conferences, including OFC 2006 and 2007, ECOC 2006 and 2007, and ONDM 2007 and 2008, with the involvement in several technical program committees, the active participation in the review process of submitted papers, the presentation of invited talks, the organization of sessions and workshops within conferences, and the active participation of e-Photon/ONe members in conference sessions. Specific e-Photon/ONe events were organized at these conferences (e.g., workshop on international research opportunities in optical networking at OFC 2006 and 2007).

A booth on EC projects was regularly organized at each ECOC exposition, with contributions from several EC-funded FP6 projects.

Interactions took place with Global Grid Forum on Optical Burst Switching standards.

Overview papers on e-Photon/ONe were invited at several international conferences, including ECOC 2006 and OFC 2006.

Several members of e-Photon/ONe are in the editorial board of the new Elsevier journal “Optical Switching and Networking (OSN)”, for which Fabio Neri, e-Photon/ONe project leader, acts as co-editor-in-chief.

Internationally recognized experts, external to the NoE, (Bill St.Arnaud, Canada; Admela Jukan, Germany; Ken-ichi Kitayama, Japan; Roberto Sabella, Italy) were appointed in the e-Photon/ONe+ Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) which monitored the NoE activities. The QAC members prepared two annual reports, in which appreciations for the project activities were clearly expressed, and several useful suggestions on how to improve the project effectiveness were given.

To summarize, e-Photon/ONe experimented over four years a model of Network of Excellence based on large consensus in the technical community and on strong integration among participating institutions. The activities were implemented as planned.

Although several improvements were put into place between Phase 1 and Phase 2, in general the management of the large consortium was not easy, and the responsiveness of some partners was still less than expected. Industrial partners, in particular, exhibited limited interest in the integration aims of the project. However, most partners were well involved, and took advantage of the integration opportunities offered by the NoE.

It can be claimed that e-Photon/ONe made significant steps towards the implementation of the Network of Excellence concept. Integration among partners took place in several forms, and dissemination activities were quite visible. The project management is proud of the consortium achievements (also in consideration of the available budget). Tangible outcomes of the integration effort are available, and documented on the project website. In particular, the number and quality of publications involving multiple partners, and the number of mobility actions, are impressive. The observations and recommendations provided in the final report of the e-Photon/ONe Quality Assurance Committee, comprising international experts not partners of the NoE, underline the success of our NoE. It is noteworthy that most e-Photon/ONe partners reported positively on the unique opportunities offered by the project to interact with other partners, and confirmed participation, and also involvement in management roles, despite the limited available budget. The EC grant indeed turned out not to be the prime motivation for being involved in our project, and this is a new attitude, which shows the merits of the NoE instrument.

Finally, the continuation proposal, named BONE, submitted to the first call of FP7, was funded and will provide additional funding to the e-Photon/ONe community.

 

Dissemination of knowledge

The e-Photon/ONe+ work-package WP-D, lead by Tanya Politi and Mike O’Mahony, was dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge both within the NoE, and between the NoE and external organizations. It follows from the work of WP14 in the first Phase e-Photon/ONe, but its scope was extended in the second Phase e-Photon/ONe+ to include more activities. The objectives of WP-D were:

  1. To disseminate information concerning the expertise, research and integration activities of the Network of Excellence to IST and EU National Researchers [and associated projects] and also to international researchers and their institutions
  1. To build a strong collaborative institutional framework, to allow expert groups from within and external to the EU to effectively collaborate with the Network of Excellence on key topics
  1. To build a database of (EU) national research projects related to optical technologies, to enable greater visibility for collaborative and integrative possibilities, between the Network of Excellence and national research projects and initiatives
  1. To integrate information arising from the Network of Excellence, Collaborating Institutions and external expert groups and projects [including COST, IST etc] to provide a focused view (roadmap) of the evolution of photonic networks for telecom and non-telecom applications

Dissemination activities have been achieved mainly by WP-D, but also by each and every partner of the consortium. The activities are continuing well after the duration of the project with more publications, presentations at conferences and events, but also through the dissemination plan of WP01 of the follow-up NoE BONE in FP7.

 

Workshops and Events

Below we report on the means that are used to disseminate knowledge in the NoE. It should be noted that in the NoE the procedure for endorsing or co-organising an event is quite strict, in the sense that the NoE support to an event is typically highly appreciated by the community. The Dissemination and Training Board of the JPA Committee handles each request for supporting an event. Four levels of support were defined:

Advertised events: These are events that the e-Photon/One+ considers interesting for partners, and hence are advertised on the project website.

Supported events: These are conferences and events that the NoE supports with active participation, by either contributing a large number of papers or/and by organizing a workshop in conjunction with the event etc. Organizers may use the NoE logo upon authorization by the Dissemination and Training Board.

e-Photon/ONe+ co-organised events: These are workshops/events co-organised by e-Photon/ONe+. The organizers must have the NoE logo on their website and provide the Dissemination and Training Board with a report on the event, highlighting the e-Photon/ONe+ contribution.

e-Photon/ONe events: These are stand-alone events organized by e-Photon/ONe+.

The three latter types require some reporting on the event by the requesting party in order to disseminate the results to the whole NoE and not only to the partners that were involved or attending.

 

Photonics in Switching 2006

Location: Herakleion (Crete), Greece

Date: 16-18 October 2006

Number of attendees: 98

Website: More information can be found at www.ps2006.gr

Objective of conference and Outline of programme:

Photonics in Switching (PS) is a historic conference on optical switching created at the end of the 1980’s. Mixing an active academic community with manufacturers and operators it is aiming to address these issues and to pave the way towards next generation networks.

This year’s event will be held near Herakleion in the island of Crete in Greece, between 16 and 18 October 2006.

Outcome of the e-Photon/ONe+ support:

The strong association between the scope of e-photon/ONe+ and the Photonics in Switching is evident due to the association of the scope with JP-S and VD-S. There were numerous papers that were presented at the conference that were acknowledging e-photon/ONe+ presenting work that was related to the technical work of the NoE. Various issues that are related to the e-photon/ONe+ Switching issues especially optical packet switching. Two very important workshops that initiated a lot of discussion had the strong involvement of the NoE. Both the Optical Packet Switching Workshop and the ‘The next stage in network evolution: migration towards dynamic lightpath routing’ made quite an impact.

Brief report on the event can be found on the website.

 

ONDM 2007

The 11th International Conference on Optical Networking Design and Modeling – ONDM 2007 – was held in Athens, Greece on May 29-31, 2007.

The conference venue hosted and organized by AIT and attracted 90 participants. A significant number of invited and contributed papers were presented addressing recent advances in the design, modeling and implementation of optical networks, novel switching schemes and paradigms, network optimization and design issues, new concepts for link and control layer protocols, advanced network subsystems and node architectures, and network inter-working schemes.

A significant number of excellent invited speakers from leading academic and industrial institutions around the world presented their research work: (Keren Bergman – Columbia University, Piero Castoldi – SSSUP, Piet Demeester – GENT, Andrea Fumagalli – UTD-Texas, Maurice Gagnaire – GET, Ken-ichi Kitayama – Osaka University, Chunming Qiao – University at Buffalo, Jian Wu – BUPT, Hans Martin Foisel – T-Systems and Dimitri Papadimitriou – Alcatel-Lucent). Plenary presentations were give by Prof. Allan Willner (Univ. of Southern California) and Dr. Haruhisa Ichikawa (NTT – director).

ONDM 2007 was actively supported by ePhoton/ONe and many of the project’s members participated in the Steering and Technical Program Committees. Many of the contributed papers acknowledged work that was performed under ePhoton/ONe and within collaborative research activities among various partners. Additionally, ONDM 2007 hosted a workshop supported by VDM on Metro network applications. A number of WP meeting were also organised in parallel (VDS, VDC-JPG-JPB).

For more information on the ONDM 2007 conference please visit: www.ondm2007.gr Brief report on the event can be found on the website.

 

9th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks – ICTON 2007

 The 9th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks (ICTON) 2007 is organized and coordinated by the ISCOM (The High Institute of Communication and Information Technology), in collaboration with the National Institute of Telecommunications in Warsaw and the IEEE/LEOS Poland Chapter). It was hosted by ISA – Istituto Superiore Antincendi, in Rome, Italy on July 1-5, 2007.

The aim of ICTON07, is focused on the applications of the all optical transparent technologies, the only one able to guarantee the development of the ultra wide band Next Generation Networks, of the components, of the transmission systems and multimedia services requested by the EU. Its growth during these nine years has been fast and constant and now ICTON can be considered a European reference event where can be found all the experts that are up to now focused on the realization of the so called “network of the future”. This has been confirmed by the quality of the presentations, by the numbers of attendees (366), from 36 countries all over the world, and by the workshops and meeting organized and here reported.

In this scenario research networks like e-Photon/ONe+ are the fundamental drivers to integrate and focus the rich know-how available in Europe on optical communication and networks, both in universities and in research centres of major telecom manufacturers and operators. In order to facilitate the visibility but also ensure the scientific quality of e-Photon/ONe activities, the NoE actively supports the partners’ contribution to conferences and events related to the scope of the NoE. This has been performed for the ICTON 2007 conference.

 

DRCN 2007

DRCN is a well-established forum aiming at gathering researchers from the academia and practitioners from the industry in order to address network and service reliability issues, and related topics. The event was supported by several institutions including e-Photon/One+. The program was composed of about fifty presentations, and has been organized into two topical streams. The conference program also included three keynotes, two tutorials, and a panel discussion by research experts.

Two sessions were dedicated to optical networks and WDM, namely “MAM-1: WDM Networks” and “WAM-1: Optical Networks”, whereas several papers in other sessions felt within the scope of e-Photon/One+, e.g. “TAM-1: Availability”, “TAM-2: Planning”, “TPM-4: Design”. Key subjects concerning optical networks during DRCN 2007 were: Ethernet over WDM, transparent optical networks, WDM network planning, reliability and availability, PON architectures and protection, optical rings and related protection schemes.

Several papers came from the e-Photon/One+ community, from which five directly acknowledged e-Photon/One+. More details on the conference can be found at http://www.drcn.org/

More details on the e-photon/One+ participation can be found online.

 

On line dissemination

This section reports on the use of the e-Photon/ONe+ web site [www.ephoton-one.org] and the Newsletter distribution.

Dissemination is an important aspect in Networks of Excellence, which seek to provide an integrating function across geographically diverse research groups, each with different focus of activities and different resources. The web site was seen as an important platform in enabling this integration, as it provides a common reference point for joint activities. From the beginning of the project, a significant effort was put by the consortium and the WP-D to design and implement the website. The Website Taskforce was built and the structure of the website/server was ready within the first months of the project.

The website was designed with public and restricted parts; the latter to allow partners to build documents in a collaborative manner and to act as a repository for private documents related to on-going research. The site design is flexible to allow new categories to be added as the project progress.

The Taskforce has been involved with updating the website. The public part has been helpful with respect to disseminating information to people outside the NoE, while the private part is very helpful to the coordination of the research activities and the integration of the consortium.

As far as the Newsletter is concerned, after setting up the mailing list, 9 issues have been sent out with news from the whole NoE, on events, deadlines for NoE activities, deliverables and even tutorials with specific NoE subjects.

Information about the work that has been carried out can be obtained from: www.e-photon-one.org.

 

National Projects

A key area of dissemination relates to interaction with national and international projects and other IST European projects. Especially this is being achieved through three mechanisms, namely (a) the associated Collaborating Partners, (b) through the establishment of joint workshops, and (c) by collecting information on national research projects. Here we elaborate on the latter because it was seen as an interesting reach out that the e-photon/ONe+ made towards the national projects, which is considered the main source of funding for R&D in Europe for most institutions. This facilitates further EU integration and enables an institute interested in collaboration to view national projects as well as EU funded projects. At each 6 monthly report partners are asked, via a proforma, to describe projects they are involved with. Over 40 projects are registered and a deliverable is already uploaded with interesting results on the national projects (deliverable D.D.2 Preliminary report on national projects).

 

Roadmapping activities

A key activity in e-photon/ONe+ is the development of a European roadmap. The aim of this roadmap is to understand how optical networking and associated technologies supports the interoperability of networks, different domains, different technologies. This is currently addressed by a number of EU projects [MUPBED, GEANT, PHOSPHORUS, NOBEL] which, however, look at specific solutions. The e-photon roadmap instead seeks to understand how the deployment of optical technology [switches, transponders etc] can enhance this interoperability. WP Leaders have been asked to contribute to three areas: Data Plane, Control Plane, Service Plane, to understand the impact of optical networking in these areas.

In order to achieve a better outcome, interactions with European projects, but also at the international level (see workshop at OFC ) was sought. The methodology for the preparation of the report is outlined below:

  • Capturing key messages at conferences, workshops and seminars.
  • Specific effort was put into defining workshops that help developing the picture of market and research at international level. For example the series of International workshops of Future Optical Networks (FON) have been very helpful in assembling the regional visions and research trends. OFC and ECOC are unanimously considered to be the most relevant conferences for the field of optical communications.
  • Holding a Road Map meeting at ECOC 2007, with experts invited from Europe, USA and Asia providing their views on future directions.
  • The scope and first content of the Roadmap were discussed firstly among the WP-Dissemination Roadmap taskforce and then at the e-photon/ONe+ Plenary Meeting. The meeting was held among the WP leaders and the final vision and objective of the e-photon/ONe+ Roadmap was defined.
  • Reviewing the progress developments in standards bodies and industry fora working on topics related to optical networks. These include in particular the ITU-T, the IETF and the IEEE, and other bodies like IPSphere.
  • Consulting experts working within the European Framework Programmes. Special effort was given in reviewing the work of project active in the area of optical networking with emphasis on resolving interoperability and end-to-end service delivery issues, in order to understand the role of optical networking . Interviews ans discussion with IST project co-coordinators were held specifically with P.Vetter (IST MUSE), M. Schiano (IST Nobel,) D. Simeonidou (IST Phosphorous) etc
  • Requesting input from consortium partners, and specifically to Workpackage Leaders, regarding the final Roadmap.
  • Holding a workshop at the final

 

Publishable results

The NoE publication output is at a number of levels, single institute publications, joint [institute] publications, special e-Photon/ONe+ presentations at conferences, educational documents etc. In this section we list the joint publications. e-Photon/ONe+ presentations and individual institute publications can be found on the project website.

 

Joint publications

Above 210 joint publications have been registered on the web site.

 

e-Photon-ONe Presentations

Optical Fibre Conference [OFC] March 2006, Anaheim USA: invited presentation on e-Photon/ONe made by the Coordinator Fabio Neri.

European Conference on Optical Communications [ECOC] September, 2006, Cannes, France Presentation on e-Photon/ONe by F. Neri in Symposium “Europe’s research programmes in motion”

EC Concertation Meeting Brussels, October 2006, Presentation of e-Photon/ONe+ by M. Pickavet [IBBT] at the Communication Technologies Concertation Meeting

Impact

Extended impact

e-Photon/ONe and e-Photon/ONe+ were designed to provide in the long term the following results:

  • Overcome the fragmentation of European research on optical networks and technologies, stimulating collaborative work (i.e., joint execution of tasks).
  • Strengthen the European international leadership in the field of optical technology in general and optical networks in particular.
  • Increase the interaction between industry and university. Strengthen technical links between academic institutions and European telecom industries. Make European industries recognize the opportunity to fruitfully exploit the rich know-how on photonic technologies and on networking available in European universities.
  • Develop intense, regular and long-term collaborations between the partners, based upon the exchange of people, and the sharing of equipment, software tools, and testbeds.
  • Overcome the heterogeneity of higher education on telecommunications engineering in Europe. Define agreed teaching curricula on optical networking and technologies, supported by course materials.

Partner UCAM-DENG replaced in the second project year former partner Intel Lab Cambridge, that was forced to withdraw from e-Photon/ONe+ (formally from January 1st, 2007) because Intel closed the Cambridge Lab.

Partners come from 14 member states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Portugal, UK), 2 candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey) and 1 associated country (Norway), providing a broad European coverage. The consortium is dominated by academic institutions (31), but it also involves 4 non-profit research centers, 3 telecom operators, and 2 manufacturers. Around 400 researchers were actively involved in the NoE.

To increase the consensus around e-Photon/ONe, and to involve other research institutions in project activities, the role of “Collaborating Institutions” (CIs) was created in e-Photon/ONe. These participate to project activities with no budget allocation. Eight Collaborating Institutions were appointed in Phase 2:

  • Campinas State University, Brazil
  • Beijing University of Posts & Telegraphs, China
  • CTTC: Telecommunications Technological Center of Catalonia, Spain
  • University of Vigo, Spain
  • Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Spain
  • Poznan University of Technology, Poland
  • University of Roma “La Sapienza”, Italy
  • HUAWEI, Sweden

The e-Photon/ONe Public Web-site (http://www.ephoton-one.org)

The project website (www.e-photon-one.org) acted as a major instrument for integration (partners share information through the website) and as a fundamental instrument to collect project results (publications, reports, deliverables, etc.), beyond serving for external project presentation and results dissemination. A significant effort was devoted in e-Photon/ONe+ to the initial design and to the continuous maintenance of the project web pages. This has been a distributed effort, involving Barcelona, Bologna and Torino. The more dynamic part of the website was implemented and maintained by University of Bologna (https://e1.unibo.it/), with rich functionalities for consortium management and support to reporting. Its main features are:

  • partner sections and WP sections in the private part;
  • content manager tool, to allow distributed information uploading under proper password control;
  • rich set of (dynamically generated) mailing lists, to minimize the amount of emails received by individual researchers;
  • powerful LDAP-based consortium management capabilities to deal with the frequent changes in the set of involved researchers;
  • automatic online reporting for partner institutions and WP leaders;
  • publications database.

The e-Photon/ONe Project consortium

The project leader was Fabio Neri at Politecnico di Torino; contact details:

Prof. Fabio Neri

Dipartimento di Elettronica Politecnico di Torino

Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24 I-10129 Torino, Italy

Tel: +39 011 564 4076

Fax: +39 011 564 4099

email:    Fabio.Neri@polito.it

The project comprised the following 40 institutions: