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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

TU Christmas Tree_small

24.12.2020 – At the end of this truly memorable year we would like to thank all our students, partners and friends for their collaboration and support during these challenging times. Fortunately, up to now we have been spared by any long-term health issues caused by the pandemic and we will continue to be cautious in 2021, Yet, we are happy that both teaching as well as research has been continued without major issues due to jointly defined creative and effective solutions. We hope that you will be able to spend - certainly mostly online- some time with your family and friends. For 2021 we wish you all the best and that we will meet again in person and maybe even without wearing a mask! Until then stay healthy!


Release of Book on "Machine Learning for Future Wireless Communications"


30.11.2020 – We are pleased to annouce that the print version of the novel Wiley/IEEE Press book "Machine Learning for Future Wireless Communications" has been released. For "Part I - Spectrum Intelligence and Adaptive Resource Management", we have contributed the chapter "Machine Learning for Resource-Efficient Data Transfer in Mobile Crowdsensing" which reports key results of subprojects A4 and B4 of the collaborative research center SFB 876. In particular, we present novel context-aware and context-predictive methods that utilize machine learning to opportunistically schedule vehicular sensor data transmissions with respect to the anticipated resource efficiency. The proposed approach is not only able to boost the end-to-end data rate of vehicular data transmissions, it simultaneously reduces the power consumption of the mobile devices and contributes to a more efficient usage of the limited network resources.


Master student project group RAC3R (Rapid Assistance through Connected Remotely operated Rescue Robotics) successfully completed

Overview of the running Simulation Setup

23.11.2020 – The corona crisis did not prevent the successful conclusion of the project group RAC3R (Rapid Assistance through Connected Remotely operated Rescue Robotics) that presented its final results to the members of the CNI in the last 2020 quarter. The project group is part of the master course Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and consists of a group of students collaboratively taking on a scientific task. Within RAC3R, a group of 6 students was originally tasked with the development and optimization of a rescue robotic platform with a Multi-Radio Access Technology feature. The sanitary measures adopted to contain the Corona pandemic posed an additional challenge: full remote work. It was successfully taken on by the students, as they successfully pivoted and setup a virtual robotic simulation environment with real network interface support. A virtual model of the RAC3R robot and a portable implementation of the software stack to the real world were also delivered. Furthermore, the setup was enriched with network controls allowing to either tailor the network quality to match the simulated environment using raytracing or to freely investigate other specific communication scenarios and edge cases.


International panel on mission-critical machine-type communication towards 6G


11.11.2020 – Following a joint effort of international experts to formulate ideas for future wireless networks (called 6G, although the "branding" is not fixed yet) in a white paper published on ArXiv, the University of Oulu has organized a panel with international experts from Belgium, Danmark, Finland, Germany and the USA. Prof. Christian Wietfeld highlighted in his contribution potential research directions developed within the Competence Centre on 5G CC5G.NRW regarding mission-critical communications, which is needed for example for rescue robotics or autonomus driving. The results of recent research of various collaborative projects, such as DFG SFB 876, the BMBF-funded projects LARUS and German Rescue Robotics Centre (DRZ), the BMWi-funded 5GAIN project supported the long-term vision with concrete solution approaches.


5G.NRWeek Rocket Session: interactive live rescue robotics demo at high-profile 5G event


05.11.2020 – CNI has interactively illustrated requirements and opportunities of 5G in rescue robotics in close cooperation with the Fire Department Dortmund and German Rescue Robotics Center (DRZ). A joint demonstration at the final rocket session of the 5G.NRWeek conference presented a remote control scenario of a mobile robotic system for risky rescue operations. The demonstration used CNI's software-defined radio based stand-alone 5G platform in combination with CNI's research robot used as scout to explore a challenging scenrio filled with smoke provided by the DRZ.


PhD thesis on Software-Defined Networking for Smart Grids and 5G sucessfully completed

Diss Kurtz 03 (2)

19.10.2020 – The CNI team is happy to announce that Dr.-Ing. Fabian Kurtz has successfully defended his PhD thesis. on "Design and Performance Evaluation of Adaptive Critical Infrastructure Communications based on Software-Defined Networking" and congratulates him wholeheartedly.
Critical infrastructures, such as energy or water supply, but also transport routes, require highly reliable communication networks that are robust and resilient, especially when parts of the infrastructure fail in crisis situations or reconfigurations involving high communication costs become necessary. In the past, vertical solutions were often preferred, i.e. independently operated networks were set up for individual branches of industry in order to rule out interactions and resource bottlenecks. With the availability of Software-Defined Networks (SDN) it has become possible to use communication resources much more efficiently on the basis of a standardized and common infrastructure and at the same time to serve the specific requirements of individual fields of application decoupled from each other. In his dissertation, Dr.-Ing. Fabian Kurtz presents solution for the design and detailed analysis of corresponding methods that use and concretely implement the possibilities of software-defined networks. The results provide valuable contributions for the future use of software-defined networks for critical infrastructures and contributes by objective and comprehensible analyses to increase the acceptance of these innovative approaches by potential users, e.g. in the energy industry for the use in smart grids.


5G Campus Network Planning Tool with new feature

5G Campusnetzplaner

29.09.2020 – After the very good response of the 5G Campus Network Planning Tool with currently more than 6 thousand visitors distributed all over Germany, the Campus Network Planning Tool is now being expanded into another feature: based on a list recently published by the BNetzA, the first actual frequency allocations are now also displayed in the 5G Campus Network Planning Tool in the corresponding areas (monthly update). So far 74 allocations of frequencies for local 5G networks have been issued by the BNetzA, of which a total of 38 have approved a publication and are visualized in the tool.


5G.NRW Week: CNI hosts Webinar on Campus Networks


29.09.2020 – From 26th to 30th October, the Competence Center 5G.NRW will host the first 5G.NRW-Week. In the course of the entirely digital conference, 5G sessions on hot topics, use cases and best practices will be presented in cooperation with renowned experts.. The highlight of the first 5G.NRW-Week is the Rocket Session on Friday with the participation of Minister Prof. Pinkwart.


CNI joins firefighting exercise in rescue robotics project


29.08.2020 – As part of the establishment of German Rescue Robotics Center (DRZ), CNI is working on reliable communications solutions for use in disaster scenarios. An exercise for firefighters near the German-Dutch border (Viersen district) in early September acted as a backdrop for field-testing interoperability and performance of systems developed in the research project.


CNI expands 5G research by successfully acquiring further research projects

5G.NRW Logo

02.07.2020 – We are pleased to announce that the Communication Networks Institute successfully acquired two projects funded by the 5G.NRW program. This reaffirms the institute's accomplishments, enabling us to sustainably expand and strengthen the focus on 5G research. With the role as consortium leader in the Plan & Play project and as a partner in the 5Guarantee project, we will contribute significantly to accelerating 5G as a key technology for demanding applications in industrial campus networks.


Best Paper Award at prestigious IEEE Conference

IEEE ICC Best Paper Award Certificate

01.07.2020 – We are very happy to announce that a joint work developed within the DFG SFB 876 between machine-learning (Nico Piatkowski from the Computer Science department) and communication experts (Benjamin Sliwa, Christian Wietfeld from CNI) has received a best paper award at the IEEE flagship conference International Communications Conference (ICC). At ICC 2020 which was originally planned to take place in Dublin this year over 2100 papers were presented in a virtualized format. The award-winning contribution of TU Dortmund "LIMITS: Lightweight Machine Learning for IoT Systems with Resource Limitations" presents the novel open source framework LIghtweight Machine learning for IoT Systems (LIMITS), which applies a platform-in-the-loop approach explicitly considering the actual compilation toolchain of the target IoT platform. LIMITS focuses on high level tasks such as experiment automation, platform-specific code generation, and sweet spot determination. In two case studies focusing on cellular data rate prediction and radio-based vehicle classification, LIMITS is validated by comparing different learning models and real world IoT platforms with memory constraints from 16 kB to 4 MB. Furthermore its potential to catalyze the development of machine learning enabled IoT systems is demonstrated.


CNI contribution to MDPI Drones Journal on Multi-Link Communication Experiments over the German Baltic Sea

Drones Logo

06.05.2020 – We are very pleased to announce that our paper "Reliable Long Range Multi-Link Communication for Unmanned Search and Rescue Aircraft Systems in Beyond Visual Line of Sight Operation" has been published in the MDPI Drones Open Access Journal.


CNI successfully contributes to 6G White Paper Expert Groups

6G White Paper Publication Logo

30.04.2020 – While 5G is a major focus of the on-going research at CNI, we are also looking further ahead: CNI researchers have participated in recent months in two selected international expert groups which aimed to formulate 6G Research Visions. The white paper drafts are now publicly available online on arXiv. CNI representatives have specifically contributed to the White papers on "Machine Learning in Wireless Communications" and "Critical and Massive Machine-Type-Communication towards 6G". It was orignally planned that the 12 white paper working groups would meet in March 2020 at the 2nd 6G Summit in Finland. Due to the on-going travel and contact restrictions, the summit was organized as virtual event. The working groups continued their work successfully remotely from the respective home offices of the contributors.


100 Days Campus Network Planning Tool - A Statistical Analysis

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28.04.2020 – Free offer of the Competence Center 5G.NRW is very well received.

At the beginning of the year the Competence Center 5G.NRW published the free service of the 5G Campus Network Planner (in German: 5G Campusnetzplaner). The aim of this service is to provide companies with a quick introduction to the local 5G radio license and to determine the frequency fee that is likely to be charged for the company-specific campus network in a few intuitive steps. In this article, an analysis of the service's usage statistics is conducted.


We are ready – Introductory presentations to the online CNI courses of the summer semester are available as video streams

Photograph of Professor Wietfeld in the Newly Established Online Teaching Workspace at CNI

15.04.2020 – In preparation for the online teaching in the summer semester 2020 that will start next week, Prof. Wietfeld explains in two introductory videos the concept of the chair for the two key courses of the summer semester "Business Administration Basics of ICT" (Bachelor) and "Mobile Networks" (Master). Lectures and exercises are carried out as live streams with interaction possibilities for the students (chat, request to speak via video). The streams are recorded and subsequently made available in the student portal moodle, as well as the slide material as PDF. The components of the practical training, i.e. the business simulation as well as the development of a business plan for a self-chosen ICT innovation, will be possible from the home office with appropriate online collaboration tools. All students interested in the courses are asked to register via moodle to receive invitations to the respective online meetings. We are looking forward to an intensive and fruitful collaboration, despite the new boundary conditions.


On-going remote research and preparations for online teaching at CNI

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22.03.2020 – In spite of the special "stay-at-home" situation imposed by the measures against the spreading of the Corona virus, the CNI team is committed to continue research and teaching by leveraging communication networks and corresponding online collaboration tools as much as possible. To all our students and partners: Stay healthy!

Please see the homepage of the TU Dortmund University and the faculty for general announcements and advice on the Corona virus situation.


CNI congratulates Stefan Falten for receiving the Hans-Uhde-Award 2020

Award-Winning Graduates with Professor Ursula Gather and Guido Baranowski

19.03.2020 – We are very happy to announce that Stefan Falten has been awarded with a Hans-Uhde-Prize for his outstanding master’s thesis “Implementation and experimental validation of a simulation model for the B.A.T.M.A.N. V routing protocol“. Within his thesis at the Communication Networks Institute, Mr. Falten has analyzed and optimized the performance of the novel bio-inspired routing protocol “Better Approach to Mobile Ad-hoc Networking V” (B.A.T.M.A.N. V) within highly dynamic ground-based and aerial vehicular networks. In order to assess the behavior of the routing protocol under challenging mobility conditions, he has transferred the existing Linux kernel module of B.A.T.M.A.N. V into an OMNeT++ simulation model which has been validated in real world experiments. The results of the thesis have made a significant contribution to a scientific publication, which has been presented at the international conference IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC-Spring) 2019.


CNI contribution to the 2nd 6G Wireless Summit

6G Wireless Summit Thumbnail

28.01.2020 – We are very pleased to announce that our paper "Towards cooperative data rate prediction for future mobile and vehicular 6G networks" has been accepted for being presented at the 2nd 6G Wireless Summit. In the paper, we bring together key results of two subprojects of the Collaborative Research Center "SFB 876" and take a look beyond the ongoing 5G standardization efforts that solely focus on bringing machine learning-enabled intelligence to the network side. Using the SDR-based passive control channel sniffer FALCON, we aim to mimic the behavior of a possible future 6G deployment where the network infrastructure actively provides information about the current spectral resource utilization to the mobile clients in order to improve client-based data rate prediction for anticipatory communications. In a real world proof-of-concept study in a vehicular scenario, we were able to improve reduce the average prediction error by up to 30% through the proposed cooperative approach.


Release of interactive planning tool for local 5G networks

Screenshot of the Planning Tool

16.01.2020 – After the much-noticed auction of 5G radio frequencies to mobile network operators in spring 2019, the Federal Network Agency launched the application procedure for additional local 5G campus networks in the 3,700-3,800 MHz frequency range in November 2019. As a consortium partner of the Competence Center 5G.NRW funded by the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the TU Dortmund University developed the 5G Campus Network Planner, a tool with which all interested companies can determine in a few intuitive steps the expected frequency fee for the company-specific campus network.

NRW Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Affairs Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart states: "The Competence Center 5G.NRW started its work about half a year ago and supports companies and institutions in the early use of 5G. I am pleased that the work of the partners in the consortium is already bearing fruit. The 5G Campus Network Planner is a great free and user-friendly tool for quickly and easily estimating the costs of local 5G frequencies. I am confident that this nationwide unique offer will also meet with great interest beyond North Rhine-Westphalia. “