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Content Based Mobile Edge Networking

CCI Project Lead: William Regli

Supported by: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

About the Project

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) CBMEN program and platform aim to foster tactical edge networking and information systems by providing content discovery, distribution, and security services directly within those networks. It eliminates the delays, brittleness, inefficiency, and expense incurred by traditional systems’ reliance on reachback to upper-echelon information services by enabling individual warfighters’ and tactical edge units’ mobile devices to locate and share content distributed over ad-hoc networks with limited infrastructure, power, and bandwidth.

Problem Statement

Rapid gains in device capabilities have rendered mobile networking ubiquitous in the mainstream commercial realm. Tactical edge applications however continue to lag far behind, in large part because the cellular, Internet, and data center infrastructure enabling commercial systems simply isn’t viable in a military setting. Requirements for rapid deployment, shifting areas of operation, and disruption tolerance are all poorly supported by approaches based on commercial assumptions of stable deployments and ever-increasing connectivity. Carrying these assumptions to the tactical edge results in the current status quo of brittle, stove piped information systems reliant on constrained reachback links—both confining and requiring information flow along the chain of command.

Project Approach

The CBMEN platform features several novel extensions to the content-based networking paradigm. It extends the Haggle peer-to-peer content sharing middleware to implement new techniques for:

  • Routing and forwarding on disrupted mobile networks based on connectivity modeling and network coding;
  • A highly expressive content advertisement and querying-enabling discovery and collaboration on a distributed, tactical edge Semantic Web;
  • A robust, fine grained security and access control via functional encryption mechanisms.

Key Features

  • Distributed content location and sharing over a mobile ad-hoc network on Android devices.
  • Applied knowledge engineering to the command and control domain.
  • Collaboration with high-profile companies including SAIC, ISI, SRI, BBN, LGS, and Harris.