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Motivation and Background

Service-centric networking is motivated by the latest developments in the area of information and communication technology, which are aiming at a universal, world-wide, and ubiquitous Internet. Initially designed as an INTERconnection of local NETworks for exchanging files and messages between remote computers, the Internet evolved into a universal platform in the late 1990s, which not only generated new applications and services, but also started to replace traditional telephony and to integrate different forms of mobile communications. The transition towards such an All-IP network is still in progress and is supported by the introduction of faster and faster access networks, innovative service platforms, and accompanying service paradigms like the Internet of Services or Ubiquitous Computing

The resulting change of the communications landscape and its impact on all parts of modern society are also reflected by the range of conducted research. For a long time, a focus was on the mere networking of computers and associated problems.  It was not before the Internet reached the mass market, when computer science and other disciplines started to cultivate other points of view onto the Internet, for example, that of an infrastructure for realizing distributed applications or that of a marketplace for electronic commerce.

The idea of Service-centric Networking is to establish and apply a service-oriented view onto the current and future Internet and other communications networks, for example, ad hoc networks. Following the structure of the OSI Reference Model, the primary focus is on services of the application layer, which are sometimes also called end-to-end services and which primarily deal with interactions between servers, desktop PCs, mobile devices, and other terminals. 

Different services can be interconnected and combined, which leads to a loosely-coupled system that realizes and supports communication procedures, business transactions, supply chains, and other activities. Usually, these processes involve various actors like individuals, enterprises, administrations, and other organizations. Thus, the networking of services is an interorganizational matter that requires dedicated mechanisms like the discovery of services, their dynamic composition, quality control, accounting, trust management, and many more.

Research Map


The group on Service-centric Networking at Telekom Innovation Laboratories and Technische Universität Berlin is aiming at the investigation and development of innovative methods, technologies, and platforms for the deployment, operation, and interconnection of services in a global and ubiquitous Internet as well as in other communications networks like ad hoc systems. To cope with the complexity of this topic, research work is structured, organized, and conducted according to the research map shown in the figure on the right. This map comprises different viewpoints, each of which reflecting a certain aspect of research on Service-centric Networking. These viewpoints and associated topics and goals are briefly described in the following:

Application Domains

The viewpoint of application domains covers existing and future application scenarios for Service-centric Networking, identifies target groups, and derives their requirements on underlying services and service infrastructures. Examples of application domains are electronic commerce, telematics, and health care, as well as according subcategories. One of our goals in this context is to bridge the gap between ermerging technologies and their mass market introduction by applying the concepts of service orientation and networking. For that purpose, we are working on the detection and cultivation of new application scenarios and the support of existing ones. The stimuli for new scenarios might be the result of a creative process (for example, the idea for a new business model), a social or economic development (for example, ageing of the population), the emergence of a new technology (for example, Galileo positioning or femto cells), or a combination of these and other stimuli.

Service Concepts and Paradigms

This viewpoint deals with research and development on new concepts and paradigms that result from the emergence of new key technologies and that foster the service-oriented networking of future Internet applications. Examples are Location-based Services and Ubiquitous Computing, which benefit from the availability of GPS and other positioning systems as well as emerging sensor and actor technologies. Other topics include, but are not limited to Web X.0, Service-oriented Architectures (SOA), as well as subareas of Cloud Computing, i.e., Infrastructure, Platform, and Software as a Service (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS). The goal of our research is to develop and establish new service concepts and to refine and evaluate existing ones.

Service Platforms and Functions

This viewpoint considers the realization of service-oriented applications by using software architectures and technologies, components of distributed systems, and middleware approaches. This includes mobile operating systems like Android, protocols for client/server or peer-to-peer operation, platforms like the IP Multimedia Subsystem, as well as mashup services like GoogleMaps and underlying software technologies like AJAX. Our research in this context focuses on a tailored deployment of such technologies, their improvement and further development, and the design and implementation of new platforms and functions if necessary. Another goal is to attain findings about quantitative and qualitative features of service platforms and systems, for example, scalability and robustness.   

Interdisciplinary Research

Service-centric Networking is not a closed research area, but also bothers other areas in computer science like networks, security, and databases. It is also subject in other disciplines, for example, economics or law, which develop business models and incentive schemes for new service scenarios or check the deployment of services against the legal conditions of a country. To cover these aspects, we are aiming at a close cooperation with other disciplines. We consider these activities as an essential basis for the subsequent transfer of research results into real products, and hence they are represented by a dedicated viewpoint on our research map.

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Service-centric Networking
Telekom Innovation Laboratories
TEL 19
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7
10587 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 8353 58811
Fax: +49 30 8353 58409