Section: Overall Objectives
Scientific methodology
It is worth noting that working on these new architectures can be tackled from different perspectives, e.g. data management, protocol design, middleware, algorithmic design... Our main objective in Maracas is to address this problem from a communication theory perspective. Our background in communication theory includes information theory, estimation theory, learning and signal processing. Our strategy relies on three fundamental and complementary research axes:

Mathematical modeling: information theory is a powerful framework suitable to evaluate the limits of complex systems and relies on probability theory. We will explore new bounds for complex networks (multiobjective optimization, large scale, complex channels,...) in association with other tools (stochastic geometry, queuing theory, learning,...)

Algorithmic design: a number of theoretical results obtained in communication theory, despite their high potential are still far from a practical use. We will thus work on exploiting new algorithmic techniques. Back and forth efforts between theory and practice is necessary to identify the most promising opportunities. The key elements are related to the exploitation of feedbacks, signaling and decentralized decisions. Machine learning algorithms will be explored.

Experimentation and crosslayer approach: theoretical results and simulation are not enough to provide proofs of concept. We will continue to put efforts on experimental works either on our own (e.g. FIT/CorteXlab and SILECS) or in collaboration with industries (Nokia, Orange, Thalès,...) and other research groups.
While our expertise is mostly related to the optimization of wireless networks from a communication perspective, the project of Maracas is to broaden our scope in the context of Computing Networks, where a challenging issue is to optimize jointly architectures and applications, and to break the classical network/data processing separation. This will drive us to change our initial positioning and to really think in terms of informationcentric networks following, e.g. [60], [58], [66].
To summarize, Computing Networks can be described as highly distributed and dynamic systems, where information streams consist in a huge number of transient data flows from a huge number of nodes (sensors, routers, actuators, etc...) with computing capabilities at the nodes. These Computing Networks are nothing but the invisible nonetheless necessary skeleton of cloud and fogcomputing based services.
Our research strategy is to describe these Computing Networks as complex large scale systems in an information theory framework, but in association with other tools, such as stochastic geometry, stochastic network calculus, game theory [19] or machine learning.
The multiuser communication capability is a central feature, to be tackled in association with other concepts and to assess a large variety of constraints related to the data (storage, secrecy,...) or related to the network (energy, selfhealing,...).
The information theory literature or more generally the communication theory literature is rich of appealing techniques dedicated to efficient multiuser communications: e.g. physical layer network coding, amplifyandforward, fullduplexing, coded caching at the edge, superposition coding. But despite their promising performance, none of these technologies play a central role in current protocols. The reasons are twofold : i) these techniques are usually studied in an oversimplified theoretical framework which neglect many practical aspects (feedback, quantization,...), and that is not able to tackle large scale networks and ii) the proposed algorithms are of a high complexity and are not compatible with the classical multilayer network architecture.
Maracas addresses these questions, leveraging on its past outstanding experience from wireless network design.
The aim of Maracas is to push from theory to practice a fully crosslayer design of Computing Networks , based on multiuser communication principles relying mostly on information theory, signal processing, estimation theory, game theory and optimization. We refer to all these tools under the umbrella of communication theory .
As such, Maracas project goes much beyond wireless networks. The Computing Networks paradigm applies to a wide variety or architectures including wired networks, smart grids, nanotechnology based networks. One Maracas research axis will be devoted to the identification of new research topics or scenarios where our algorithms and mathematical models could be useful.