U-NET '09

A CoNext 2009 workshop


U-NET '09 — User-provided Networking: Challenges and Opportunities

The organizing committee is delighted to invite you to U-NET '09, co-located with CoNEXT 2009 in Rome, Italy.


This workshop is dedicated to the debate of concepts, challenges, and opportunities concerning user-provided networking, i.e., scenarios where users cooperate by sharing wireless resources as well as Internet services. To provide a specific example that relates to Internet access (connectivity), the end-user (or a community of end-users) is a micro-operator in the sense that he/she shares his/her subscribed broadband Internet access based on some form of incentive scheme. In addition, the end-user may or may not provide other network functionality such as local mobility management, or persistent storage and forwarding services. This new role is disruptive in what concerns Internet service models, since there is no distinction between what is today known as end-user device and network device: in the future, end-user devices will actively participate as part of the network. In contrast, the Internet has been up to now mostly the means for end-users to obtain some form of network service, originally related to connectivity, person-to-person communication, or information retrieval. Such user-centric provider role is also disruptive given that the regular network boundaries of trust have to be extended in a way that should mimic social behavior: there is the need to form networks of trust in order to accommodate a robust network growth, given that the key to such growth is the willingness to cooperate.

Another disruptive aspect of user-provided networking is that due to the nature of the wireless media and the way that humans move, support for intermittent connectivity as well as fast and transparent roaming between micro-operators needs to be considered. Finally, and given that user-provided networking spreads dynamically having as network elements regular end-user devices, there is the need to consider cases where information is opportunistically relayed instead of routed based on topological information.

Due to the disruptive aspects mentioned, user-provided networking seem to have the potential to provide a paradigm shift in Internet communication models, given that such novel functionality allow wireless networks to operate in a completely autonomic way and also given that the end-user becomes a provider of Internet services (e.g. connectivity) based upon cooperation incentives or rewards and based upon his/her own mobility and social patterns. Services are established on the fly, and do not necessarily imply the use of multihop technology or routing. For instance, connectivity may be, in most cases, simply relayed.

The workshop program will include presentations of peer-reviewed papers and a discussion panel with guests from industry and academia. We envision U-NET as a forum aiming to ignite a debate concerning technical challenges and impact (negatively or positively) that user-provided networking may have on Internet communication models.


U-NET'09 solicits high quality technical contributions within the context of user-provided networking. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

Papers submitted are expected to be highly innovative and may incorporate early stage ideas; position papers (clearly identified as such) pointing to new directions and capable of generating discussion are also welcome. Submission must be original and not already published in any other conference proceeding or journal. Proceedings of the workshop will be published in the ACM Digital Library.

Technical Panel Discussion

U-NET'09 aims to be a forum to debate the technical challenges and impact of deploying user-provided networking technology. For this propose, this first edition of U-NET will host a technical discussion panel constituted by:


Submitted papers must be at most 6 (six) pages long (including figures, tables and references) in the standard ACM double column format. All text must use font sizes of 10 points or larger. Longer submissions will not be reviewed. The review process is single-blind. Submissions will be done via EDAS at http://edas.info/N7753.

Important Dates

Submissions dueJuly 17, 2009 August 13th, 2009
Notification of acceptanceSeptember 4th, 2009 September 21th, 2009
Camera ready version dueOctober 1st, 2009
Workshop dateDecember 1st, 2009

Program Committee

PC Chairs Paulo Mendes INESC Porto, Portugal
  Olivier Marcé Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, France
Technical Program Committee Rute Sofia INESC Porto, Portugal
  André Zúquete University of Aveiro, Portugal
 Vassilis KostakosUniversity of Madeira, Portugal
 Jon CrowcroftUniversity of Cambridge, United Kingdom
 Cecilia MascoloUniversity of Cambridge, United Kingdom
 Eiko YonekiUniversity of Cambridge, United Kingdom
 Dirk TrossenBritish Telecom Innovate, United Kingdom
 Prosper ChemouilFrance Telecom, France
 Martin MayThomson Paris Research Laboratory, France
 Karen SollinsMIT, USA
 Lixia ZhangUCLA, USA
 James KempfEricsson Research, USA
 Dipankar RaychaudhuriRutgders University, USA
 Bernhard PlattnerETH, Switzerland
 George PolyzosAthens University of Economics and Business, Greece
 Maria PapadopouliFORTH/University of Creete, Greece
 Anand PrasadNEC, Japan
 Gunnar KarlssonKTH, Sweden
 Yevgeni KoucheryavyTampere University of Technology, Finland
 Marcus BrunnerNEC, Germany
 Petri MähönenRWTH Aachen University, Germany