19 March 2013

Redesigning the Internet at Essex

Essex academics are involved in a $6.7million EU project, developing a break-through model to transform the internet, improving how it currently works to meet its growing demand.

The project, PURSUIT (Publish Subscribe Internet Technology), uses a ‘publish-and-subscribe’ model involving how to best access content from the Internet. So, when users are looking for a You Tube video on the Internet, for example, rather than going to the server where it’s stored, which could be in another country, the network can look for the name of the video and get it from the best place.

This new model will allow quicker internet access by getting information locally and would cut down spam and computer viruses. Alongside this increased efficiency, users will also be able to have more control over their personal data on the Internet.

Dr Martin Reed from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering is leading the team at Essex, who has £200,000 from the project to carry out the research.

He said: “The Internet today is so big, with so many users, the old model no longer works effectively to allow new services to be introduced. Through this project we have been working to find a way to change this model, which will allow the internet to be controlled and used in a totally new way, consequently making it work faster and more efficiently and be safer for its users.”

Essex has carried out a number of successful demos of what PURSUIT could achieve. The University is also providing the test-bed, network and expertise for the project and is one of eight partners in the project, based across Europe.

This project is part of ongoing research at Essex into making the internet fit for the 21st Century and has many long-term applications which will benefit the public services, health care, elderly care and education, to name a few. In particular by concentrating on the data itself rather than where the data is stored it allows the owner of the data have more control over how it is used.

Notes to Editors

For more information, a demonstration of PURSUIT or to speak to Dr Martin Reed, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.

The University is publicising this research as part of its activities for National Science and Engineering Week to shine the spotlight on how research at Essex makes an impact in addressing global issues. National Science and Engineering Week aims to help inspire the next generation of scientists, and raise awareness of how science, engineering, maths and technology relate to our everyday lives. For more information on other events taking place at the University as part of the week, see: www.essex.ac.uk/news/event.aspx?e_id=5021.

The School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering has an outstanding reputation for high-quality teaching and research in both computer science and electronic engineering and was ranked world leading and Internationally Excellent for its research, in the UK RAE 2008.

For more information about the PURSUIT project, see: www.fp7-pursuit.eu/PursuitWeb.

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