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WAND Computer Networks Group

Matthew Luckie, Tony McGregor, Richard Nelson

Computer networks, including the internet, are having an ever-increasing impact on everyday life. Computer networks come in many shapes and sizes. The internet is the largest man made structure, while bluetooth networks may cover just a desktop. The WAND group is the department's computer networks research group.

One major focus of the WAND group is developing high performance networks. This work starts with designing and building measurement tools and techniques to study real networks. The data obtained from measurement can be used directly for management or used to build simulation models and perform detailed analysis of a range of possible scenarios perhaps including networks that can not currently be built. The WAND group is also developing visualisation software to display network traffic and aid in understanding the behaviour of measured networks and simulations. The group has a large test bed network for emulating real networks. This is used for development of tools and protocols, verification of our simulations and for testing new network devices.

Another major focus of the group is long distance wireless networks. The main project in this area is looking at connecting rural communities using low cost wireless technologies. Aspects of this work include developing network management systems, developing new routing algorithms and designing hardware including wireless NIC cards. As a part of this work the group has built wireless networks connecting rural schools and communities in the Waikato and Te Urewera National Park areas. Networks have also been built in the Pacific Islands and rural South Africa. The group is also embarking on a rapid deploy project looking at how wireless networks can be deployed in a matter of hours using minimal levels of expertise for disaster recovery and also for special events.

Further details on the group can be found at: wand.net.nz