Three-way collaborative effort leveraging uOttawa’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) research aims to revolutionize the way Wi-Fi networks worldwide are managed and optimized to vastly improve quality of experience
NetExperience, creator of the first end to end WLAN software and service compatible with Open Wi-Fi, today announced the launch of a cooperative project with researchers from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa, with support from Canadian research organization Mitacs, entitled “Machine Learning-Enhanced Anomaly Detection and Performance Optimization for Enterprise Wi-Fi Networks.” The project is designed to significantly advance the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning when applied to Wi-Fi management.
NetExperience’s platform has been architected to support the Telecom Infra Project’s (TIP) OpenWiFi initiative which disaggregates the software from the hardware, allowing Wi-Fi deployments with multiple hardware vendor’s access points. One of the goals of this approach is to dramatically decrease the cost of deploying Wi-Fi around the world, helping to close the digital divide both domestically and internationally. NetExperience realized early on that AI/ML would be a key technology to achieve the goals of the initiative and has been developing and deploying software algorithms to meet the need of its commercial product.
The University of Ottawa has developed a world class research team in AI enabled wireless networks led by Dr. Melike Erol-Kantarci and Dr. Burak Kantarci. Dr. Erol-Kantarci is Canada Research Chair in AI-enabled Next Generation Wireless Networks and world-wide recognized leader in 5G and 6G communications and network automation. Dr. Burak Kantarci is a prominent scholar in machine learning-backed cybersecurity solutions and he is the founding director of the Smart Connected Vehicles Innovation Centre of the University of Ottawa, first of its kind in Kanata North.
The leadership team of the project includes Marcel Chenier, CTO of NetExperience, a seasoned veteran in telecommunications industry. The project is scheduled to run 24 months with the expectation that much of the advanced algorithmic work will be incorporated into NetExperience’s product in parallel with the research.
“We have been working on AI for our WLAN controller for quite some time and we have been very pleased with the results so far as it is clear that the use of automated detection and correction of issues related to connectivity and performance for Wi-Fi is a critical technology to deploy large scale Wi-Fi networks in diverse environments,” said Marcel Chenier, CTO of NetExperience. “This project with uOttawa will help us to significantly advance this technology so our customers can easily deploy our Wi-Fi solutions worldwide, resulting in vastly improved Quality of Experience for their end users.”
Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for over 20 years. Working with post-secondary institutions, companies, municipalities, hospitals and not-for-profit organizations, as well as federal and provincial governments, Mitacs is dedicated to building partnerships that support innovation in Canada.
“We are very pleased to partner with the University of Ottawa on this project,” said Bernard Herscovici, CEO of NetExperience. “As an alumnus of the University and a current volunteer judge for some of their students projects and ideas, I know how strong their research and expertise is in artificial intelligence and machine learning for wireless networks, so we are very thankful for this help and assistance. Ultimately, we expect this work to further advance NetExperience’s and Canada’s lead in this important area of technology.”
“This is a very compelling project for our team. We have been innovating in the Open RAN space for some time and we have been following the advances in Open Wi-Fi closely. The opportunities that come along with network disaggregation and virtualization allow us to use our machine learning algorithms for designing ultra-fast, ultra-reliable and ultra-low latency networks that can be configured, healed and optimized in a closed-loop,” said Dr. Melike Erol-Kantarci.
“Among other goals of this project, we intend to develop anomaly detection, root cause analysis and performance optimization using machine learning models and deep learning networks with the aim of bringing self-healing features to Wi-Fi,” Dr. Burak Kantarci added. “It’s also great to be working with a local Ottawa company that shares our vision of innovation and excellence in artificial intelligence as applied to wireless networks.”
“The collaboration between NetExperience and the University of Ottawa is an important step toward achieving ubiquitous wi-fi at lower costs,” said Dr. John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs. “As an organization dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship, Mitacs is proud to sponsor this meaningful project and we look forward to working closely with both parties to ensure its success.”
NetExperience is leading the transition to a disaggregated Wi-Fi network. NetExperience Cloud platform allows service providers to integrate WLAN controller and management capabilities into their back office. The platform is compatible with the three key components of the Telecom Infra Project Wi-Fi architecture: CloudSDK, certified open source Access Point software and compatible Access Point hardware. NetExperience is a contributor and co-manager of the TIP open source CloudSDK and Access Point software.
The University of Ottawa—A crossroads of cultures and ideas
The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.
Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions. Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada along with the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon.
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