Existing wireless networks are inherently hardware-based and rely on closed and inflexible architectures that delay the adoption of new wireless networking technologies. It is challenging to control large-scale networks of heterogeneous devices with diverse capabilities and hardware. On the other hand, software-defined radios provide a vast degree of flexibility, though they often lack appropriate abstractions to enable prototyping of complex networking schemes based on cross-layer interactions. 
The notion of software-defined networking (SDN) has been introduced to simplify network control and to make it easier to introduce and deploy new applications and services compared to classical hardware-dependent approaches.
Technology Overview
This technology presents a new Wireless Network Operating System (WNOS), a radically different approach to SDN for infrastructure-less wireless networks. WNOS provides the network designer with an abstraction hiding the lower-level details and the distributed nature of the network operations. Based on this abstract representation, the WNOS takes network control programs written on a centralized, high-level view of the network and automatically generates distributed cross-layer control programs based on distributed optimization theory that are executed by each individual node on an abstract representation of the radio hardware.
The architecture contains three key components: network abstraction, automated network control problem decomposition, and programmable protocol stack.
Typically, nodes need to be programmed separately, but with this invention, a central processing unit can send instructions to all the nodes
The technology has a potential to be implemented in next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) to significantly simply the network management, increase spectral efficiency of the IoT.
Key Benefits
- Improved network resource utilization efficiency, simplified network management, reduced operating costs 
- Rapid deployment large scale Internet of Things (IoT) by Service Providers with guaranteed high quality-of-service (QoS), and reduced monetary and labor force investment
Commercial applications
- Large scale Internet of Things (IoT)
- Cellular networks including 5G
- Drones: swarms
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Tommaso Melodia
Zhangyu Guan