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13 Apr 2023     

HKMU researchers find new way to alleviate wireless network congestion

Researchers at Hong Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU) recently developed an algorithm that significantly improves the performance of wireless network transmission and alleviates network congestion caused by a large number of connected devices. The research findings were published in the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications and have gained wide recognition. Funded by the Research Grants Council’s Faculty Development Scheme, the project won the Excellent Research Publication Award in the HKMU Outstanding Research Publication Award 2022.

The rapid development of wireless networks has enabled the development of smart applications that have revolutionised our lives. Many cutting-edge applications, like ultra-high definition video streaming, virtual reality, smart travel, and even remote surgery can be realised with a wireless network with high efficiency and low latency. However, one problem remains unresolved. Owing to limited bandwidth, when too many devices are connected at the same time, the transmission efficiency of the network inevitably degrades, slowing down internet speed.

To address this problem, a team led by Dr Yaru Fu, Assistant Professor in the School of Science and Technology at HKMU, developed an algorithm to optimise network content caching, recommendation and transmission to minimise the latency of wireless networks. In extensive simulations, the algorithm achieved significantly lower latency and improved the cache hit ratio compared to other algorithms in real-life 5G network scenarios, thus improving the overall performance and efficiency of the wireless network. This encouraging result provides insights into the network industry in developing the next generation of wireless networks.

Dr Fu is dedicated to research in network technology and has also participated in research work in France and Singapore. She has been listed among the world’s top 2% most-cited scientists by Stanford University.

In recent years, 5G applications have become increasingly popular, and many countries have already initiated research on 6G. Dr Fu, who focuses on the development of smart wireless communication technologies, is also working on this. “We’re doing research on integrating networking, storage and computing to solve various problems with 6G mobile communication technology, including network congestion caused by huge data traffic and the need to increase computing power,” she said.

HKMU has been actively promoting applied research. Dr Fu, the Head of the Centre for Research in Advanced Network Technologies under the University’s Institute for Research in Innovative Technology & Sustainability, is working assiduously on nurturing new talent for the University. She said she will try hard to cultivate her colleagues’ interest in scientific research and attract young people with research ability to join the team, thereby promoting a research culture.