You are here

Scope of FIGS

During the last 20 years, Internet has grown phenomenally from a modest network providing connectivity between computer laboratories to a global network reaching over 1 billion users. The growth is expected to continue, with most of the next billion users accessing the Net wirelessly. At the same time, the characteristics that originally propelled the Internet to its steep ascent, namely its openness to new innovations and its reliance on the so-called end-to-end principle are becoming its major weaknesses. Unwanted traffic such as viruses, denial-of-service attacks, and identity theft are signs of the stress. The tussles between content owners and IT companies give another alarm of the need to re-engineer the Net to match its scale and use patterns.

The technical research challenges posed are immense because of the scale of the Net and its content. However, what gives Future Internet research its intellectual depth is its multi-disciplinary nature, including economical, social, legal, and behavioural issues delineating Net’s acceptability and use. For instance, unwanted traffic is fundamentally an economical problem: sending traffic to any address is simple and cheap, whereas protecting oneself from unwanted traffic is complex and expensive.

The challenge of Future Internet research has been recognised worldwide. In Finland, Future Internet is one of the four programmes in the newly established Strategic Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology and Innovation in ICT (ICT SHOK, coordinated by Tivit Oy), combining the coordinated efforts of leading industrial companies with top academic research groups.

The Future Internet Graduate School complements this effort by educating scientists who can contribute to Future Internet research based on deep technical competence combined with equally deep understanding of the socio-economical issues. Thus, we aim to recruit not only engineers, but also economists, social scientists, behavioural scientists, and designers. An essential goal of the programme is for all students to be able to understand each other’s work and comment critically on it, despite their basic education.