MACHINE is a research project fully managed by i2CAT Foundation and developed in cooperation with research groups from three Catalan universities: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), BarcelonaTech, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and Universitat Ramon Llull (URL).MACHINE addresses key research in the field of future networking. The project embraces different expertise on communication networks, including fixed optical networks, wireless networks, and media services and applications. Therefore, it tries to explore the future technologies that will drive future communication from the lowest layer up to the user applications.


The main innovation relates to the scope of the project itself. The project explores the Internet technologies from the low communication layers up to the application layer.

The project is divided into four work packages according to these different areas of expertise:

WP1: Optical Networks

Within the area of optical communications we can find two separate but complementary working trends and they have as a main goal the design and implementation of several network devices to be integrated into the current network infrastructure of i2CAT:

  • A smart transport network with Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer (OADM) semi-reconfigurable nodes and a Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS) control plane that will facilitate the interconnection of different optical networks through these nodes. On a second stage of this project, reconfigurable OADM (ROADM) nodes are developed allowing a more flexible and dynamic optical routing.
  • An optical burst switching (OBS) network testbed including edge and core routers.
WP2: Application

This work package tackles the topic of media streaming applications at different quality levels, from the low definition typical in devices with limited resources, to standard high definition (HD) used on high-end TV sets. As a final result, the project envisions the integration of the project output with the e-RUC application, previously deployed in former projects.

Within the foremost tasks to focus in this work package we can find the following topics:

  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) techniques for distribution and resources discovery.
  • Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) signaling adoption for mobility, security, heterogeneous environments and peer-to-peer.
  • Advanced content customization services.
  • Advanced techniques for contents adaptation and transcoding.
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) for streaming, including transcoding and content delivery authorization.
  • Security: optimization of encryption and decryption techniques for streaming, authentication optimization, access and audit authorization in real time.
WP3: Videoconference

Work Package 3 includes real time video services and videoconference onto the existing i2CAT platform. In order to achieve such a goal, SIP is chosen as the signaling protocol due to its increasing popularity of this protocol. SIP standardization is developed by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and adopted by other standards development organizations. SIP makes a distinction between data plane and signaling plane.The results obtained are expected to be integrated into the e-RUC application, based on peer-to-peer, together with other high definition video systems, such as Digital Video Transport System (DVTS) and UltraGrid.

WP4: Sensors and Ad-Hoc Networks

Over the last years, Internet has advanced not only towards higher data bandwidth but also towards more ubiquity. Sensors networks help on building up this concept where the Internet is accessible from a wider range of objects of diverse typology.This work package intends the implementation of different protocols for ad-hoc and sensors networks to be compared. In order to accomplish this, a wireless node is developed and implemented using a IPv6 protocols stack and a group of autoconfiguration capabilities. A major part of the work implied is related with the IETF working group known as IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPAN), which defines the required protocol stack for sensors networks or reduced power consumption personal area networks.


Globally, this project advances in some key technological areas considered strategic by i2CAT. The research nature of the project also envisions returns at a longer term due to using a more experimental development of yet uncovered technologies by the industry. Donat l’us del desenvolupament més experimental de tecnologies que Regarding the first work package of the project, the results of the project are a network of ROADMS controlled through a GMPLS control plane. With respect to OBS, a complete design and implementation on FPGA of an OBS network testbed was realized. All nodes can operate both as edge and core routers. Work package 2 develops concepts linked to streaming over peer-to-peer distribution networks, for instance, making use of JXTA as the means to automatically discover available services, the remote control of media through SIP, or the content adaptation systems based on MPEG21 and P2P.The outcome from work package three is the development of an MCU with support for high quality media flows, the development a compatible SIP client and a distributed SIP registry over a structured P2P overlay based on distributed hash tables (DHT).Finally, the last work package demonstrates the possibilities that a sensor-based network can have in terms of collecting data, decision-making and giving commands on environments that until now lacked automatic capabilities, in particular due to cost issues.


The research groups involved in the project are:

  • The Optical Networks Group (GXO) of BAMPLA at UPC, led by Cristina Cervelló.
  • The Optical Communications Group (GCO) at UPC, led by Gabriel Junyent.
  • The Wireless Network Group (WNG) at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), BarcelonaTech, led by Josep Paradells.
  • The Media Team (MEDIAENTEL) of the Design and Evaluation of Broadband Networks and Service (BAMPLA) research group at UPC, led by Jesus Alcober.
  • The Laboratory of Calculation of the Informatics School (LCFIB) at UPC, led by Rosa M. Martín.
  • The Distributed Multimedia Applications Group (DMAG) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), led by Jaime Delgado.
  • The Audiovisual and Multimedia Technologies (TAM) group at Universitat Ramon Llull (URL), led by Gabriel Fernández.