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Towards Resilient V2X Communications over 5G/6G Networks 

Project Description:  Enabling mission critical communication for vehicular networks can be achieved by exploiting 5G and 6G wireless systems. However, given that such systems are primarily designed with high rate services in mind (e.g., multimedia), ensuring continuous availability of the communication link for V2X communication is a major challenge. 

The goal of the first year of this project is to explore the use of resilience as a metric for guaranteeing the operation of V2X links under different dynamics of the environment. This will create a seed for the next year of this project that can exploit the developed fundamentals to investigate other avenues like integrated sensing and communications. 

  • Resilient Communications Fundamentals: 5G and 6G networks may rely on high-frequency bands to provide high-speed wireless access for V2X. High-frequency bands can potentially be intermittent due to factors such as blockage and fading. This susceptibility to signal blockage and low signal-to-interference ratio is also a challenge at low frequency bands. While 3GPP has advocated for providing ultra-reliable wireless communications for 5G mission-critical systems, this design, centered on reliability – which requires continuous availability of a communication link – has proven to be difficult to achieve in the real world due to the challenges of the wireless channel. In contrast, it may be more apropos to design resilient communication links that can quickly recover from failures (unintentional or intentional). This includes failures due to cybersecurity breaches. Despite significant research in this space in fields such as cyber-physical systems, to date, the very definition of resilience in cellular networks, in general, and V2X networks, in particular remains ambiguous. 

  • In this research task, we will explore for the first time the fundamentals of resilience for wireless networks, in general, and connected autonomy systems (V2X or drones), in particular. We will develop new metrics for resilience and analyze the performance achievable by a wireless systems in terms of those new metrics, while contrasting them to classical standardization metrics like reliability. 

  • Optimization of resilience in V2X systems: Once metrics are defined, the next step is to optimize the overall operation of the system to enhance resilience under various intentional and non-intentional failures, including cybersecurity threats like jamming. In particular, the goal here will be to study how to design the cross-layer communication mechanisms, from beamforming to network resource management in a way to meet the resilience needs of V2X systems, as quantified in the first task. This task will potentially explore machine learning (ML) techniques to deal with complex optimization problems, and to ensure adaptation of the system to large-scale dynamics. 

US DOT Priorities:  This research project directly targets the US DOT’s research priority area of Reducing Transportation Cybersecurity Risks. We will focus on how we can instill resilience into the V2X system by design, and we will showcase how one can turn the needed “knobs” in the wireless system to meet broad resilience goals. Since resilience of communication systems is central to the operation of any transportation system, this project will be germane to many DOT initiatives. 

Outputs:  In this jumpstart project, we will develop and provide: 

  • Determine how resilience of V2X systems and more generally cellular systems can be quantified for 5G/6G use cases, 

  • Design a novel framework for optimizing the resilience of V2X systems through control of the resources and network functions 

We expect interest in this research from 5G/6G providers as well as broad DoT stakeholders interested in exploring cellular systems for V2X, and we will actively encourage those on CARNATIONS External Advisory Board to contribute feedback and collaborate throughout the effort.  

Outcomes/Impacts:   

The key output will be a set of metrics for evaluating the resilience of V2X networks over 5G/6G networks, as well as algorithms for optimizing overall performance. 

Final Research Report: (Upon completion of the project we will a provide link to the final report.)  

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