Over the last years, telecommunications have assumed a central role in our everyday
life and the volume of exchanged traffic has astonishingly increased, causing a growth
of networks in size and complexity. Major telecommunications companies forecast
that such traffic increase will continue, reaching the volume of more than 1000 exabyte/
year by the end of 2015 (T. Theimer, ECOC 2009, Vienna).
In order to tackle such growth, an important recent trend is the integration of fixed and wireless access networks,
leading to so-called fiber-wireless (Fi-Wi) networks. In a Fi-Wi network,
optical fibers support long-distance access with high capacity, whereas wireless links
are adopted to cover the last connection segment to bring the service directly to the
final users. The essential aim of this integration is to get the best of both worlds: the
high capacity offered by optical fiber networks and the mobility and ubiquity offered
by wireless networks. Such integration also grants a critical cost advantage, since
deploying wireless transceivers is in general simpler and less expensive than deploying
optical fibers. Last but not least, the integration offers a convenient way of providing
a backup in case of failing connections.
In Project ROUAN, we aim at developing mathematical programming models for the integrated and robust
design of fixed and wireless components of a Fi-Wi network. As a general theoretical objective, we aim at enlarging the knowledge about Robust
Optimization by investigating the topic of how to construct uncertainty sets using available historical data.