Chaos as mobile calls jam

December 17, 1999

Staffordshire University researchers are about to throw the phone system into chaos - for the sake of getting a better service.

Engineers in the school of engineering and advanced technology are to apply chaos theory, the branch of mathematics used to explain chaotic systems, to unravel the cordless and confused world of mobile phones.

The university has been awarded a Pounds 100,875 grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to investigate ways to help telephone networks cope with mounting numbers of calls without expanding the infrastructure.

Chaos theory attempts to explain why seemingly simple systems, such as weather and economics, are still so unpredictable. Chaos experts try to find patterns and laws where to non-experts there appears to be only chaos.

A team of researchers, led by Rolando Carrasco, will be using the complex theory to boost the performance of mobile telecommunications systems rather than expanding the networks.

Professor Carrasco said: "The increased use of mobile telephones, ISDN lines, satellite communications, cable networks and other digital communications systems is starting to put an immense strain on existing networks. It is not that these networks are laid on one another, but they speak different digital 'languages' and the complexity grows as you try to move information from one to another.

"We will be using chaos theory in the same way that transport experts have looked at traffic flows to reduce congestion on roads. But instead of following the movement of cars, we are monitoring the flow of information."

The way the team will make sense of digital data is to turn the flow of figures into graphics and images and look at the patterns to see what is happening.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns