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Digital Development Technology (DDT)


Digital Development Technology Group

Digital technologies (tools) have revolutionized the ways in which we interact with the world around us and are the critical foundations of a sustainable digital economy. Governments are adopting approaches to incorporating these digital tools into development projects and programs. The goal of the Digital Development Technology group of KEEP is to develop the national and regional capacity to conduct applied research in digital development. Research activities of the group would be organized around the following focus areas:

  1. The Internet of Things (IoT)
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  3. 5G and Beyond Mobile Networks
  4. Blockchain Technology
  5. Big Data Technologies
  6. Photonics and Fiber-Optics Technologies
  7. Wireless Gigabit (WiGig)
  8. Modelling, Simulation and Gaming
  9. Robotics


The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things represents a revolution of the Internet which can connect nearly all devices over the Internet to share their data to create novel services and applications for improving our quality of life. The IoT is an evolution of the Internet which involves both virtual and physical things of our environment, which are in billions.

Members of the unit would work to develop a fundamental understanding and innovative technologies to bridge the gap between the virtual and physical worlds through the seamless connectivity provided by the Internet of Things. Research in this area would focus on

  1. IoT middleware
  2. the design and evaluation of low power wireless networking protocols and platforms for IoT
    1. Research into platforms and protocols would span every aspect of IoT systems, from the edge to the network to the cloud
  3. Integration of IoT and with Blockchain technology


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI generally refers to computer systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. In the Age of Artificial Intelligence, machines will be trained to exhibit human-like behaviour, creating a profound impact on technology and on society AI is propelling research in almost all areas.

Research in this area will focus on 

  1. large-scale machine learning
  2. deep learning
  3. natural language processing
  4. collaborative systems, computer visions, algorithmic game theory and computational social choice. 

The aim would be to apply algorithmic advances to applied problems in a range of areas, including bioinformatics, networking and systems, search and information retrieval.


5G and Beyond Mobile Technologies

5G provides a user- and machine-centric communications where access to information is available anywhere and anytime to anyone and anything, the so-called Networked Society. 5G can be defined by the following scenarios: amazingly fast, great service in a crowd, ubiquitous things communicating, super real-time & reliable connections and best experience follow you. These scenarios introduce challenges such as very high data rate, very low energy, cost and a massive number of devices, very low latency and mobility.

Research in this area focuses on new radio access networks (RAN); high peak rates per subscriber; handle a very large number of simultaneously connected devices; better coverage, outage probability, and latency. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  1. Propagation and channel measurement and modelling for connected cars, trains, ships, and aircraft, especially at new frequency bands
  2. Integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning into new wireless systems solutions and applications for intelligent mobility
  3. MIMO and Massive MIMO for intelligent transportation systems
  4. Physical layer techniques for connected vehicles, public transportation control and signalling
  5. Software-Defined Networking and Network Functions virtualization
  6. Advanced spectrum sharing
  7. Stochastic Geometry


Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology with the capability of maintaining the integrity of transactions by decentralizing the ledger among participating users. Prior to the advent of blockchain technology, managing various activities and actions over the Internet was achieved through a centralized server to guarantee non-repudiation of data. Thus a group of distributed entities could not verify transactions without using a centralized authority. The blockchain increases transparency and reliability by using a probabilistic approach to distribute data among several users of a network.

 The key technical issues that surround the implementation of blockchain technology include throughput, latency, size and bandwidth, security, wasted resources, usability, versioning, hard forks and multiple chains. These form the basis for the current trends in blockchain research. The research will focus on the development of 

  1. New blockchain protocols suitable for wireless, mobile and resource-constrained devices 
  2. Simulated models and algorithms to explore the above issues and propose solutions to them with a strong focus on the integration or adoption of blockchain technologies in the financial, health and governance setups in the country


Big Data Technologies

The advent of the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing have led to the explosive growth of data in almost every industry and business area. Big data is an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using traditional data processing applications. The research paradigm is, with big data, researchers may only need to find or mine from it the required information, knowledge and intelligence. The challenges are how to formulate or quantitatively describe the essential characteristics of the complexity of Big data, how to design processing systems etc. Extracting knowledge and intelligence from data will require various techniques and theories including signal processing, probability theory, machine learning, statistical learning, computer programming, data engineering, pattern recognition, visualization, uncertainty modelling, data warehousing and high-performance computing. Research in this area would be focused on the use of the above techniques and theories in analysing the vast amount of data used by the healthcare, communications, etc sectors. 


Photonics and Fiber Optics Technologies

Optics and photonics are technical enablers for many areas of an economy and therefore central to modern life. New opportunities arising from optics and photonics offer the potential for even greater societal impact in the next few decades, including solar power, high-efficiency lighting, genome mapping, medical devices, and new optical capabilities that will be vital for supporting the continued exponential growth of the Internet.

The focus of research in this area will be

  1. Optical communications
  2. Terahertz/Gegahertz photonics in communication systems
  3. Photonic signal processing
  4. Optoelectronic sensing technology
  5. Fibre – Wireless Integration


Wireless Gigabit (WiGig)

Today’s wireless indoor applications typically use Wi-Fi compliant devices to support wireless network connectivity. Next-generation of wireless technologies is expected to face spectrum scarcity in the frequency band below 10GHz. This is due to the exploding number of users and products, and to the increasing number of indoor data-intensive applications. To cope with the upcoming spectrum scarcity, bandwidth is being sought at millimetre-wave frequencies. This band promises speeds of multi-Gb/s with low latency. WiGig refers to a set of 60 GHz wireless network protocols which allow devices to communicate without wires at multi-gigabit speeds. It enables high-performance wireless data, display and audio applications that supplement the capabilities of previous wireless LAN devices.

Research in this area will focus on 

  1. channel measurement and modelling at 60 GHz
  2. human body shadowing characterization
  3. antennas and arrays for mmWave applications
  4. mmWave RF and Analogue devices and circuits
  5. multi-Gbps digital baseband circuits  



Robotics deals with the design, construction, operation, and use of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. These technologies are used to develop machines that can substitute for humans and replicate human actions. Robotics technology has led to rapid growth in the fields of human-interaction, bio-inspired machines, life-like androids, education, the home and factories.

Research is gradually leaning towards behaviour-based robotics programming, space robotics, standardization of national policies for the use of robots, marine robotics, surgical robots, cloud-based robotics frameworks, cloud robotics as well as the ethics for the design of robots.