The heterogeneity of current telecommunication access technologies isdramatically increasing the complexity and costs required for the set-up and mainte-nance of the network by service providers, and it is also posing important limitationsin terms of network interoperability from the end-users’ perspectives. For these rea-sons, research on wireless systems has investigated the possibility to deploy wirelessdevices with self-organizing and self-managing capabilities. However, most of theseapproaches limit the re-configuration capabilities to a specific layer (e.g. routing), anddo not investigate the property of reconfiguration of the network as a whole. In thispaper, we propose an alternative architecture (called STEM-Net) for network infras-tructure deployment, extension, and management. In STEM-Net self-organization ismanaged through fully-reconfigurable wireless devices (called stem-nodes), that canundergo mutations to fulfill a specific tasks, like their biological counterpart. In thiswork we present the main characteristics of stem-nodes, and we discuss how their evo-lutionary behaviour can result in an extreme flexibility of the whole network segment,transforming the technological heterogeneity from a limitation to a richness.
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