chapter  1
- Introduction
Pages 28

A constant drop in computing costs can be observed in consumer markets [113], realized both in terms of cheaper devices with more capabilities at lower prices (e.g. cheaper cellphones, smartphones, tablets more capable than their desktop counterparts five years ago, etc. [85]) and in terms of massive and publicly accessible computing infrastructures (e.g. cloud services, commodity virtual machines, public services, etc. [141]), and this has made pervasive communication and information exchange massively available as well [138]. It has essentially turned computing power into a commodity, available to the industry and individual users alike and at various available scales (from small businesses to large production lines and home applications) [58]. In turn, this trend has shifted the focus of technological evolution to the effective interconnection of widespread communicating computing units, rather than their further evolution, drawing even more attention to the networking aspects of the research and technology of such devices/systems. Of course, this does not mean that research and technological progress in computing resources has diminished. However, the greatest interest of the industrial and research communities has now shifted more towards the exploitation of computing resources, which most frequently involves the Internet and relevant infrastructure/access networks for exploiting the available commodity computational infrastructures. Consequently, it may come as no surprise that the inter-networking issue of computing has emerged as one of the most prominent pillars of the intersection between two relevant fields of science, namely computer science and electrical engineering, the first one covering the computing aspects and the latter the networking aspects of the aforementioned systems.