Journal of ICT Standardization

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 2245-800X / 2246-0853
Published by: River Publishers (10.13052)
Total articles ≅ 145
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Péter Szilágyi
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 159–200-159–200; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.926

Abstract:
Intent based network management reduces the complexity of network programming from a growing set of deeply technical APIs to context-free high-level objectives that the network should autonomously achieve and keep. The practical implementation of an intent based network requires substantial automation technology embedded in the network. Automation should cover the entire lifecycle of intents, from their ingestion to fulfillment and assurance. This article investigates the feasibility of automatically assembling interworking implementation units into intent specific automation pipelines, where units are reusable self-learning closed loop micro-services with self-declared capabilities. Each closed loop may gain knowledge and respond to dynamically changing network conditions, thereby enabling network autonomy in reaching the declared intent objectives. The human-network intent interface for expressing intents is proposed to be based on the aggregation of the deployed network and service automation capabilities, rather than a formalism decoupled from the actual network implementation. This principle removes the ambiguity and compatibility gap between human intent definition and machine intent fulfillment, while retaining the flexibility and extendibility of the intents offered by any specific system via onboarding additional micro-services with novel capabilities. The concepts discussed by the article fit into the architecture and closed loop work items already defined by ETSI ZSM and provides considerations towards new areas such as intent driven autonomous networks and enablers for automation.
Biswadeb Dutta, Andreas Krichel, Marie-Paule Odini
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 147–158-147–158; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.925

Abstract:
With ever increasing complexity and dynamicity in digital service provider networks, especially with the emergence of 5G, operators seek more automation to reduce the cost of operations, time to service and revenue of new and innovative services, and increase the efficiency of resource utilization, Complex algorithms leveraging ML (machine learning) are introduced, often with the need for frequent training as the networks evolve. Inference is then applied either in the core directly, or in the management stack to trigger actions and configuration changes automatically. This is the essence of Zero Touch. The challenge that analysts are often faced with is to trace back from the inference or prediction to the original events or symptoms that led to the triggered action, which ML model version or pipeline was used. This paper describes the challenges faced by analysts and provides some solutions.
Antonio Pastor, , Jose Ordonez-Lucena, Sonia Fernández, Jesús Folgueira
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 291–310-291–310; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.9210

Abstract:
The essential propellant for any closed-loop management mechanism is data related to the managed entity. While this is a general evidence, it becomes even more true when dealing with advanced closed-loop systems like the ones supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI), as they require a trustworthy, up-to-date and steady flow of state data to be applicable. Modern network infrastructures provide a vast amount of disparate data sources, especially in the multi-domain scenarios considered by the ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) Zero Touch Network and Service Management (ZSM) framework, and proper mechanisms for data aggregation, pre-processing and normalization are required to make possible AI-enabled closed-loop management. So far, solutions proposed for these data aggregation tasks have been specific to concrete data sources and consumers, following ad-hoc approaches unsuitable to address the vast heterogeneity of data sources and potential data consumers. This paper presents a model-based approach to a data aggregator framework, relying on standardized data models and telemetry protocols, and integrated with an open-source network orchestration stack to support their incorporation within network service lifecycles.
Konstantinos Trichias, Panagiotis Demestichas, Nikolaos Mitrou
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 113–146-113–146; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.924

Abstract:
As the first 5G networks are being deployed across the world, new services enabled by the superior performance of 5G in terms of throughput, latency and reliability are emerging. Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) services are perhaps among the most demanding applications that 5G networks will have to support and their deployment, performance and potential for improvement has been well investigated over the past few years. However, CAM operation in multi-operator environments and the inevitable inter-PLMN handover caused by the inherent mobility of CAM services have not been studied in length. Moreover, the multiple domains, multi-vendor components and inherent high mobility of the cross-border vehicular environment, introduce multiple challenges in terms of network management and dynamic slicing, making Zero-touch network and Service Management (ZSM) solutions an attractive alternative for these environments. The work presented in this study attempts to analyse the requirements for cross-border CAM operation for the five main CAM use cases selected by 3GPP, based on input from key European stakeholders (Network Operators, vendors, Automotive Manufacturers etc.). A detailed analysis and categorization into four categories of the main challenges for cross-border CAM service provisioning is performed, namely Telecommunication, Application, Security/Privacy and Regulatory issues, while potential solutions based on existing and upcoming technological enablers are discussed for each of them. The role of standardization and relevant regulatory and administrative bodies is analysed, leading to insights regarding the most promising future research directions in the field of cross-border CAM services.
Mehdi Bezahaf, Stephen Cassidy, , , , Charalampos Rotsos
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 229–256-229–256; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.928

Abstract:
As corporate networks continue to expand, the technologies that underpin these enterprises must be capable of meeting the operational goals of the operators that own and manage them. Automation has enabled the impressive scaling of networks from the days of Strowger. The challenge now is not only to keep pace with the continuing huge expansion of capacity but at the same time to manage a huge increase in complexity – driven by the range of customer solutions and technologies. Recent advances in automation, programmable network interfaces, and model-driven networking will provide the possibility of closed-loop, self-optimizing, and self-healing networks. Collectively these support the goals of a truly automated network, commonly understood as “autonomic networking” even though this is a prospect yet to be achieved. This paper outlines the progress made towards autonomic networking and the framework and procedures developed during the UK Next Generation Converged Digital Infrastructure (NG-CDI) project. It outlines the operator-driven requirements and capabilities that have been identified, and proposes an autonomic management framework, and summarizes current art and the challenges that remain.
Paul Harvey, Alexandru Tatar, Pierre Imai, Leon Wong, Laurent Bringuier
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 201–228-201–228; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.927

Abstract:
The communication networks of today can greatly benefit from autonomous operation and adaptation, not only due to the implicit cost savings, but also because autonomy will enable functionalities that are infeasible today. Across industry, academia and standardisation bodies there has been an increased interest in achieving the autonomous goal, but a path on how to attain this goal is still unclear. In this paper we present our vision for the future of autonomous networking. We introduce the concepts and technological means to achieve autonomy and propose an architecture which emerges directly through the application of these concepts, highlighting opportunities and challenges for standardisation. We argue that only a holistic architecture based on hierarchies of hybrid learning, functional composition, and online experimental evaluation is expressive and capable enough to realise true autonomy within communication networks.
, Magnus Buhrgard, János Harmatos, Swarup Kumar Mohalik, Dinand Roeland,
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 257–290-257–290; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.929

Abstract:
Closed loops are key enablers for automation that have been successfully used in many industries for long, and more recently for computing and networking applications. The Zero-touch network and service management (ZSM) framework introduced standardized components that allow the creation, execution, and governance of multiple closed loops, enabling zero-touch management of end-to-end services across different management domains. However, the coordinated and optimal instantiation and operation of multiple closed loops is an open question that is left for implementation by the ZSM specifications. In this paper, we propose a methodology that uses intents as a way of communicating requirements to be considered by autonomous management domains to coordinate hierarchies of closed loops. The intent-driven methodology facilitates hierarchical and peer interactions for delegation and escalation of intents. Furthermore, it extends the existing management capabilities of the ZSM framework and facilitates conflict-free integration of closed loops by setting optimal (and non-conflicting) goals that each closed loop in the hierarchy needs to account for. We show an example of the application of the proposed methodology in a network slicing assurance use case. The new capabilities introduced in this paper can be considered as an extension of the ZSM framework to be used in scenarios where multiple intent-driven closed loops exist.
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 91–112-91–112; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.923

Abstract:
Autonomous management capability is the main pillar for paving Zero-touch Networks and efficiently deliver and operate use cases under the light of 5G requirements. To this end, Closed Control Loop (CCL), Intent-Based Networking (IBN), and Machine Learning (ML) are regarded as enablers to automatically executed all operational processes, ideally without human intervention. In this context, the ETSI Zero-touch network and Service Management (ZSM) framework specifies an end-to-end network and service management reference architecture for managing the full lifecycle of services. However, the whole process of service monitoring is not yet well-consolidated in ETSI ZSM. In this work, we propose the Monitoring Model Generator (MMG) component to automatically construct templates for service monitoring. MMG implements a novel methodology where service deployment models and standard information models are used as inputs to generate a high-level monitoring template, called Service Monitoring Model (SMM) and built upon an ontology-based schema based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF) vocabulary. We present a proof of concept implementation along with an experimental functional validation of the MMG and using RDF data in turtle syntax and format. The resulting monitoring models are then used to define actual monitoring KPIs and construct management policies in a control loop architecture.
Xiaoting Huang, Takahito Yoshizawa, Sheeba Backia Mary Baskaran
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 61–78-61–78; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.921

Abstract:
The 5G system introduces multiple new authentication mechanisms. The initial 5G specification in 3GPP Release 15 defines the initial security solution including primary and secondary authentication. Further enhancements and additional security features are added in Release 16; some of them introduce new types of authentication. As a result, the scope and meaning of ‘authentication’ has expanded. This is a new trend in the 5G system as it introduces new concepts that did not exist in the preceding generation systems. One such example is the slice authentication for which the authentication is performed at the network slice level. As a result, the authentication mechanisms become more complex. This paper clarifies the details of each of these different authentication mechanisms.
Karthikeyan Ganesan, Prateek Basu Mallick, Joachim Löhr
Journal of ICT Standardization pp 79–90-79–90; https://doi.org/10.13052/jicts2245-800x.922

Abstract:
3GPP is currently studying enhancements to Sidelink (SL) operations for 5G New Radio (NR) in a Release 17 Work Item which is planned to be finished by end of 2021. The NR Sidelink (SL) Work Item in Release 17 includes several key features targeting reliability enhancements, power saving and coverage enhancements by expanding the scope of NR sidelink to target V2X, commercial D2D use-case and Public safety. This paper provides an insight on the current 3GPP Release 17 NR SL design describing necessary enhancements in the physical, protocol layer to support inter-UE coordination message for reliability enhancement for autonomous resource selection procedure by providing feedback on the half-duplex, persistent collision and hidden nodes. In addition, the power saving feature is addressed by introducing a SL DRX mechanism for the PC5 interface which defines active reception and transmission periods between a TX and the peer Rx UE(s) and also between Tx UE and gNB. Furthermore, this paper outlines details on the Sidelink Relay feature for coverage enhancement by describing possible solutions for UE to Network relay and UE to UE relay.
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