European group to define cognitive network management

Article By : Julien Happich

ETSI's Experiential Network Intelligence specifications group is aiming for a network management architecture that will use AI to adjust services to suit user needs and environmental conditions.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has formed the industry specification group Experiential Network Intelligence (ISG ENI), which aims to define a cognitive network management architecture based on the “observe-orient-decide-act” control model.

The new network management architecture will use AI techniques and context-aware policies to adjust offered services based on changes in user needs, environmental conditions and business goals. The system is experiential, in that it learns from its operation and from decisions given to it by operators to improve its knowledge of how to act in the future.

It is anticipated such an AI-assisted approach will help operators automate their network configuration and monitoring processes, thereby reducing their operational expenditure and improving the use and maintenance of their networks.

Operators see human-machine interaction as slow, error-prone, expensive and cumbersome. Programming different devices and building agile, personalised services makes it increasingly complex to integrate different standardised platforms in their network and operational environment. These human-machine interaction challenges are considered by operators as barriers to reducing the time to market of innovative and advanced services. They also lack an efficient and extensible standards-based mechanism to provide contextually-aware services (e.g., services that adapt to changes in user needs, business goals or environmental conditions).

“The unique added value of the ETSI ISG ENI approach is to define new metrics to quantify the operator’s experience; this enables the optimisation and adjustment of the operator’s experience over time, taking advantage of machine learning and reasoning,” said Ray Forbes, convenor of ETSI ISG ENI.

The group’s work will include the requirements of the operator’s experience in and across legacy and virtualised networks including 5G networks, and a model-driven architecture that supports adaptive and intelligent service operation through Cognitive Network Management. Different types of policies will be reviewed to drive adaptive behavioural changes using various AI mechanisms. Existing mechanisms will be augmented and improved by using the networked intelligence defined by the ENI system.

This new group will drive innovative technologies in network telemetry, big data mechanisms to gather appropriate data at the right speed and scale, and machine learning for intelligent analysis. Innovative policy-based, model-driven functionality will also be needed to simplify and scale complex device configuration and monitoring.

The first meeting of the ISG ENI will take place at the ETSI premises in Sophia Antipolis, France, on 10-11 April 2017.

This article first appeared on EE Times Europe.

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