Architecting a knowledge-defined 5G-enabled
network infrastructure toward the upcoming digital society
January 2018 – December 2020
Leaving the current 4th generation of mobile communications behind, 5G will represent a disruptive paradigm shift integrating 5G Radio Access Networks (RANs), ultra-high capacity access/metro/core optical networks and intra-datacenter network and computational resources into a single converged 5G network infrastructure. Thanks to an extensive deployment of network virtualization techniques leveraged by Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies, such a 5G network infrastructure will have to be capable of inter-connecting anything (people, things, processes, contents, etc.) anywhere, no matter the geographic location, and over a set of network services truly meeting their diverse communication requirements (e.g., in terms of bandwidth, latency, reliability, etc.). Furthermore, these network services will have to be orchestrated end-to-end over several network and IT resource segments with high scalability, dynamicity and reactivity upon unexpected traffic and resource state changes, all this in an energy-efficient fashion.
The present coordinated project proposal ALLIANCE ambitiously aims at architecting, from top to bottom, a converged 5G-enabled network infrastructure satisfying those needs to effectively realize the envisioned upcoming Digital Society. Joining the long expertise of two multidisciplinary research teams, ALLIANCE will investigate the appropriateness of several networking solutions for 5G, such as SDN/NFV on top of an ultrahigh capacity spatially and spectrally flexible all-optical network infrastructure, or the OpenOverlayRouter (OOR) and the clean-slate Recursive Inter-Network Architecture (RINA) over packet networks, including access, metro, core and datacentre networks. Evaluation activities will not only consist of theoretical and simulation-based results, but also experimental activities over representative network test-beds implementing the aforementioned networking solutions for 5G, as a way to completely assess their performance in real network scenarios. ALLIANCE relies on cognitive QoE-driven management and orchestration, which optimises level service quality without network resource over-provisioning. In particular, an ambitious goal of the ALLIANCE proposal is to design and implement a Knowledge-Defined Networking (KDN)-based orchestration layer, implementing Deep learning (DL) techniques toward optimal end-to-end service provisioning. Last but not least, on the RAN segment, efforts will also be devoted in ALLIANCE to investigate on novel graphene mmWave-THz antenna systems for their potential use in 5G, as well as protocols for applications like Wireless Network on Chip (WNoC).
As a final coordinated task, some of the prototypes developed by the two ALLIANCE sub-projects will be integrated in an proof-of-concept, which will demonstrate the feasibility and functionality of the 5G-enabled ALLIANCE network infrastructure, and its composing networking solutions