SMARTECH aims to enhance the energy efficiency of the future wireless networks by proposing algorithms and models for different communication layers. In this context, the main directions of the Department are: i) design of energy efficient dynamic and massive network slicing solutions with zero touch configuration and ii) deployment of novel energy efficient techniques for future key vertical applications, including smart grid, content and media delivery as well as deployment of an experimental framework for 5G-ready vertical services.

The explosive demand for higher data rates tailored to human type communications (HTC) combined with the ever-increasing demand for remote yet timely monitoring, control and reconfiguration of cyber-physical infrastructures supporting our everyday life and working routine, have led to the development of the 5th generation (5G) mobile network. 5G will be a flexible and adaptive ICT ecosystem, capable of allocating resources and creating services on-the-fly to support various vertical stakeholders and guarantee their diverse performance requirements. Research and innovation actions targeting to the development of 5G enabling technologies have set ambitious societal, business and performance objectives, using measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that should be met under specific use cases spanning the manufacturing, automotive, media, energy, e-health, public safety and smart city industries.

However, the existing network infrastructure is incapable of satisfying the extreme technical requirements that are required by the vertical sectors. A first step to overcome this dominant issue is the European roadmap for a holistic stakeholder-driven 5G ecosystem that manages and orchestrates communication, computational and storage resources by one highly-distributed, scalable, and self-configured system. Nevertheless, to ensure the unique vertical requirements, a network operator would in principle have to invest in new infrastructures that are specifically configured to cope with the intricacies of each among several vertical applications. As this is neither commercially viable nor efficient in terms of resource management and utilization, network slicing has been adopted as a crucial next step to allow both coexistence of highly diverse tenants and services in perceived isolation, and the efficient management of shared resources among them. Nevertheless, while this approach dictates the need for an efficient network management system, network management under the network slicing approach has had limited functionalities and faces considerable challenges, that remain to be addressed.

The slice-based network management concept generates a set of challenges related to scalability, security, automation in management of heterogeneous resources (e.g., communication, computational and storage), as well as to energy efficiency without sacrificing performance.

In that framework, the main objectives of the SMARTECH Department are:

  • To investigate innovative distributed management plane to support massive deployment of network slices.
  • To explore modeling and performance evaluation of Dynamic Network Slicing solutions.
  • To exploit zero touch network configuration
  • To design Energy Efficient Management for 5G and Beyond networks
  • To develop custom made software evaluation tools and experimental testing platforms for the validation of the proposed protocols and algorithms as well as of 5G-ready applications.