Sonata bis "Context-Aware Adaptation for eMBB services in 5G networks", 2019-2022. NCN. Project cost: 1,2 M PLN.

This project aims to introduce a new framework for adding context awareness to eMBB services. The framework will allow for service adaptation according to the end-user needs and contexts.

The framework is especially suited for the eMBB scenario, since (1) the eMBB applications run during a reasonably long time, during which the infrastructure conditions may change, and the adaptation of the transmission might be necessary; (2) the eMBB applications are sensitive to changes in many parts of the network infrastructure since the applications make use of the whole network: from clouds to the radio part. It stays in contrast to URLLC service which uses the’ last mile’ only; (3) the eMBB applications are in general quality-sensitive (e.g., multimedia applications).

Specifically, the adaptation of the service to the context will consist of executing one or more of the following actions:

- Dynamic configuration of the end-to-end multi-path for multi-homing enabled terminals. Dynamically configured multi-path offers efficiency, flexibility, elasticity and performance for managing enhanced mobile broadband delivery according to user expected QoE (Quality of Experience) when one provider is serving the content or even in the case of multi-provider delivery (this is the case of several set-top-boxes serving one content in a peer-to-peer mode). In the case when the current transmission path is becoming overloaded, the system will switch the uni- or multi-paths to another route where the quality requirements of the service may be fulfilled. The eMBB delivery through multi-path consists of transmission between ingress and egress nodes; the first one is close to the source of the transmission, whereas the egress node is in the radio access. The multi-path mechanism will be able to exploit the paths created by different radio technologies (4G, 5G, WiFi) thanks to multi-homing capability (parallel usage of different radio technologies) of the mobile terminals. We will mainly exploit the overlay multi-path routing (the content is streamed from server to server), as it is performed in current multimedia Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms, however, we will also analyze the 5G traffic redirection mechanisms (at the network layer) offered by 3GPP Releases 15 and 16 (described in specification TS23.501) and concerning the User Plane Functions (UPF) of 5G Core. In that context, we will focus on the usage of the source routing implemented as segment routing or Software Defined Networking (SDN) based.

- Dynamic selection (on-the-fly) of servers, including origin, caching, prefetching servers or peer-to-peer nodes. Thanks to HTTP-based adaptive streaming protocols, multimedia streaming has achieved adaptation to the network, however in our approach, the multimedia streaming and other eMBB applications must adapt to the infrastructure as a whole. This means that the problem is not only a matter of the download bandwidth (a typical factor taken into account) but also it is about the selection of the origin of the content, content caching servers, devices involved in the end-to-end downloading path as well as the links conforming the streaming path. The server selection will be based on current server resources (CPU, downlink bandwidth, energy consumption) usage. In this case, the word “current” means resources controlled in slots of time much shorter than the duration of the transmission. The typical case of server selection is a massive congregation (concert, football match) where organizers and public may share own video for an enhanced experience of the event. In the context of such events, we will also propose mechanisms for integration and dynamic selection of client-server or device-to-device content delivery modes. Prefetching caching servers is a promising matter to solve problems of communication intermittence in 5G (e.g., tunnels in railway). However, prefetching has been not yet analyzed enough, so its capacity to become an active part of eMBB transmissions is already unknown. In our project, we will analyze theoretically the gaining range of prefetching servers in comparison to origin servers.

- Dynamic selection of network and service nodes involved in multi-path transmission based on the terminal and network preferences and constraints (context-awareness). The context awareness lies in including additional factors for dynamic service reconfigurations. For example, by identifying the location of the terminals, instead of using long-range links (LTE connection) the use of other short-range networking technologies like WiFi is envisioned. The use of such mechanisms will increase the quality of the transmission and/or reduce the energy consumption of the end-user terminal – a factor that also will be taken into account. For the purpose of energy efficient communication, we will adopt the architecture defined for multimedia content storage and transmission in the Internet of Things (IoT). We will exploit the information obtained from processing, memory/storage, and communication modules at the edge-network objects to develop an energy-optimized fog network. The system will on-the-fly modify the involvement of the edge-network objects, such that the transmission will take into account the energy-saving needs. For example, the use of device-to-device communication among two mobile phones will be used if the battery level is adequate and will change to another communication type in the case of scarce battery remaining.