Network Slice Design and Management from A Tenant's Perspective

Project: Research

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In today’s telecommunication industry, a grand challenge faced by many network service providers (NSPs) is how to cost-effectively allocate resources so as to agilely accommodate a variety of applications and services with diverse quality-of-service (QoS) requirements. To address this challenge, a promising technology is network slicing, with which tenants, such as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), can create different network slices with desired performance guarantees on the same network infrastructure.In the past three years, network slicing has attracted significant attention from academia and industry. However, most existing studies have focused on how to dynamically partition a physical network infrastructure into many network slices, and thus assumed that each tenant knows the right amount of resources which is necessary to accommodate a certain traffic load with performance guarantees. This assumption causes a gap between tenants and NSPs, which compromises the adoption of network slicing.In this project, we aim at closing the gap and we plan to address the key issues of network slicing design and management from the perspective of a tenant that may request and operate multiple slices, each of which provides different performance guarantees (especially the delay) to end users. Particularly, we want to answer a number of key questions centered at performance guarantee: How many slices to create? How many resources to request for each slice? How to assign a service request to the right slice? When to scale? and How much to scale?The answers to such questions call for (1) deep understanding of the relationship among traffic loads, resources, and performance bounds, and (2) optimal slice creation and traffic assignment to different slices. To make the solutions to the aforementioned questions generally applicable, we propose to investigate the issues with the following three features. First, we will study and model different types of traffic, such as video streaming, device-to-device communications, Internet of Things, multimedia, interactive web access, and the aggregation of them. Second, in terms of the delay requirements, we will allow the tenants to specify the percentage of traffic whose delay must be bounded.Third, we will adopt stochastic network calculus (SNC) in performance bound analysis.We expect that, upon the completion of this project, a set of tools will be developed to help tenants make the smart slice requests at the planning stage and optimally utilize and scale slices at the operation stage. The deliverables will facilitate the adoption of network slicing.


Project number9042671
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/19 → …