Industry Specification Group (ISG) Experiential Networked Intelligence (ENI) Activity Report 2020

Chair: Raymond Forbes, Huawei Technologies

Responsible for developing standards that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) mechanisms for improving the operator experience to more quickly recognize and incorporate new and changed knowledge, and hence make actionable decisions as well as assisting in the management and orchestration of the network.

The introduction of technologies such as Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and network slicing means that networks are becoming more flexible, more powerful, and harder to manage efficiently.  

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques in the network supervisory and management system can help address some of the challenges of future network deployment and operation.

Our Industry Specification Group on Experiential Networked Intelligence (ISG ENI) develops standards that use AI mechanisms to assist in the management and orchestration of the network. ENI focuses on improving the operator experience, by adding closed-loop AI mechanisms based on context-aware, metadata-driven policies to more quickly recognize and incorporate new and changed knowledge, and hence to make actionable decisions.

By developing standards that use AI mechanisms to recognize new or changed knowledge – and thus make actionable decisions for operators – the work of ENI enables an efficient intelligence-based assistance to SDN and NFV deployments which will in turn manage and orchestrate the network.

The group accordingly considers ENI related issues including architecture, AI, security and Proof of Concept (PoC) frameworks, while coordinating activities with other entities, both internal to ETSI and external.

 In 2020 ISG ENI published revisions of three existing Group Specifications:

GS ENI 001 identifies use cases and scenarios that are enabled with enhanced experience through the use of network intelligence; this latest ‘Release 2’ version adds additional use cases, as well as the use of ENI in the network and for third parties, including the use of ENI in intent-based networks and capability exposure to third parties.

GS ENI 002 specifies the requirements of how intelligence is applied to the network and applications in different scenarios to improve experience of service provision and network operation. Release 2 adds requirements derived from API descriptions, system architecture and new use cases.

GS ENI 006 specifies a framework to coordinate and promote public demonstrations of Proof of Concept (PoC) validating key technical components developed in EN. The latest revision takes account of ENI system architecture, requirements/uses cases and measurability criteria.

Progress meanwhile continued on several further specifications and reports, including new Work Items relating to ENI Release 2.

Developed according to our Proof of Concept Framework, ENI Proofs of Concept (PoC) are intended to demonstrate ENI as a viable technology. Results are fed back to the relevant Industry Specification Group for each PoC. A list and descriptions of all current ENI PoC are available on the public ETSI ENI wiki pages.

Look out for in 2021 – ISG ENI work in progress:

  • Group Specification (GS) on mapping between ENI architecture and operational systems
  • GS to define ENI information model – representing, inferring and proving knowledge in ENI
  • Revision to GS ENI 005 on system architecture
  • Group Report (GR) on definition of data processing mechanisms
  • GR on reactive In-situ flow information telemetry
  • GR on gap analysis between ENI policy management model and intent policy models being developed in other SDOs/Fora
  • GR on evaluation method for autonomicity - evaluation of categories for AI application to networks
  • GR on processing and management of intent policy
  • GR on functional concepts for modular system operation
  • GR on overview of prominent control loop architectures
  • GR on AI mechanisms for modular systems
  • Revision to GR ENI 004 on terminology for main concepts in ENI