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Introduction

The Experiential Networked Intelligence Industry Specification Group (ENI ISG) is defining a Cognitive Network Management architecture, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques and context-aware policies to adjust offered services based on changes in user needs, environmental conditions and business goals. It therefore fully benefits the 5G networks with automated service provision, operation, and assurance, as well as optimized slice management and resource orchestration. ENI has also launched Proof of Concepts (PoCs) aiming to demonstrate how AI techniques can be used to assist network operation including 5G.

The use of Artificial Intelligence techniques in the network will solve problems of future network deployment and operation.

Our Roles & Activities

ENI focuses on improving the operator experience, by adding closed-loop AI mechanisms based on context-aware, metadata-driven policies to recognize and incorporate new and changed knowledge, and hence make actionable decisions. ENI has specified a set of use cases and the derived requirements for a generic technology independent architecture of a network supervisory assistant system based on the ‘observe-orient-decide-act’ control loop model.

This model gives recommendations to decision-making systems, such as network control and interacts with management systems, to adjust services and resources offered based on changes in user needs, environmental conditions and business goals. A gap analysis of work on context-aware and policy-based standards has been considered, reviewing other Standards Developing Organizations to reuse existing standardized solutions for legacy and evolving network functions wherever possible. Security and a closed loop learning policy-model are subjects to be addressed shortly.

ENI has published version 1 of the Use cases, Requirements, Context Aware Policy Management, Terminology and a Proof of Concept (PoC) Framework, version 2 of the Use cases, Requirements, Terminology and the 1st release of the System Architecture.

The System Architecture is being specified, with a new draft version 2 including a high-level architecture using details of AI decision techniques. ENI has opened new work-items to collect version 3 of the Use cases, Requirements, and terminology, and a new work item on categorization for AI application to Networks.

ENI has launched a continuing Proof of Concepts activity. A PoC review team was created and tasked with reviewing incoming proposals. The PoC review activity is supported by Vodafone, TIM, China Telecom, PT, Aria-Networks, Samsung and Huawei. Each PoC Team proposal shall address at least one goal relevant to ENI, related with an ENI Use Case, an ENI Requirement or the suitability of the ENI System Architecture aspect. The output of each PoC project shall contribute to the completion of the version 2 specifications within ISG ENI. To improve the output of the Work-items alignment with existing activities is required. Each PoC proposal will provide proof of the technical feasibility of ENI within the Industry. Proof of Concept (PoC) proposals are called for in line with the approved PoC framework.

See the status of ongoing PoCs in the latest ENI blogpost.

Specifications

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ENI committee page.

Blog

News, comments and opinions from ETSI’s ENI Industry Specification Group

The direct link to refer to this blog is https://www.etsi.org/newsroom/blogs/blog-eni

Blog-ENI

Due to confinement and travel restrictions, the ENI#13 meeting was successfully organized online only on 17-20 March 2020.

  • 32 were present including 8 operators
  • 4/5 Government Ministry Institutes are members: China, Japan and South Korea
  • 133 documents were handled

A workshop “ENI-Machine Learning in communication networks” was organized on 16 March between two ETSI ISGs, namely ENI and SAI (Securing AI), and ITU-T’s Q20/13 and FG ML5G “Machine Language 5th Generation”, on AI/ML. This workshop was instrumental in enabling synergies between ETSI and the ITU-T in this field and to better understand the needs of industry. ETSI ISG ENI will send the template of ENI Use Cases to the ITU-T groups by liaison for their reference in future work.

As for the meeting, it was very productive and achieved significant progress. After the publication of the approved ENI 006 PoC framework revision, all PoCs will be required to show interworking on an external reference point. The meeting also progressed on the draft reports GR ENI 008 on Intent Aware Network Autonomicity and GR ENI 009 on Data Processing mechanisms. Major progress on the evaluation of categories in Draft GR ENI 010 was made discussing a five dimensional system of quantification of the Classes published last year in GR ENI 007.

Significant progress was made on the learning techniques for AI in the ongoing revision of ENI 005. An open area was also approved for all stable drafts and previously published deliverables. Attendees continued drafting revisions of the next versions on ENI use cases, requirements and Terminology for Release 2.
In addition, we started working on Evaluation of the AI Network Configuration and Mapping of operational systems to ENI architecture. ISG ENI is now progressing into the 2nd Release.

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Blog-ENI

ETSI hosted ENI#12 meeting and Proof of Concept (PoC) Demos in its headquarters in Sophia Antipolis, France, on 9-12 December 2019. The meeting can be summarized as follows:

  • 34 delegates present F2F out of 41 registered, (Vodafone & NTT participating with email)
  • 7 operators represented, from Asia and Europe
  • 110 documents handled

On 9 & 10 December there were demos of most of the completed and progressing PoCs PoC#1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7. This generated discussions and interest with other ETSI members and participants of meetings in the ETSI HQs at the same week. Especially, delegates from Industry Specification Group (ISG) Zero-touch network and Service Management (ZSM) and Technical Committee (TC) SmartM2M.

ENI12blog 1 ENI12blog 2

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Blog-ENI

Participant photo

The ENI#11 meeting was hosted by China Telecommunications in the research & development labs in Beijing on 24-26 September 2019.

  • 31 people were registered, emails were received from ISG members not able to be in Beijing, their views were considered
  • Operators were present: TIM, China Telecom, China Mobile, NTT and Portugal Telecom
  • 3 Government Ministry Institutes are members, China, Japan and South Korea
  • 131 documents were handled
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Blog-ENI

The ENI#10 meeting was hosted by Altice Labs / Portugal Telecom on 9-11 July, 2019, at their headquarters by the canals of Aveiro, Portugal.

 Group photo of participants and inset photos of remote participants

The meeting was very productive and significant progress was made. To sum it up, we finalized the work on the ENI use cases, requirements and system architecture for Release 1. As a result, the final drafts for approval of these specifications are now available and their publication is expected to take place in September. In addition, we advanced the work on the means of intent aware networks, categorization of AI within networks, including discussion on semantics around the work in Release 2.

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Blog-ENI

ENI#8 was held on 3-5 December in 5Tonic labs in Madrid, hosted by UC3M (University Carlos III of Madrid) and Telefonica: the host gave a presentation of the 5tonic laboratory. Attendees included members and participants of the group including Government Ministry Institutes. It was a fruitful meeting with over 80 documents handled.

This meeting was important to discuss the ISG ENI extension terms of reference for Release 2 going into its second term. The group updated the Terms of Reference accordingly and will ask ETSI’s Director General for an extension from April 2019 to March 2021, based on the growing ongoing and future work of the group.

ENI8 blog 18

Expected and Future work of ETSI ISG ENI

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ETSI ISG ENI Chairman, Aria’s Head of Research and ISG ENI Technical manager Outline ETSI ENI’s AI Use Cases, System Architecture and the China Telecom Led Proof of concept at SDN NFV World Congress in The Hague.

Over the last few years, Layer123’s SDN NFV World Congress has emerged as the best place to assess the mood and state of progressive thinking in telecom operations. So it was fitting that this year’s program included a progress report from the Experiential Networked Intelligence (ENI) Industry Specification Group (ISG) team developing a reference model for the use of AI in telecom operations.

ENI SDN NFV Blog

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