Intent-driven Closed Loops for Autonomous Networks




Closed-loop automation, intent-driven management, zero-touch management


Closed loops are key enablers for automation that have been successfully used in many industries for long, and more recently for computing and networking applications. The Zero-touch network and service management (ZSM) framework introduced standardized components that allow the creation, execution, and governance of multiple closed loops, enabling zero-touch management of end-to-end services across different management domains. However, the coordinated and optimal instantiation and operation of multiple closed loops is an open question that is left for implementation by the ZSM specifications. In this paper, we propose a methodology that uses intents as a way of communicating requirements to be considered by autonomous management domains to coordinate hierarchies of closed loops. The intent-driven methodology facilitates hierarchical and peer interactions for delegation and escalation of intents. Furthermore, it extends the existing management capabilities of the ZSM framework and facilitates conflict-free integration of closed loops by setting optimal (and non-conflicting) goals that each closed loop in the hierarchy needs to account for. We show an example of the application of the proposed methodology in a network slicing assurance use case. The new capabilities introduced in this paper can be considered as an extension of the ZSM framework to be used in scenarios where multiple intent-driven closed loops exist.


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Author Biographies

Pedro Henrique Gomes, Ericsson Research, Brazil

Pedro Henrique Gomes is a researcher at Ericsson Research, Brazil, engaged in orchestration and automation of 5G networks and services. He is a delegate in the ETSI Zero-Touch Network & Service Management working group, contributing to the architecture definition especially with AI and ML concepts, and driving the specification of enablers for closed-loop automation in end-to-end network services. Received Ph.D. (2019) and M.Sc. (2015) in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA, also M.Sc. (2011) in computer science and B.Sc. (2007) in computer engineering from the University of Campinas, Brazil.

Magnus Buhrgard, Ericsson Research, Brazil

Magnus Buhrgard is Open Source and Standardization Manager at Ericsson. He is engaged in ONAP, where he is responsible for coordination with SDOs regarding network management. He is also Ericsson’s primary delegate to ETSI ISG ZSM. With 30 years of experience in the telecommunication industry, his work has spanned a multitude of architectures and technologies, reaching from fiberoptic research to network and service automation. He has a long-term engagement in carrier-grade network architecture. Magnus is also engaged in the challenge of merging standardization, open source, and R&D ways of working. He holds an M.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Lund University, Sweden.

János Harmatos, Ericsson Research, Brazil

János Harmatos is a senior researcher at Ericsson Research. Currently he works on real-time cloud framework and edge-cloud integration in industry networks. He received his PhD from Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

Swarup Kumar Mohalik, Ericsson Research, Brazil

Swarup Kumar Mohalik is a principal researcher at Ericsson Research who joined the company in 2015. His expertise is in the areas of AI and formal methods, and his work primarily focuses on applying them to service automatization and the Internet of Things (IoT). He has research experience in the areas of formal specification and verification of real-time embedded software and AI planning techniques. Mohalik holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India, and a postdoctoral fellowship at LaBRI, University of Bordeaux, France.

Dinand Roeland, Ericsson Research, Brazil

Dinand Roeland is a Principal Researcher at Ericsson Research. His current research interests are on introducing AI technologies in the end-to-end network architecture. He received an M.Sc. cum laude in Computer Architectures and Intelligent Systems from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Jörg Niemöller, Ericsson Research, Brazil

Jörg Niemöller is an expert in analytics and customer experience. He joined Ericsson in 1998 and has since held multiple positions in research as well as in system management for core network and digital services. His current focus is innovation in OSS through architecture and solutions for autonomous network and service operation. Niemöller holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Tilburg University, the Netherlands, and a diploma degree in electrical engineering from the TU Dortmund University, Germany


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