28 May 2015

Cognitization of Telecommunications

This is how I see the concept of Network as a Nervous System of the Digital Society and Economy. 

The Network will disappear into the reality, gaining a new role.

Cognition is deeper inside Software, which is, in turn, a way to implement it by means of both architectures and methods, algorithms, heuristics, etc.  

21 May 2015

Cognitization is Upon Us!

I believe that in the future deep inside in the Softwarization of Telecommunications there will be more and more the so-called “Cognition”, which will be (at least) about using cognitive methods, heuristics and algorithms, machine learning, knowledge representation-reasoning and, eventually, massively parallel computation to crunch, and make use of the Big Data, collected and transferred by the future Telecommunications infrastructures.

This is what I’ve argued (see slide 16) in my last keynote at ONDM2015.

We’ll be able to sense and collect massive data (e.g., by pervasive sensors, smart terminals, things, machines, robots); these big sets of data will be exchanged and moved very quickly (transported by optical and mobile networks with high bandwidth and low latency); these big sets of data will be also elaborated (with Cloud/Edge and Fog Computing) in order to make decisions and then actuating local actions (by any pervasive actuators embedded into the reality around us).

Indeed all of this looks like an overall “cognition loop” exploited by future Telecommunications infrastructures. By the way, this loop is well-known in the context of Brain–Computer Interface Technologies: so just take the approach and imagine of expanding it to a Network !

Software architectures and software coding will be the concrete instruments to implement this “Cognitization” of Telecommunications, so cognition is the very core of Softwarization, where the "value" is moving. 

This will have several impactful applications for automation and robotics, as nicely reported here

15 May 2015

A Universal Platform for Softwarization

There are a lot of reference architectures looking for the Softwarization of Telecommunications infrastructures. In my opinion too many, given that in the medium-long term will make no sense distinguishing SDN, NFV...and related declinations. 

Just to mention some of these references: the SDN architecture from ONF, the NFV architectures from ETSI, the architecture from OpenDayLight, the one from OpenStack extended to become an Orchestrator...plus all the reference architectures coming from other RT&D and Innovation projects and initiatives worldwide (e.g., H2020 in Europe). And the number is growing daily, through several other emerging proposals from start-ups…

Will market decide with a standard-de-facto, by promoting a “winner takes it all”? Not sure, in the medium term, there is too much fragmentation, lack of interoperability… 

It’s also true that tomorrow, rather than on thousands of closed equipment, the Telecommunications infrastructure will be based on millions of software processes…executed in distributed logical resources. Nevertheless this does not justify the current fragmentation…this chaotic rush.
This fragmentation is delaying - if not jeopardizing - an effective exploitation of the enormous innovative potential of Software Defined Infrastructures, and their socio-economic impact. Technology maturity and cost reductions are enabling this transformation.

Let's exploit it by creating the foundations of new open ecosystems. Specifically, we are missing coherent efforts in defining a sort of "universal functional model" for SDI, and, in turn, the sw and system architectures which will have to become the standardized references for implementations and exploitation. Should a coherent effort be jointly applied in this direction, there would be an “explosion” of new developments and growth in several ecosystems, with far reaching positive impacts from the socio-economic viewpoint.

This is my take today: let's join a coherent industrial-academic efforts in developing new analytic ways of modelling, designing, deploying, and operating SDIs, in a word, not ten but one universal functional model (a sort of new G.805-like model for SDI) with well-defined functions, modules and interfaces. And it should be able to unify the abstractions of both network and IT services, and the way they are modelled and represented. Based on that, then, we’ll have to design the system and software architectures and all the required processes, which will have to be highly dynamic and flexible…to cope with future ICT markets.