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AIP Application to IBC Maintenance

Objective

The main objective of the project is to support the functional specifications of and standards for IBC maintenance by developing appropriate technology. The complexity of future IBC networks leads to new requirements which will benefit from the use of AIP techniques. Within the overall objective, guidelines and evaluation criteria will be developed for use in IBC maintenance. Guidelines will also take account of the particular MMI requirements for maintenance.
The main objective of the project is to support the functional specifications of and standards for integrated broadband communications (IBC) maintenance by developing appropriate technology. The complexity of future IBC networks leads to new requirements which will benefit from the use of advanced infrastructure planning (AIP) techniques. Within the overall objective, guidelines and evaluation criteria will be developed for use in IBC maintenance. Guidelines will also take account of the particular man machine interface (MMI) requirements for maintenance.
A generic knowledge representation structure for telecommunication networks and maintenance knowledge has been improved and applied to 2 existing networks. Improved tools for knowledge representation and acquisition, for inference on the knowledge representation, and for MMI and infrastructure have been specified and implemented as prototypes. The tools are integrated into the generic maintenance system (GMS) prototype. Maintenance application prototypes for 2 existing networks (BERKOM and System X) have been implemented. A network scenario based on projections to IBC has been specified to form the basis for a further maintenance application prototype. Cooperation between maintenance and other telecommunication management network (TMN) components has been studied.
Technical Approach

The main technical approach will involve three separate but inter-dependent tracks within the consortium. The first track will evaluate exiting digital network maintenance and enhance and generalise these capabilities for IBC requirements. A common knowledge representation for the physical and functional structure of the network and for the diagnosis and repair tasks will be developed. The second track will develop generic AIP maintenance systems and techniques. These techniques will be evaluated early on existing network applications and later on projections to IBC requirements. The third track will be directly involved with the emerging IBC specifications and reference model and will contribute to the definition of IBC maintenance specifications and standards.

Key issues

- Uniform knowledge representation across TMN.
- MMI for providing appropriate operator support.
- Integration of distributed maintenance sub-systems.
- Completeness and consistency of large distributed DB/KB.
- Real time maintenance capabilities.
- AIP standards for maintenance.
- Standards and guidelines for TMN and for IBC maintenance.

Achievements

A generic knowledge representation structure for telecommunication networks and maintenance knowledge has been improved and applied to two existing networks. Improved tools for knowledge representation and acquisition, for inference on the knowledge representation, and for MMI and infrastructure have been specified and implemented as prototypes. The tools are integrated into the Generic Maintenance System (GMS) prototype. Maintenance application prototypes for two existing networks (BERKOM and System X) have been implemented. A network scenario based on projections to IBC has been specified to form the basis for a further maintenance application prototype. Cooperation between maintenance and other TMN components has been studied.

The project has published 21 papers so far and also contributed to papers of the GUIDELINE project (R1003). Contributions to standardisation organisations are handled via GUIDELINE. Prototypes and achievements of the project have been demonstrated at the annual RACE TMN Conference organised by GUIDELINE.

Expected Impact

Project results will impact the development of future TMN systems for IBC, especially for maintenance, and interactions between maintenance and other network management functions. The experience achieved with the prototype work will be of great value in selecting AIP techniques and tools to build real systems. In particular the object oriented modelling approach for modelling network and maintenance knowledge will be beneficial for future applications to telecommunication networks in various areas such as maintenance, configuration, planning etc. Standards and recommendations for AIP applications and for maintenance will also support TMN systems for IBC.

Coordinator

Alcatel SEL AG
Address
Lorenzstraße 10
70435 Stuttgart
Germany

Participants (5)

Alcatel Standard Electrica SA
Spain
BRITISH TELECOM PLC (BT)
United Kingdom
Compagnie Générale d'Electricité (CGE)
France
Address
Route De Nozay
91460 Marcoussis
Danet GmbH
Germany
Address
Konrad-celtis-straße 81
81369 München
UNIBIT
United Kingdom