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Usage Reference Model for IBC

Objective

. Synthesis of the operational requirements of the infrastructure needed for IBC. The operational requirements are mapped to each of the common functional specifications in the RACE programme which are relevant to usage, so that functional specification work can meet the needs of users.
. Analysis of projected service usage patterns.
The main objective is to provide the operational requirements for integrated broadband communications (IBC) to enable the functional specification and implementation work to meet the needs of users. These operational requirements must therefore provide recommendations on IBC system behaviour and demand related information, eg projected usage patterns associated with the recommendations. Operational requirements are based upon all the data being produced by the usage projects. The usage reference model (URM) therefore created database which contains this data. Operational requirements are developed by modelling the usage data. Modelling techniques are used which can:
synthesise the data;
enable inferential analysis
to provide recommendations in a form which can be easily taken up. The collection of usage data also implies a coordination requirement. Usage projects received guidance and support as to what issues to examine, how to collect their data and in what form to present their data. The URM plays a coordination role, through workshops and concertation meetings, always respecting the fact that usage projects have many project specific requirements in addition to their role in supplying the URM with data. Because the URM is a project which communicates to usage projects, and on behalf of usage projects to functional specification projects, it has communication related work:
the establishment of a basis for discussion and agreement about terminology;
the establishment of the information requirements of RACE designers;
the provision of information through reports, help desks, newsletters, etc.
Technical Approach
The main objective expressed within the terms of the RACE Part I design process is to provide the operational requirements for IBC to enable the functional specification and implementation work to meet the needs of users. These operational requirements must therefore provide- recommendations on IBC system behaviour, and demand-related information, eg projected usage patterns associated with the recommendations.

Operational requirements will be based upon all the data being produced by the usage projects. The URM therefore created a usage database which contains this data. Operational requirements will be developed by modelling the usage data. Modelling techniques are used which can:

. synthesise the data, and
. enable inferential analysis

to provide recommendations in a form which can be easily taken up by, for example, the R1044 work packages. The collection of usage data also implies a coordination requirement. Usage projects received guidance and support as to what issues to examine, how to collect their data, and in what form to present their data. The URM plays a coordination role, through for example workshops and concertation meetings, always respecting the fact that usage projects have many project-specific requirements in addition to their role in supplying the URM with data.

Because the URM is a project which communicates to usage projects, and on behalf of usage projects to functional specification projects, it has communication-related work: such as the establishment of a basis for discussion and agreement about terminology; the establishment of the information requirements of RACE designers; and the provision of information through reports, help desks, newsletters etc.

The position of the URM within the RACE programme requires it to attempt to monitor and coordinate the project schedules of eg R1044 and R1045 with the usage projects, and thereby to modify its own schedules. This is partly a management activity, eg organising contributions to the common functional specification work, and partly a work package activity eg usage data collection work. Both these activities are internal to RACE. In addition the URM has to monitor certain schedules outside the RACE programme, in particular those of international standards organisations.

Key Issues
. Coordinated broadly-based usage data for input to operational requirements.
. Operational requirements with a simple modular service structure, but capable of expressing a wide variety of specific usage requirements.
. Usage implications of each of the common functional specifications.
. Coordinated design between usage and functional specification.

Achievements
The following publications are available from the project:

. A guide to IBC terminology from a usage perspectiv.
. A guide to Application Pilot design
. Service Definition Method.
. Service Definitions
. Usage Implications of RACE Common Functional Specifications
. RACE Usage Research Review - available as a document and as a software database.

In addition an integrated account of usage research as published in Integrated Broadband Communication; Views from RACE: Usage Aspects, edited by Byerley P and Connell S.

Expected Impact
Implementation of IBC with its associated services will require very large investment decisions. These decisions need to be made with some confidence that the implementation will meet existing and future user needs, and with information about the expected demand and use of services.

Generic user services express the wide variety of infrastructural requirements of applications in terms of a small set of basic services. Generic user services have been derived from the analysis of communication networks for applications (reference for user services) and therefore will be communicable and relevant to value added service providers as well as to infrastructure designers.

Coordinator

Alcatel SEL AG
Address
Hirsauer Straße 210
75180 Pforzheim
Germany

Participants (7)

AT&T Network Systems International
Netherlands
BRITISH TELECOM PLC (BT)
United Kingdom
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
United Kingdom
IFC Research Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Sundial House 99 High Street
GU1 3DP Guildford
Institut de l'Audiovisuel et des Télécommunications en Europe
France
Address

34092 Montpellier
Télésystèmes SA
France
Work Research Center Ltd
Ireland