Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

CASPER Report Summary

Project ID: 645393
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CASPER (User-centric Middleware Architecture for Advanced Service Provisioning in Future Networks)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

CASPER brings together experts from industry and academia, from cross-sectorial research areas having complementary background, with the long-term goal to analyse and exploit QoE towards designing and developing efficient schemes for managing multimedia services over SDN/NFV technologies. Special attention is devoted to the development of a middleware architecture composed of innovative QoE estimation mechanisms and QoE monitoring protocols for optimizing service delivery and providing key input to CEM (Customer Experience Management) policies. In the first two years of the project, all efforts and funding were focused towards the realisation of a fully-integrated and multi-disciplinary program on the development of QoE network optimisation modules. In particular, CASPER works towards the following overall Research and Technological objectives:

Research objectives
1. To study, design and optimise QoE estimation mechanisms for multimedia services.
2. To study, design, and optimise QoE monitoring protocols.
3. To analyse, design and optimise advanced QoE-driven service management policies.

Technological objectives
1. To develop a System Level Simulator (SLS), where the QoE estimation and monitoring schemes, and the QoE-driven service management policies will be evaluated under realistic scenarios.
2. To develop a hardware proof-of-concept testbed, where the most promising schemes identified via the SLS will be integrated and tested in a real-working environment.
3. To integrate QoE exploitation functions into real devices, where a meaningful subset of the middleware architecture will be implemented in commercial devices and network entities for real-life experimentation.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project has completed the first half successfully, fulfilling all the targets defined in the DoA for this period. The technical work progresses according to the planned methodology, all the promised ToK per beneficiary have been delivered, and adequate number of secondments from all the beneficiaries have started. More precisely:

Regarding the research and technical work:
WP2 (Middleware Architecture Definition and Requirements Description) is completed successfully in M12. Research activity on two tasks, namely i) QoE-exploitation scenarios and system requirements and ii) End-to-end middleware architecture for QoE service provisioning, documented in Deliverables D2.1 and D2.2.
WP3 and WP4 started in M7, and they have provided one deliverable each, in M24. More precisely, the research work on WP3 (QoE Estimation Mechanisms and QoE Monitoring Protocols) provided a thorough study on QoE estimation models and QoE influence parameters, while WP4 (Design and Optimisation of QoE-driven Service Management Policies) studied the potential gains of a QoE-based network management on top on SDN/NFV technologies.
WP5 (Development and Validation of Proposed Modules) has started in M22, and so far, the SLS and the initial integration environment are developed according to the plan. The first deliverable from this WP is expected in M33.

Regarding the dissemination and knowledge sharing activity, the work is summarized below:
- The CASPER consortium organized the first workshop together with the IEEE CAMAD 2017.
- The second workshop of the project is already accepted.
- A number of contributions from project fellows has been published or has been submitted and pending for acceptance (http://gain.di.uoa.gr/casper/dissemination.html)
- Five newsletters were issued (http://gain.di.uoa.gr/casper/dissemination.html)
- CASPER brochures and a CASPER poster were released
- A twitter account and LinkedIn group were created for CASPER
- CASPER approach and research achievement were presented in more than 10 public events as described in Deliverable D7.2 of the project
- A press conference was given at the EUCNC 2017 conference.
- IQU published an article related to CASPER in the widely read Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia

All the seconded fellows are actively involved in the technical work of the project as well as in the dissemination and knowledge sharing events.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Innovative research work has been conducted so far regarding the following aspects:
- Thorough analysis of the QoE notion
- Identification of the stakeholders interested in a QoE-based service and network management
- Definition and description of the major CASPER communication scenarios
- KPIs identification and analysis per communication scenario
- Technological requirements analysis per communication scenario
- Description of the CASPER middleware architecture, including configurations per scenario
- Description of the QoE management support framework
- Initial integration of the CASPER framework into CASPER architecture
- CASPER simulation and initial integration environments definition and set up
- Analysis of QoE estimation models, including a thorough study on parametric QoE estimation
- First release of the CASPER QoE estimation and modelling tool
- Deep study on quality assurance methods for next generation networks
- Proposal of a joint Resource Allocation – Dynamic Pricing scheme to optimise QoE

Expected results until the end of the project
- QoE-driven service management policies
- Overall simulation results & performance evaluation
- Integration of the middleware architecture
- estbed Validation and Performance Evaluation
- Final Integration and Proof-of-Concept

Potential impacts
The topics under investigation in CASPER, has a direct impact on the society and the related stakeholders, for a series of aspects, listed below:
- CASPER will provide expertise in key research areas related to service provisioning to a set of ambitious researchers and developers.
- CASPER focuses on user-centric service and network management, an area which has recently appeared some signs of industrial exploitation and consumer interest.
- The program follows a human-centred approach, designing solutions that target at the satisfaction of the end user when consuming a service. This approach entails a degree of personalisation in service delivery, which enforces an era of more “fair” telecommunication services.
- The holistic approach of CASPER is expected to incentivize a collaboration paradigm between MNOs and OTTs, by providing a technologically feasible realization where feedback from MNOs is enabled and application-awareness is enforced.
- The final CASPER middleware architecture will be delivered as a software solution enabling its exploitation from smaller telecom players and start-ups, who by taking advantage of the results of the project will be able to create new business activities, such as specialized products for quality monitoring and benchmarking.
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