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Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Andreas Mitschele-Thiel


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"Autonomous Reconfiguration of Hetergeneous Wireless Access Networks (ARN)", Proceedings pp.51-52, 51st IWK – Internationales Wissenschaftliches Kolloquium, Ilmenau, Deutschland, September 11 - 15, 2006

Dipl.-Inf. Holger Kärst
Dipl.-Ing. René Böringer
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Andreas Mitschele-Thiel
The complexity of traditional network management increases due to the rising heterogeneity of wireless networks. Future wireless access networks will contain network elements supporting different types of radio technologies, e.g. WLAN, WiMAX, UMTS, GSM. Therefore resource discovery, integration, configuration, monitoring, failure discovery, failure recovery, adaptation to environmental changes of network resources and network services will require enormous management resources. The classical management methods are based on a centralized manager (e.g. the SNMP manager [1]). In heterogeneous wireless networks huge amounts of necessary management ressources will overload the centralized management.

Network management resources already cause a very large portion of the initial and operational costs of a network infrastructure. This portion will increase again by the rising management complexity in heterogeneous wireless access networks.

Self management and self reconfiguration of access networks allow the management of resources and services without human interventions. The network monitors the resources and the environment itself. It autonomously decides which management processes have to be executed. This idea promises new possibilities to minimize operational costs of network management and to increase the flexibility of network services provided by heterogeneous wireless networks. The restrictions of the centralized management can be overcome.
Several proprietary solutions were developed to support automation of network management [2], [3], [4]. These solutions determine only parts of the entire problem and consider neither the economic scenarios nor the special requirements of a wireless access network.

This paper presents a workflow describing the necessary tasks for the realization of a self managed and self reconfigured heterogeneous wireless access network, refered to as Autonomous Reconfigurable Network (ARN).

The workflow is partitioned into three main parts, which are Information Collection, Evaluation and Decision Making and Reconfiguration.

Information Collection includes processes of attachment, discovery and description of network resources. Such resources are hardware (network elements) and software (network services). After the initial attachment, the major task is to request, to measure or to estimate the capabilities of the new network elements, such as kind of architecture, achievement of CPU, memory size, etc. Additionally, the requirements of network services have to be determined, e.g. expected CPU consumption, memory consumption, QoS requirements.

Evaluators are being able to use the information of the previous step to generate optimized relations between available hardware resources and service requirements in conjunction with the conditions of the wireless network environment.

Reconfiguration provides dynamic generation of software images. The software images include a basic operating system and various services necessary for the network. It will be uploaded to the hardware resources accordingly to the evaluated relations. After execution of software images the hardware resources are reconfigured.

In this paper we discuss the advantages and the necessity of self management and self reconfiguration of wireless access networks. We show that automation of management and reconfiguration processes leads to lower operational costs and increase flexibility of services provided by future wireless access networks. We determine autonomous functionalities of future wireless access networks and announce a workflow, which defines the processes for self management and self reconfiguration. A prototype of the proposed workflow is already working in our Wireless Lab.


  • [1]J. Case, M. Fedor,M. Schoffstall,J. Davin,“Simple Network Management Protocol” (SNMP) - RFC 1157, MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, 1990

  • [2] Y. Nikolakis, E. Magana, M. Solarski, A. Tan, E. Salamanca, J. Serrat, C. Brou, A. Galis, “A Policy-Based Management Architecture for Flexible Service Deployment in Active Networks”, IWAN03, 2004

  • [3] S. Beyer, K. Mayes, B. Warboys, “Dynamic Loading in an Application Specific Embedded Operating System”, International Workshop on SASO+STEPS, 2005

  • [4] N. Guo, T. Gao, H. Zhao, “Distributed Plug-and-Play Network Management Model Based on Mobile Agents”, IEEE International Conference on e-Technology, e-Commerce and e-Service (EEE'04), 2004