Tuesday, 13 September
Panel: Next Generation 911 Will Save Lives and Improve National Security – We Have the Technology – Why Don’t We Deploy It?
Abstract: As a society we have been using the Internet – wireless and wireline – for over a decade. We order pizzas, groceries and rides using our smart phones, and the delivery people and drivers find us every time. Yet the providers of emergency services – both the Telecommunicators who answer our calls and the First Responders who arrive on the scene – are tethered to wireline telephone systems and two-way radios respectively – technologies that have been in existence for over 50 years. The technologies necessary to deliver life-saving data, images and video along with your emergency call and to send these seamlessly along to the first responders have been in existence for many years. What will it take to bring these services into the 21st century? An act of congress?
Our panelists drill down what it took to deliver NG911 capabilities, lessons learned, and the way forward.
Wednesday, 14 September
Panel: Machine Learning for Real-time Network Optimization – What Can Go Wrong?
Abstract: Data and telecommunications networks produce enormous volumes of operational data. Researchers today are exploring ways to apply ML/AI techniques to these data to develop self- regulating networks that can predict and respond to network events and trends in real-time. As the network traffic increases in volume and complexity, and new networked applications place new demands, we can expect that the research of today will produce solutions that the network operators will be eager to adopt. These applications could prove very helpful. What do we need to do to avoid the problems that applications created using ML/AI techniques have produced in other areas?
Self-driving cars, for example, demonstrate that when their ML/AI-developed applications fail, they fail in spectacular and deadly ways, magnifying their errors rapidly and without self-correction. Applications to determine the length of jail terms, the amount of bail, the terms and conditions of loans, university admissions, and hiring choices have tended to magnify social biases rather than help eliminate them. Applications created using ML/AI techniques and applied to the output of surveillance cameras have been unable to identify women with dark skin as even humans!
Can applications that aim to provide real-time network management fail in similar ways? We look at different types of potential failures: Technical failures in which a small wrong decision might escalate bringing a network down or amplifying rather than correcting the initial problem, and also the Societal failures: Could low numbers of Internet users in an underserved community, result in fewer network resources allocated to that community, amplifying rather than improving the available service?
These and related concerns will be addressed by our panelists, a diverse group of experts from the research and development, service provider, vendor, legal and advocacy sectors.
Thursday, 15 September
Panel: Network Resilience and Augmentation During Crisis
Abstract: In general, operators design their networks by over-provision resources to provide expected quality of service to the end users. However, during humanitarian crisis such as cyclone, hurricane, earthquake, or man-made disasters such as war, existing networks and connectivity are subjected to disruption resulting in degradation of service quality or no service in some cases. Evolution of networks towards 5G and beyond has led to the creation of new enablers, namely software defined networking, orchestration, edge cloud and network slicing that can provide desired quality of service to the end users through closed loop automation and real-time reconfiguration. These enablers can be used to make the network flexible and programmable by scaling out network functions, dynamic resource provisioning and service chaining. It is also desirable to map the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of various applications and the underlying network functions so that the networks can be augmented dynamically. In order to realize the full potential of these enablers to support resilience and quality of service to the end users, it is important to develop a framework that can take into account the automation, orchestration, and artificial intelligence and augment the underlying desired network services. This panel will discuss various network challenges that arise during crises, use cases, and applications associated with them. This will be followed by mapping the challenges with the technology enablers that could potentially yield innovative solutions to support resilience.