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IEEE Network
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Welcome to IEEE Network - The Magazine of Global Internetworking. IEEE Network, published bimonthly, offers readers topics of interest to the networking community. As such, IEEE Network provides a focus for highlighting and discussing major computer communications issues and developments. The articles are intended to be surveys or tutorials, slanted towards the practical, and comprehensible to the nonspecialist, as well as practitioners.
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2022-04-04
Special Issues
Special Issue on Blockchain-based 6G Mobile Network and Service
Submission Date: 2023-09-30

The next generation of mobile networks (i.e., 6G) is expected to be an open, generic, and multi-party participatory digital platform for both emerged new application services (e.g., XR, V2X and AI/ML) and traditional mobile internet/voice call services. To meet the ambitious target, 6G network itself first needs to be more resilient to failures in an open/zero-trust environment and highly interoperable for interactions from externals. Unfortunately, the existing design approach for 5G, which is still with a monolithic and operator-centric thinking, seems not quite helpful. For the two key requirements above, blockchain technology is considered a promising tool to reshape telecom network services in 6G, which is similar to how internet applications (known as Web 2.0) are currently evolved to Web 3.0 decentralized applications (DAPP). The motivation is that a network function (NF), which represents a native network service in 6G, can be converted to a smart contract living in blockchain. In this way, the NF will be temper-proof, transparent and decentralized even across different network domains; in addition, the execution of the NF cannot be manipulated thus guaranteed. As a result, a decentralized 6G network architecture will be resilient to single-point-of-failure and even Byzantine attacks. More importantly, interoperating with an NF means submitting a transaction that triggers a smart contract API, thus becomes much more convenient. Ideally, blockchain-based 6G network and services will gain new features such as identity sovereignty, redefined data ownership, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) that are expected for a long time. Clearly, there are huge interests on studying how 6G network services can be natively built with blockchain. Nevertheless, this ambitious goal is challenging and many open research problems exist. To bridge the gap, this Special Issue (SI) will focus on three main aspects of blockchain for 6G: native blockchain capability enhancement in 6G network, blockchain technology specialization for 6G network, and prototyping for blockchain-based 6G network services. In summary, this SI thus aims to solicit research progress central around the above three aspects. This will provide invaluable insights on guiding research activities on the line of system designs for 6G. Original contributions shall drop in the following topical areas, plus others that are not explicitly listed but are closely related: - Native decentralized network architecture for 6G. - Telecom network service smart contract for 6G. - Security framework with blockchain for 6G. - Data management of decentralized telecom network services in 6G. - Optimization of decentralized 6G services for flexibility, sustainability, and resource utilization. - Web 3.0 applications in 6G. - Cryptographic algorithms/protocols for blockchain-based 6G network services. - System prototyping, verification, and performance evaluation for decentralized 6G network services.
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2023-09-02
Special Issue on Advancements in Network-Assisted Video Streaming: Optimization and Performance Analysis
Submission Date: 2023-10-31

Network-assisted video streaming has become a substantial part of modern multimedia applications, enabling users to access high-quality video content over different networks, including the internet and wireless networks. Efficiently delivering video content over networks poses numerous challenges, such as limited bandwidth, varying network conditions, heterogeneous end devices, and diverse user preferences. Network-assisted video streaming approaches leverage modern networking technologies, such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV), and edge computing, to not only improve the user’s Quality of Experience (QoE), but also enhance network utilization. This Special Issue (SI) aims to explore the latest advancements in network-assisted video streaming, with a specific focus on optimization techniques and comprehensive performance analysis, by exploring emerging trends and innovations, including novel approaches that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, machine learning algorithms, and data-driven optimization methods to enhance the streaming experience. Furthermore, contributions related to the integration of edge computing, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and volumetric video streaming will be welcomed. Since understanding the performance of network-assisted video streaming systems is important for assessing their effectiveness and identifying areas for improvement, the research articles should cover both experimental and theoretical aspects, utilizing real-world datasets, simulation frameworks, analytical models, and conducting real-world experiments. The research and advancements of this SI will have a significant impact on the design, implementation, and operation of video streaming systems. The findings will provide valuable insights to network operators, content providers, researchers, and developers, enabling them to optimize their systems for enhanced user experience. Additionally, the knowledge gained from this SI will contribute to the development of standards and best practices for network-assisted video streaming, benefiting the broader multimedia community. IEEE Network, the flagship magazine on networking technologies, is a perfect venue for publishing this SI. We believe that our SI covers several key aspects and emerging topics that are of interest to the readers of the IEEE Network. This SI is to publish original research and review articles that should be comprehensive to all readers of the IEEE Network Magazine, regardless of their specialty. This SI aims to bring together researchers and developers working on all aspects of video streaming, in particular network-assisted concepts backed up by experimental evidence. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following: - Design, analysis, and evaluation of network-assisted multimedia system architectures. - Using AI/ML at the network edge and the cloud for supporting video streaming. - AI/ML-enabled caching of video chunks. - Network-assisted/AI-based resource allocation for video streaming. - Experience and lessons learned by deploying large-scale network-assisted video streaming. - Internet measurement and modeling for enhancing QoE in video streaming applications. - Network aspects in video streaming: cloud computing, virtualization techniques, network control, and management, including SDN, NFV, and network programmability. - Topics at the intersection of energy-efficient computing and networking for video streaming. - Machine learning for improving QoE in video streaming applications. - Machine learning for traffic engineering and congestion control for video streaming. - AI/ML-based solutions for supporting streaming applications' high-speed user mobility. - Big data analytics at the network edge to assess viewer experience of adaptive video. - Advanced network-based techniques for point clouds, light fields, and immersive video. - Using AI/ML techniques for optimizing Interactive Streaming and User-Generated Content. - The tradeoff between QoE enhancement and network overhead: AI approaches. - AI/ML-based techniques for live streaming in 5G and 6G networks.
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2023-09-02
Special Issue on 6G Non-Terrestrial Networks for Intelligent IoT Services
Submission Date: 2023-11-15

Recently, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been considered for its applications in diverse settings, such as intelligent urban environments, advanced manufacturing facilities, and environmental surveillance. However, significant obstacles exist in the implementation of these IoT solutions due to its salient features, such as heterogeneity, application demands, restricted resources, and massive connectivity. To tackle these issues, merging satellite-based networks with conventional ground-based networks has been proposed as an effective and affordable option for enhancing IoT device connectivity. With the coming 6G technologies, many groundbreaking applications are anticipated. The 6G network surpasses 5G in terms of spectral efficiency, communication energy efficiency, and data transmission rates, broader network spectral bandwidth, and support for non-terrestrial networks (NTNs). NTNs have been viewed as a critical element of the 6G framework to enable global, pervasive, and uninterrupted connectivity to overcome the coverage limitations of the existing 5G networks. Incorporating NTNs into the 6G wireless ecosystem is critical for ensuring service availability, continuity, ubiquity, and scalability. As a result, a work item for 3GPP Release 17 has been greenlit in December 2019 to outline and assess the solutions for the NTNs, which aimed to prioritize satellite access under the framework of NR. The study items for Releases 18 and 19 have also been identified, highlighting the necessity for long-term research within the 6G timeline. Moreover, to facilitate direct communications between IoT devices and NTNs, future IoT systems need to support a larger quantity of devices and multi-access environments, where various types of wireless spectrum, such as Sub-6GHz, Millimeter-wave, and Terahertz, should be employed efficiently. Considering its timeliness, we propose a Special Issue (SI) on 6G non-terrestrial networks for Intelligent IoT services. The goal of this SI is to promote the development of intelligent IoT based on 6G non-terrestrial networks. This SI will invite submissions from scientists, industry practitioners, and researchers working in the domains of Internet of things, artificial intelligence, 5G, 6G, non-terrestrial networks, etc. It will comprehensively cover the algorithms, frameworks, and technologies for intelligent IoT. The technical scope of the proposal includes, but not limited to: - Novel visions, concepts, and theories on 6G NTN IoT . - Emerging NTN IoT models, protocols, and architectures. - AI and big data driven self-sustainable 6G IoT . - Non-terrestrial IoT services supported by blockchain and edge computing. - 6G technologies for NTN-assisted IoT systems. - Energy harvesting and energy efficiency for green NTN IoT. - Holistic designs for 6G NTN IoT networks. - Security, privacy, and trust challenges in 6G non-terrestrial IoT. - Testbeds/experimental results, and real-world use cases. - Applications or services over 6G NTN IoT networks.
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2023-09-02
Special Issue on The Interplay Between Generative AI and 5G-Advanced toward 6G
Submission Date: 2023-12-01

Generative AI, an emerging paradigm for building a unified machine learning system based on a generic class of AI models, has received a lot of attention. It empowers users to rapidly produce diverse contents by leveraging a range of inputs. These inputs and outputs can encompass text, images, sounds, animation, 3D models, and various other types of data. For instance, generative pre-trained transformers (GPTs) have been successfully applied to natural language processing. On the one hand, it is interesting to study the use of generative AI in solving communication and networking problems in 5G-Advanced toward 6G. On the other hand, deploying generative AI models over wireless networks faces several key challenges, including the large-scale model parameter computation and transmission and the large amount of training data collection. Furthermore, due to the distributive nature of data and computing resources, deploying generative AI models over wireless networks may require collaboration of a large number of wireless devices and edge servers for training, inference, and tasks accomplishment purposes. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate novel network designs to support the deployment of generative AI models. How to make the training and deployment of generative AI models in a network robust, efficient, and sustainable is an urgent question that needs to be addressed in the foreseeable future. This Special Issue (SI) aims to contribute to the development of a comprehensive understanding of the potentials and challenges of generative AI within the context of 5G-Advanced toward 6G communication networks, and to provide guidance for future research and development in this field. This SI is intended to be interdisciplinary, and contributions from a variety of fields, including computer science, electrical engineering, and communications engineering, are welcomed. This SI on the interplay between generative AI and 5G-Advanced toward 6G aims to bring together a diverse range of contributions, covering both the theoretical and practical aspects of this field. Its scope includes, but is not limited to, the following topics: - Generative AI for semantic communication over wireless networks. - Generative AI for mobile edge computing. - Generative AI for users’ behavior analysis and inference. - Generative AI for wireless signal processing. - Channel rendering, 3D mapping, and material learning. - Integrated sensing, communications, and generative AI. - Architecture design of generative AI in wireless networks. - Energy-efficient training and inference of generative AI in wireless networks. - Performance evaluation of generative AI in wireless networks. - Vehicular, IoT, and other applications of generative AI in wireless networks. - Network protocol design, physical layer design, and resource allocation. - Privacy and security issues. - Standardization, interoperability, and testing. - Testbeds, proof of concepts, field trials, and commercial deployments.
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2023-09-02
Special Issue on Goal-oriented Semantic Communication and Networking
Submission Date: 2023-12-15

Virtually all of today’s wireless systems are built upon fundamental principles of reliable communications over noisy channels. Most existing communication paradigms are information content agnostic, particularly at the lower network layers, and have set aside the significance and effectiveness of transmitted messages. It is imperative to move beyond conventional communication theories, system designs, and network architectures to leverage the full potential of emerging technologies, such as IoT, cyber-physical systems, edge computing, 6G, and AI/ML. A new communication paradigm has recently been introduced, termed semantic communications, which focuses on how precisely transmitted symbols convey the semantic and effectiveness level of goal-oriented communication, emphasizing the usefulness of information concerning the goal of data exchange in interactive contexts. Age of Information is an end-to-end metric that can capture one semantic property known as the timeliness of information, which is shown to be instrumental in status update systems. Semantics of Information (SoI) captures additional properties of the information that relate to the “goal” and “purpose” of information exchange. As a new paradigm shift toward 6G communications systems, SoI will enable the design of systems that generate, process, and transmit only a small, yet the most significant fraction of information, thus consuming less energy and channel resources at no expense concerning their effectiveness. This Special Issue (SI) aims to invite researchers from academia and industry to scope the latest research opportunities on new architectures, frameworks, and protocols for goal-oriented semantic communication and networking toward 6G. An outline of topics on which submissions are solicited is as follows: - Semantic and Task/Goal-oriented Communications. - Age of Information and Data Semantics. - Source and Channel Coding for Semantic Communications. - Networking Aspects and Protocols for Goal-oriented Semantic Communications. - Freshness-Value-Perception Tradeoffs in Semantic Communications. - Semantics-empowered Resource Allocation and Management. - AI/ML Techniques for Semantic and Task/Goal-oriented Communications. - Goal-oriented communications for distributed/edge learning. - Communication and control co-design. - Privacy and security issues. - Energy aspects for Semantic Communications. - Semantic communications in emerging wireless networks. - Integration of data semantics with network softwarization. - Experiments and testbeds.
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2023-09-02
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