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Emerging Technologies in Software-driven Communication

Special Issue



Computer networks fundamentally changed the way we communicate and interact with each other. In fact, they now form the backbone of our modern societies. While early networks were merely a mechanism for exchanging data between end-hosts, current computer and telecommunication networks are way more than that. Compared to the early days of the networking not only the hardware of networks has changed fundamentally, but with it also the software deployed to control and manage these networks. To reduce the significant management cost of large networks, automated management, including autonomic computing and communications evolved.

In addition, one fairly recent trend with strong impact on the network architecture was the emergence of cloud computing, with the promise of inherent scalability, availability, and better resource utilization. This led to a centralization of (virtual) network functions in data centers with clear cost benefits, but at the same time introducing new limitations. To address these limitations, some intelligence of the control plane is being shifted from the inner network nodes and data centers to the edge of the network, which is then referred to as edge or fog computing. At the same time, the network control logic moved from lower into higher layers, i.e., from hardware into software.

This special issue will address these developments and the technical challenges they present, thereby putting a spotlight on the technology areas covered by 3 of ComSoc’s Emerging Technology Sub-Technical Committees, namely issues in Autonomic Communication, Software-Defined Networks (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV), as well as Cloud Communications and Networking.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following categories:

  • Autonomic communication
    • Self-management of networks, in particular of SDNs and VNF
    • Automatic testing, integration, and deployment of  (Virtual) Network Functions
    • Self-optimization based on network Big Data
    • Autonomic Operation and Business support systems
    • Autonomic and distributed security functions
  • SDN and NFV
    • Operational results on studies related to SDN/NFV
    • Novel applications and services, including security services, using SDN/NFV
    • Software-based architectures for access networks
    • SDN-based architectures and platforms for the Internet-of-Things (IoT)
    • SDN/NFV enabling next generation networks, e.g., 5G
    • Traffic engineering and QoS/QoE in SDNs/NFVs
  • Cloud communication and networking
    • Mobile cloud architectures & models
    • Distributed cloud, edge-cloud, mobile edge-cloud, fog computing, all supporting low latency services
    • Emerging services and analytics for cloud communication
    • Public/private cloud networking for SDN/NFV support
    • Security mechanisms in/for large and distributed cloud environments


Marcus Brunner

Ashutosh Dutta
AT&T Labs

Mathias Fischer
University Hamburg

Toktam Mahmoodi
Kings College London