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Publication Date

Manuscript Submission Deadline

Special Issue

Call for Papers

Network softwarization is one of the key enablers of the future Internet evolution, also supporting the road from the fifth generation (5G) to the next-generation communication systems, namely 6G, with their main objective of bringing hyper-connected experience to every corner of society.

Besides network paradigms such as Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Virtualization (NV), and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), new paradigms are being considered, such as Edge Computing (EC) and Network Intelligence (NI).

In the new upcoming application scenarios, effective and efficient management of softwarized networks and services, already indispensable for current networks, should follow this trend, now becoming “smart”, to cope with the unfolding plethora of opportunities provided by softwarization. Flexibility does not only have to be addressed by selecting a configuration once, but systems have to be adapted continuously and be able to deal with dynamic demands in an automated and, hopefully, zero-touch way. In this perspective, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will play a central role in management and orchestration of softwarized networks, but also new networking and computing paradigms need to be defined to handle more and more hard requirements with huge amounts of data in real-time.

Given the strong world-wide interest in the softwarization of networks and cloud computing infrastructures, this special issue aims at the timely publication of recent innovative research results on this important topic.

Based on the continuously increasing interest, this special issue is the seventh special issue as part of a series on Management of Softwarized Networks in IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management, with the first issue published in March 2015. Since then, 200+ papers were published in TNSM on the latest technologies for the management of softwarized networks. In particular, the emerging network dynamics and the demand towards a smart and holistic end-to-end network management across protocol layers, interconnecting wired and wireless domains for programmable hardware and software platforms inside the network or at its edge open up many more unsolved challenges to be addressed.

We welcome submissions addressing the important challenges (see the non-exhaustive list of topics below) and presenting novel research or experimentation results. Survey papers that offer an original perspective on related work and identify key challenges for future research are welcome as well. We look forward to your submissions!

Topics of interest for this special issue, include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Smart management of 5G/5G&B/6G softwarized networks
  • APIs, protocols and algorithms for the management of softwarized networks
  • Efficient end-to-end management of softwarized network infrastructures
  • Network and service automation
  • Algorithms for efficient orchestration
  • SDN and P4 switch/router architecture and design
  • Management of virtualized wireline and wireless network resources, services and functions
  • Real-time requirements and online learning for softwarized network management
  • Edge computing and in-network processing in softwarized networks
  • Intersection of edge and device intelligence
  • (De-)composition of virtualized network and service functions
  • Service Functions Chains (SFC) modeling, representation and management
  • Composition algorithms and automated deployment for SFCs
  • Dynamic migration of network functions and NFV-based systems
  • (Radio) access and core network slicing and slice management
  • Efficient network and service monitoring
  • Algorithms for diagnosis and correlation of events
  • Automated configuration and repair of softwarized networks
  • Availability, reliability, robustness and resilience
  • Supporting adaptation and flexibility in softwarized networks
  • Dynamic resource scaling based on user mobility in softwarized networks
  • Policy-based and intent-based management
  • QoS/QoE-based management and control in softwarized networks
  • Debugging and introspection of softwarized networks
  • Measurements and benchmarking of management concepts in softwarized networks
  • Detailed experience reports from experimental testbeds
  • Transition strategies from existing networks to softwarized networks
  • AI/Machine learning for softwarized networks
  • Trustworthiness, security and privacy
  • Sustainability of future softwarized networks

Submission Format

Papers will be evaluated based on their originality, presentation, relevance and contribution to the field of management of software-defined virtualized systems, as well as their overall quality and suitability for the special issue. The submitted papers must be written in a good English and describe original research which has not been published nor currently under review by other journals or conferences. Previously published conference papers should be clearly identified and referenced by the authors at the initial submission stage and an explanation should be provided of how such papers have been extended in order to be considered for this special issue. View author guidelines for preparation of manuscripts (including number of pages and potential extra page costs.)

For more information, please contact Giovanni Schembra or Wolfgang Kellerer.

Submission Guidelines

All manuscripts and any supplementary material should be submitted through the IEEE Manuscript Central service. Authors must indicate in the submission system that their manuscript is intended for the “Smart Management of Future Softwarized Networks” special issue.

Important Dates

Paper Submission Date: 30 June 2021 (Extended Deadline)
Notification of Acceptance: 30 September 2021
Publication Date*: 1 March 2022

 (* online published version will be available in IEEE Xplore after the camera ready version has been submitted with final DOI)

Guest Editors

Giovanni Schembra (Lead)
University of Catania, Italy

Wolfgang Kellerer (Co-Lead)
Technical University of Munich, Germany

Christian Jacquenet
Orange, France

Noriaki Kamiyama
Ritsumeikan University, Japan

Barbara Martini
CNIT, Italy

Rafael Pasquini
Federal University of Uberlandia, Brazil

Dimitrios Pezaros
University of Glasgow, UK

Roberto Riggio
RISE Research Institutes, Sweden

Hongke Zhang
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Mohamed Faten Zhani
ÉTS, Canada

Thomas Zinner
NTNU, Norway

Marina Thottan
Nokia Bell Labs, USA