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Flexible and Adaptive 5G Mobile Network Architecture Design for E2E Network Slicing

Call for Papers

The expected diversity of services, use cases, and applications in 5G requires a flexible, adaptable, and programmable mobile network architecture to support multiple communication services and multiple tenants using a common infrastructure. The end-to-end (E2E) network slicing paradigm is among the most popular approaches for addressing such challenging requirements. A network slice can be seen by a tenant as an independent network for the target business operation. However, in contrast to deploying an independent network infrastructure for each slice, network slicing will be enabled by realizing multiple slices on a common infrastructure, including assets, such as hardware, software, or radio resources.

Vertical industries are prime candidates for such next-generation adaptive architectures as they represent a highly relevant business opportunity for the 5G ecosystem. Typical examples include smart factories as well as large enterprise campuses. Further use cases emerge from areas such as connected society, smart city, management of critical infrastructure, or next-generation services for public land mobile networks (PLMNs). These use cases impose requirements that may differ significantly for vertical industries (e.g., high throughput, distribution of large amounts of data, and low and/or very deterministic latency).

Realization of the diverse set of requirements as above faces several challenges from flexible cloudification of protocol stack to adaptive network slicing via interslice control and management. Furthermore, cost-efficiency is an overarching challenge, requiring insights into the architecture via experiment- and implementation-driven modeling and optimization. In addition, network slicing shall be realized by E2E implying cross-domain optimizations, that is, network domains (core network (CN), radio access network (RAN), and transport network (TN)) and administrative domains pertaining to different operators.

This special issue aims to publish original research articles as well as review articles that present the state-of-the-art studies and research projects on 5G flexible, adaptive, and programmable network architectures with a particular focus on the realization of E2E network slicing. Articles demonstrating practical implementation aspects and experimental outcomes are welcomed.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Orchestration and management mechanisms for a flexible 5G system architecture
  • Interslice and intraslice resource management
  • Interslice and intraslice orchestration algorithms
  • Cross-domain optimizations for E2E network slicing
  • Network slicing in the radio access network (RAN)
  • Network slicing in distributed versus centralized cloud-based architecture
  • Experimental platforms for network orchestration and management
  • Protocol stack cloudification enabling network slicing
  • Cloudified virtual network functions (VNFs) and cloud-native network design
  • Performance isolation/service level agreement (SLA) assurance for network slicing
  • Slicing impact on network programmability and software-defined network control

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 4 May 2018
Publication DateSeptember 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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