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Research programme and Methodology...

Realising our ambitious vision requires a multidisciplinary approach that combines an intimate understanding of operating national and international digital infrastructure with world-class expertise in the areas of data analytics, machine learning, cyber-physical systems, network functions virtualisation, networked systems, asset management and business innovation.


NG-CDI is organised around a programme of work focused around five major Research Challenges (RCs), that together address the over-arching objectives of NG-CDI. Each RC is led by an academic leader who benefits from close collaboration with a senior BT researcher.


RC1: Agile converged infrastructure system architecture

How to build an agile digital infrastructure that is amenable for autonomous operation?

RC2: Future network operations and services

How to build an agile digital infrastructure that is amenable for autonomous operation?

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RC3: Autonomic system architecture

How to enable autonomous operational ability for the digital infrastructure?

RC4: Next generation detection & diagnostics

How to detect disruptions to performance in the autonomic digital infrastructure?

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RC5: Future organisational



How to exploit the autonomic agile capabilities of the digital infrastructure?

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An ambitious programme geared to create a radically new architecture for the UK’s internet and telecommunications infrastructure

Research Challenges...

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RC1 - Agile Converged Infrastructure Systems Architecture

Dr Charalampos Rotsos, Lancaster University.

This RC will propose, implement and evaluate a systems architecture to build reliable digital infrastructures amenable to automated operations using the nascent technologies of future networks, including NFV and SDN.

RC2 - Future Network Operations and Services

Prof. Ning Wang, University of Surrey.

A new paradigm in how networks and services are managed and optimised is required to ensure that the UK’s digital infrastructure is robust and can be operated efficiently, yet also capable of rapid innovation. This RC will deliver new operational models and conduct the fundamental research necessary to provide industry with a blueprint for future network services and operations.

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RC3 - Autonomic System Architecture

Prof. Duncan McFarlane, University of Cambridge.

The underlying autonomic network systems architecture proposed in RC1 requires an appropriate ‘knowledge layer’ to supervise the network in an automated manner. Implicit in this framework is the need to enable the intelligent and autonomous digital behaviour expected from this new model. The framework behaviour this enables must support the dynamic environment offered through the micro-NFV concept, and dynamically identify the targets, KPIs and actuators, and make autonomous decisions. 

RC4 - Future Organisational Dynamics

Prof. Idris Eckley, Lancaster University.

This RC will develop novel detection and diagnostic methods required to establish automated analysis and anomaly identification to routinely inform decision-making and drive automation. Therefore, whereas the previous three RCs provide the building blocks for agile, autonomous and reliable digital infrastructure, this RC will provide the mechanisms to transfer raw data into effective actions. 

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RC5 - Autonomic System Architecture

Dr Ajith Parlikad, University of Cambridge

The critical features offered by the type of infrastructure envisioned in this project pose new research challenges from the point of view of organisational dynamics. RC5 will examine how to bring these capabilities together to improve organisational performance through improved service assurance and enhancing organisational capabilities.

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