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

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What could a fully autonomic & digital BT network look like? This event is for you to capitalise on opportunities from research in NG-CDI...

15th September 2021.

Welcome to our ONLINE event ahead of our SPOTLIGHT expo event in Adastral Park early next year, open to all BT employees.

Todays event will provide an introduction to the project and an opportunity to start conversations leading up to the in-person event in 2022, and will cover the same topic areas and planned presentations from our key academics, kicking off with an introduction from Prof. Tim Whitley, MD Applied Research and Adastral Park.


09.15:   Online event opens for joining


09.30:   Welcome & Set-up

             Paul Bennett – NG-CDI Project Manager

09.35:   BT Keynote Introduction 20min

            Prof. Tim Whitley (BT)

10.00:   Introduction to NG-CDI 30min

            Stephen Cassidy (BT) / Prof. Nick Race (Lancaster University)

10.30:   Anomaly Detection for Dynamic Infrastructure 30min

            Prof. Idris Eckley (Lancaster University)

11.00:   Coffee Break


11.15:   Intent-Based Networking & DevOps 30min

           Prof. Ning Wang (University of Surrey) & Dr Haris Rotsos (Lancaster University)


11.45:   Prognostics for Service Assurance 30min

            Dr Ajith Parlikad (University of Cambridge)

12.15:   Risk & Governance 30min

            Dr Philip Stiles (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)

12.45:   Lunch


13.30:  Introduction & set-up for the Afternoon sessions 10min

           Paul Bennett – NG-CDI Project Manager

13.40:  Storyboards & Demonstration session 110min


15.30:  Closing remarks & 2022 event 10min

           Stephen Cassidy (BT) & Prof. Nick Race (Lancaster University)

15.40:  End 

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Prof. Tim Whitley

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Stephen Cassidy

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Prof. Idris Eckley

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Prof. Ning Wang

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Dr Ajith Parlikad

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Prof. Nick Race

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Dr Haris Rotsos

Dr Philip Stiles

Morning Presentation Sessions:


A welcome to the online event by Prof. Timothy John Whitley.

Tim is a BT Distinguished Engineer and serves as MD Applied Research & Adastral Park for BT. He is accountable for all aspects of BT’s Global Research activities, which includes applied research, technology and partnerships with world leading universities.

Welcome. 15/09/2021
Prof. Tim Whitley, 
MD, Applied Research & Adastral Park, BT.


Introduction by the Principal Investigator's of the project, Prof. Nicholas Race (Lancaster University) & Stephen Cassidy (BT), exploring "What could an autonomic and virtualised BT look like?". This event seeks to help BT exploit work from the NG-CDI research project, a collaboration of four universities jointly funded by BT and the UK Government. Its vision is to create Autonomic network technologies for fixed and mobile networks that will enable BT to perform greater market experimentation, improve the economic scaling of new services and make our business processes more efficient. NG-CDI leverages Cambridge, Lancaster, Bristol and Surrey universities’ expertise in machine learning, digital twins, statistics, 5G radio, business processes and intent based networks in a unique project focused on BT’s future challenges.

Introduction by the Principle Investigators. 15/09/2021
Prof. Nick Race, Lancaster University.
Stephen Cassidy, Applied Research, BT.

PI Intro

Anomaly Detection for Dynamic Infrastructure. 

Presented by Prof. Idris Eckley (Lancaster University), one of the projects original objectives was to create "...a new autonomic framework for digital infrastructure to equip the nodes of the infrastructure network with the ability to understand their state, detect and diagnose disruptions to service, and take autonomous actions...” Idris presents on detecting anomalies in massive real-time on-line data flows to diagnose network or operational problems and trigger corrective actions.

Anomaly Detection for Dynamic Infrastructure. 15/09/2021
Prof. Idris Eckley, Lancaster University.

Anomaly Detection

Intent-Based Networking and Network DevOps.

Presented by Dr Charalampos Rotsos (Lancaster University) & Prof. Ning Wang (University of Surrey) this presentation focusses on balancing Customer and Operator needs (“intent”) concerning service, economics & risk, simplifying the translation from higher level business processes to deployment into infrastructure.


Haris & Ning provide and introduction to the projects work on Intent-Based Networking (IBN) and Automation, looking at Intent capture, testing & monitoring, managing 5G infrastructure with Intents & future directions.

Intent-Based Networking & Network DevOps. 15/09/2021
Dr Charalampos Rotsos, Lancaster University.
Prof. Ning Wang, University of Surrey.


Prognostics for Service Assurance 

Presented by Dr Ajith Parlikad (University of Cambridge) from the Institute of Manufacturing, this presentation outlines NG-CDI's work in "Prognostics for Service Assurance" – using self-learning between smart network assets to optimise the economics of service delivery and maintenance of the network, taking account of different timescales of investments and business impact.

This presentation provides an introduction into the projects work to develop tools/ methodologies/techniques to predictively manage the telecoms infrastructure to assure service to customers.

Prognostics for Service Assurance. 15/09/2021
Dr Ajith Parlikad, University of Cambridge.

Service Assurance

Governance and Risk Management 

This NG-CDI presentation on "Governance and Risk Management" by Dr Philip Stiles (University of Cambridge) Judge Business School, looks at how we ensure that autonomics at scale is used to improve how we manage business risks, and how we avoid the pitfalls of emergent systems, at technical and organisational levels.

how we ensure that autonomics at scale is used to improve how we manage business risks, and how we avoid the pitfalls of emergent systems, at technical and organisational levels.

Governance & Risk Management. 15/09/2021
Dr Philip Stiles, University of Cambridge.


Afternoon Breakout Room Sessions: 13.30-15.30

After lunch, we will have five “breakout” rooms framed around the areas of Intent-Based Networking & DevOps, Anomaly Detection for Dynamic Infrastructure, Prognostics for Service Assurance, and Governance & Risk Management.

Here you will have a chance to engage with the respective teams in these areas, see overviews of the demonstrations, and feedback on areas of challenge or future development.


We are keen to hear your thoughts, and these sessions will provide us an initial opportunity to listen to your feedback, identify additional areas within BT where project technologies could be down-streamed, develop new ideas & opportunities and identify future challenges. Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of the project, please take the opportunity to visit each of the rooms and join in the discussions as you can. 

1: Anomaly Detection for Dynamic Infrastructure 

Hosted by Trevor Burbridge (BT) & Ed Austin, this Storyboard & Demonstrator room with be open from 13.30 for you to join in the presentations and discussions, and will contain demonstrations of CAPPA, FAST & NUNC.

Anomaly Detection- NUNC. 15/09/2021
Ed Austin
Lancaster University.


2: Prognostics for Service Assurance 

Hosted by Dr Ajith Parlikad (University of Cambridge), Prof. Rob Piechocki (University of Bristol) & Arjun Parekh (BT, EE), this Storyboard & Demonstrator room with be open from 13.30 for you to join in the presentations and discussions around Deep Reinforced Learning, Collaborative Network Maintenance and Network Simulators for Risk and Critical Assessment, with presentations from Dr Xiaoyang Wang, Maharshi Dhada & Dr Manuel Herrera.

Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) for future Open RAN. 15/09/2021
Dr Xiaoyang Wang.
University of Bristol.

Collaborative Network Maintenance. 15/09/2021
Maharishi Dhada.
University of Cambridge.

Infrastructure Management Tool. 15/09/2021
Dr Manuel Herrera.
Institute of Manufacturing, University of Cambridge.

3a: Intent Based Networking - Asset Management

Hosted by Dr Haris Rotsos (Lancaster University) & Phil Eardly (BT), this Storyboard & Demonstrator room with be open from 13.30 for you to join in the presentations and discussions around Intent-Based Networking and Integrating Asset Management processes, with presentations from Dr Haris Rotsos & Ben Simms, Dr Marco Hernandez and Dr Alena Puchkova

Business INTENT demonstration. 15/09/2021
Dr Charalampos Rotsos.
Lancaster University.

Agent-based control of Infrastructure Management. 15/09/2021
Dr Marco Hernandez.
University of Cambridge.

Integrating Asset Management and Traffic engineering. 15/09/2021
Dr Marco Hernandez.
University of Cambridge.

3b: Intent Based Networking – Service Testing

Hosted by Prof. Ning Wang (University of Surrey) and Andy Reid (BT), this Storyboard & Demonstrator room with be open from 13.30 for you to join in the discussions around Intent-Based Service Management Control (SRV6) and DevOps (NEAT - Network Automated Testing), with presentations from Peng Qian, Will Fantom & Paul Alcock

Network DevOps - NEAT. 15/09/2021
Will Fantom.
Lancaster University.

4: Governance and Risk Management

Hosted by Dr Philip Stiles (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge) and Steve Cassidy (BT), this Storyboard & Demonstrator room with be open from 13.30 for you to join in the discussions around Digital Twins & dynamic environments for ORAN & Governance & Risk Management, with presentations from Piezheng Li, Jonathon Thomas, Dr Pradeep Debata and Dr Eleanor Toye Scott 

Digital Twins and dynamic environments for Open RAN. 15/09/2021
Peizheng Li & Jonathan Thomas.
University of Bristol.

CASE STUDY - Automation in Financial Services - Algorithmic Trading. 15/09/2021
Dr Pradeep Debata.
Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

CASE STUDY - Digital Transformation in a civil engineering firm. 15/09/2021
Dr Eleanor Toye Scott.
Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

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