The primary objective of the AI-NET research program is to accelerate digital transformation in Europe by intelligent network automation at the Edge.Complete network automation is a clear prerequisite for the efficient use of a highly integrated and flexible edge infrastructure which is programmable across all its components, from basic connectivity setup to fully virtualized network functions and application components.AI-NET will explore a number of use cases spanning the technology challenges of services being deployed and operated at the network edge, in order to distil the various scenarios and deployments of each use case, and thereby the technical requirements as well as the values.AI-NET will research and develop technologies specific for an edge infrastructure, which is characterized by a large number of edge locations, heterogenous hardware and site configurations, resource constrained compute environments, a mix of base technologies for virtualization platforms and transport networks, and finally supporting critical services in customized network slices.To manage the resulting complexity, we need to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to complement or replace traditional optimization and prediction algorithms. The edge platform will be an efficient way to support a learning infrastructure.Finally, a deep edge network will be deployed at locations which have not been prepared for the power requirements of data centers, even small ones. AINET will analyze requirements on deployment and power supply for the edge infrastructure and develop methods to minimize power consumption.The benefit for participating partnering industries will be the access to new knowledge demonstrated in proof of concepts running in test-beds and presented in scientific papers. The PhD candidates will also find their way to the industry R&D departments improving the skill set and capacity of European industry. New IPRs, products and service concepts will be developed and enhance the business performance of the participants. The project will also based on the European leadership in mobile communication challenge the global competition in cloud, edge and artificial intelligence technologies.

AI-NET umbrella project structure

The AI-NET umbrella project structure is based on three sub-projects as shown in the figure below. These sub-projects are formed by the system manufacturers together with selected partners. The system manufacturers take over the technical management of these sub-projects and the responsibility for defining the content. Separate funding applications are submitted to the national funding authorities by each partner (except for sub-contractors).

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