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    ISDN SYSTEMS ELSEVIER Computer Networks and ISDN Systems 28 (1996) 627-633

    Dimensioning network resources for IN services

    James Yan * BNR, P.O. Box 3511, Station C, Ottawa, Canada KlY 4H7


    As Intelligent Network (IN) services are deployed globally, there is a need to ensure that IN network resources are cost-effectively dimensioned. Within the framework of a constrained optimization problem, this paper highlights and discusses the issues that must be considered in formulating the IN network dimensioning problem. The discussion will focus on those new aspects which distinguish the IN network dimensioning problem from the traditional dimensioning problem of circuit-switched telephone voice networks.

    Keywords: Intelligent networks; Dimensioning; Network design; Network performance; Network performance modeling

    1. Introduction

    Globally, the public telephone networks are undergoing a major shift as they evolve towards the Intelligent Network (IN) and offer new ser- vices based on this new architecture. Telecom operators in Europe, North America and Japan have now implemented aspects of IN and are offering IN-based commercial services such as Freephone, virtual private networks (VPN) and calling card services [l-3].

    Fig. 1 shows the physical architecture of IN. IN services can be accessed either directly at the Service Switching Point (SSP) or through an End Office. Service logic, essentially the combined software/hardware implementing the service, can be resident in either the Service Control Point (SCP) or the Adjunct (ADJ). The SSP communi-

    * E-mail: jimyan@bnr.ca.

    cates with the SCP via the Signal Transfer Point (STP) signaling network using the SS7 signaling protocol.

    The connection between the SSP and the ADJ is typically a direct high-speed communication link. The SCP is a centralized database well suited for services that involve a geographically dis- persed subscriber community and which need network-wide access, usage status and routing information. Because of its high-speed interface to the SSP, the ADJ may be more appropriate for providing quick responses to user actions as well as for service logic local to the SSP.

    Both the Service Node (SN) and the Intelli- gent Peripheral (IP) are systems for providing and managing resources required for user inter- actions. These resources may be for: voice synthe- sis, announcements, voice recognition, and digit collection. Besides supporting user interactions, the SN can also realize some service logic. Typi- cally, the SN is used for specific services rather

    0169-7552/96/$15.00 0 1996 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved SSDZ 0169-7552(95)00069-O

  • 628 J. Yan /Computer Network and ISDN Systems 28 (19%) 627433

    than for the whole range of IN services offered by the SCP or the ADJ. Not shown in Fig. 1, but an important part of IN, is the Service Creation Environment (SCE), a modular programming fa- cility, and the reIated Service Management Sys- tem (SMS) used to create and deploy new IN services.

    The IN dimensioning problem is essentially to determine how many, where, when, and how to deploy the SSPs, STPs, SCPs, SNs and IPs in the networks. Because IN is a new paradigm for delivering telecommunications services, the di- mensioning problem associated with IN services needs to take into account the new aspects of how IN services will use network resources.

    Why is it important to solve the IN network dimensioning problem? Network operators worldwide are aggressively introducing network services based on IN. Solving the dimensioning problem will determine how much of each type of network resources would be required. Such knowledge is useful in two ways: - Knowing the resource requirements early in

    the service planning stage will influence the way services are designed and will be of signifi- cant use to service designers in making trade- offs on how to implement the services.

    - The solution to the problem will reduce the cost of network deployment. Recognizing the importance of the IN network

    dimensioning problem, EURESCOM now has an active project on IN dimensioning [4].

    The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss these aspects unique to IN services. To discuss the new requirements in formulating the IN network dimensioning problem, the frame- work of a constrained optimization problem is used to structure the discussion.

    2. Problem definition

    The goal of network dimensioning is to mini- mize, over a planning period, the costs of the network resources in a given network architec- ture. The network dimensioning problem can be defined as a constrained optimization problem. Specifically, for an expected traffic demand T on network resources, we wish to minimize the re- source costs C over a set D of design options. Formally, the problem can be stated as:For ex- pected traffic T, minimize Resource Costs Ouer design set D (1) such that

    Network performance P 2 Target Pti,, (la) Resource utilization R I Capacity R,, . (lb)

    In achieving the minimum costs, at least two sets of constraints must be satisfied. The first is

    Fl SCP

    SSP I Servlw Switching Polnt

    SN = ServlwNode

    IP - Intelligent Peripheral

    ADJ = Adjunct STP = Signal Transfer Point

    SCP I Service Control Point

    Fig. 1. IN network architecture.

  • J. Yan /Computer Networks and ISDN Systems 28 (1996) 627-633 629

    that the performance of the network P is at least as good as the target minimum performance level. The second is that the utilization of each network resource is within the resources capacity limit. Casting this loosely stated problem into specific terms will require doing the following: . Characterize the traffic T of the planned IN

    services. . Establish the minimum performance targets

    pmin- . Develop the network resource capacity models

    for calculating the utilization R. * Formulate and model the network design alter-

    natives. . Select the appropriate realistic cost functions

    The unique IN aspects of each of these will be discussed in the subsequent sections.

    3. Traffic characterization

    Traffic characterization has to be sufficiently detailed to quantify the traffic demands on the various IN network resources as well as to de- scribe the community of interest among the users. The traffic characterization involves mapping the

    forecast service demands into resource demands. The impact of user behavior has to be incorpo- rated. The biggest challenge under traffic charac- terization is the mapping of forecast service de- mands to resource demands. Typical examples of IN services are Freephone, virtual private net- work, personal communication services. To char- acterize the service demands, there is a need to have a service model. A service model gives the description of what the service features are, an understanding of the network architecture, how these features are provided in the network, how some of the features will generate demands on the network resources. The service model should include information such as: * how the network resources will be used, * the features of the service and their penetra-

    tion, . the geographical coverage of the service, * the expected number of subscribers, * the growth rate, etc.

    To illustrate the service model, consider the Personal Number service. This service is intended to use a single directory number to provide per- sonal mobility of subscribers within the wireline network. The service will use the network as follows (see Fig. 21:

    Fl SCP

    Fig. 2. Simplified message flow in the Personal Number service.

  • 630 J. Yan / Computer Networks and ISDN Systems 28 (1996) 627-633

    1. Any subscriber A calls the Personal Number service subscriber B whose home location is Switch 3.

    2. The SSP serving subscriber B sends a query, via the STP signaling network, to the SCP to find out the current location of B.

    3. The SCP replies that the current location is Switch 2.

    4. The call is routed to Switch 2. Some features of the service are: (1) Follow

    Me in which the call is routed to wherever the subscriber is, (2) Schedule in which the destina- tion is changed according to the time of the day and is predetermined, (3) Do Not Disturb in which the call is forwarded to the voice mail box of the subscriber. Feature penetration refers to the percentage of the service subscriber who will use each feature and the frequency of using them. The geographical coverage may be metropolitan in some cities only, national or international. Part of the service model is to project the initial ex- pected number of subscribers and the growth pattern over the time period of interest.

    Characterizing the service, however, is not suf- ficient for dimensioning. There is still the need to translate the service model into traffic parame- ters which are meaningful for dimensioning the network resources. Examples of these parameters are: * call attempt rate, * signaling messages, - SCP query rate, - non-call associated processing load, * community of interest (CO0 matrix.

    The importance of these parameters depends on the resources being dimensioned. If, for in- stance, the goal is to determine the minimum number and location of SCPs, then the SCP query traffic and the CO1 matrix are of great interest.

    IN-based services will introduce non-call asso- ciated traffic demands. These traffic streams will consume network resources but do not require connections set up. A good example of this type of traffic in the Personal Number service is the traffic generated by the subscriber to update the SCP of the subscribers new location, to change the times in the Schedule feature, or to turn on or


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