TurboRAN: State of the art testbed for enabling unprecedented experimental research on multi-band, multi-tier artificial intelligence enabled wireless networks of future

  • The goal of this project is to develop TurboRAN: Testbed for Ultra-Dense-Multi-Band Control and Data Plane Split Radio Access Networks of the Future.. TurboRAN will cover an area of 360,000 square meters at The University of Oklahoma (OU) campus as well as an indoor lab area of 7,500 square feet. This novel testbed will have the ability to experimentally test the static and dynamic parameters associated with a multi-cell, multi-tier, multi-band cellular eco-system being envisioned for 5G and beyond. To capture the envisioned deployment scenarios for 5G and beyond and enable compelling new research on AI enabled proactive self-organizing networks (P-SON), control and data plane split architecture (CDSA) and database aided CDSA, TurboRAN will comprise of: three layers of cells; operation in HF bands as well as in mm-Wave bands; conventional heterogeneous as well as C-RAN implementation; MIMO provision; mobile access points and UEs. In addition to end-to-end programmability and flexibility for modelling a variety of futuristic heterogeneous cellular system scenarios, another unique feature of the TurboRAN will be the integrated big data processing capability to explore the potential of untapped cellular control and user plane data for designing artificial intelligence enabled proactive rather than reactive next generation SON (i.e. P-SON). Together, these features make the planned testbed a powerful enabler for cutting-edge research towards future cellular networks.

    • Prof. Ali Imran (Principal Investigator- University of Oklahoma)
    • Prof. Pramode Verma (University of Oklahoma)
    • Prof. Hazem Refai (University of Oklahoma)
    • Prof. Muhammad Ali Imran (University of Surrey)
    • Prof. Rahim Tafazolli(University of Surrey)
    • Asad Zaidi (PhD candidate - University of Oklahoma)
    • Umair Hashmi (PhD candidate - University of Oklahoma)
    • Azar Taufique (PhD candidate - University of Oklahoma)
    • Hasan Farooq (PhD candidate - University of Oklahoma)
    • Ahmad Asghar (PhD candidate - University of Oklahoma)
    • Haneya Naeem Qureshi (PhD candidate - University of Oklahoma)
    • Arsalan Darbandi (Master's degree candidates - University of Oklahoma)
    • şinasi çetinkaya (Master's degree candidates - University of Oklahoma)
    • Marvin Manalastas (Master's degree candidates - University of Oklahoma)
    • Shruti Bothe (Master's degree candidates - University of Oklahoma)

  • Intellectual Merit

    • Journal
    • 1. A. Asghar, H. Farooq and A. Imran, "Self-Healing in Emerging Cellular Networks: Review, Challenges, and Research Directions," in IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 1682-1709, third quarter 2018. doi: 10.1109/COMST.2018.2825786.

      2. Ahmad Asghar, Hasan Farooq, Ali Imran “On Concurrent Optimization of Coverage, Capacity and Load Balance in HetNets through Joint Self-Organization of Soft and Hard Cell Association Parameters”, in the press for publication in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technologies, 2018 doi: 10.1109/TVT.2018.2846655.

      3. U. S. Hashmi, S. A. R. Zaidi and A. Imran, "User-Centric Cloud RAN: An Analytical Framework for Optimizing Area Spectral and Energy Efficiency," in IEEE Access, vol. 6, pp. 19859-19875, 2018. doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2018.2820898.

      4. A. Zoha, A. Saeed, H. Farooq, A. Rizwan, A. Imran and M. A.Imran, "Leveraging Intelligence from Network CDR Data for Interference Aware Energy Consumption Minimization," in IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 17, no. 7, pp. 1569-1582, 1 July 2018. doi: 10.1109/TMC.2017.2773609.

      5. Onireti, O., Imran, A. & Imran, M. , “Coverage and Rate Analysis in the Uplink of Millimeter Wave Cellular Networks with Fractional Power Control” in EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking (2018): 195. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13638-018-1208-0.

      6. H. Farooq, A. Asghar and A. Imran, "Mobility Prediction based Autonomous Proactive Energy Saving (AURORA) Framework for Emerging UltraDense Networks," in IEEE Transactions on Green Communications and Networking. doi: 10.1109/TGCN.2018.2858011.

      7. O. Onireti, A. Imran and M. A. Imran, "Coverage, Capacity, and Energy Efficiency Analysis in the Uplink of mmWave Cellular Networks," in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 67, no. 5, pp. 3982-3997, May 2018. doi: 10.1109/TVT.2017.2775520.

    • Thesis
    • 1. One PhD thesis has been produced. This thesis presents mobility management solutions using CDSA architecture and will be ultimately tested on the TurboRAN testbed.

    Broader Impact
    • Course Delivered by PI
    • 1. Course titled “Emerging Topics in LTE-A and 5G”. This course was taught by PI in Spring 2018 and was taken by all students working on the project.
      2. Courses on machine learning, Big data analytics and stochastic processes were arranged for project students in Fall 2017.

    • Awards
    • 1. One of the theoretical solutions developed by the GRA working on the project won IEEE Green ICT Best Solution International.

    • Tutorials
    • 1. PI presented a half-day tutorial at IEEE PIMRC, Oct 2017, Montreal Canada.
      2. PI gave a presentation at the 5GIC university of Surrey, during his NSF IRES funded visit to 5GIC in July 2018. 5GIC hosts over 150 researchers working on cellular communications and hosts a consortium of over 20+ wireless industries.
      3. PI gave a presentation at the University of Glasgow, during his NSF IRES funded visit to the UK in July 2018.

    • Keynotes/Invited Talks
    • 1. “Network automation: fundamental challenges, solution approaches and opportunities”, invited talk at Summer School Sponsored by IEEE ComSoc and HEC at LUMS, Aug 9, 2018, Lahore, Pakistan.
      2. “Challenges in use of AI for network Automation and how to address these challenges”, invited talk at Fujitsu Laboratories, Europe, July 11, 2018, London, UK.
      3. “Leap Towards Zero Touch RAN Automation”, invited talk, at Telekom Austria HQ, Jun 25, 2018, Vienna, Austria.
      4. “On the role of AI in 5G and beyond”, invited plenary talk at 5G North America, May 14-16, 2018, Austin Texas.
      5. “How AI will transform the Future of RAN”, invited talk at AT&T Campus, April 17, 2018, San Romano, CA.
      6. “Towards next generation AI Enabled SON”, invited seminar at T-Mobile HQ, April 1, 2018, Seattle, WA.
      7. “Future of open source software-defined Big Data-Enabled RAN”, keynote at the 11th international conference on open source system and technologies, Dec 18-20, 2017, Lahore, Pakistan, http://icosst.kics.edu.pk/2017/
      8. “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Based RAN”, invited talk in an industry panel at RAN USA, Dec 4, 2017, Silicon Valley, USA https://ran-usaevent.com/speakers/.

    • K-12 Outreach Program
    • 1. To continue the K-12 outreach program PI is running and recruit new K-12 students to work on the REU component of this project, in Feb 2018, PI gave a presentation at Booker T Washington High School, Tulsa. This is a historically black school. One student was recruited as a result of this talk for Summer 2018.

    • International Collaboration Opportunities
    • 1. To give project GRAs an experience of international collaboration, they were introduced with PI’s collaborators at 5GIC, Surrey; the University of Glasgow and the University of Leads UK, via emails and video conference sessions.

    • Conference Attendance
    • 1. One GRA involved in the project was sent to present her paper and attend IEEE PIMRC held in Bologna, Italy, Sep 2018.

    • Internship
    • 1. Internships were arranged for two GRAs involved in the project with Bell Labs, NJ in Summer 2018.

    • Mentoring
    • 1. Project students were provided one to one mentoring by PIs through twice a week meetings for close guidance to conduct the proposed research.
      2. One of the project participant students who was eligible for participation in PI’s ongoing IRES project was sent to 5GIC, Surrey, the UK for summer 2018.

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