Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
The emergence of 5G enables a broad set of diversified and heterogeneous services with complex and potentially conflicting demands. For networks to be able to satisfy those needs, a flexible, adaptable, and programmable architecture based on network slicing is being proposed. A softwarization and cloudification of the communications networks is required, where network functions (NFs) are being transformed from programs running on dedicated hardware platforms to programs running over a shared pool of computational and communication resources. This architectural framework allows the introduction of resource elasticity as a key means to make an efficient use of the computational resources of 5G systems, but adds challenges related to resource sharing and efficiency. In this article, we propose Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a built-in architectural feature that allows the exploitation of the resource elasticity of a 5G network. Building on the work of the recently formed Experiential Network Intelligence (ENI) industry specification group of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to embed an AI engine in the network, we describe a novel taxonomy for learning mechanisms that target exploiting the elasticity of the network as well as three different resource elastic use cases leveraging AI. This work describes the basis of a use case recently approved at ETSI ENI.