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Telecom, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2022) – 7 articles

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Article
DRLLA: Deep Reinforcement Learning for Link Adaptation
Telecom 2022, 3(4), 692-705; https://doi.org/10.3390/telecom3040037 - 23 Nov 2022
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Link adaptation (LA) matches transmission parameters to conditions on the radio link, and therefore plays a major role in telecommunications. Improving LA is within the requirements for next-generation mobile telecommunication systems, and by refining link adaptation, a higher channel efficiency can be achieved [...] Read more.
Link adaptation (LA) matches transmission parameters to conditions on the radio link, and therefore plays a major role in telecommunications. Improving LA is within the requirements for next-generation mobile telecommunication systems, and by refining link adaptation, a higher channel efficiency can be achieved (i.e., an increased data rate thanks to lower required bandwidth). Furthermore, by replacing traditional LA algorithms, radio transmission systems can better adapt themselves to a dynamic environment. There are several drawbacks to current state-of-the-art approaches, including predefined and static decision boundaries or relying on a single, low-dimensional metric. Nowadays, a broadly used approach to handle a variety of related input variables is a neural network (NN). NNs are able to make use of multiple inputs, and when combined with reinforcement learning (RL), the so-called deep reinforcement learning (DRL) approach emerges. Using DRL, more complex parameter relationships can be considered in order to recommend the modulation and coding scheme (MCS) used in LA. Hence, this work examines the potential of DRL and includes experiments on different channels. The main contribution of this work lies in using DRL algorithms for LA, optimized for throughput based on a subcarrier observation matrix and a packet success rate feedback system. We apply Natural Actor-Critic (NAC) and Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO) algorithms on simulated channels with a subsequent feasibility study on a prerecorded real-world channel. Empirical results produced by experiments on the examined channels hint that Deep Reinforcement Learning for Link Adaptation (DRLLA) offers good performance indicated by a promising data rate on the additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channel, the non-line-of-sight (NLOS) channel, and a prerecorded real-world channel. No matter the channel impairment, the agent is able to respond to changing signal-to-interference-plus-noise-ratio (SINR) levels, as exhibited by expected changes in the effective data rate. Full article
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Article
Design and Implementation of a Smart Intercom System through Web Services on Web of Things
Telecom 2022, 3(4), 675-691; https://doi.org/10.3390/telecom3040036 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 445
Abstract
In this paper, an embedded system is used as a host for the intercom and as a chatbot server for this system. The chatbot server controls door locks, cameras, buzzers, and related devices through web services on the WoT (Web of Things) to [...] Read more.
In this paper, an embedded system is used as a host for the intercom and as a chatbot server for this system. The chatbot server controls door locks, cameras, buzzers, and related devices through web services on the WoT (Web of Things) to provide residents and visitors with better functionality and integrational services. This system can greatly improve the security and convenience of the system compared with the traditional intercom system. The resident uses the instant messaging software of the smartphone to replace the handset function, and there is no need to install and learn new apps, reducing the cost of the handset and the wiring indoors and outdoors. Whether or not the residents are at home, they can check whether there are visitors and check the status of their doors through their smartphones. Conversely, any visitor can also contact the resident through this intercom, while there is no way to confirm whether the resident is at home or not, which enhances the security of the house. This system provides flexibility in wireless installation and use and sufficient mobility for residents. The system architecture strikes a good balance between user convenience and home security and between performance and cost, effectively improving home security and reducing costs. Full article
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Review
Fifty Years of Fixed Optical Networks Evolution: A Survey of Architectural and Technological Developments in a Layered Approach
Telecom 2022, 3(4), 619-674; https://doi.org/10.3390/telecom3040035 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Over the past fifty years, telecommunications has transformed, in an unprecedented manner, the way we live, work and communicate. For telecommunications, fixed networks are the one pillar and wireless networks the other. The wireless networks and their generations have been extensively investigated in [...] Read more.
Over the past fifty years, telecommunications has transformed, in an unprecedented manner, the way we live, work and communicate. For telecommunications, fixed networks are the one pillar and wireless networks the other. The wireless networks and their generations have been extensively investigated in the literature; however, the fixed networks lack a consistent exploration of their evolution. For this purpose, our motivation is to present a review of the evolution of fixed networks in a holistic manner, from various different perspectives, which can assist engineers and students to understand, in a better way, how broadband networks developed and the main features of the current networking environment. Specifically, in this review, we aim to shed light on the most important technologies, standards and milestones of the fixed networks from various perspectives, such as the service perspective, the networking perspective (both access and core part) and the physical layer perspective. Our study follows the timeline of the five generations of fixed networks defined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) F5G group and discusses the key achievements and limitations of each generation for each different infrastructure layer and segment, designating the most important issues for the most widely-adopted technologies and standards. Finally, our analysis helps to reveal the technical challenges that need to be addressed by the fixed telecom network community, such as energy efficiency, capacity scaling, cost-efficiency, etc., while also revealing potential future directions. Full article
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Article
Coverage Extension for the UK Smart Meter Implementation Programme Using Mesh Connectivity
Telecom 2022, 3(4), 610-618; https://doi.org/10.3390/telecom3040034 - 31 Oct 2022
Viewed by 329
Abstract
Smart meters (SM) with wireless capabilities are one of the most meaningful applications of the Internet of Things. Standards like Zigbee have found a niche in transmitting data on energy usage to the user and the supplier wirelessly via these meters and communication [...] Read more.
Smart meters (SM) with wireless capabilities are one of the most meaningful applications of the Internet of Things. Standards like Zigbee have found a niche in transmitting data on energy usage to the user and the supplier wirelessly via these meters and communication hubs. There are still certain difficulties, notably in delivering wireless connectivity to meters situated in difficult-to-reach locations such as basements or deep indoors. To solve this issue, this paper investigates the usage of mesh networks at 868 MHz, particularly to increase coverage, and proposes an additional mounted antenna to significantly increase outside coverage while providing the necessary coverage extension for hard-to-reach indoor locations. Extensive measurements were made in Newbury in both suburban and open environments for validation and delivery of a simple statistical model for the 868 MHz band in United Kingdom conurbations. Results presented in this paper estimate that mesh networks at 868 MHz can accommodate large areas constituting several SMs with the proposed coverage extension method. With our findings and proposed methods on mesh connectivity, only 1% of UK premises will require mesh radios to achieve the desired coverage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Intelligent Sensors in Smart Cities)
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Article
An Analysis of MPTCP Congestion Control
Telecom 2022, 3(4), 581-609; https://doi.org/10.3390/telecom3040033 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Many devices contain more than one network interface. There is scope for multi-path transfer to utilise these network interfaces simultaneously. Multi-path TCP (MPTCP) is designed to provide improved resilience and resource utilisation through multi-path transfer. One of the key goals of MPTCP is [...] Read more.
Many devices contain more than one network interface. There is scope for multi-path transfer to utilise these network interfaces simultaneously. Multi-path TCP (MPTCP) is designed to provide improved resilience and resource utilisation through multi-path transfer. One of the key goals of MPTCP is to preserve fair resource sharing with regular TCP at network bottlenecks. Although the coupled congestion control algorithms can achieve this goal by coupling subflow congestion windows, the algorithms always assume that the subflow paths will share a bottleneck. As a consequence, MPTCP is unable to maximise throughput over all available paths at a non-shared bottleneck. We present a survey about MPTCP and its coupled congestion control algorithms. We then show that MPTCP coupled congestion control algorithms perform poorly when paths are disjoint and/or do not have similar delay and/or bandwidth characteristics. Full article
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Article
Development of an Analog Gauge Reading Solution Based on Computer Vision and Deep Learning for an IoT Application
Telecom 2022, 3(4), 564-580; https://doi.org/10.3390/telecom3040032 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 510
Abstract
In many industries, analog gauges are monitored manually, thus posing problems, especially in large facilities where gauges are often placed in hard-to-access or dangerous locations. This work proposes a solution based on a microcontroller (ESP32-CAM) and a camera (OV2640 with a 65° FOV [...] Read more.
In many industries, analog gauges are monitored manually, thus posing problems, especially in large facilities where gauges are often placed in hard-to-access or dangerous locations. This work proposes a solution based on a microcontroller (ESP32-CAM) and a camera (OV2640 with a 65° FOV lent) to capture a gauge image and send it to a local computer where it is processed, and the results are presented in a dashboard accessible through the web. This was achieved by first applying a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to detect the gauge with the CenterNet HourGlass104 model. After locating the dial, it is segmented using the circle Hough transform, followed by a polar transformation to determine the pointer angle using the pixel projection. In the end, the indicating value is determined using the angle method. The dataset used was composed of 204 gauge images split into train and test sets using a 70:30 ratio. Due to the small size of the dataset, a diverse set of data augmentations were applied to obtain high accuracy and a well-generalized gauge detection model. Additionally, the experimental results demonstrated adequate robustness and accuracy for industrial environments achieving an average relative error of 0.95%. Full article
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Article
Remote Technologies as Common Practice in Industrial Maintenance: What Do Experts Say?
Telecom 2022, 3(4), 548-563; https://doi.org/10.3390/telecom3040031 - 23 Sep 2022
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Remote solutions open up new possibilities for collaboration and communication to solve maintenance tasks efficiently. Currently, there are no concepts to efficiently determine the suitability of such remote technologies for specific production facilities. It is therefore even more important to include current practical [...] Read more.
Remote solutions open up new possibilities for collaboration and communication to solve maintenance tasks efficiently. Currently, there are no concepts to efficiently determine the suitability of such remote technologies for specific production facilities. It is therefore even more important to include current practical experience with remote technologies in industrial maintenance in the development of these concepts. In this way, the specific requirements and needs of the companies can be taken into account. In order to get an updated practical impression of the use of remote maintenance technology in the field of industrial maintenance, an explorative interview study was conducted. The aim of this study is to collect detailed examples from practice in order to be able to set up a model (category system) oriented towards practical focal points. Based on this, targeted representative surveys or practice-oriented experimental designs can be developed better. For this reason, ten interviews were conducted with maintenance experts from the business community. The results show that remote technologies have not yet fully established themselves in business practice. The main problem is the implementation of suitable framework conditions in order to be able to use remote technologies extensively. Full article
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