Policy-based Management of Context-Aware Services in 3rd Generation Mobile Networks

Alvin Yew

Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR), University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

Current 3rd Generation (3G) mobile networks have the ability to deploy and offer context-aware services. 3G service frameworks such as the Open Service Access and the Location Service provide context-aware services easy access to the user.s context. Service adaptation is fundamental to context-aware service provisioning and to the realisation of the Virtual Home Environment concept, which is now an integral part of the 3G service framework. The additional complexity in service adaptation inherent in context-aware services, however, requires a powerful and appropriate management framework to control service behaviour. Policy-based management, a proven solution in the network management field, is an appropriate framework to manage adaptable context-aware services as it reduces complexity through a rule-based approach of mapping events and conditions to management actions to achieve management goals. 3GPP has incorporated a policy management interface in the OSA specifications but has not provided any mappings or bindings to the underlying 3G network to achieve its realisation.

This thesis proposes a framework that realizes the OSA policy management API while maintaining strict compliance to the plethora of 3G specifications regarding the underlying 3G network. It explores the various operating requirements for deploying the policy-based management framework including the various 3G business models, the VHE concept, and the context-aware service adaptation requirements. Solutions to managing and enforcing multi-dimensional context-aware service adaptation are also presented in this thesis. A policy information model to aid the creation of context-aware service adaptation policies was designed and developed with strict compliance to the various 3G specifications. A prototype of the framework was implemented as a proof of concept and its evaluation is provided with an empirical analysis of its performance.

PhD Thesis, October 2007.

The full thesis in Acrobat pdf (2M) can be made available by contacting the author (yew_city (at) hotmail.com).