FORCES Project Colloquium

Programming Networks:
The New Way to provide Communications Services

Tuesday 2nd October 2001


The increasing convergence of computing and communications is leading to new developments in communications networks. Programmability - coupled with pervasive computers, hand-held devices and smart applicances - raises new possibilities for services. Traditionally, networks have been controlled by software resident on switching nodes and produced by switch vendors. The networks were tightly coupled and closed. Increasingly, there is a trend to providing control from outside the network, typically through APIs. This, in combination with deregulation, opens up new horizons for open service provision. New entrants in service provision can challenge the current incumbents. Deregulation on this topic will be crucial. The colloquium will focus on the technological changes that will support this evoluation - in particular, programmable networks.

The colloquium brought together industrial and academic participants with a common interest in making network programmability happen. The colloquium was for practising engineers wishing to find out more about trends in this field of communications. The one-day format was designed to encourage easy participation. The colloquium featured well-known speakers from the field. The style was interactive, with 30 minute talks followed by 15 minute discussions. The aim was tutorial, with speakers giving examples of typical services.

The colloquium was organised by the FORCES project (Forum for Creation and Engineering of Telecommunications Services), supported by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) under grant GR/M00275. The colloquium was endorsed and financially supported by IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers) and Scottish Enterprise.


The colloquium took place on Tuesday 2nd October 2001 in the lecture theatre, Institution of Electrical Engineers, St. Enoch Square, Glasgow. See the online map for details of its location. Central Station and Queen Street Station are nearby for rail travellers.


Key industrial and academic speakers covered the broad spectrum of the topic through formal presentations. There was ample opportunity for informal discussion with the speakers and fellow delegates. There were no proceedings, but copies of presentations were made available where possible via the web.

Who should attend

The colloquium was of particular interest to industrial and academic workers in the field of communications. This included technical managers from communications organisations, communications engineers, and researchers from industry and university laboratories.


The FORCES consortium includes industrial and academic partners throughout the UK. The project management committee comprises British Telecom, CITEL Technologies, Ericsson UK, Marconi Communications, University of Glasgow, University of Kent, University of Lancaster, University of Stirling (Coordinator).


Speakers are hyperlinked where possible to their home web page or email address. Titles of presentations are hyperlinked where possible to the slides (gzipped PowerPoint, PostScript or PDF).

09.15-09.45Evan Magill
University of Stirling
Colloquium Theme
09.45-10.30Manus Savage
PARLAY - Service Provision for All
After almost two decades of continual growth, the mobile telephony market has reached maturity in most markets. Fixed and Mobile telephony operators are now united in their pursuit of new service models and revenue opportunities. Underpinning much of this initiative is the move to standardised Open APIs to enable operators and application partners to exploit the basic capabilities of their network. This talk will focus on: the standardisation of Open APIs for the fixed and mobile networks; the collaboration and competetition between different standards; the key features of the standard APIs; and the opportunities for innovative companies to partcipate in the planned `service explosion'.
10.30-11.15Phelim O'Doherty
JAIN APIs: Integrated Network APIs for The Java Platform
This talk will highlight the need for Open APIs and Standards, and will explore the various Java APIs for Communications covered by JAIN (tm). The talk will focus on such topics as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), Call Control in the Integrated network, and addressing the Java opportunities for third-party application developers.
11.45-12.30Christopher Brightman
Telcordia Technologies Inc.
Home Network Management for Service Providers
ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are facing the need to support customers with small home networks containing multiple PCs and other network devices. Many of these customers are not technically sophisticated. The issues associated with configuring such networks today are largely too complex to be handled by ordinary users, leading to all sorts of misconfiguration and performance problems. Some factors will be presented that will cause this situation to grow over the coming years. The talk will outline the kinds of devices we expect to be present in these networks and the issues they cause. It will discuss some of the technical issues facing ISPs, their customers, and the providers of integrated services. These issues will be considered in the context of research currently being carried out by Telcordia into Home Network Management with the aim of simplifying some of these issues.
12.30-13.45Buffet Lunch
13.45-14.30Ken Turner
University of Stirling
Service Creation using Graphical Descriptions
Graphical notations for describing services will be briefly overviewed. The talk will then concentrate on CRESS (Chisel Representation Employing Systematic Specification). This derives from the Chisel notation developed by BellCore (now Lucent and Telcordia). CRESS therefore reflects industrial practice in defining services. To Chisel it adds precision and the ability to translate service diagrams automatically into various target languages. A portable toolset makes it possible to describe, analyse and implement services on a variety of platforms. The talk will introduce the main capabilities of CRESS using the IN (Intelligent Network) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) as sample application domains.
14.30-15.15James Irvine
University of Strathclyde
Managing Next Generation Mobile Systems
The talk will cover the evolving nature of mobile radio networks and their management, for second generation (2G), through 2.5G and focussing particularly on 3G networks and the release 99 currently being deployed. It will discuss how the network has developed to manage new services, and how it will continue to change through releases 4 and 5 and the increasing importance of IP. Finally, the talk will cover management requirements beyond 3G, both for new network structures like ad hoc networks, and for new management methods for existing networks, such as the work of the UK Mobile Virtual Centre of Excellence.
15.45-16.30Graham Clark
Marconi Communications
Future Services - Higher, Wider, Deeper
Telecommunications services, like many other technology solutions, each address a specific user problem or requirement. The useful and valuable services of the future are likely to be the ones that take a bigger view of the problem space, and try to address the overal context of user problems in a unified manner.
16.30-16.45Muffy Calder
(University of Glasgow)
Colloquium Round-Up


Registration is with the FORCES project coordinator, not with the IEE:
Prof. Ken Turner
Computing Science and Mathematics
University of Stirling
Scotland FK9 4LA
Tel 01786-467-423   Fax 01786-464-551
Registration on the day was possible, but was strongly encouraged before 24th September so as to finalise catering.

The registration fee was £20 (IEE and FORCES members) or £50 (others), which included tea/coffee breaks and buffet lunch. Payment was possible by cheque, credit card or debit card. Receipts were issued at the colloquium. No refunds could made, but registered delegates could be replaced by other individuals.

Thanks to support by EPSRC, the fee was waived for UK academic staff and UK research students. These free places were allocated in order of application up to 24th September, beyond which the standard fee applied.

Programme Committee

Prof. Muffy Calder (University of Glasgow)
Graham Clark (Marconi Communications)
Dr. John Derrick (University of Kent)
Prof. Evan Magill (University of Stirling)

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Last Update: 15th July 2006