Project Name: Dynamic coverage Extension and Distributed Intelligence for human Centric Applications with assured security, privacy and Trust: from 5G to 6G


In future 6G wireless networks, it is imperative to support more dynamic resourcing and connectivity to improve adaptability, performance, and trustworthiness in the presence of emerging human-centric services with heterogeneous computation needs. DEDICAT 6G aims to develop a smart connectivity platform using artificial intelligence and blockchain techniques that will enable 6G networks to combine the existing communication infrastructure with the novel distribution of intelligence (data, computation, and storage) at the edge to allow not only flexible but also energy efficient realisation of the envisaged real-time experience.

DEDICAT 6G takes the next vital step beyond 5G by addressing techniques for achieving and maintaining efficient dynamic connectivity and intelligent placement of computation in the mobile network. In addition, the project targets the design and development of mechanisms for dynamic coverage extension through the exploitation of novel terminals and mobile client nodes, e.g., smart connected cars, robots, and drones. DEDICAT 6G also addresses security, privacy, and trust assurance, especially for mobile edge services and enablers for a novel interaction between humans and digital systems. The aim is to achieve (i) more efficient use of resources; (ii) reduction of latency, response time, and energy consumption; (iii) reduction of operational and capital expenditures; and (iv) reinforcement of security, privacy, and trust.

DEDICAT 6G will focus on four use cases: Smart warehousing, Enhanced experiences, Public Safety and Smart Highway. The use cases will pilot the developed solutions via simulations and demonstrations in laboratory environments, and larger field evaluations exploiting various assets and testing facilities. The results are expected to show significant improvements in terms of intelligent network load balancing and resource allocation, extended connectivity, enhanced security, privacy and trust and human-machine interactions.

Objective 1: To provide imperceptible end-to-end latency and response time, with minimal energy and (communication, computation, storage) resource consumption in B5G networks for the support of innovative applications.

Description: Design and implement mechanisms and tools for dynamic, migratable distribution of intelligence and computation. This includes solutions for (a) exploitation of cloud, fog/cloudlets, and diverse edge devices for collaborative computation, storage and caching, computation offloading, for zero perceived latency, optimal resource efficiency, improved energy efficiency, as well as increased service availability, and reliability and (b) supporting the mobility of edge devices via dynamic and predictive migration of edge computation, efficient routing, synchronization, and allocation of radio resources.

Verification and measurable outcomes: Decreased energy consumption (incl. communication and computation) by at least a factor of 10 in order to increase the operation lifetime of a mobile station or server. A typical measure of energy efficiency is the number of transmitted bits per Joule (bit/J) and it is subject to various systems assumptions. A theoretical physical upper limit is around 1 Pbit/J while typical 4G systems lead to a level of 10 Kbit/J and 5G systems to a level of 10 Mbit/J. Other measures can also be found, depending on the system assumptions. Decreased latency (incl. mean delay and delay jitter) by up to a factor of 10 in congested and fault situations in order to improve the quality of experience of multimedia applications. For 4G system, the target user plane latency (round trip time) and control plane latencies (idle-to-active time) are, respectively, 20ms and 100ms, while 5G systems should lead to 1ms and 10ms for the corresponding latencies. Often, these requirements are still not met in practical networks with high traffic density.

Challenge addressed: To increase the self-management and self-optimisation of B5G systems, to improve the performance, energy consumption and service availability.

Objective 2: Dynamic, efficient expansion of the communication environment to enable access to all people, information and goods anywhere, anytime in an ultra-real-time experience.

Description: Design and development of mechanisms for the dynamic coverage and connectivity extension through the exploitation of innovative devices (e.g., drones, robots, connected cars, other mobile assets like forklifts in a warehouse, etc.)

Verification and measurable outcomes: Mobile access points exploiting drones, robots and connected cars: at least one per type. Extend the coverage of the network to places that are not covered by the current network due to congestion, natural disasters, mobility, and hard morphology. To improve the availability of the network/service in these situations. Seamless mobility ensures service continuity.

Operations efficiency increased by at least 20% (compared to rel. 15 5G networks).

Improved area traffic capacity and connection density (20% more area traffic capacity and 20% higher connection density, compared to rel. 15 5G networks).

Reduced network management OPEX ≥ 20% and CAPEX ≥ 15%.

Challenge addressed: Expand the coverage in a cost-efficient way to provide broadband, wide-scale, and reliable wireless connectivity, especially during disasters and temporary events.

Objective 3: Reinforce security, privacy and trust in B5G systems in support of advanced IoT applications.

Description: Integrate and deploy advanced AI-based security and privacy protection framework with a blockchain-based trust management platform for securing the distributed network ecosystem, building trust between parties, devices and sub-systems, as well as providing intelligence for detecting and preventing potential security, privacy, and trust issues. The threat detection and classification mechanisms will be based on machine learning models which will be trained in a federated learning manner. The ML models will run within a premise of locally established communication and computation networks while a central orchestrator and aggregator maintain global models. In this way, privacy protection is ensured since data remain within locally established systems while at the same time, the ML models are adapted and trained on local conditions. The trust management platform based on private permissioned blockchain will provide an immutable record of the key information required for ensuring compliance of all nodes participating in communication and computation networks.

Verification and measurable outcomes: As security is not directly quantifiable, we will demonstrate our outcomes through the following: Adopted best practices and IoT domain standards for security and data protection to build ML models. Specified and implemented accountability functions and attribute-based access control and identity management.

Federated learning mechanisms implemented (global model, metadata, APIs, data format and models, local model update policy, ML model performance metrics): one for each project use case and threat detection scenario. Implemented behaviour analytics - deterministic and probabilistic.

Implemented federated learning mechanisms for multiple system layers: federated learning local enabler for mobile platforms, microprocessor environments and local servers.

Trust management platform based on private permissioned blockchain deployed.

Implemented four trust metrics (device, connection, behaviour and context) and three trustworthiness mechanisms (device, service and data flow levels).

Trustworthiness automated audit mechanisms implemented: one per use case.

Compliance test automation mechanism implemented per trustworthiness level.

Challenge addressed: Innovative security and data protection approach for highly dynamic, heterogeneous communication and distributed computing systems with a focus on trust management and system integrity.

Objective 4: Develop human-centric applications in the scope of the project use cases and showcase novel interaction between humans and digital systems.

Description: Utilise innovative interfaces and devices such as smart glasses (from OPTIN), connected cars (from TUC) and robots (from WINGS) to develop human-centric applications in the proof of concept (PoC) pilots for the four project use cases.

Verification and measurable outcomes: Integration of the innovative interfaces and devices with the mechanisms for (i) dynamic distribution of intelligence, computation and storage; (ii) dynamic coverage and connectivity extension; (iii) security, privacy, and trust.  Utilisation and experimental validation within the proof of concept pilots.

Challenge addressed: Ensure human-centric digitalisation.

Objective 5: Demonstrate and validate the developed solutions using a series of Proof of Concept (PoC) pilots in the scope of an agile development framework.

Description: Implementation of specific PoCs referring to different use cases, and definition of measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics for performance monitoring. Deployment, testing, and validation of the developed DEDICAT 6G technologies will be performed through system-level simulations, lab-based testing of implemented functionality as well as application in experiments in realistic environments: a.) in the testing facilities of DIA for the “Smart Warehousing” use case, b.) UoS facilities, including the 5GIC testbed, will be exploited for the “Enhanced Experience ” use case, c.) AIRBUS facilities and TUC car platforms will be exploited as mobile access points in cooperation with AIRBUS for the “Public safety” use case and d.) Smart Highway Platform from IMEC and car platforms from TUC will be used for the “Smart Highway” use case. The aim is to set up and test the developed system and services in actual settings, coping with existing issues, and addressing potentially various stakeholders’ requirements. The developed system will be fine-tuned with the feedback obtained during these experiments.

Verification and measurable outcomes: This objective will be verified through the effective set-up of the testing environment, system deployment, tests run, and reports for all the PoCs. Test cases will be designed for validating different functionalities/features of the project solutions and quantifying a comprehensive set of specific KPIs and metrics.

Challenge addressed: Accurate evaluation of the system technical performance for transforming Beyond 5G networks into a smart connectivity platform that is highly adaptive, ultra-fast, and reliable for supporting innovative, human-centric applications such as those addressed by the project use cases. Identification of technical strengths/weaknesses and potentialities offered by the project solutions. Assessment of the overall benefits for the stakeholders in the scope of the defined use cases.

Objective 6: Establish and develop a collaborative framework for relevant end-users/stakeholders, industry, and academia.

Description: Derive and communicate to relevant stakeholders (beyond those actively involved in the project) best practices and recommendations on how to deploy solutions such as the ones developed in the project. This will streamline the process of system deployment for third parties interested in capitalizing and building on the system provided by the project.

Verification and measurable outcomes: Definition of clear processes for performing requirement analysis, high-level functional design of technological components, and testing of incrementally deployable functions.

Best practices recommendations documents:  1.

Target number of external bodies and third parties to be reached and included in the design : ≥ 2.

Challenge addressed: Evaluate technology success not only in terms of performance but also in terms of usability. Maximise uptake of project solutions.

Objective 7: Exploit the developed project solutions.

Description: Develop an exploitation strategy on how to take advantage of the developed system. While the solutions developed will be applicable in different sectors, the aim is to start with few, focusing on specific ecosystems (Warehousing, Enhanced Experience, Public Safety and Smart Highways).

Verification and measurable outcomes: Exploitation plan: 1 (updated 2 times over the project duration). Where appropriate TRL levels have been reached, business analysis will be undertaken and business plans will be developed by the individual partners. As the focus of this RIA is more on research and therefore lower TRLs much of the exploitation will concentrate on pre-competitive consensus building

Challenge addressed: Maximise uptake of project solutions.

Objective 8: Perform joint contributions to standardization activities

Description: Maximise the penetration of the project solutions and technologies in key stakeholder standardization bodies such as 3GPP, IETF, ETSI MEC and ETSI ENI. The project will also contribute to the 5G PPP Pre-Standardization WG.

Verification and measurable outcomes: Contributions filed and presented to  3GPP, IETF, ETSI MEC, ETSI ENI, and the 5G PPP Pre-Standardization WG. Reports on the developments within these groups and also on the uptake of DEDICATE 6G results by these bodies will be provided in the relevant WP7 deliverables.

Challenge addressed: Maximise interoperability and address the heterogeneity of network infrastructures, IoT systems, and devices. Maximise the impact of project solutions.

The project is structured around 7 WPs. 

  • WP1 Project management is devoted to the management of the project.
  • WP2 Use cases, requirements and system architecture is devoted to the detailed description of the project use cases, the derivation of the corresponding requirements and the design of the project architecture.
  • WP3 Mechanisms for supporting dynamic distribution of intelligence, addresses the design, implementation and lab-based testing of mechanisms to support optimal placement of intelligence in terms of computation, storage, caching in hybrid computing B5G/6G systems with respect to KPIs such as execution time/latency and overall energy consumption.
  • WP4 Mechanisms for dynamic coverage and connectivity extension deals with the design, implementation and lab-based testing of such mechanisms exploiting drones, robots, connected cars.
  • WP5 Mechanisms for security, privacy and trust exploiting blockchain and data analytics, has the aim of addressing security, privacy and trust issues, including them from the beginning in the overall system design.
  • WP6 Proof of concept and demonstrators leverages from the contributions of WP2-WP5 and puts into practice the respective technology in four different use cases, through applications in realistic settings.
  • WP7 Dissemination, standardisation, exploitation and impact creation is dedicated to maximizing the impact of the project at the best possible extent.

Reason for applying to services

We could use the help in identifying what could be the appropriate, feasible contributions and interactions with SDOs that could help us in achieving the objective originally specified and fulfilling the task described above. 

Main standardisation interest

To ensure that DEDICAT 6G is aware of the latest developments in standardisation and related fora, and to contribute to their activities and future directions, relations with such bodies should be established and maintained. The plan initially was that liaison persons in the partners’ organisations that actively participate in relevant working groups of these bodies would ensure communication. Standardisation contributions would be driven and submitted by the individual partners (possibly co-signed by other partners), through their standardisation delegates. 

The task dealing with standardisation includes monitoring of ongoing activities within standardisation bodies, identifying the technologies or outcomes that could be standardized, and going through engagement with the relevant standardization bodies through presentations, propositions and possible RFPs. Towards the successful and targeted implementation of the above, the task should identify the most relevant fora to be targeted for submitting proposals in the form of contributions to ongoing work. Following this process, any feedback received from relevant standardisation bodies will be taken into consideration, and the appropriate alignments will be performed to the DEDICAT 6G outcomes. In addition, the consortium will pursue the participation and the establishment of liaisons towards SDOs, presenting the results coming out of the project to foster the adoption of DEDICAT 6G innovations. While we are at the end of the second year of the project this activity has not properly started yet. 

Open Call Topic(s): Resilience

Project Acronym: DEDICAT 6G


Grant Agreement Id: 101016499

Start Date:

End Date:

Programme: H2020-EU.2.1.1. - INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP - Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Call for proposal: H2020-ICT-2018-20

Funding Scheme: RIA - Research and Innovation action