Telecom and technology professionals stress the importance of collaborated effort to advance Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) to its full potential. That effort primarily happens by organizing industry groups tasked with MEC research. The industry groups rally experts and academia to conduct an exhaustive study on all possible MEC issues and solutions.
One of the primary challenges of MEC research is ensuring the quality of service for the substantial number of connected devices predicted to be on the Internet by 2020, which is the staggering number of 50 billion. The volume of expected devices connected to the Internet leads to challenging issues of providing seamless, reliable service to end users. These MEC research groups focus their energies on solving those issues. They brainstorm MEC use cases, test deployment methods, and identify the unique MEC challenges that require additional testing. View a few of the industry the groups and their research below.
3 MEC Industry Groups’ Research
Living Edge Lab – A research lab located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, near Carnegie Mellon University. Researchers include the OpenEdge Computing Initiative members, telecom operators, and technology providers. The website features several white papers focused on various aspects of edge computing research from its community. The most recent white paper, the “The Emergence of Edge Computing,” targets these MEC challenges: Collective Control and Sharing of Cloudlets; Managing Dispersed Cloudlet Infrastructure; Management Complexity; and Viable Business Models for Deploying Cloudlets.
Open Fog Consortium – The Open Fog Consortium focuses on the Fog – an edge computing platform. They research the challenges associated with fog computing. These challenges include node management, how much workload each node may handle, and the nodes’ resources. Their proposed solution is a three-tier architecture named the Edge Node Resource Management (ENORM) framework. The architecture consists of the cloud as the top tier, the edge node tier as middle tier, and the user device as the bottom tier.
IEEE: The IEEE Fellow Weisong Shi along with student IEEE members define other MEC challenges in their paper, “Edge Computing: Vision and Challenges.” They dissect the following issues:
- Programmability issues with the edge nodes, because each node varies in runtime.
- A Standard MEC Naming System, which is not yet formulated.
- How to abstract a large dataset from the variety of connected devices. For instance, how to extract all the data from a smart home.
- They pinpoint the following challenges pertaining to service management: differentiation of priorities between the Internet of Things (IoT) devices; extensibility in terms of how easy it is to add a device to the network edge; and isolation of network crashing. In particular, they address the challenge of how to not affect a consumer’s connection when another user’s application on the shared data resource crashes, and its reliability.
- The researchers call attention to the network edge’s issue of privacy and security. They discuss tactics to prevent other people from connecting to a user’s device without the user’s consent.
- Optimization metrics for the workload allocation with a strong focus on latency, bandwidth, and energy.