Trends in the development of communication networks: cognitive networks

Carolina Fortuna, Mihael Mohorčič

Department of Communication Systems, Jožef Stefan Institute,
Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


One of the main challenges already faced by communication networks is the efficient management of increasing complexity. The recently proposed concept of cognitive  network appears as a candidate that can address this issue. In this paper we survey the existing research work on cognitive networks, as well as related and enabling techniques and technologies. We start with identifying the most recent research trends in communication networks and classifying them according to the approach taken towards the traditional layered architecture. In the analysis we focus on two related trends: cross-layer design and cognitive networks. We classify the cognitive networks related work in that mainly concerned with knowledge representation and that predominantly dealing with the cognition loop. We discuss the existing definitions of cognitive networks and, with respect to those, position our understanding of the concept. Next, we provide a summary of artificial intelligence techniques that are potentially suitable for the development of cognitive networks, and map them to the corresponding states of the cognition loop. We summarize and compare seven architectural proposals that comply with the requirements for a cognitive network. We discuss their relative merits and identify some future research challenges before we conclude with an overview of standardization efforts.


Cognitive networks, self-aware, cross-layer, autonomic networks, knowledge representation, cognition loop, learning, reasoning, protocol stack, OSI.

pdf | ppt

Visualization of trends

  • Topic landscape obtained from Globecomm 2006 papers’ titles and abstracts:


  • Topic landscape obtained from Globecomm 2007 papers’ titles and abstracts:


  • Topic landscape obtained from Globecomm 2006 and 2007 papers’ titles and abstracts:


  • Zoomed in topic landscape obtained from Globecomm 2006 and 2007 papers’ titles and abstracts:


  • Ontology obtained from Globecomm 2006 and 2007 papers’ titles and abstracts:


Tool used for the analysis and visualization of trends: Ontogen

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