IEEE International Conference on Network Softwarization
28 June-2 July 2021 // Tokyo, Japan / Hybrid On-line Conference


Keynote – NTT R&D’s Challenge Beyond 5G : IOWN (tentative)

Yoshikatsu Okazaki, NTT Network Service Systems Laboratories, Japan


Beyond the 5G era, the cyber physical system will spread through our whole society. A smart world will support our lives and network will play an important role as a critical social infrastructure. However, network will also be required to transmit and process a huge amount of data generated by smart IoT devices in an open architecture and an environmentally friendly way. Diversity of services and business applications will also require flexibility of network and network system. We need a paradigm shift to a future sustainable communication infrastructure.

NTT has advocated the concept of IONW, Innovative Optical and Wireless Network, to solve these social issues and realize a future smart world. We have jointly established an industry forum “IOWN Global Forum” with partners to accelerate the initiative. We introduce the concept of IOWN and related NTT R&D’s activities and technologies concerning optical networks, network infrastructure softwarization and AI-leveraged autonomous zero-touch network operation technologies.


Yoshikatsu Okazaki is a Vice President and Head of NTT Network Service Systems Laboratories. He received a B.E. and M.E. in applied physics from the University of Tokyo. Since he joined NTT in 1991, he had been engaged in research and development on telecom network systems and network management systems. Meanwhile, He had worked on network design and planning in NTT WEST Corporation as well. He is currently in charge of managing development of technologies toward future network systems as the general manager, the head of NTT Network Service Systems Laboratories.

Keynote – Edge Intelligence for B5G/6G and IoT

Ai-Chun Pang, National Taiwan University, Taiwan


Driven by the visions of the Internet of Things and 5G communications, recent years have seen a paradigm shift in mobile computing, from the centralized cloud computing toward the concept of computing at the edge. This concept pushes the mobile computing, network control and storage to the network edges, in order to enable computation-intensive and latency-critical applications at the resource-limited mobile devices. In the edge computing platform, mobility of end devices (e.g., vehicles and mobile phones), variety of user applications, and heterogeneous wireless network technologies incur critical challenges to network management and resource allocation. With the recent advance in artificial intelligence (AI), many AI tools, like machine learning, are not only the key enablers of emerging applications but also utilized to solve the problems mentioned above. The promised gains of computing at the edge and AI have motivated extensive efforts in both academia and industry on developing the technologies. This talk will focus on the orchestration between AI and computing at the edge. It considers AI as the application of the edge and a technique to solve the issues of network management and resource allocation of the edge. We will discuss current advancement in network management and resource allocation utilizing AI techniques. After that, we will discuss how the edge can provide AI service to realize emerging IoT applications. Finally, this talk will elaborate further on open research challenges.


Ai-Chun Pang received the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Information Engineering from National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, in 1996, 1998 and 2002, respectively. She joined the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan University (NTU), Taipei, Taiwan in 2002, and is now a Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, NTU. She was the director of Graduate Institute of Networking and Multimedia in 2013-2016. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Graduate Institute of Communication Engineering, NTU, and an Adjunct Research Fellow of Research Center for Information Technology Innovation, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. Her research interests include B5G/6G communications, software defined networking, and fog/edge computing.
Dr. Pang was a recipient of Outstanding Research Award of Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in 2019, Outstanding Professor Award of Chinese Institute of Electrical Engineering in 2015, Outstanding Teaching Award at NTU in 2010, Investigative Research Award of Pan Wen Yuan Foundation in 2006, Wu Ta You Memorial Award of MOST in 2007, and CES Innovation Award in 2019. She received the Republic of China Distinguished Women Medal in 2009 and the VTS Women’s Distinguished Career Award in 2020. She is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Keynote – Robotron: Top-down network management at scale

Ying Zhang, Facebook, USA


Network management facilitates a healthy and sustainable network. However, its practice is not well understood outside the network engineering community. In this talk, I will present Robotron, a system for managing a massive production network in a top-down fashion. The system’s goal is to reduce effort and errors on management tasks by minimizing direct human interaction with network devices. Engineers use Robotron to express high-level design intent, which is translated into low-level device configurations and deployed safely. Robotron also monitors devices’ operational state to ensure it does not deviate from the desired state. Since 2008, Robotron has been used to manage tens of thousands of network devices connecting hundreds of thousands of servers globally at Facebook.


Ying Zhang is a Software Engineering Manager in the Facebook network infrastructure team, where she works on exciting large scale network management problems. Prior to joining Facebook, she was a senior researcher and research manager at Hewlett Packard Labs, where she led the Network System Lab. Before HPE, she was a senior researcher in the Ericsson Research Silicon Valley Lab. She was the first person to discover the ZMW routing attack.

Ying Zhang earned the Ph.D. degree in 2009 in the EECS department from the University of Michigan, USA. She served on the technical program committee of several conferences and workshops, and is a senior member of the IEEE. She have been granted 30+ US/International patents and was reported by Swedish media as a Mobile Network 10 Brightest Researcher, and was awarded an N²Women Rising Star in Networking and Communications award in 2017.

Her research interests include: Networking and systems, including network management, network function virtualization, software-defined networking, cloud, internet and cellular, internet routing and network security

2021 Patrons

Technical Co-Sponsors