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Assuring SS7 dependability: a robustness characterization of signaling network elements

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1 Author(s)
Karmarkar, V.V. ; AT&T Bell Labs., Columbus, OH, USA

Current and evolving telecommunication services will rely on signaling network performance and reliability properties to build competitive call and connection control mechanisms under increasing demands on flexibility without compromising on quality. The dimensions of signaling dependability most often evaluated are the rate of call loss and end-to-end route unavailability. A third dimension of dependability that captures the concern about large or catastrophic failures can be termed network robustness. The paper is concerned with the dependability aspects of the evolving Signaling System No. 7 (SS7) networks and attempts to strike a balance between the probabilistic and deterministic measures that must be evaluated to accomplish a risk-trend assessment to drive architecture decisions. Starting with high-level network dependability objectives and field experience with SS7 in the U.S., potential areas of growing stringency in network element (NE) dependability are identified to improve against current measures of SS7 network quality, as per-call signaling interactions increase. A sensitivity analysis is presented to highlight the impact due to imperfect coverage of duplex network component or element failures (i.e., correlated failures), to assist in the setting of requirements on NE robustness. A benefit analysis, covering several dimensions of dependability, is used to generate the domain of solutions available to the network architect in terms of network and network element fault tolerance that may be specified to meet the desired signaling quality goals

Published in:

Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Apr 1994

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