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An architectural approach to minimizing feature interactions in telecommunications

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6 Author(s)
Zibman, I. ; GTE Labs. Inc., Waltham, MA, USA ; Woolf, C. ; O'Reilly, P. ; Strickland, L.
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Feature interaction, in the context of telecommunications, is the phenomenon where a user (end-user or system operator) observes services failing to perform as expected, and where the failures are due to the presence of other services (or multiple instances of a single service) in the network. We propose an architectural approach to minimize the problem of feature interaction while increasing the reusability of software for services. Our approach recognizes that currently many assumptions about service operations and system capabilities are implicitly built into the service software architecture. We claim that many nontrivial feature interactions arise when services or technologies with new capabilities, based on conflicting assumptions, are introduced. We propose an architecture based on software agents and separation of concerns. A processing model for service-independent interaction management within the agent architecture is discussed. This architecture effectively removes many common assumptions about roles and technology from the service software architecture, thus reducing the need to provide ad hoc solutions to particular feature interactions. We demonstrate the power of such an architecture by showing how it deals with examples of interactions among existing services, interactions introduced by Universal Personal Telecommunications (UPT), and its applicability to emerging broadband and multimedia service requirements. We also consider the architecture in the context of the intelligent network

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Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 4 )