Guest Editorial: Ultra-Low-Latency and Reliable Communications for 6G Networks

Shahid Mumtaz, Varun G Menon, Muhammad Ikram Ashraf
<span title="">2021</span> <i title="Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/icagtmanlfe2vpw436vxkdhz2i" style="color: black;">IEEE Communications Standards Magazine</a> </i> &nbsp;
research efforts have been dedicated to develop fifth-generation (5G) wireless mobile networks aimed at providing ubiquitous connections for anyone and anything irrespective of time and location. The number of connected devices and data traffic is increasing exponentially every day, and future data-intensive applications like AR/VR, holographic communications, V2X, autonomous driving, high precision manufacturing, and ultra-massive machine-type communications would demand high throughput,
more &raquo; ... reliable transmission, extremely low latency and high energy efficiency. 6G is expected to extend 5G capabilities to higher levels where millions of connected devices and applications could operate seamlessly with trust, low-latency and high-bandwidth. Thus, major research is now focused on three areas, ultra-reliable and low latency communications (uRLLC), enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), and massive Internet of Things (mIoT) in 6G wireless communications. Ultra-reliable and low latency communications is perhaps the most challenging task because of its demanding requirements of low latency combined with ultra-high reliability. Using more resources to increase reliability will in turn increase the latency, and therefore a combination of various technologies like software-defined networking (SDN), virtual network slicing, and physical layer technologies are currently experimented for achieving uRLLC with various applications. This special issue solicited high-quality papers reporting on new techniques and concepts, standards, future applications, novel physical-layer solutions, network architectures, resource allocation schemes, and other issues, challenges, and promising solutions for ultra-high speed, low latency and reliable communications in 6G network. We received a very good response to our special issue call for papers from around the world. Each submitted article was assigned to and reviewed by at least three experts in the field, with a rigorous multiround review process. Thanks to the dedicated work of the numerous reviewers, we were able to accept 16 excellent articles covering various topics in Ultra-low Latency and Reliable Communications for 6G Networks. In the following, we will introduce these articles and highlight their main contributions. In the article "UAV-Assisted Vehicular Edge Computing for 6G Internet of Vehicles: Architecture, Intelligence, and Challenges" Hu et al. discuss an UAV-assisted network archi-tecture to support 6G vehicular edge computing. The article further presents discussions on leveraging the big data feature of historical information, artificial-intelligence-based solutions that are anticipated to facilitate fast, automatic, and efficient UAV deployment to support 6G V2X applications. The article "Embedding Security Awareness for Virtual Resource Allocation in 5G HetNets Using Reinforcement Learning" discusses various security threats and vulnerabilities due to the complexity of virtualization in 5G HetNets possibly leading to major performance outbreaks and information leakage and presents a novel secure framework (VRA-RL-SecAwa) based on the emerging reinforcement learning approach. The article "Secure Virtual Mobile Small Cells: A Stepping Stone toward 6G" presents some key discussions on 6G and a next generation communication platform, which aims to extend the rigid coverage area of fixed deployment networks by considering virtual mobile small cells (MSCs) that are created on demand. In the article "Research and Analysis of URLLC Technology Based on Artificial Intelligence" Zhu et al. introduce the performance indicators and critical technologies of URLLC in the physical layer and list the advantages of deep learning in solving technical problems in the physical layer. In "Several Key Technologies for 6G: Challenges and Opportunities" Ji et al. present a survey that compares the system performance between 5G and 6G, and further discuss the rapid increase in wireless data traffic and the achievable rate that can be reached up to terabits per second to improve the communication quality. The article "URLLC Key Technologies and Standardization for 6G Power Internet of Things" analyzes the application scenarios and service requirements of URLLC for 6G Power Internet of Things (PIoT), summarizes the key technologies and standardization of 5G/B5G URLLC and end-to-end URLLC guarantee technologies, and outlines the possible evolution directions of URLLC in 6G. The article "6G Vision: Toward Future Collaborative Cognitive Communication Systems" presents an innovative framework for 3C (collaborative, cognitive, communication) systems that is able to analyze and predict both human and machine behaviors. It proactively diagnoses issues and recommends solutions without requiring any human intervention.
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