NANCY: An Artificial Intelligent Aided Unified Network for Secure Beyond 5G Long Term Evolution logo

NANCY: An Artificial Intelligent Aided Unified Network for Secure Beyond 5G Long Term Evolution

Duration: Jan 2023 — Dec 2025

Vision & Objectives

The overall aim of NANCY is to introduce a secure and intelligent architecture for the beyond the fifth generation (B5G) wireless network. Leveraging AI (Artificial Intelligence) and blockchain, NANCY enables secure and intelligent resource management, flexible networking, and orchestration. In this direction, novel architectures, namely point-to-point (P2P) connectivity for device-to-device connectivity, mesh networking, and relay-based communications, as well as protocols for medium access, mobility management, and resource allocation will be designed.

These architectures and protocols will make the most by jointly optimizing the midhaul, and fronthaul. This is expected to enable truly distributed intelligence and transform the network to a low-power computer. Likewise, by following a holistic optimization approach and leveraging the developments in blockchain, NANCY aims at supporting E2E (End-to-End) personalized, multitenant and perpetual protection.

Our Plan & Pillars

Sustaining a flexible, scalable, and ubiquitously available energy efficient network for access in systems B5G, which ensures high security and privacy, will require the commercialization of underutilized resources provided by both individual and business parties, adaptation of novel network technologies and models as well as rethinking of the information theoretical framework, conventional network design principals and architectures. In this way, in the beyond 5G era, 5G networks will be evolved from universal resource manager into fully adaptive distributed computers and highly reliable and trustworthy connectivity providers.

Bringing to fruition the notion of AI-aided blockchain wireless radio access beyond 5G networks calls for a flexible, scalable, and powerful ML (Machine Learning)-based orchestration framework, novel blockchain and attack models, a revolutionary network information theory approach and the design of cutting-edge technology components.

These include NFs (Network Functions) for enabling common network functionalities, blockchain and cell-free radio access mechanisms, AI-based resource and network orchestration, distributed and decentralized blockchain approaches supported by MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing), and proactive self-recovery and self-healing mechanisms, as well as devising a suitable experimental-driven performance evaluation and evaluation framework defined by the appropriately selected usage scenarios and relevant metrics. Additionally, NANCY will identify the critical technology gaps and invent, optimize, demonstrate and assess the key enablers for the B5G RAN. In more detail, the NANCY approach is built upon three well-defined pillars:

Pilar I

Distributed and self-evolving B-RAN (Blockchain RAN) for dynamic scalability, high-security, and privacy in a heterogeneous environment, by means of distributed and decentralized blockchain, PCQ (Per connection Queue), as well as cell-free radio access mechanisms designs, in order to significantly improve the radio resource usage by introducing novel strategies for range/service expansion, supporting of novel use cases and killer apps, and exploiting the underutilized spectrum.

Pilar II

Towards the Pareto-optimal AI-based wireless RAN orchestration that maximizes energy efficiency and trustworthiness, supports ultra-high availability and applications with diverse requirements, optimizes network topology and management, enables device collaboration as well as collaborative sensing perspective, allows system and network level AI models reproducibility and explainability, and transforms B5G RANs into intelligent platforms; thus, opening new service models to telecom/ISP (Internet Service Provider) and individual providers.

Pilar III

Distributed MEC for “almost-zero latency” and high-computational capabilities at the edge, where the data are generated, by means of social-aware data and AI models caching and task offloading in order to transform the B5G verticals into intelligent and real-time flexible and reliable platforms.


Τhe NANCY project has received funding from the European Union’s HORIZON-JU-SNS-2022 under Grant Agreement No. 101096456 (Research and Innovation Action).