SATNAC 2007 Conference Papers

Innovation & Regulatory

Title:                   Enhancing Telecommunications Business Operations by Implementing Operational Risk Management in Service Level Management Operations

Authors:              Marco dos Santos (University of Johannesburg),
Willem Clarke (University of Johannesburg), Andre Nel (University of Johannesburg)

Abstract:             The need for integrating operational risk management into service level management for telecommunication service providers is discussed, where business operations such as described by TeleManagement Forum’s eTOM are predominantly governed by a service level agreement. Operational risks that could affect the organization and its ability to comply with service level agreement requirements can then be determined and appropriately managed. Further, service level agreement management and compliance in terms of customer quality of service definitions and metrics can be better defined and monitored, and business operations more effectively aligned to the delivery of customer required services. These needs and benefits also tie in with the fact that enterprise risk management has become mandatory since the introduction of regulatory requirements such as the Sarbanes-Oxley act and Basel II.


Title:                   ** Asynchronous Video Telephony for the Deaf

Authors:              Zhenyu Ma (University of the Western Cape),
William Tucker (University of the Western Cape) 

Abstract:             The South African Deaf community has very limited telephony options. They prefer to communicate in sign language, a visual medium. Realtime video over Internet Protocol is a promising option, but in reality, the quality is often not enough for the Deaf to be able to understand each other’s sign language. Furthermore, these applications were not design specifically for the Deaf. This paper introduces an asynchronous video chat system to provide better quality video at the expense of increased latency. It determined a codec/transmission protocol combination in the laboratory environment and tested it out with actual Deaf users. This paper will address the results based on comparison between different codecs, transmission protocol on asynchronous video communication for the Deaf.


Title:                   Feature Normalization in SVM Speaker Verification Using Telephone Speech

Authors:              Thembisile Mazibuko (University of  Cape Town),
Daniel Mashao (University of  Cape Town) 

Abstract:             Histogram Equalization, traditionally an image processing technique, is applied in a Support Vector Machine based text-independent speaker verification system using telephone speech from the NIST 2000 Speaker Recognition Evaluation. The performance achieved by applying HEQ is compared to that of common linear feature normalization techniques Cepstral Mean Subtraction and Mean Variance Normalization. The results show an improvement in SVM classification performance with HEQ achieving the best performance. Feature normalization also results in a reduction of the average SVM training time and the required resources for storing the SVM speaker models.


Title:                   Evaluating compression as an enabler for centralised monitoring and control of the network and services in a Next Generation Network

Authors:              Fred Otten (Rhodes University),
Barry Irwin (Rhodes University), Hannah Slay (Rhodes University)

Abstract:             With the emergence of Next Generation Networks and a large number of next generation services, the volume and diversity of information is on the rise. These networks are often large, distributed and consist of heterogeneous devices. In order to provide effective centralised monitoring and control we need to be able to assemble the relevant data at a central point. This becomes difficult because of the large quantity of data. We also would like to achieve this using the least amount of bandwidth, and minimise the latency. This paper investigates using compression to enable centralised monitoring and control. It presents the results of experiments showing that compression is an effective method of data reduction, resulting in up to 93.3 percent reduction in bandwidth usage for point-to-point transmission. This paper also describes an architecture that incorporates compression and provides centralised monitoring and control.


Title:                   Privacy Capability Maturity Models within Telecommunications Organisations

Authors:              Kamil Reddy (University of Pretoria),
Hein Venter (University of Pretoria) 

Abstract:             This paper discusses the problem of implementing information privacy protection at large organisations, particularly telecommunication service providers. It argues that implementation of organisation-wide information privacy protection is not solely a technical challenge but that, in order to be effective,  organisational context also needs to be considered. In order to address organisational context, policies, processes and people must be taken into account. It is shown that privacy capability maturity models (PCMMs) are particularly well suited to doing this. This paper also addresses the absence of detail with  regard to PCMMs by providing a description of the essential elements of PCMMs. Through a classification of privacy enhancing technologies (PETs), it further shows that PCMMs, together with what we term application-level organisational PETs, provide an optimal solution to the problem.


Title:                   Reconfigurable computing for TID Mitigation in Digital Satellite Circuits

Authors:              Farouk Smith (University of Stellenbosch),
Sias Mostert (University of Stellenbosch) 

Abstract:             We present a novel design technique for hardening digital electronic circuits against Total Ionizing Dose (TID). There is increasing use of commercial components in space technology and it is important to recognize that the space radiation environment poses particular risks. The integrated circuits used for spacecraft electronics must be resistant to radiation. The amount of threshold voltage shift in MOS devices caused by ionizing radiation is strongly dependant on the bias voltage applied to the gate terminal during radiation. The threshold voltage shift is much less severe under the influence of ionizing radiation if the gate voltage is 0V with respect to the device substrate. We have direct control of the bias voltage applied to the gate terminal, and therefore can control the rate of threshold voltage shift in the MOS device. Digital electronic circuits can be hardened against TID effects by selectively ap-plying Modular Redundancy. Double Modular redundancy is applied, activating one while the other is inactivated, thereby allowing the modules to anneal during its “off” cycle. The new design technique provides greatly improved TID tolerance.


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