CHARITY architecture design and specification


ICTFicial Oy edited the deliverable D1.3 that introduces the CHARITY architecture to support future XR applications. After introducing the use cases of the project along with their requirements in deliverable D1.2, D1.3 introduces an architecture that can support the CHARITY use cases and meet their requirements.

The CHARITY architecture is built upon some key enablers to support future XR applications. It is detailed along with some preliminary results in [1]. Details about the algorithms and mechanisms that could be incorporated in some components of the CHARITY architecture are available in another deliverable edited by ICTFICIAL Oy, namely D2.1 [2].

The methodology adopted in devising the CHARITY architecture is as follows. First, we conducted an extensive survey about the different technologies, standards, and system architectures relevant to the project. That exercise led to a survey published by the consortium in [3]. It ultimately inspired the design work of the CHARITY architecture. Effectively, D1.3 presents the different relevant technologies, standards, and system architectures, and where possible, the relation to the CHARITY architecture is highlighted. The intention beneath this step is to ensure that the proposed architecture would benefit from the latest versions of the standards and also to make sure it is compatible with the XR technologies. In short, the CHARITY architecture draws its inspiration from ETSI, 3GPP standards and also from other European projects’ architectural work. The CHARITY architecture is then presented, describing its planes and its components. These are architected in a way to ensure an edge-cloud continuum of resources that the XR services can readily consume.

Another focal point of the architecture is to provide a high level of automation where the XR services would react and adapt to various changes that arise from the underlying infrastructure or from the XR services themselves. This is done by providing an automation loop that is heavily inspired from ETSI ZSM framework. This architecture also supports and makes use of the DevOps concept that is tailored specifically to support the deployment and the life cycle management of XR services on top of the CHARITY infrastructure.

The feasibility of the CHARITY architecture is subsequently discussed, by mapping between the most relevant surveyed Open-Software Sources and tools with the key components of the CHARITY architecture. In the initial stage, the focus was on understanding existing Open-Software Sources components and tools to fulfil the vision of CHARITY as a distributed platform across multiple domains. Namely, we targeted tools to expose and instantiate resources spanning distinct domains (i.e., cross-domain resource management and orchestration tools), how to monitor them (i.e., service-meshes and their related monitoring components) and finally, how to interconnect CHARITY components through efficient integration fabrics, both within and across domains. Finally, the architecture is validated against the project use cases and the potential stakeholders are also identified. In fact, the validation consists into providing a walkthrough, for each use case, on how the XR service can be integrated into the CHARITY platform. It showcases all the phases that the XR service will pass through, starting from its development, to its deployment and exploitation, until its decommissioning. This proved the validity of the architecture and demonstrated that the envisioned architecture can support XR services. This exercise also offered insights on the integration work envisioned in WP4.

This deliverable is one of the foundations that would support the CHARITY project during its entire lifetime. As it can be seen in the conclusion, it sets up a framework for the other technical WPs (i.e., WP2, WP3, and WP4) which gives some guidelines on the architectural components to be developed and also the integration work needed for the use case owners in order to fully take advantage of the proposed architecture.

[1] T. Taleb, A. Boudi, L. Rosa, L. Cordeiro, T. Theodoropoulos, K. Tsepes, P. Dazzi, A. Protopsaltis, and R. Li, “Towards Supporting XR Services: Architecture and Enablers,” to appear in IEEE IoT Journal.

[2] T. Taleb et. al., “D2.1: Edge and cloud infrastructure resource and computational continuum orchestration system,” EU Charity Deliverables, Sep. 2022

[3] A. Makris, A. Boudi, M. Coppola, L. Cordeiro, M. Corsini, P. Dazzi, F. D. Andilla, Y.G. Rozas, M. Kamarianakis, M. Pateraki, T.L. Pham, A. Protopsaltis, A. Raman, A. Romussi, L. Rosa, E. Spatafora, T. Taleb, T. Theodoropoulos, K. Tserpes, E Zschau, and U. Herzog, “Cloud for Holography and Augmented Reality,” in Proc. of IEEE Int’l Conf. on Cloud Networking, Nov. 2021

ICTFicial Oy team.