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Article  |  2022-01-28

MEC-Empowered Non-Terrestrial Network for 6G Wide-Area Time-Sensitive Internet of Things

In the upcoming sixth-generation (6G) era, the demand for constructing a wide-area time-sensitive
Internet of Things (IoT) continues to increase. As conventional cellular technologies are difficult to
directly use for wide-area time-sensitive IoT, it is beneficial to use non-terrestrial infrastructures, including
satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Thus, we can build a non-terrestrial network (NTN)
using a cell-free architecture. Driven by the time-sensitive requirements and uneven distribution of IoT
devices, the NTN must be empowered using mobile edge computing (MEC) while providing oasisoriented
on-demand coverage for devices. Nevertheless, communication and MEC systems are coupled
with each other under the influence of a complex propagation environment in the MEC-empowered
NTN, which makes it difficult to coordinate the resources. In this study, we propose a process-oriented
framework to design communication and MEC systems in a time-division manner. In this framework,
large-scale channel state information (CSI) is used to characterize the complex propagation environment
at an affordable cost, where a nonconvex latency minimization problem is formulated. Subsequently, the
approximated problem is provided, and it can be decomposed into sub-problems. These sub-problems
are then solved iteratively. The simulation results demonstrated the superiority of the proposed
process-oriented scheme over other algorithms, implied that the payload deployments of UAVs should
be appropriately predesigned to improve the efficiency of using resources, and confirmed that it is advantageous
to integrate NTN with MEC for wide-area time-sensitive IoT.

Chengxiao Liu ,   Wei Feng   et al.

Article  |  2022-01-28

Toward Wisdom-Evolutionary and Primitive-Concise 6G: A New Paradigm of Semantic Communication Networks

The sixth generation (6G) mobile networks will reshape the world by offering instant, efficient, and intelligent hyper-connectivity, as envisioned by the previously proposed Ubiquitous-X 6G networks. Such hyper-massive and global connectivity will introduce tremendous challenges into the operation and management of 6G networks, calling for revolutionary theories and technological innovations. To this end, we propose a new route to boost network capabilities toward a wisdom-evolutionary and primitive-concise network (WePCN) vision for the Ubiquitous-X 6G network. In particular, we aim to concretize the evolution path toward the WePCN by first conceiving a new semantic representation framework, namely semantic base, and then establishing an intelligent and efficient semantic communication (IE-SC) network architecture. In the IE-SC architecture, a semantic intelligence plane is employed to interconnect the semantic-empowered physical-bearing layer, network protocol layer, and application-intent layer via semantic information flows. The proposed architecture integrates artificial intelligence and network technologies to enable intelligent interactions among various communication objects in 6G. It features a lower bandwidth requirement, less redundancy, and more accurate intent identification. We also present a brief review of recent advances in semantic communications and highlight potential use cases, complemented by a range of open challenges for 6G.

Ping Zhang ,   Wenjun Xu   et al.

Article  |  2022-01-29

Supervision System of AI-based Software as a Medical Device

A scientific supervision system enhances vigorous and standardized development of emerging things. Artificial intelligencebased software as a medical device (AI-Based SaMD) is an important product in the health field enabled by artificial intelligence (AI). As AI develops further, its unique black box algorithm and independent learning ability have posed major supervision challenges. AIBased SaMD supervision needs to keep pace with the times and a more scientific supervision strategy is urgently required to minimize the adverse events of AI-Based SaMD and their risk impact. This article summarizes the current status of supervision systems and supporting resources of AI-Based SaMD in China and abroad considering the difficulties in algorithm change management, quality control, and safety traceability. In addition, we explore the problems and challenges of AI-Based SaMD in China. Furthermore, we suggest that the AI-Based SaMD supervision and support systems should be improved in China to overcome the disadvantages of postmarket supervision.

Zhang Jiannan,Li Yingying,Zhou Jiahui,Zhu Yelin,Li Lanjuan  

Article  |  2022-01-28

Water and Sediment Regulation of the Yellow River under New Water and Sediment Conditions

Water and sediment regulation is critical for the long-term safety of the Yellow River. Influenced by both natural factors and human activities such as water and soil conservation, the amount of water and sediments of the Yellow River continues varying. The amount of water resources decreases slightly and sediments decrease sharply. A scientific prediction of the amount of sediments in the future is crucial for formulating the strategy for water and sediment regulation of the Yellow River. In this paper, we analyze the variation characteristics of the amount of water and sediments from 1919 to 2020, predict the annual sediment transport of the Yellow River in the next 50 years, and systematically summarize the main problems regarding water and sediment regulation in the Yellow River Basin such as river sedimentation atrophy in the upper reaches, incompatibility between river regulation strategies with high-quality development requirements in the lower reaches, and mismatched measures of soil and water loss control in the Loess Plateau. Three targeted strategies for water and sediment regulation under new conditions are proposed. The first is to perfect the water and sediment regulation engineering system with focus on the development of Heishanxia reach and the construction of the Guxian water conservancy project. The second is to manage regionally floodplains at the lower reaches, renovate river channels, and release a part of the floodplains. The third is to adjust soil and water conservation measures according to local nature and water conditions. 

Hu Chunhong ,   Zhang Shuanghu   et al.

Article  |  2022-01-28

Ecological Change Assessment and Protection Strategy in the Yellow River Basin

The ecological environment of the Yellow River Basin is sensitive and fragile. Affected by climate change and large-scale, high-intensity human development for a long time, the overall and systemic ecological degradation of the basin is prominent, and the ecological security situation is unoptimistic. To effectively promote ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin and build a strong ecological security barrier, we systematically evaluate the current status and changes of the Yellow River Basin ecosystem in terms of structure and quality in the past two decades, and summarize the main problems and deficiencies existing in the upper, middle, and lower reaches of the Yellow River, including the ecological fragility of the basin, prominent systemic degradation, and the constraints of the current work in terms of institutional mechanism, investment, and implementing effect. Then we propose future ecological protection and restoration strategies. Our research shows that the ecosystem of the Yellow River Basin has maintained a stable structure in the past two decades, but its types have changed significantly; cities and towns have expanded significantly, forest, grasslands, and wetlands have increased, and the desertified area has been significantly reduced. The overall quality of the ecosystem, particularly in the middle reaches, has improved, and degradation still exists in some regions, particularly in the lower reaches. Therefore, we propose that ecological protection and restoration of the Yellow River Basin should be strengthened through three aspects: (1) systematically evaluating the implementing effect of ecological projects, (2) promoting ecological protection and restoration according to local conditions, and (3) innovating the value realization mechanism of ecological products, so as to ensure the ecological security of the region. 

Mou Xuejie ,   Zhang Xiao   et al.

Article  |  2022-01-27

Corrosion Management System in China

 Corrosion management is vital to safety production, national economy, ecological civilization, resource conservation, and national construction. Although a few industries have conducted some fruitful exploration and practice in corrosion management, the overall development of corrosion management in China is very uneven, and there exist problems such as weak awareness of corrosion management, shortage of professionals, and imperfect management system. Therefore, it is necessary to further explore the concept of corrosion management and clarify the basic requirements for the systematic development of corrosion management in China, so as to promote the sustainable and healthy development of the corrosion management system of China. Based on the major achievements of the Chinese Academy of Engineering consulting project “Strategic Research on the Status and Countermeasures of Corrosion Management in China”, this paper expounds on the corrosion management concept and the significance of the systematic development, analyzes the current status and problems of the corrosion management in China, summarizes the main points, and proposes the basic framework of the corrosion management system. Moreover, we propose several countermeasures to promote corrosion management, such as incorporating corrosion management into the national security strategy, strengthening the training of corrosion personnel, improving corrosion protection laws and standards, strengthening the construction of corrosion databases, building an information exchange platform, and creating a new mode of shared management.

Ma Xiumin ,   Zhu Guiyu   et al.

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