Information visualization of network parameters in private cellular network solutions
Abstract: In the upcoming years, industrial enterprises are expected to undergo a major transformation, as the Internet of Things (IoT) reaches widespread adoption. A key enabler behind this transformation, known as Industry 4.0, is the 5th generation of cellular networks (5G). Through privately owned networks, enterprises will be able to utilize the 5G technology to tailor the network to meet their needs in terms of security, reliability, and quality of service. Although much of the technology is currently in place, few efforts have been dedicated to help enterprises understand and optimise the value that this new solution brings. One way of making 5G more accessible is through information visualization of its data. Dashboards are today the widely adopted tool for processing data in organisations. This study aimed at examining the affordances and challenges of information visualization of 5G network data in such a tool, in order to make 5G more accessible. A large number of commercial network management dashboards were reviewed in relation to research on effective dashboard design, and a prototype was developed and evaluated with seven user experience experts. Results from the expert review suggests information visualization clearly aided communication of the five visualized network parameters: throughput, latency, availability, coverage, and devices. However, to fully examine the usefulness of the tool, further research on the tool’s fit in an industry context needs to be conducted.
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