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  • Writer's pictureVizuaMatix Team

VizuaMatix and Intel® Navigating the Future of Network-Based Parental Control

Introduction

In an age defined by digital ubiquity, there's an ever-growing need to address the call for personalized network-based digital wellbeing and parental control solutions. As the digital landscape constantly expands and evolves, so too do the challenges faced by individuals, families, and organizations striving to strike a balance between harnessing the benefits of the digital realm and ensuring a safe, enriching, and responsible online experience. Meeting this demand calls for innovative and adaptable solutions that empower users to navigate the digital world with confidence, promoting both individual digital wellbeing and effective parental control. In this era of connectivity and information access, personalized network-based solutions are poised to transform the way we engage with technology, fostering a harmonious and secure digital ecosystem for all.

Navigating the Realm of Application Detection Challenges

Within the realm of Digital Wellbeing and Parental Control, a distinctive set of hurdles emerges, and at its forefront lies the challenge of application detection. In an age marked by the surge in encrypted applications and the widespread use of VPNs for safeguarding online privacy, the conventional methods of identifying and tracking applications prove increasingly less efficient. For parents and guardians entrusted with the crucial role of curating a secure online environment for their children, this evolving landscape presents a formidable obstacle, making the task of monitoring and managing young users' online activities even more demanding.

Why “Network-Based” Is More Vital Than Ever!

In today's digital landscape, the significance of network-based digital wellbeing and parental control cannot be overstated; it's not just a convenience but an indispensable tool for safeguarding our children online. With its ability to provide comprehensive coverage across all connected devices, real-time monitoring, and dynamic policy customization, network-based control ensures a holistic approach to and fool-proof online safety. Most importantly, it grants parents the priceless gift of peace of mind while allowing them to fully embrace technology in a secure manner, without intrusively controlling their children's devices.

vxSafenet can seamlessly integrate to any telecom network

Enter the next frontier of digital safety and innovation, amplified by 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors architecture and advanced Intel® Ethernet Controllers, in conjunction with the cutting-edge Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) and Traffic Analytics Development Kit (TADK) frameworks. This formidable combination takes network-based and telco-grade solutions like vxSafenet to unprecedented heights, empowering telecom operators to not only champion digital wellbeing but also redefine parental control in the digital age.

Tailoring Control to Individual Needs

Every child is unique, and their online needs and activities can vary widely based on age, interests, and developmental stages. That's where personalized service policies come into play. Instead of applying one-size-fits-all restrictions, parents can now customize control settings to align with each child's specific requirements.

Empowering Network-Based Parental Control with Dynamic Policy Controlling

In the realm of network-based parental control, the Policy & Charging Rules Function (PCRF) or Policy Control Function (PCF) emerges as a powerful ally, enabling telecom operators to implement robust parental control policies that align with the diverse needs of families. Here's how VizuaMatix Policy Controller (vxPCRF) plays a pivotal role in implementing these policies:

1. Customized Parental Control Policies

vxPCRF empowers telecom operators to define and enforce highly customized parental control policies tailored to individual households. From granular controls to dynamic adjustments, here's how vxPCRF supports this:

Granularity: vxPCRF allows operators to create finely tuned policies that consider factors like age groups, content preferences, and time of day. For example, parents can set stricter controls for younger children while allowing more flexibility for teenagers.

Dynamic Policy Updates: As children grow and their online needs evolve, vxPCRF enables dynamic policy updates. Parents can easily adjust controls in real-time, ensuring that parental control policies remain aligned with their family's changing requirements.

Content Filtering: vxPCRF can enforce content filtering policies to block access to age-inappropriate or harmful content. These policies can be customized to align with parental guidelines.

2. Time-Based Control Policies

Sliding window policy control is especially crucial in parental control scenarios to manage screen time effectively. vxPCRF facilitates this in several ways:

Screen Time Limits: vxPCRF can shape screen time by applying policies that restrict the amount of time children can spend online during specific hours or within a sliding window. For instance, parents can set bedtime controls to ensure children disconnect from devices at night.

Homework Hours: During designated "homework hours," vxPCRF can automatically prioritize educational websites and applications while restricting access to gaming and entertainment platforms.

Notifications: vxPCRF can send notifications to parents when predefined time limits are reached, ensuring that they are informed about their children's online activities.

Usage Monitoring: vxPCRF monitors and logs children's online usage within sliding windows. This data helps parents understand their children's digital habits and make informed decisions about their online activities.

Technical challenges to overcome in network-based personalized control

Implementing complex granular-level personalized service-based policies with sliding window-based policy control can indeed be challenging, especially when striving to strike a balance between space and time complexity. In the realm of parental control, where policies are unique to each user, and multiple services are influenced by the day of the week and time of day rules, managing these diverse combinations efficiently is paramount.

The Challenge

Policy Diversity: With each user having their unique set of preferences and requirements, and numerous services to consider, the policy landscape becomes incredibly diverse. This requires a sophisticated system capable of handling countless policy permutations.

Real-Time Processing: In parental control, real-time policy enforcement is crucial to ensure that children are protected online. Delayed responses or lags in policy execution can compromise the effectiveness of the control system.

Protocol Compliance: Staying compliant with 3GPP Gx protocol while managing these complex policies can be daunting. Ensuring that the system adheres to industry standards is essential for interoperability and reliability.

The Solution / VizuaMatix Unique Approach: Our unique approach of embracing functional programming paradigms and employing compressed in-memory data structures alongside parallel micro-time wheel schedules is a testament to innovative problem-solving:

Functional Programming: Leveraging functional programming allows for modular and efficient policy handling. Pure functions ensure predictable behavior, while higher-order functions enable dynamic policy updates.

Compressed In-Memory Data Structures: Utilizing compressed data structures minimizes the memory footprint required to store policy combinations. This approach optimizes memory usage while maintaining quick access to policy rules.

Parallel Micro-Time Wheel Schedules: Implementing parallel micro-time wheel schedules enhances the system's efficiency. It enables concurrent management of various time-based policies, ensuring that time-sensitive controls are enforced promptly.

How Intel Network Builder Ecosystem Helps Overcome Challenges

The Result: VizuaMatix's collaboration with Intel® in the joint Proof of Concept (PoC) not only showcases the capabilities of Intel's hardware and software ecosystem but also highlights the potential to overcome critical bottlenecks in implementation. The test lab powered by Intel® Xeon® Gold 6338N Processor and High-Performance Intel® Ethernet Controller XL710 enhancing the environment displayed extraordinary performance improvements, making parental control services more cost-effective.

Furthermore, the successful commercial deployment by a leading telecommunications company endorses the trustworthiness of this solution in handling crucial telco workloads. It particularly shines in supporting key use cases like "Customer 360" and dynamic personalized policy control, all while maintaining a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This vote of confidence and the tangible business value realized by a leading telco position VizuaMatix as a leader in network-based parental control.

Specifically, this architecture is well-suited for both multivendor and multi-technology ecosystems, offering flexibility that many traditional PCRF systems lack. In many legacy systems, policies are often preconfigured for specific operator commercial offerings and billing packages, making it nearly impossible to seamlessly integrate new personalized services. VizuaMatix's innovative approach paves the way for dynamic adaptability, enabling operators to stay at the forefront of service customization and policy control in the ever-evolving telecommunications landscape.

This achievement not only enhances the performance of parental control services but also ensures that children are safeguarded effectively in the digital realm. It represents a successful fusion of cutting-edge technology and functional programming principles to address the complex challenges of policy enforcement in the modern age of online connectivity.

The Path Forward

In our continuous journey through the ever-evolving digital landscape, the pivotal challenge ahead is to pioneer innovative solutions capable of seamlessly adapting to the growing complexity of the digital world. In the realm of network-based digital wellbeing and parental control, this means the development of even more intelligent and advanced methods for identifying applications, even those cleverly concealed within encryption and VPNs. For telecom operators, the opportunity lies in harnessing the vast potential of data and analytics to craft bespoke plans that precisely align with the unique requirements of each customer.

Our Packet Processing and Controlling engine, meticulously designed to leverage the strengths of Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) and Traffic Analytics Development Kit (TADK) environment, powered by cutting-edge processors like the 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor family and Intel® Data Center GPU Max Series, is at the forefront of future transformative journey. Our unwavering commitment to research and development is continuously enhancing the capabilities of this engine, and we are excited to announce that the imminent commercial release of this solution will disrupt the Parental Control industry on a monumental scale, ushering in a new era of digital wellbeing and security.

Intel, the Intel logo, and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. vxSafenet and vxPCRF are trademarks of VizuaMatix.



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