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An Acceptable Trade-off between New Call Blocking and Handoff Call Dropping

Probabilities in Multimedia Cellular Networks


Nidal Nasser
Department of Computing and Information Science
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1 Canada
nasser@cis.uoguelph.ca
Abstract
Providing multimedia services with Quality of Service
(QoS) guarantees in next generation wireless cellular
networks poses great challenges due to the scarce radio
bandwidth. Therefore, effective management of the
limited radio resources is important to enhance the
network performance. In this paper, we propose a
dynamic bandwidth adaptation framework to provide an
acceptable trade-off between new call blocking and
handoff call dropping probabilities in cellular-based
multimedia wireless networks. The proposed framework
is designed to take advantage of the Adaptive Bandwidth
Allocation (ABA) algorithm with new calls in order to
enhance the system utilization and blocking probability of
new calls. The performance of our framework is
compared to a framework previously proposed in [4].
Simulation results show that our QoS adaptive
multimedia service framework outperforms the previous
framework in terms of new call blocking probability,
handoff call dropping probability, and bandwidth
utilization.
1. Introduction
New upcoming wireless cellular infrastructures such as
3G and 4G are deemed to support a broad spectrum of
multimedia services with Quality of Service (QoS)
guarantees. One side of the spectrum is real-time services
requiring strong bandwidth guarantees. The other side of
the spectrum is services which are adaptive in nature and
can operate over a wide range of bandwidth. An example
could be a video streaming service with three bandwidth
levels: low, medium and high.
1.1. Background and Related Work
In a Multimedia Wireless Network (MWN) with a
cellular infrastructure, a mobile user can freely roam
within a networks coverage area, and may undergo a
large number of handoff events during a typical session.
When a user handoffs to a new cell, there may not be
sufficient bandwidth to support his call. Under such a
situation, there are two possibilities based on the nature of
the service. In the case of a non-adaptive service, i.e., the
bandwidth of a call is fixed throughout its life time,
needing strict bandwidth guarantees, the call will be
dropped. Whereas in the case of an adaptive service, the
call will not be dropped but will suffer bandwidth
degradation.
Users QoS requirements can be quantitatively
expressed in terms of probabilistic connection-level QoS
parameters (related to connection establishment and
management) such as New Call Blocking Probability
(NCBP) and Handoff Call Dropping Probability (HCDP)
[1]. A new call is initiated when a user requests a new
connection, while a handoff call occurs when an active
user moves from one cell to another neighboring cell.
Thus, the NCBP is the probability of a new arriving call
being rejected while the HCDP is the probability that an
accepted call is terminated before the completion of its
service, i.e., the probability that a handoff attempt fails.
Providing multimedia services with QoS guarantees in
MWNs presents great challenges due to (i) the limited
bandwidth; and (ii) the high rate of handoff events as the
next generation of MWNs will use micro/pico cellular
architectures in order to provide higher capacity.
While minimizing the HCDP is very desirable from
the users point of view, this often comes at the expense
of the resource (e.g., bandwidth) utilization, which is very
undesirable from the service providers point of view. In
the limit, one can achieve 0% HCDP at a 100% NCBP.
This demonstrates the importance of providing a balance
between the users connection-level QoS satisfaction and
system utilization.
Two major components in MWNs contribute in
solving the above problem. The first is a Call Admission
Control (CAC) algorithm. CAC is one of the most
important components of Radio Resource Management
(RRM) that affects the bandwidth utilization efficiency
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and QoS guarantees provided to users [2]. It is performed
whenever a mobile initiates communication in a new cell,
either through a new call or handoff. CAC algorithm
accepts or rejects an arriving call (new or handoff)
according to the amount of available resources versus call
QoS requirements, and the effect on QoS of existing calls
that may occur as a result of the new arrival. The second
component is Adaptive Bandwidth Allocation (ABA)
algorithm which is related to bandwidth management of
ongoing calls in the system. Real-time multimedia
services are adaptive in nature and can operate over a
wide range of bandwidth. In MWNs, it is possible to
overcome cell overload situations by dynamically
adjusting the bandwidth of individual ongoing calls. This
we call bandwidth adaptation.
Several adaptive multimedia frameworks in cellular
wireless networks have been introduced in the literature
[3-23] with only considering the reduction of the HCDP.
New calls have not been able to take advantage of the
adaptive framework and thus NCBP has not improved as
much. To improve NCBP we propose in our first attempt
[5] an algorithm that utilizes an adaptability ratio measure
in order to reduce the NCBP in addition to the HCDP. In
this solution, new calls and handoff calls have the same
priority in accessing the network bandwidth. This,
however, increases the HCDP and thus the upper bound
for the HCDP is not guaranteed which indicates a need
for a better solution that provides an acceptable balance
between new call blocking and handoff call dropping
probabilities. In this paper, we extend our pervious work
[5] and propose a solution that allows for adapting new
calls in a way that decreases NCBP while at the same
time preserving the priority of handoff calls in accessing
the network bandwidth which translates into minimum
HCDP.
1.2. Contributions
The main contribution of this paper is the introduction
of a novel adaptive framework for provisioning
connection-level QoS in multimedia wireless cellular
networks. The framework operates at the connection-level
where the bandwidth of ongoing connections can be
dynamically adjusted. Here, we combine CAC algorithm
with ABA algorithm into a new framework called
Adaptive Multimedia Access (AMA). Our specific
objective in designing the AMA framework is reducing
the NCBP and the HCDP. This objective is essential from
the point of view of the user. The service provider, on the
other hand, is more interested in increasing revenues. For
this purpose, we design an ABA algorithm which allows
the system to offer services whenever there is insufficient
amount of bandwidth by intelligently adjusting bandwidth
of ongoing calls which results in small values of the
NCBP and the HCDP. Therefore, more calls are able to
complete their services and as a result better utilization is
obtained which translate into more revenue to the service
provider. This framework supports a single class of real-
time multimedia service. The bandwidth of a call can take
a set of discrete values. An example could be a video
streaming service with three QoS bandwidth levels: low,
medium and high.
1.3. Organization of the Paper
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section
2 presents the system model. Section 3 describes in detail
the AMA framework. Section 4 reports the simulation
results. Finally, conclusions and future work are
discussed in Section 5.
2. System Model
System model in this paper is adopted from [5]. We
consider a wireless network with a cellular infrastructure
that can support mobile users running real-time
multimedia services that demand a wide range of
bandwidth allocations. The bandwidth of a multimedia
call can be dynamically adjusted depending on the
network load situation during the calls lifetime. We
assume that the bandwidth of a call takes its discrete
value from the set B = {b
1
, b
2
, , b
n
} where b
i
< b
i+1
for i
= 1, 2, , n 1. We assume that all calls belong to a
single class and all of them take varying bandwidth
values from the same set B.
We assume that the requested bandwidth for each call
request (new and handoff) that satisfies the QoS
requirements is predetermined from the set B and is
denoted by b
requested
. Hereafter, a call is referred to be
degraded if and only if the bandwidth of the call is
lower than b
requested
. The state of the system (cell) is
defined by the vector: ) ,..., , (
2 1 n
x x x s = , where the non-
negative integer x
i
denote the number of current users that
are allocated level i bandwidth for i = 1, 2, , n.
In this work, we consider only real-time streaming
services. Examples of such services could be B = {low
quality audio, medium quality audio, high quality audio}
where n = 3. We assume the system uses Fixed Channel
Allocation (FCA), which means each cell has a fixed
amount of capacity that is equal to C basic bandwidth
units (bbu). No matter which multiple access technology
(FDMA, TDMA, or CDMA) is used, we could interpret
system capacity in terms of bandwidth [24]. Hereafter, we
refer to the bandwidth of a connection as the number of
basic bandwidth units that is adequate for guaranteeing
desired QoS for this connection with certain traffic
characteristics. Two types of connections share the
bandwidth of the cell: new connections and handoff
connections.
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3. Adaptive Multimedia Access Framework
In this section, we describe the AMA framework in
detail.
3.1. AMA Architecture
A block diagram of our proposed AMA system
architecture is depicted in Figure 1. During call setup, a
mobile terminal running a user multimedia service defines
its requirements in a traffic profile. This profile consists
of the connection type (new or handoff) and the
bandwidth requirements. The traffic profile is then sent to
a connection admission controller which implements the
Call Admission Control (CAC) algorithm to determine
the acceptance or rejection of a call based on traffic type,
number of ongoing calls and the amount of available
bandwidth in the system. Then CAC decides whether an
incoming call is accepted in a cell or not.
Figure 1: AMA system architecture
When the system is underutilized, all arriving calls
(new and handoff) are admitted and the CAC algorithm
assigns the highest bandwidth level (i.e. b
n
) that results in
increasing of the bandwidth utilization. However, if the
system is fully utilized, bandwidth adaptation controller is
invoked to execute an Adaptive Bandwidth Allocation
(ABA) algorithm. ABA sensibly reduces the bandwidth
of ongoing call in the system based on an adaptability
factor which will be detailed in next section, and assigns
the saved bandwidth to the arriving call.
3.2. Adaptive Bandwidth Allocation Algorithm
Adaptive Bandwidth Allocation (ABA) algorithm
performs two main procedures: reduction and expansion.
The reduction procedure is activated when an accepted
arriving call (new or handoff) arrives to an overloaded
cell. On the other hand, the expansion procedure is
activated when there is an outgoing handoff call or a call
completion in the given cell.
Whenever CAC accepts an arrival call (new or
handoff), the system attempts to allocate maximum
bandwidth (b
n
) for this call. Thus, if the available
bandwidth is larger than or equal to b
requested
, the arrival
call will be assigned a bandwidth between b
requested
and b
n
.
Otherwise; a reduction procedure is invoked to reduce the
bandwidth of some ongoing calls in the cell as follows.
Calls with the largest assigned bandwidth greater than
b
requested
are reduced to have lower bandwidth not less than
b
requested
. If the saved bandwidth is larger than or equal to
b
requested
, the arrival call will assigned a bandwidth
between b
requested
and b
n
. Otherwise, we do further
bandwidth reduction to accommodate the call. Thus, calls
with the largest assigned bandwidth in the cell are
reduced to have lower bandwidth not less than the
minimum bandwidth (i.e., b
1
). If the saved bandwidth is
larger than or equal to b
requested
, the arrival call will be
assigned a bandwidth between b
requested
and b
n
. Otherwise,
we just assign the saved bandwidth to the call (minimum
is b
1
). If all above tests fail, then block/drop arrival call.
As a call leaves the cell, whether outgoing handoff call
or a call completion, the total available bandwidth
increases. The system will invoke the expansion
procedure to increase the bandwidth for one or more of
the degraded calls to b
requested
, starting from most degraded
calls in the cell. Expansion procedure stops when there is
no available bandwidth or every call in the cell has a
bandwidth larger than or equal to b
requested
.
3.3. Adaptability Ratio Measure
The above approach uses the adaptability ratio
measure in order to reduce the HCDP and the NCBP. The
idea of using this measure is to find a way to describe the
state of the cell at any given time so that allows the
system to decide whether it should adapt for the new calls
or not. Notice that the system will always adapt for the
handoff calls since we assign them a higher priority than
new calls in accessing the network bandwidth.
The main method of describing the state of the system
is the principle of adaptability. Adaptability describes
how many times we can adapt the system before we hit
the state where we can not adapt the system anymore. To
understand this, consider the following two examples in
Figure 2. In those examples, we consider an audio
streaming service which is composed of 3 levels; level 1
takes 1 bbu, level 2 takes 2 bbu and level 3 takes 3 bbu.
The total current allocated bandwidth for each level is
shown in the corresponding box. We assume that all of
the bandwidth is already allocated and there is no more
bandwidth available for incoming calls.
In the first example, most of the calls are allocated for
the higher bandwidth levels. In this case, the number of
calls that can be degraded to lower level is high.
Therefore, the system can safely adapt for the new calls
Connection Admission
Controller
Bandwidth Adaptation
Controller
Call Admission
Control (CAC)
Adaptive Bandwidth
Allocation (ABA)
algorithm
New/Handoff Call Not sufficient bandwidth
Accept the call Block/drop the call
Base Station
Mobile Terminal
(Multimedia Service)
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without affecting the ability to adapt for other arriving
calls, including handoff calls. In this case, the adaptability
of the system is high. In the second example, most of the
calls are assigned to lower level bandwidth. In this case,
the system should not adapt for new calls since the
number of calls that can be degraded is low. The
adaptability of the system is low. The number that
describes the adaptability of the system is called the
adaptability ratio or o.
Example 1:
Level 1:
10 bbu
Level 2:
20 bbu
Level 3:
120 bbu
Example 2:
Level 1:
210 bbu
Level 2:
30 bbu
Level 3:
35 bbu
Figure 2: Adaptability examples
One method of calculating the adaptability ratio
follows immediately from the two examples mentioned
above. The adaptability ratio measure simply depends on
the number of calls in that level (i.e. b
i
). It is equal to one
minus the sum of the allocated bandwidth for all levels
divided by the total bandwidth in the cell. The total
allocated bandwidth for all active users for all levels can
be computed from:
(1)
_
=
=
n
i
i i allocated
b x BW
1
where x
i
is the number of current users that are
allocated level i and b
i
is the bandwidth allocated for level
i users. The adaptability ratio can be then calculated as
follows:
C
BW
allocated
=1 o
(2)
Notice that the adaptability ratio depends only on the
number of calls of that level in the cell at the moment
since all of the other variables in the equations (1) and (2)
are presumably constants. This is obvious when
considering that the adaptability in the examples above is
determined by the distribution of calls in the levels of that
class.
According to the scheme described above, the system
has to make another step before deciding to reject a new
call or accept it. The extra step is to calculate the
adaptability ratio during the bandwidth adaptation process
and triggering ABA algorithm for new calls if the
adaptability ratio of the system is larger than a pre-
defined value, . This process is illustrated in Figure 3.
4. Performance Evaluation
In this section, we investigate the performance of
AMA framework compared to the Bandwidth Adaptive
Framework (BAF) [4] case where the ABA is only
executed when the arrival is a handoff call. Before
proceeding, we first describe the simulation model that is
used in this paper.
Arrival call
Calculate the
adaptability ratio ( )
CAC
Sufficient
bandwidth?
Yes
No
Call Type?
Handoff call New call
Bandwidth Adaptation
Algorithm
Accept
the call
Sufficient
bandwidth?
Yes
No
Accept
the call
Drop
handoff call
Block
new call
<
Bandwidth Adaptation
Algorithm
Accept
the call
Sufficient
bandwidth?
Yes
No
Block
new call
Figure 3: AMA framework flow chart
4.1. Simulation Model
The following describe the assumptions used in our
simulation. The cellular network studied assumes a
standard 7-cell configuration with identical mobility and
traffic conditions. The diameter of each cell is 1 km (i.e.,
micro cellular environment). The base station resides at
the center of each cell. The total capacity of each cell is C
(bbu). Single class of streaming video service with three
adaptive bandwidth levels (n = 3) is tested.
For the traffic characteristics, we assume that the call
arrival process for new calls is a Poisson process with rate

nc
. The Call Holding Time (CHT) is assumed to follow
an exponential distribution with mean 1/ and it is
selected when the call is first admitted into the network.
For the mobility model, we consider three
parameters, the initial position of a mobile, its direction
and its speed. A newly generated call can appear
anywhere in the cell with an equal probability. When a
new call is initiated, a mobile is assigned a random initial
position derived from a uniform probability distribution
function over the cell area. As for handoff calls, the initial
position is determined when the handoff event is
scheduled as described below. A mobile is assigned a
random direction upon entering a cell. The distribution of
the direction reflects the correlation between the different
cells. Different mobility scenarios can be modeled by
proper selection of the distribution. For example, in order
to model the morning rush hour mobility pattern, the
distribution is selected to be biased to the direction
leading to the downtown area. While for the evening rush
hour, the distribution is biased towards the direction that
leads to the suburbs. A constant randomly selected speed
is assigned to a mobile when it enters a cell either at call
initiation or after handoff. The speed is obtained from a
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uniform probability distribution function ranging between
V
min
and V
max
.
From the three parameters described above, along with
the radius of the cell R, and the network topology, the
simulation tool calculates the mobiles residence time in
the cell. It also determines the cell to which the mobile
will handoff to if a handoff is taking place, as well as the
initial position of the mobile in the next cell.
In [25], an analytical model is developed for the
above system, and it was found that the average residence
time for a new call, t
nc
, is given by:
t 3 / ] / 1 [ 8 V RE t
nc
=
,
while the average residence time of a handoff call, t
h
, is
given by:
] [ 2 / V E R t
h
t =
, where R in the radius of the cell
and V is the average speed of a mobile in the cell.
Therefore, the handoff rate of new calls, h
nc
equals 1/ t
nc
and the handoff rate of handoff calls, h, equals 1/ t
h
. The
simulation model is very flexible and allows us to test the
system under different scenarios. Here, we limit our
experimental tests to the simulation parameters values
that are shown in Table 1 where T
sim
is the simulation
time. However, we believe that the higher the bandwidth
capacity and simulation time are, the more efficiency our
framework can achieve.
Table 1: Simulation parameters
Parameter Value Unit
Total bandwidth, C 100 bbu
Cell diameter 1 km
Bandwidth set {3, 6, 9} bbu
b
requested
6 bbu
New call arrival rate
nc
= call/sec

-1
400 sec
V
min
10 km/hr
V
max
50 km/hr
T
sim
1000 sec
The performance metrics are connection-level QoS
parameters, the New Call Blocking Probability (NCBP),
the Handoff Call Dropping Probability (HCDP) and
bandwidth utilization. We define the bandwidth
utilization as the ratio of the bandwidth used by
completely serviced calls to the total bandwidth capacity.
These performance metrics are plotted as a function of the
offered load (call arrival rate, ).
4.2. Simulation Results
We develop two set of experiments to explore the
comprehensive effect of the adaptability ratio on the
system behavior when traffic parameters vary. In the first
set, we fix the value of |, while in the second set; we vary
this value.
4.2.1. Set I: Fixed | value. In this set of experiments we
use | = 50%. The performance metrics are plotted as a
function of the offered load (call arrival rate, ). The
effect of varying the call arrival rate on the connection-
level QoS parameter NCBP for both frameworks is
illustrated in Figure 4. The NCBP for both frameworks
increases as the call arrival rate increases. However, the
NCBP in the case of the AMA framework is lower than
that of BAF. This is because the ABA in AMA
framework utilizes the adaptability ratio that enables the
system to adapt also for new calls when it is overloaded.
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
Call arrival rate
N
e
w

C
a
l
l
B
l
o
c
k
i
n
g

P
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
AMA
BAF
Figure 4: Comparison results for new call blocking probability
In Figure 5, both frameworks result in the best
performance in terms of the connection-level QoS
parameter HCDP. It is obvious that by applying the CAC
and ABA algorithms in the manner described above that
the HCDP of both frameworks is minimized. However, as
the traffic load increases, the HCDP increases. Also, it is
obvious that the values of HCDP for both frameworks are
close. This is expected results since both frameworks
execute the ABA for a handoff call when there is
insufficient bandwidth in the network to accommodate
this call. Thus, they give more priority to handoff calls
which results in a lower HCDP.
0.00
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.10
0.12
0.14
0.16
0.18
0.20
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
Call arrival rate
H
a
n
d
o
f
f
C
a
l
l

D
r
o
p
p
i
n
g

P
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
AMA
BAF
Figure 5: Comparison results for handoff call dropping probability
Figure 6 shows the bandwidth utilization versus the
offered load for AMA framework as opposed to a BAF.
Clearly, the bandwidth utilization of the AMA framework
outperforms that of the BAF. This is due to the usage of
the ABA that utilizes the adaptability ratio measure and
allows the system intelligently adjusting the bandwidth of
ongoing calls which results a low HCDP value and a
reduced NCBP. Therefore, more calls are able to
successfully complete their connection sessions which
translated into better bandwidth utilization.
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0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1.0
1.1
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
Call arrival rate
B
a
n
d
w
i
d
t
h

U
t
i
l
i
z
a
t
i
o
n
AMA
BAF
Figure 6: Comparison results for bandwidth utilization
4.2.2. Set II: Different values of |. In this set of
experiments we study the effect of using different |
values on the system performance. Figure 7 illustrates
NCBP with different values of the pre-defined value for
triggering ABA algorithm, |. The figure clearly
demonstrates the drop of NCBP with the decrease of | for
all values of rates of incoming calls. Notice also that the
decrease of NCBP gets smaller with higher arrival rates
of incoming calls.
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
0.4
0.45
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
Call arrival rate
N
e
w

C
a
l
l
B
l
o
c
k
i
n
g

P
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
| = 0
| = 0.3
| = 0.5
| = 0.7
Figure 7: The effect of varying | on NCBP
Figure 8, on the other hand, demonstrates the effect of
adaptability enhanced ABA algorithm on HCDP. A drop
in NCBP (Figure 7) corresponds with an increase in
HCDP (Figure 8). In a low rate of incoming calls, for
instance 0.5 in the figure, the increase in HCDP is small
compared to the decrease of NCBP. This means that the
QoS improvements for new calls do not result in a
significant decay in the QoS of handoff calls. The same
conclusion does not appear to take place for high rates of
incoming calls.
0
0.03
0.06
0.09
0.12
0.15
0.18
0.21
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
Call arrival rate
H
a
n
d
o
f
f

C
a
l
l
D
r
o
p
p
i
n
g

P
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
| = 0
| = 0.3
| = 0.5
| = 0.7
Figure 8: The effect of varying | on HCDP
Figure 9 depicts the difference between NCBP and
HCDP in order to confirm the QoS improvement for new
calls. It is apparent that by applying the ABA algorithm in
the manner described above that the difference between
NCBP and HCDP decreases with lower values for |, and,
therefore, shows the advantages of adaptability for new
calls blocking probability.
0
0.03
0.06
0.09
0.12
0.15
0.18
0.21
0.24
0.27
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
Call arrival rate
N
C
B
P
-
H
C
D
P
| = 0
| = 0.3
| = 0.5
| = 0.7
Figure 9: The difference between NCBP and HCDP for different
values of |
5. Conclusion and Future Work
In this paper, QoS Adaptive Multimedia Service
(AMA) framework is proposed. The framework consists
of two main components: call admission control
algorithm and adaptive bandwidth allocation algorithm.
The framework is designed for wireless cellular networks
that support real-time adaptive multimedia services. The
simulation results show an improvement and reduced
values for the connection-level QoS parameters: HCDP
and NCBP. The requirements of the mobile users are
hence satisfied. Moreover, the results ensure efficient
utilization of bandwidth. This latter facet is highly
desirable by service providers. Although the measure of
adaptability described in this paper is a step forward
concerning adaptive frameworks, it doest not apply to
more than one class of services yet. That is to say,
currently, adaptability ratio cannot be calculated for more
than one class. This is one area of extension for our work.
Moreover, a more complex scheme, using statistical
distributions, can represent the adaptability of a
multimedia wireless network more accurately. Such a
scheme would better be suited for a real life and busy
cellular network.
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Proceedings of the 4th Annual Communication Networks and Services Research Conference (CNSR06)
0-7695-2578-4/06 $20.00 2006 IEEE
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