IEEE ComSoc Distinguished Lecture

Title: EdgetIoT: Mobile Edge Computing for the Internet of Things

Presented by: Prof. Nirwan Ansari, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA
IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Speaker

Abstract:  In order to overcome the scalability problem of the traditional Internet of Things (IoT) architecture (i.e., data streams generated from distributed IoT devices are transmitted to the remote cloud via the Internet for further analysis), mobile edge computing has been proposed to provision IoT by handling the data streams at the mobile edge. Specifically, each base station is connected to a fog node, which provides computing resources locally. On the top of the fog nodes, the software defined networking (SDN) based cellular core is designed to facilitate packet forwarding among fog nodes. Meanwhile, we propose a hierarchical fog computing architecture in each fog node to provide flexible IoT services: each user’s IoT devices are associated with a proxy VM (located in a fog node), which collects, classifies, and analyzes the devices’ raw data streams, converts them into metadata, and transmits the metadata to the corresponding application VMs (which are owned by IoT service providers). Each application VM receives the corresponding metadata from different proxy VMs and provides its service to users. In addition, a novel proxy VM migration scheme is proposed to minimize the traffic in the SDN-based core.

Biography:  Nirwan Ansari is Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He has also been a visiting (chair) professor at several universities such as High-level Visiting Scientist at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. Professor Ansari has authored Green Mobile Networks: A Networking Perspective (IEEE-Wiley, 2017) with T. Han, and co-authored two other books. He has also (co-)authored more than 500 technical publications, over 200 published in widely cited journals/magazines. He has guest-edited a number of special issues covering various emerging topics in communications and networking. He has served on the editorial/advisory board of over ten journals. His current research focuses on green communications and networking, cloud computing, and various aspects of broadband networks. Professor Ansari was elected to serve in the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) Board of Governors as a member-at-large, has chaired ComSoc technical committees, and has been actively organizing numerous IEEE International Conferences/Symposia/Workshops. He has frequently been delivering keynote addresses, distinguished lectures, tutorials, and invited talks. Some of his recognitions include IEEE Fellow, several Excellence in Teaching Awards, a few best paper awards, the NCE Excellence in Research Award, the ComSoc AHSN TC Technical Recognition Award, the NJ Inventors Hall of Fame Inventor of the Year Award, the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, Purdue University Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award, and designation as a COMSOC Distinguished Lecturer. He has also been granted over 30 U.S. patents. Professor Ansari received a Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1988, an MSEE from the University of Michigan in 1983, and a BSEE (summa cum laude with a perfect GPA) from NJIT in 1982.

IEEE / UBC ECE Communications Seminar

Title: Internet-of-Things: Challenges and Future Trends

Presented by: Prof. Jianguo Ma, Guangdong University of Technology, China

Abstract:  The talk begins with the hot topic of Internet-of-things (IoT) together with the confused definition of IoT. IoT has been introduced as the results of the informationization. The definition of IoT will be given with the differences from the RFID/Wireless-sensing-networks/Internet perspectives. We define IoT as TO LET THE THING TALK! The key characteristics of IoT will be discussed followed by the key challenges of IoT. From application point of view IoT has those principles: Prediction, Protection, and Prevention. The privacy issues for IoT will also be discussed.

Biography:  Jianguo Ma received the B. Sc. degree from Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China, in 1982, and doctoral degree in engineering from Duisburg University, Duisburg, Germany. He was with Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS), Halifax, NS, Canada from April 1996 to September 1997 as a postdoctoral fellow. He was with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, from October 1997 to November 2005 as a faculty member, where he was also the founding director of the Center for Integrated Circuits and Systems, NTU. From December 2005 to October 2009, he was with University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), Chengdu, China. He was the Technical Director for Tianjin IC Design Center from November 2008 to November 2016, and concurrently served as Dean of the School of Electronic Information Engineering of Tianjin University of China from October 2009 and the founding Director of Qingdao Institute of Ocean Engineering of Tianjin University from April 2014. Since November 2016 he is with the School of Computer of Guangdong University of Technology, China. His research interests are: Microwave Electronics; RFIC Applications to Wireless Infrastructures; Microwave and THz Microelectronic Systems; as well as Industrial Internet-of-Things. In these areas, he has published 300 technical papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences, 7 U.S. patents granted and 40 filed/granted China patents, and 4 books. Dr. Ma was awarded the Changjiang Professorship by the Ministry of Education of China. He was also awarded Distinguished Young Scholar by National Natural Science Foundation of China. He was a member for IEEE University Program ad hoc Committee (2011~2013). He served as an Associate Editor of IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters from January 2004 to December 2005. He has been a Member of the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of IEEE since January 2013. He is Fellow of IEEE.

IEEE / UBC ECE Communications Seminar

Title: Molecular Communication: From Theory to Practice

Presented by: Prof. Andrew Eckford, York University, Canada

Abstract: How can we communicate using molecules? This question may unlock new applications in nanorobotics and medicine, but has only recently attracted attention from communication and information theorists. The answer to the question is surprisingly difficult: not only is the medium unfamiliar to communication engineers, but the mathematical details of the communication environment are complicated. In this talk, we present three examples to illustrate the current state of the field: for nanonetworking applications, we present the additive inverse Gaussian channel model; for biological applications, we discuss the information-theoretic capacity of intercellular signal transduction; and for experimental applications, we present a new low-cost, easy-to-use platform to evaluate macroscale molecular communication.

Biography: Andrew Eckford received the B.Eng. degree from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1996, and the M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto, in 1999 and 2004, respectively, all in electrical engineering. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University, Toronto, Ontario. He held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Toronto, prior to taking up a faculty position at York in 2006. His research concerns the application of information theory to nonconventional channels and systems, especially the use of molecular and biological means to communicate. Dr. Eckford’s research has been covered in media including IEEE Spectrum, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. He is also a co-author of the textbook Molecular Communication, published by Cambridge University Press, and was a finalist for the 2014 Bell Labs Prize.

*Co-sponsored by the IEEE Vancouver Joint Communications Chapter

IEEE / UBC ECE Communications Seminar

Title: Broadband Mobile Communications for High Speed Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities

Presented by: Prof. Pingzhi Fan, Southwest Jiaotong University, China

Abstract: In the blink of an eye, you may miss the 350 km/h high-speed train as it thunders by, not mentioning the 574 km/h French TGV track train (April 2007) or the 581 km/h Japanese JR-Maglev train (December 2003). Recently, there have been growing interests to deliver true broadband wireless internet services to high-speed train passengers. To provide the broadband wireless services in such a high mobility environment, a number of technical challenges should be tackled, such as the severe penetration loss, Doppler shift problem, mobility management, system capacity planning, etc. This talk shall present recent research advances in high mobility wireless communications, including the speaker’s own research progress in anti-Doppler problem techniques, mobility management, etc.

Biography: Pingzhi Fan received his PhD degree in Electronic Engineering from the Hull University, UK. He is currently a professor and director of the institute of mobile communications, Southwest Jiaotong University, China. He is a recipient of the UK ORS Award, the NSFC Outstanding Young Scientist Award, and the chief scientist of a national 973 research project. He served as general chair or TPC chair of a number of international conferences, and is the guest editor-in-chief, guest editor or editorial member of several international journals. He is the founding chair of IEEE VTS BJ Chapter, founding chair of IEEE Chengdu Section. He also served as a board member of IEEE Region 10, IET(IEE) Council and IET Asia-Pacific Region. He has over 200 research papers published in various academic English journals (IEEE/IEE/IEICE, etc), and 8 books (incl. edited) published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd/RSP (1996), IEEE Press (2011, etc), Springer (2004) and Nova Science (2007), and is the inventor of 20 granted PCT and Chinese patents. His current research interests include high mobility wireless communications, 5G technologies, wireless networks for big data, signal design & coding, etc. He is a fellow of IEEE, IET(IEE), CIE and CIC, and IEEE VTS Distinguished Lecturer (2015-2017).

*Co-sponsored by the IEEE Vancouver Joint Communications Chapter

IEEE / UBC ECE Communications Seminar

Title: An Autonomous Vehicle-Based Public Transportation System

Presented by:  Dr. Albert Y.S. Lam, The University of Hong Kong

Abstract: Technology of autonomous vehicles (AVs) is getting mature and many AVs will appear on the roads in the near future. AVs become connected with the support of various vehicular communication technologies and they possess high degree of control to respond to instantaneous situations cooperatively with high efficiency and flexibility. In this talk, a new AV-based public  transportation system is proposed. It manages a fleet of AVs to accommodate transportation requests, offering point-to-point services with ride sharing. We discuss the three major problems of the system: scheduling, admission control, and pricing. Scheduling is to configure the most economical schedules and routes for the AVs to satisfy the admissible requests while admission control is to determine the set of admissible requests among all requests to produce maximum profit. We develop effective methods to tackle the admission control and scheduling problems.  Furthermore, we consider multi-tenancy, which can increase market competition leading to lower service charge and higher quality of service. We study the pricing issue of the multi-tenant AV public transportation system with three types of services defined. To prevent the bidders from raising their bids for higher returns, we propose a strategy-proof Vickrey-Clarke-Groves-based charging mechanism, which can maximize the social welfare, to settle the final charges for the customers. We perform extensive simulations to evaluate the performance of the proposed methods.

Biography: Albert Lam received the BEng degree (First Class Honors) in Information Engineering from The University of Hong Kong (HKU), Hong Kong, in 2005, and obtained the PhD degree at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) of HKU in 2010. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences of University of California, Berkeley, in 2010-12. He is a Croucher research fellow and now a research assistant professor at HKU-EEE.  His research interests including optimization theory and algorithms, evolutionary computation, smart grid, and smart city.

*Co-sponsored by the IEEE Vancouver Joint Communications Chapter

IEEE / UBC ECE Communications Seminar

Title: Trade-offs between Energy Consumption and QoS in Systems and Networks

Presented by:  Prof. Erol Gelenbe, Imperial College London

Abstract:  According to some reports, ICT comes at the cost of electricity consumption worldwide which is at a par with the total electrical energy consumption of Japan plus Germany, of the order of 1500 TWH per year. Thus as we wait for new technologies which may reduce this number considerably, we have to think carefully about how we can consume less energy for computing and communications. Using practical examples drawn from our research, based on measurements and models, we will discuss how we can affect the trade-off between QoS and energy consumption in computer systems and networks and address some novel models and performance  that analyse renewable energy using the concept of an Energy Packet Network (EPN) where energy units are generated, stored in discrete units and forwarded on demand.  We will present new analytical models for the interaction between computation, communication and energy consumption and also discuss the possibility of using spin properties of particles for network communications. The presentation is based on the speaker’s recent papers that have appeared in IEEE Access, ACM Ubiquity, IEEE Trans. on Emergin Topics in Computing, ACM Performance Evaluation Review, and the journal Energies.

Biography:  A native of Turkey and Fellow of ACM and IEEE, the speaker received the ACM-SIGMETRICS Life-time Achievement Award for pioneering work and leadership in computer and network performance evaluation. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters of Belgium (2015), the Science Academies of Hungary (2010), Poland (2013) and Turkey (2007), and the 350 member French National Academy of Engineering (2008). He is ranked among the “Top 50 PhD advisers worldwide and all times” by the American Mathematical Society’s Math Genealogy Project, and has graduated 73 PhDs including 17 women. He was awarded Knight of the Legion of Honour (2014) by the President of France and Commander of Merit (2005) by the President of Italy. His other awards include three honorary doctorates (“honoris causa”), the Dennis Gabor Award of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2013), and the Grand Prix France Telecom of France (1996). His research is currently funded by EPSRC (similar to NSF), the European Union, and industry.

*Co-sponsored by the IEEE Vancouver Joint Communications Chapter

IEEE / UBC ECE Communications Seminar

Title: Algorithms and Communications for Smart Grids: Knowing and Controlling Power Consumption

Presented by: Prof. Chris Develder, Ghent University, Belgium

Abstract: The modern power grid is facing various challenges that gave rise to the adoption of smart grids. One such challenge is the increasing penetration of distributed renewable energy sources (DRES), another the anticipated electrification of transportation (i.e., electric vehicles). Part of the smart grid solution lies in demand response (DR) approaches to try and match the available production by adapting the flexibility in power consumption, i.e., shift consumption in time. Further, the fact that renewable sources are dispersed into the distribution networks, calls for enhanced monitoring of these parts of the grid. This presentation will highlight research that mainly pertains to “knowing” power consumption, as a necessary condition for “controlling” it. Starting with the latter, we will highlight sample case studies on DR algorithms. Then, we’ll focus on results from data analytics on clustering and modeling user behavior, in terms of total power consumption and the flexible portion thereof (e.g., in electric vehicle charging). Finally, we will briefly illustrate how communication network middleware can support smart grid applications, showing results from the European project C-DAX, which demonstrated PMU-based real-time state estimation in a real-life distribution grid.

Biography: Chris Develder is an Associate Professor with the research group IBCN of the Dept. of Information Technology (INTEC) at Ghent University – iMinds, Ghent, Belgium. He currently leads two research teams within IBCN, one on information retrieval and extraction, the other on smart grids. His research interests also still include optical networks (dimensioning, modeling, optimization, esp. for grid/cloud computing). Chris received the MSc degree in computer science engineering and a PhD in electrical engineering from Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium), in July 1999 and December 2003 respectively (as a fellow of the Research Foundation, FWO). From Jan. 2004 to Aug. 2005, he worked for OPNET Technologies, on (optical) network design and planning. In September 2005, he re-joined INTEC as a postdoctoral researcher, and as a postdoctoral fellow of the FWO since October 2006 (until 2012). In Oct. 2007 he obtained a part-time, and since Feb. 2010 a fulltime professorship at Ghent University. He has stayed as a research visitor at UC Davis (Jul.-Oct. 2007), CA, USA and at Columbia University, NY, USA (Jan. 2013 – Jun. 2015). He was and is involved in various national and European research projects (e.g., FP7 Geysers, FP7 Increase, FP7 C-DAX). He regularly serves as reviewer/TPC member for international journals and conferences (IEEE Trans. Smart Grid, IEEE/OSA JLT, IEEE/OSA JOCN, IEEE/ACM Trans. Networking, Computer Networks, IEEE Network, IEEE JSAC, IEEE Communications Magazine; IEEE Globecom, IEEE ICC, IEEE SmartGridComm, ACM SIGIR, ACM CIKM, etc.). He is Senior Member of IEEE and Member of ACM.

*Co-sponsored by the IEEE Vancouver Joint Communications Chapter

IEEE / UBC ECE Communications Seminar

Title: Molecular Communication: Theoretical Limits and Experimental Implementations

Presented by:  Dr. Nariman Farsad, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Abstract: Molecular communication is a new and bio-inspired field, where chemical signals are used to transfer information instead of electromagnetic or electrical signals. In this paradigm, the transmitter releases chemicals or molecules and encodes information on some property of these signals such as their timing or concentration. The signal then propagates the medium between the transmitter and the receiver through different means such as diffusion, until it arrives at the receiver where the signal is detected and the information decoded. This new multidisciplinary field can be used for in-body communication, secrecy, networking microscale and nanoscale devices, infrastructure monitoring in smart cities and industrial complexes, as well as for underwater communications. Since these systems are fundamentally different from telecommunication systems, most techniques that have been developed over the past few decades to advance radio technology cannot be applied to them directly.

In this talk, we first explore some of the fundamental limits of molecular communication channels. In particular, we explore the fundamental capacity limits of the molecular timing channels, where information is encoded in the time of release of chemical signals. We also evaluate how capacity scales with respect to the number of particles released by the transmitter. Then, optimal detection in molecular timing channels is briefly discussed. We conclude the talk by presenting some of the recent experimental implementations of molecular communication systems.

Biography: Nariman Farsad received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science and engineering from York University, Toronto, Canada in 2010 and 2015, respectively. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, where he is a recipient of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship. Nariman has won the second prize in 2014 IEEE ComSoc Student Competition: Communications Technology Changing the World, the best demo award at INFOCOM’2015, and was recognized as a finalist for the 2014 Bell Labs Prize. He has been an Area Associate Editor for IEEE Journal of Selected Areas of Communication–Special Issue on Emerging Technologies in Communications, and a Technical Reviewer for a number of journals including IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, and IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. He was also a member of the Technical Program Committees for the ICC’2015, BICT’2015, GLOBCOM’2015, and GLOBCOM’2016

* Everyone is welcome!  If anyone is interested in meeting the speaker before or after the seminar, please contact the organizer.

IEEE Comsoc Distinguished Lecture

Title: Cloud Radio-Access Networks: Coding Strategies, Capacity Analysis, and Optimization Techniques

Presented by: Professor Wei Yu, University of Toronto

Abstract: Cloud radio access network (C-RAN) is an emerging wireless cellullar architecture in which the base-stations (BSs) take advantage of high-capacity backhaul links to upload signal processing and computation to a cloud-computing based central processor. The C-RAN architecture offers an enabling platform for the centralized joint encoding and joint decoding of user messages and a capability for intercell interference mitigation across the BSs. In this talk, we address the capacity analysis and optimization technique for C-RAN while specifically taking into account the finite capacity constraint on the backhaul links. In the uplink, the C-RAN architecture can be modeled as a multiple-access relay channel. We analyze a compress-and-forward scheme in which the BSs quantize the received signals and send the quantized signals to the central processor using Wyner–Ziv coding. We also propose a successive convex optimization approach for optimizing the quantization noise covariance matrix. In the downlink, the C-RAN architecture can be modeled as a broadcast relay channel. We compare the message-sharing strategy versus compression-based strategy for this setting, and show how compressive sensing and weighted minimum mean-squared error (WMMSE) techniques can be used to solve a network utility maximization problem involving joint user scheduling, BS clustering and beamforming in a user-centric message-sharing C-RAN design.

Biography: Wei Yu received the B.A.Sc. degree in Computer Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 1997 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Since 2002, he has been with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he is now Professor and holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Information Theory and Wireless Communications. His main research interests include information theory, optimization, wireless communications and broadband access networks. Prof. Wei Yu currently serves on the IEEE Information Theory Society Board of Governors (2015-17). He is an IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer (2015-16). He served as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (2010-2013), as an Editor for IEEE Transactions on Communications (2009-2011), as an Editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications (2004-2007), and as a Guest Editor for a number of special issues for the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications and the EURASIP Journal on Applied Signal Processing. He was a Technical Program co-chair of the IEEE Communication Theory Workshop in 2014, and a Technical Program Committee co-chair of the Communication Theory Symposium at the IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) in 2012. He was a member of the Signal Processing for Communications and Networking Technical Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (2008-2013). Prof. Wei Yu received a Steacie Memorial Fellowship in 2015, an IEEE Communications Society Best Tutorial Paper Award in 2015, an IEEE ICC Best Paper Award in 2013, an IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award in 2008, the McCharles Prize for Early Career Research Distinction in 2008, the Early Career Teaching Award from the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto in 2007, and an Early Researcher Award from Ontario in 2006. He is recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters. Prof. Wei Yu is a Fellow of IEEE. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario.