IEEE Seminar

Speaker: Professor Vincenzo Piuri, IEEE Fellow

IUniversità degli Studi di Milano, Italy

Title: Computational Intelligence Technologies for Ambient Intelligence

When: Monday, April 23, 2018, 4 pm to 5 pm

Where: Room 418, MacLeod Building (MCLD)

The University of British Columbia

2356 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4

The event is open to public.

Abstract: Adaptability and advanced services for ambient intelligence require an intelligent technological support for understanding the current needs and the desires of users in the interactions with the environment for their daily use, as well as for understanding the current status of the environment also in complex situations. This infrastructure constitutes an essential base for smart living. Computational intelligence can provide additional flexible techniques for designing and implementing monitoring and control systems, which can be configured from behavioral examples or by mimicking approximate reasoning processes to achieve adaptable systems. This talk will analyze the opportunities offered by computational intelligence to support the realization of adaptable operations and intelligent services for smart living in an ambient intelligent infrastructure.

Speaker’s Biography: Vincenzo Piuri received his Ph.D. in computer engineering at Politecnico di Milano, Italy (1989). He is a Full Professor in computer engineering at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy (since 2000). He has been Associate Professor at Politecnico di Milano, Italy and Visiting Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and at George Mason University, USA. His main research interests are: intelligent systems, signal and image processing, machine learning, pattern analysis and recognition, theory and industrial applications of neural networks, biometrics, intelligent measurement systems, industrial applications, fault tolerance, digital processing architectures, and cloud computing infrastructures. Original results have been published in more than 400 papers in international journals, proceedings of international conferences, books, and book chapters. He is Fellow of the IEEE, Distinguished Scientist of ACM, and Senior Member of INNS. He has been IEEE Vice President for Technical Activities (2015), IEEE Director, President of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, Vice President for Education of the IEEE Biometrics Council, Vice President for Publications of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society and the IEEE Systems Council, and Vice President for Membership of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. He is Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Systems Journal (2013-19), and Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computers and the IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing, and has been Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and the IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement. He received the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society Technical Award (2002). He is Honorary Professor at Obuda University, Budapest, Hungary, Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology, China, Muroran Institute of Technology, Japan, and the Amity University, India.

More information are available at

This seminar is co-sponsored by IEEE Vancouver Section Chapters, including:
IEEE Joint Aerospace & Electromagnetics Chapter
IEEE Joint Communications Chapter
IEEE Joint CS/RA/SMC Chapter
IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Chapter
IEEE Joint Power and Energy Chapter
IEEE Power Electronics Chapter

IEEE Solid-State Circuits and Technologies Joint Chapter

IEEE / UBC ECE Seminar

IEEE / UBC ECE Seminar, co-sponsored by the IEEE Vancouver Joint Communications Chapter
Title: Story Forest: Organizing Massive News Documents via AI and Natural Language Processing
Presented by:  Prof. Di Niu, University of Alberta

Date and time:  Friday, February 23, 2018, at 11 am

Location:Room 418, Macleod Building, UBC, 2356 Main Mall, Vancouver

Abstract: I will describe our recent experience of implementing a news content organization system in collaboration with Tencent that can discover hot events from vast streams of breaking news and connect events into stories for easy viewing. Our real-world system has distinct requirements in contrast to previous studies on document topic modeling and detection, in that 1) an event does not only contain articles of a similar topic, but is a cluster of documents that report exactly the same physical incidence; 2) we must evolve news stories in a logical and online manner. In solving these challenges, we propose Story Forest, a state-of-the-art news content organization system based on artificial intelligence and natural language processing. I will briefly describe the key enabling technologies in Story Forest, including identifying the relationship between text objects, e.g., whether they talk about the same event or whether one article is a follow-up of another, based on deep learning. Our system has been deployed in Tencent QQ Browser mobile app.

Biography:  Dr. Di Niu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta, specialized in the interdisciplinary areas of machine learning, distributed systems, data mining, cloud computing and optimization algorithms. He has coauthored nearly 50 papers in top journals and conferences in computer science and engineering, including the Web Conference (WWW), AAAI, INFOCOM, CIKM, ICDM, Multimedia, SIGMETRICS, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, ACM TOMPECS, etc. He was the winner of the Extraordinary Award (No. 1 out of all 18 award holders) of the CCF-Tencent Rhino Bird Open Grant 2016 for his invention of the Story Forest system for news data understanding at scale, which has been deployed in Tencent’s products.

IEEE / UBC ECE Communications Seminar

IEEE / UBC ECE Seminar, co-sponsored by the IEEE Vancouver Joint Communications Chapter.
Title: Gaussian Residual Bidding-based Coalitional Framework for Renewable Energy Market
Presented by:  Prof. Hongseok Kim, Sogang University, Korea

Date and time:  Friday, September 29, at 11 am

Location: Room 418, Macleod Building, UBC, 2356 Main Mall, Vancouver

Abstract: To stabilize output variability of distributed renewable energy sources (RESs), integrating large-scale RESs is highly utilized, and aggregated RESs are treated almost as any other conventional generators in existing electricity markets. In this talk we first propose a coalitional framework to cope with the uncertainty of RESs when RES owners can participate in a wholesale electricity market as sellers, where a market operator financially penalizes RES owners for deviations between day-ahead and real-time markets. Our theoretical approach incentivizes participants in a coalition by mitigating penalty fees caused by renewable variability. Furthermore, we propose a bidding strategy called Gaussian residual bidding (GRB) to maximize a coalition gain of participants. We prove that the considered game is convex game when GRB is used for all participants. Our extensive simulations with real data demonstrate that the proposed bidding strategy combined with the coalitional framework outperforms other bidding strategies as well as non-coalition cases under various market scenarios. Our results exhibit the revenue of GRB is improved up to 200% compared to the existing empirical quantile bidding and forecast bidding strategies.

Biography:  Dr. Hongseok Kim is an Associate Professor at Sogang University, Seoul, Korea. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea, in 1998 and 2000, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA, in 2009. From 2000 to 2005, he was a Member of the Technical Staff in Korea Telecom Labs. From 2009 to 2010, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA, and from 2010 to 2011, as a Member of technical staff in Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ, USA. His research interests include resource allocation, optimization and machine learning with applications to smart grid and wireless networks such as optimal power flow, microgrid, energy storage and battery management system, load and renewable prediction, power economics, 5G wireless system with renewables, green communications, scheduling in MAC layer, etc.

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