Plenary Speakers

Plenary 1: New Mobile Communications "5G" Actualized by Evolution on Wireless Signal Processing

Speaker: Yukihiko Okumura, Executive Research Engineer, Leader of 5G Radio Access Network Research Group Research Laboratories, NTT DOCOMO, INC. Abstract: In this talk, I first introduce our recent research results related with wireless signal processing in two Japanese fifth-generation mobile communications (5G) projects “High Capacity Technologies with Ultra High-Density Multi-Band and Multi-Access Layered Cells”, and “High Data Rate and Low-Power-Consumption Radio Access Technologies with Ultra Higher-Frequency-Band and Wider-Bandwidth Massive MIMO” funded by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) in Japan. In addition, some updates on DOCOMO’s activities of 5G field experiments and system trials to verify the potential of advanced wireless signal processing and DOCOMO’s views on wireless signal processing for beyond 5G will be presented.

Dr. Yukihiko Okumura Yukihiko Okumura received his M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the Tokyo University of Science, Tokyo, Japan, in 1991, and his Ph.D. degree in engineering from the Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan, in 2006. In 1991, he joined the Radio Communication Systems Laboratories of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), Kanagawa, Japan, and since 1992, he has been engaged in the research, standardization and development of wideband/broadband mobile radio communication technologies, terminals and systems, at the NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc. (now NTT DOCOMO, INC.), Kanagawa, Japan. He is currently engaged in the research of 5G radio access technologies, and he is promoting those verification experiments and system trials at the Research Laboratories, NTT DOCOMO, INC.

Plenary 2: Is Interference and Collision Really Harmful in M2M Communications? A Contention-Free M2M System for Mission-Critical Applications

Speaker: Vincent Lau, Professor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Abstract: Interference and collisions are notoriously known as the key performance bottleneck in wireless communication networks. As a result, the MAC protocol plays a critical role in a lot of wireless networks by controlling or mitigating the interference using (a) interference avoidance (e.g. scheduling-based) and/or (b) interference randomization (e.g. ALOHA/CSMA-based random access). For example, fast UL-scheduling protocols are proposed in LTE-M to enable low latency M2M communications. There are also a lot of recent works exploiting the underlying sparsity in the M2M nodes to recover the collided measurements using sparse recovery methods. In this talk, we take a closer look on whether interference or collision is really harmful in M2M systems supporting mission-critical control-type applications. In such a scenario, sensors or machine nodes are deployed to monitor the internal states of a potentially unstable dynamic plant. The sensors report the measurements to a remote controller over a wireless system, forming a closed loop feedback system. Unlike designing a generic communication system for content / data delivery, the goal of the M2M network in the mission-critical control-type application is to stabilize the unstable dynamic plant via the stabilizing feedback control loop. We show that in such case, we can exploit specific structure of the dynamic plant as well as the additive properties of the interference in wireless channels and transform the harmful interference into useful measurements at the controller. Based on this insight, we propose a low complexity contention-free M2M protocol and derive closed-form sufficient condition on the “communication resource” needed to stabilize the dynamic plant. Based on that, we discuss various design insights and show that the proposed scheme has order-wise performance advantages over the existing M2M baseline solutions.

Prof. Vincent Lau Vincent Lau obtained B.Eng (Distinction 1st Hons) from the University of Hong Kong (1989-1992) and Ph.D. from the Cambridge University (1995-1997). He joined Bell Labs from 1997-2004 and the Department of ECE, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2004. He is currently a Chair Professor and the Founding Director of Huawei-HKUST Joint Innovation Lab at HKUST. He is also elected as IEEE Fellow, HKIE Fellow, Croucher Senior Research Fellow and Changjiang Chair Professor. Vincent has published more than 300 IEEE journal and conference papers and has contributed to 50 US patents on various wireless systems. His current research focus includes stochastic optimization and analysis for wireless systems, Massive MIMO, Compressed Sensing, Networked Control Systems as well as PHY Caching for Wireless Networks.

Plenary 3: LiFi: Moving on to Nano-Meter-Wave Wireless Networking

Speaker: Harald Haas, Professor, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom Abstract: We will start by clarifying the differences between visible light communications (VLC) and LiFi. This is followed by the introduction of the key building blocks required to create full LiFi networks. Next we report recent key achievements of the UP-VLC project with respect to component and demonstrator developments underpinning LiFi attocellular networks. We provide modelling results of such networks and address numerous misconceptions such as "LiFi is a line-of-sight technology". The talk also addresses the issue of energy efficiency of optical attocell networks and showcases how off-the-shelf solar panels can fulfill two functions at the same time, i) energy harvesting and ii) LiFi data detection. The talk closes by summarizing commercialization challenges.

Prof. Harald Haas Professor Haas holds the Chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, and is the Director of the Li-Fi R&D Centre. He is founder of pureLiFi Ltd. He first coined Li-Fi and was an invited speaker at TED Global 2011 and 2015. His talks have been watched online more than 4 million times. In 2014, he was selected by EPSRC as one of ten RISE (Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers) Leaders in the UK. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017.

Plenary 4: Wireless Bioelectronics

Speaker: Ada Poon, Professor, Stanford University, USA Abstract: Bioelectronic modulation of neural activity has the potential to provide therapeutic control over diverse organ functions addressing unmet clinical needs. Towards this goal, significant progress has been made in the development of miniaturized electronics, and high resolution and mechanically flexible neural interfaces for both research and clinical systems. Their long-term access to neural structures, however, remains constrained by technological challenges in powering the device. In this talk, I will describe two new methods for electromagnetic energy transfer that exploit near-field interactions with biological tissue to wirelessly power tiny devices anywhere in the body. I will discuss engineering and experimental challenges to realizing such interfaces, including a pacemaker that is smaller than a grain of rice, a conformal vagus nerve stimulator, and a fully internalized neuromodulation platform. These devices can act as bioelectronic medicines, capable of precisely modulating local activity, that may be more effective treatments than drugs which act globally throughout the body.

Prof. Ada Poon Ada Poon was born and raised in Hong Kong. She received her B.Eng degree from the EEE department at the University of Hong Kong and her Ph.D. degree from the EECS department at the University of California at Berkeley in 2004. Upon graduation, she spent one year at Intel as a senior research scientist. Then, she joined her advisor’s startup company, SiBeam Inc., architecting Gigabit wireless transceivers leveraging millimeter-wave and MIMO technologies. After two years in industries, she returned to academic and joined the faculty of the ECE department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Since then, she has changed her research direction from wireless communications to integrated biomedical systems. In 2008, she moved back to California and joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. She is a Terman Fellow at Stanford University. She received the Okawa Foundation Research Grant in 2010 and NSF CAREER Award in 2013. She is a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub investigator.

Plenary 5: Just Relax: Parallel Distributed Nonconvex Optimization via Successive Convex Approximation

Speaker: Gesualdo Scutari, Professor, Purdue University, USA Abstract: Distributed and large-scale optimization problems have gained a significant attention in several engineering areas, including network information processing, communication networks, cyber-physical systems, multi-agent control, and machine learning, just to name a few. The large-scale property is reflected in the number of decision variables, the number of constraints, or both, while the distributed nature of the problems is inherent due to partial (local) knowledge of the problem data (e.g., a portion of the cost function or a subset of the constraints is known to different entities in the system). Moreover, many applications of interest lead to optimization problems with nonconvex objective and constraints. All this makes the analysis and design of parallel and distributed algorithms a challenging task.
In this talk we survey various recent parallel, distributed, asynchronous algorithms for the aforementioned classes of nonconvex problems. We show that several existing schemes can be unified under the elegant umbrella of successive convex approximation methods. The proposed unified algorithmic framework is then tested on a variety of applications in signal processing, communications, and machine learning. Finally, we address the question on what rigorous guarantees these methods provide for various classes of nonconvex functions, thus shifting the barrier between tractable and intractable problems.

Prof. Gesualdo Scutari Gesualdo Scutari received the Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. degrees (both with honors) from the University of Rome ``La Sapienza,'' Rome, Italy, in 2001 and 2005, respectively. He is an Associate Professor with the School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA; and he is the scientific director for the area of Big-Data Analytic at the Cyber Center (Discovery Park) at Purdue University. He had previously held several research appointments, namely, at the University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong; University of Rome, ``La Sapienza,'' Rome, Italy; and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. His research interests include theoretical and algorithmic issues related to big data optimization, equilibrium programming, and their applications to signal processing, machine learning, and networking. Dr. Scutari is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing and he served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Signal Processing Letters. He served on the IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Committee on Signal Processing for Communications (SPCOM). He was the recipient of the 2006 Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 2006, the 2013 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the 2013 UB Young Investigator Award, the 2015 AnnaMaria Molteni Award for Mathematics and Physics (from ISSNAF), and the 2015 IEEE Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award.

Important Dates

Paper Submission Due
March 1, 2017
March 10, 2017
Acceptance Notification
April 30, 2017
Final Paper Due
May 10, 2017
Advance Registration Due
May 15, 2017