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Keynote Talks

Wireless MAC layer reconfigurability (from a software-defined networking perspective)

by Giuseppe Bianchi


Programmability of wireless devices, from software radios to higher layer protocols, has been deeply explored for more than twenty years to date, and with remarkable scientific and technological achievements. Surprisingly, in such a landscape, very little attention has been paid to the identification of abstractions and programmatic interfaces devised to provide a platform-agnostic software-defined specification of wireless protocols and radio behaviour. 

In this talk, we revisit very recent advances in the field of wireless MAC programmability. We specifically focus on programming approaches which do not require open source network interface cards, but still permit dynamic MAC protocol stack reconfiguration in negligible (sub-microsecond) time. This is accomplished by decoupling a set of ``dumb'' (hard-coded) primitives, from a third-party provided ``smart'' MAC protocol logic, provided in the form of (extensible) finite state machines which formally specify how such primitives shall be executed. We argue that such ideas and approaches, although technically different and relying on different abstractions, appear to enrich the wireless access domain with software-defined networking concepts that are today leading the data centers and wired networks innovation. 


Giuseppe Bianchi is Full Professor of Telecommunications at the School of Engineering of the University of Roma Tor Vergata, current chair of the relevant Bachelor/Master teaching programme in Internet Technology engineering, and former chair of the Telecommunications and microelectronics PhD programme. His research activity, documented in about 180 peer-reviewed papers accounting for more than 9500 Google citations, spans several areas including wireless LANs, privacy and security, design and performance evaluation of broadband networks, network monitoring. His analytical models concerning the performance analysis of 802.11 WLAN networks are well known in the research community. He is editor for IEEE/ACM Trans. on Networking and Elsevier's Computer communication, and area editor for IEEE Trans. on Wireless Communications. He has (co-)chaired more than 10 international IEEE/ACM conferences/workshops, the latest one being IEEE Infocom 2014. He has been involved in more than 10 European funded project, with general and/or technical coordination roles for the projects FP6-DISCREET (privacy in smart environments), FP7-PRISM (privacy-preserving network monitoring), FP7-DEMONS (distributed network monitoring) and FP7-FLAVIA (programmable wireless systems).

A Perspective of the Networks of the Future and their Application to Smart Cities

by Luis M Correia


A parallel in the evolution between mobile and wireless communications and other areas (computers and cars) will be presented, in an attempt to identify possible directions for systems future evolution.  A look into already existing technologies will enable to establish a perspective for future user interface devices and services (e.g., information access, Internet of Things, and geo-location).  Then, potential services are identified, after which research challenges for mobile and wireless communications networks are addressed (e.g., network virtualisation, cloud networking, and networks of information). Smart Cities are taken as an integration example, as well as a perspective of application to other key sectors (e.g., health, transport, and energy).  The link with other areas, and impact on regulation, standardisation, and policy matters are presented at the end. 


Luis M. Correia was born in Portugal, on 1958.  He received the Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from IST (University of Lisbon) in 1991, where he is currently a Professor in Telecommunications, with his work focused in Wireless/Mobile Communications in the areas of propagation, channel characterisation, radio networks, traffic, and applications, with the research activities developed in the INOV-INESC institute.  He has acted as a consultant for Portuguese mobile communications operators and the telecommunications regulator, besides other public and private entities.  Besides being responsible for research projects at the national level, he has been active in 28 ones within the European frameworks of RACE, ACTS, IST, ICT and COST, where he also served as evaluator and auditor, having coordinated 3 of them and taken leadership responsibilities at various levels in many others.  He has supervised more than 160 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, having edited 6 books and authored more than 380 papers in international and national journals and conferences, for which he has served also as a reviewer, editor, and board member.  At the international level, he has been part of 26 Ph.D. juries, and evaluated research projects and institutions for funding agencies in 8 countries.  He has been the Chairman of the Technical Programme Committee and a member of the Steering Committees of several major conferences.  He was a National Delegate to the COST Domain Committee on ICT.  He has been active in the European Net!Works platform, by being a member of its Expert Advisory Group, and was a member of its Steering Board and the Chairman of its Working Group on Applications. 

Visible Light Communication for Toys and the Internet-of-Things

by Stefan Mangold


Visible Light Communication (VLC) with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) as transmitters and receivers enables low bitrate wireless adhoc networking, which is an interesting new approach for toys and related applications in the entertainment industry. LED-to-LED VLC adhoc networks with VLC devices communicating with each other over free-space optical links typically achieve a throughput of a few kilobit per second at distances of no more than 10 meters. LED-to-LED VLC adhoc networks are useful for combining light bulbs and illumination with low-complex networking. In this talk, we present recent research achievements at Disney Research, address open challenges, and demonstrate the performance of our software-based VLC physical layer and a VLC medium access control layer that retain the simplicity of the LED-to-LED approach.

Stefan Mangold

Stefan Mangold received his degrees in electrical engineering / telecommunications from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He is now senior research scientist at Disney Research in Zurich, Switzerland. As an Imagineer of The Walt Disney Company, Stefan guides a small team that contributes to Disney Research’s work on wireless communication and mobile computing. Before joining Disney in 2009, Stefan worked at Swisscom, Berne, Switzerland, and Philips Research, USA. His research covers many aspects of wireless communication, for example, protocols and system aspects for wireless LAN, visible light communication, and the Internet-of-Things. Other research interests include smart toys and play patterns, and magical experience designs for the entertainment industry. Stefan teaches a course at ETH Zurich, publishes, and generates IPR in related areas.

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