INFORMS Best Paper Award (2016-2018) goes to Professor Michał Pióro

Congratulations to our colleague, Prof. Michał Pióro, the main author of the paper that won the Best Paper Award in INFORMS Telecommunications and Network Analytics!

With over 12,500 members from around the globe, INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics. INFORMS promotes best practices and advances in operations research, management science, and analytics to improve operational processes, decision-making, and outcomes through an array of highly-cited publications, conferences, competitions, networking communities, and professional development services.

The award is granted every three years by the Telecommunications and Network Analytics section of INFORMS, as a part of an open competition admitting papers dealing with applications of the operations research methodologies in telecommunication networks optimization and performance analysis, published in the research journals related to that field.

The current award was given for the period 2016-2018 to the paper entitled Optimizing Flow Thinning Protection in Multicommodity Networks with Variable Link Capacity, published in the journal Operations Research in 2016 (vol. 64, no. 2), whose authors are Michał Pióro, Yoann Fouquet, Dritan Nace and Michael Poss. The decision was announced on October 21, 2019, during the 2019 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Seattle, USA.

The prizewinning work deals with applications of robust optimization techniques to the design of wireless telecommunication networks in which links’ capacities are subject to constant fluctuations caused by adverse weather conditions. Optimization of such networks is a complex matter since it requires consideration of specific carried traffic protection mechanisms for an enormous number of possible states differing in the availability of particular wireless links. The paper proposes an original mechanism, called flow thinning, for that purpose and an advanced optimization model allowing for effective design of the considered networks.

Official information about the winning paper can be found at

*The SenML specification becomes a standards track RFC

A new standards track RFC (RFC 8428) was published in August 2018. The RFC, which specifies Sensor Measurement Lists (SenML), is currently a Proposed Standard. Take a look at the document’s history at

SenML is a notation for sensor measurements (values) and associated metadata. The metadata may include the id of the sensor, a unit, a timestamp, or the sensor’s location. Shortcuts for reporting multiple measurements from a single sensor, or measurements from multiple related sensors are defined. A number of representations for the measurements and metadata are allowed, including familiar JSON and less known CBOR (Concise Binary Object Representation). SenML-formatted data may be transferred with an application-layer protocol like CoAP or HTTP. A paper presented at the IAB-organized IoT Semantic Interoperability Workshop (held in 2016) described SenML as a “simple building block for IoT semantic interoperability.”

You can learn about SenML, if you take our course OBIR.

Our new project: FLEXNET


We started work on a new Celtic-Plus project, called FLEXNET. WUT and two other Polish partners (Orange and Blue Technologies) joined forces with partners from Spain, Turkey, France, Belgium, Canada, and South Korea. The international Consortium aims to develop a “flexible IoT network.” The effort combines the areas of the Internet of Things, software-defined networking, and 5G. Read more here.

*Smartphones are great, but …

You may want to read the paper Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity, by A. F. Ward et al., published in Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (April 2017). DOI: 10.1086/691462.

Based on their experiments, the authors claim that “the mere presence of one’s smartphone may reduce available cognitive capacity and impair cognitive functioning, even when consumers are successful at remaining focused on the task at hand.” The “mere presence” means that users “do not interact with or receive notifications from their phones.”

The authors illustrate their findings with the figure below. It shows that, when it comes to “working memory capacity” and “fluid intelligence,” you are better off if you place your smartphone further away from yourself (a bag is better than a desk, and another room is still better).


If you’d like to learn about so-called ambient displays, which allow you to receive information without smartphones or other screen-based computers, consider taking our course AKIR (in Polish).

*FIWARE Context Broker becomes a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Building Block

The FIWARE Context Broker, a reusable context-handling component, has been adopted by CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) as a so-called building block:

The Context Broker makes it possible to store and access context-information using simple context models. It offers a RESTful API and supports subscriptions and notifications.  Learn more here.

Notably, we offer a FIWARE Context Broker-based lab exercise in our course AKIR (Context-Aware IoT Applications).  The objective is to teach students about FIWARE context modeling and introduce them to Orion Context Broker. The exercise was developed at ZSUT by Szymon Caban, as his BS thesis.