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 https://connect.informs.org/telecommanalytics/awards.

Some preliminary news from Mobile World Congress (MWC’19)

Between 25th and 28th of February, Mobile World Congress 2019, the biggest congress on telecommunications in the world, is being held in Barcelona. Almost all technological advancements, which are being deployed or will be deployed in the coming years, are presented by outstanding companies from all around the world.

The congress is strongly focused on the new 5G network and how the network should be deployed, so that it is not disruptive to current LTE/3G/WiFi networks. In fact, there is a strong push on networking self-management and integration of all wireless accesses to one managed access, so the future business will be on one access and several services, all of them softwarized at different levels.

Even if 5G itself is at the core of the congress, there are many companies showing applications to be deployed over the 5G network, with Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality and autonomic vehicles being the most impressive ones. Automatic robotics is being widely deployed with communication in the 5GHz and 5G mmWave bandwidth space. Aerial, maritime, and terrestrial autonomic vehicles have been deployed using the vehicle-to-infrastructure (also called vehicle-to-everything) v2x standard, which is in charge of controlling vehicles securely. This is in line with the vision of the physical world being beyond the control of a single vehicle.

There are many companies deploying advanced interfaces that ease human interaction with the digital world (say, with robots), with data (information everywhere), and even with the physical world, like interfaces for communicating with animals, integration of robotics in the human body, etc.

Another major area of interest is cybersecurity. This includes not only security issues of networking hardware, a topic that recently became relevant all over the world, but also integration of cybersecurity in small components and software, with related ethical dilemmas (e.g., how the human being should ultimately control the robots).

In conclusion, 5G, AI, interface-to-all, and security are the key topics at the most important commercial congress on telecommunications.

Exploring your family’s history can help you design better routing algorithms

Family ties in multi-generational families give rise to complex kinship graphs. These are stored and explored using dedicated techniques developed in the field of information technology (see, for example, the US patent https://patents.google.com/patent/US10025877B2).

But just as a family can be viewed as a graph, so (obviously) can a computer network. And finding the closest kinship connection between two persons looks similar to finding the best multi-hop path between two hosts on the same network. Thus it appeared to us that the IT techniques originating in genealogy can inform the design of routing algorithms. After all, a change of perspective is a great way to get new insight.

This line of thought has produced the topics for several diploma theses defended at our Division. Routing algorithms and protocols themselves are covered by our courses TINE, SIP, and TSST (among others).

Our new project: FLEXNET

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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.