IEEE International Black Sea Conference on Communications and Networking
4-7 June 2018 – Batumi, Georgia


Prof. Gerhard P. Fettweis

TU Dresden


Title: Paving the Way Towards 5G Wireless Communication Networks

Abstract: We see 5G evolving towards first network deployments of broadband “New Radio” happening already this year. Is 5G research therefore coming to an end? Also, with a 5G features mapped out, will this be the final framework for cellular technology? However, as we increase data rates, again 5G frameworks designed under current boundaries of imagination will reach their limits.
If we want to reach Tb/s data rates, a new 6G cellular will be needed. First we must identify applications requiring Tb/s data rates, which are convincing for requiring its need. Then, main technical challenges must be addressed. Finally, first ideas will be presented, showing a possible path ahead. Hence, we soon will be readying wireless technology for the “Experience Society” vision to become true.

Gerhard P. Fettweis earned his Ph.D. under H. Meyr’s supervision from RWTH Aachen in 1990. After one year at IBM Research in San Jose, CA, he moved to TCSI Inc., Berkeley, CA. Since 1994 he is Vodafone Chair Professor at TU Dresden, Germany, with 20 companies from Asia/Europe/US sponsoring his research on wireless transmission and chip design. He coordinates the 5G Lab Germany, and 2 German Science Foundation (DFG) centers at TU Dresden, namely cfaed and HAEC.

Gerhard is IEEE Fellow, member of the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the German Academy of Engineering (acatech), and received multiple IEEE recognitions as well has the VDE ring of honor. In Dresden his team has spun-out sixteen start-ups, and setup funded projects in volume of close to EUR 1/2 billion. He co-chairs the IEEE 5G Initiative, and has helped organizing IEEE conferences, most notably as TPC Chair of ICC 2009 and of TTM 2012, and as General Chair of VTC Spring 2013 and DATE 2014.


Prof. Milica Stojanovic

Northeastern University


Title: Underwater Acoustic Communications: Fundamentals and New Results

Abstract: Underwater wireless communications rely on transmission of acoustic waves, since electro-magnetic waves propagate only over very short distances. Acoustic communications thus form an integral part of autonomous undersea systems, which find application in basic sciences (oceanography, marine biology), industry (off-shore oil, aquaculture), environment monitoring (climate, pollution, seismic disturbances) and security (search-and-rescue, surveillance).

Acoustic waves, however, are confined to low frequencies because of energy absorption (usually no more than several tens of kHz), and the bandwidth available for communication is extremely limited. Sound travels underwater at a very low speed (nominally 1500 m/s) and propagation occurs over multiple paths. Delay spreading over tens or even hundreds of milliseconds results in a frequency-selective signal distortion, while motion creates an extreme Doppler effect. The worst properties of radio channels—poor link quality of a mobile terrestrial channel, and long delay of a satellite channel—are thus combined in an underwater acoustic channel, which is often said to be the most difficult communication medium in use today.

The quest for bandwidth-efficient acoustic communications has progressed over the past few decades from an initial feasibility proof of phase-coherent detection, to the development of the first high-speed acoustic modem, and finally to a plethora of innovative solutions on both the signal processing and the networking fronts. In this presentation, we begin with an overview of channel characteristics, focusing on the major differences between underwater acoustic and terrestrial radio channels. We follow with a discussion of signal processing methods, briefly overviewing single-carrier broadband equalization used in an existing acoustic modem, and focusing on recent research results in multi-carrier signal detection on highly time-varying, Doppler-distorted channels. The performance of various techniques is illustrated through experimental results, which include transmissions over few kilometers in shallow water to hundreds of kilometers in deep water, at highest bit-rates demonstrated to date. We conclude by addressing the major issues involved in the design of underwater networks: the interplay between bandwidth and distance that impacts the notions of both relaying and cellular system design, and the high latency and packet loss that necessitate a dedicated design of the data-link layer.

Bio: Milica Stojanovic graduated from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 1988, and received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, in 1991 and 1993. She was a Principal Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in 2008 joined Northeastern University, where she is currently a Professor of electrical and computer engineering. She is also a Guest Investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research interests include digital communications theory, statistical signal processing and wireless networks, and their applications to underwater acoustic systems. Milica is a Fellow of the IEEE, and serves as an Associate Editor for its Journal of Oceanic Engineering (and in the past for Transactions on Signal Processing and Transactions on Vehicular Technology). She also serves on the Advisory Board of the IEEE Communication Letters, and chairs the IEEE Ocean Engineering Society’s Technical Committee for Underwater Communication, Navigation and Positioning. Milica is the recipient of the 2015 IEEE/OES Distinguished Technical Achievement Award, and is the IEEE/OES 2018 Distinguished Lecturer.



Prof. Raouf Boutaba

Professor of Computer Science


Title: The “Cloud” to “Things” Continuum

Abstract: Back in 2011, we introduced the concept of a multi-tier cloud as part of the “Smart Applications on Virtualized Infrastructure (SAVI)” NSERC Strategic Network Project. SAVI extends the traditional cloud computing environment into a two-tier cloud including smart edges – small to moderate size data centers located close to the end-users (e.g., service provider premises), and massive scale data centers with abundant high-performance computing resources typically located in remote areas. We designed the smart edge as a converged infrastructure that uses virtualization, cloud computing and network softwarization principles to support multiple network protocols, customizable network services, and high-bandwidth low latency applications. Since then the concept of a multi-tier cloud has been widely adopted by telecom operators and in initiatives such as the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC). In the meantime, the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) has seen an explosive growth in the number of connected devices generating a large variety of data in high volumes at high velocities. The unique set of requirements posed by the IoT data demands innovation in the information infrastructure with the objective of minimizing latency and conserving bandwidth resources. The multi-tier cloud computing model proposed in SAVI falls short in addressing the needs of the IoT applications, since, most  voluminous, heterogeneous and short-lived data will have to be processed and analyzed closer to IoT devices generating the data. Therefore, it is imperative that the future information infrastructure should incorporate more tiers (e.g., IoT gateways, customer premise equipments) into the multi-tier cloud to enable true at-scale end-to- end application orchestration. In this keynote, we will discuss the research challenges in realizing the future information infrastructure that should be massively distributed to achieve scalability; highly interoperable for seamless interaction between different enabling technologies; highly flexible for collecting, fusing, mining, and processing IoT data; and easily programmable for service orchestration and application-enablement.
Bio: Raouf Boutaba is a Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean Research of the faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. He also holds the
INRIA International Chair in France. He is the founding Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management (2007-2010), and on the and the current Editor-in- Chief of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (JSAC). He served as the general or technical program chair for a number of international conferences including IM, NOMS and CNSM. His research interests are in the areas of network and service management. He has published extensively in these areas and received several journal and conference Best Paper Awards such as the IEEE 2008 Fred W. Ellersick Prize Paper Award. He also received other recognitions, including the Premier’s Research Excellence Award, Industry research excellence Awards, fellowships of the Faculty of Mathematics, of the David
R. Cheriton School of Computer Science and outstanding performance awards at the University of Waterloo. He has also received the IEEE Communications Society Hal Sobol Award and the IFIP Silver Core in 2007, the IEEE Communications Society Joe LociCero and the Dan Stokesbury awards in 2009, the Salah Aidarous award in 2012, the McNaugthon Gold Medal in 2014, the Technical Achievement Award of the IEEE Technical Committee on Information Infrastructure and Networking as well as the Donald W. McLellan Meritorious Service Award in 2016. He served as a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies. He is fellow of the IEEE, a fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.