Freshness of Information

Anthony Ephremides

Distinguished University Professor and Cynthia Kim Eminent Professor of Information Technology
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Institute for Systems Research
University of Maryland College Park

A noteworthy development has been the refocus on information freshness through the introduction of the concept of Age of Information (or AoI). This concept arose from the consideration of status update systems where a source (be it a sensor or anything else) decides when to sample an on-going process and transmit that sample through a delay-inducing medium to a destination. Considerable interest in this concept quickly mushroomed and had become a hot topic in several disciplines. The AoI concept is a new notion, a new performance metric, and a tool in many applications. This talk will review and highlight recent research in AoI, especially as it relates to wireless networks which has been a favorite topic of interest for both Mario and myself.

Anthony Ephremides (IEEE Life Fellow) received his B.S. degree from the National Technical University of Athens (1967), and M.S. (1969) and Ph.D. (1971) degrees from Princeton University, all in Electrical Engineering. He has been at the University of Maryland since 1971, and currently holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department and in the Institute of Systems Research (ISR) of which he is a founding member. He is co-founder of the NASA Center for Commercial Development of Space on Hybrid and Satellite Communications Networks established in 1991 at Maryland as an off-shoot of the ISR. He served as Co-Director of that Center from 1991 to 1994. He also holds the endowed Cynthia Kim Eminent Chair of Information Technology and has been designated as Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland.
He was a Visiting Professor in 1978 at the National Technical University in Athens, Greece, and in 1979 at the EECS Department of the University of California, Berkeley, and at INRIA, France. During 1985-1986 he was on leave at MIT and ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. He was the General Chairman of the 1986 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control in Athens, Greece. He was also the General Chairman of the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory in 1991(Budapest, Hungary) and in 2011 (Saint Petersburg, Russia). He also organized two workshops on Information theory in 1984 (Hot Springs, VA) and in 1999 (Metsovo, Greece). He was the Technical Program Co-Chair of the IEEE INFOCOM in New York City in 1999 and of the IEEE International Symposium on Information theory in Sorrento, Italy in 2000. He has also been the Director of the Fairchild Scholars and Doctoral Fellows Program, an academic and research partnership program in Satellite Communications between Fairchild Industries and the University of Maryland.
He won the IEEE Donald E. Fink Prize Paper Award (1992) and he was the first recipient of the Sigmobile Award of the ACM (Association of Computer Machinery) for contributions to wireless communications in 1997. He also received the 2000 Fred W. Ellersick MILCOM Best Paper Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the 2000 Outstanding Systems Engineering Faculty Award from the Institute for Systems Research, and the Kirwan Faculty Research and Scholarship Prize from the University of Maryland in 2001, and a few other official recognitions of his work.
He has been the President of the Information Theory Society of the IEEE (1987) and has served on its Board of Governors almost continuously from 1981 until the present. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the IEEE in 1989 and 1990. He also received the 2006 Aaron Wyner Award for Exceptional Service and Leadership to the IEEE Information Theory Society.
Dr. Ephremides has authored or co-authored over 200 technical journal papers and 400 technical conference presentations. He has also contributed chapters to several books and edited numerous special issues of scientific journals. He has also won awards from the Maryland Office of Technology Liaison for the commercialization of products and ideas stemming from his research. He has served on the Editorial Boards of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on Information theory, the Journal of Wireless Networks, and the International Journal of Satellite Communications. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Communications and Networks since 2016.
He has been the Dissertation Supervisor of over forty Ph.D. students who now hold prominent positions in academia, industry, and research labs. He is the founder and President of Pontos, Inc., a Maryland company that provides technical consulting services, since 1980.
Dr. Ephremides’ interests are in the areas of communication theory, communication systems and networks, queuing systems, signal processing, and satellite communications. His research has been continuously supported since 1971 by NSF, NASA, ONR, ARL, NRL, NSA, and Industry.

From circuits to packets to flows to content to system: how abstractions define a research agenda

James F. Kurose

Distinguished Professor in Computer Science
College of Information and Computer Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst

For nearly fifty years, beginning with Kleinrock’s pioneering work on using queueing theory to model packet flows in communication networks, network modeling has adopted the packet as a primary abstraction for network modeling and analysis. In the 1990’s the notion of “flows” (generally associated with TCP connections) gained currency, and more recently “content” has become the central abstraction in the content-centric networking. In this talk, we trace how dominant networking abstractions reflect and define a research agenda. We conclude with a discussion of how SDN and the management capabilities it enables have created a new focus on autonomic management of the network, and its services, as a system.

Jim Kurose is a Distinguished University Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he has been on the faculty since receiving his PhD in computer science from Columbia University. He received a BA in physics from Wesleyan University. He has held a number of visiting scientist positions in the US and abroad, including IBM Research, INRIA and the University of Paris in France.
From 2015 – 2019, Kurose served as Assistant Director at the US National Science Foundation, where he led the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). With an annual budget of nearly $1B, CISE’s mission is to uphold the nation’s leadership in scientific discovery and engineering innovation through its support of fundamental research in computer and information science and engineering and transformative advances in cyberinfrastructure. Recently, Jim also served as the Assistant Director for Artificial Intelligence in the US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
Prof. Kurose has served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Communications and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking. He has been active in the program committees for IEEE Infocom, ACM SIGCOMM, ACM SIGMETRICS, and the ACM Internet Measurement conferences for a number of years, and has served as Technical Program Co-Chair for these conferences. He is the recipient of several conference best paper awards, the IEEE Infocom Achievement Award, the ACM SIGCOMM award, and the ACM Sigcomm Test of Time Award. He has also received the IEEE Taylor Booth Education Medal and teaching awards from the National Technological University, the UMass College of Natural Science and Mathematics, and the Northeast Association of Graduate Schools. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the ACM.
Prof. Kurose was one of the founders of the Commonwealth Information Technology Initiative (CITI) and helped lead in founding the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. He served for seven years on the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association, and on the advisory council of the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate. He served on the scientific advisory boards of IMDEA Networks in Madrid and the Laboratory for Information, Network and Communication Sciences in Paris. With Keith Ross, he is the co-author of the textbook, Computer Networking, a top down approach (7th edition), published by Pearson.

Communication Networking and Traffic Management for Autonomous Transportation Systems

Izhak Rubin

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

We present mechanisms for data communications networking and traffic management for autonomous transportation highway systems. We consider peer-to-peer V2V based operations as well as infrastructure aided architectures. We examine the packet delay and throughput performance behavior of systems that employ 5 GHz oriented frequency bands as well as those that use mmWave bands. The latter may involve the simultaneous activation of single or multiple radio modules and antenna beams. Each system is synthesized through the effective setting of the underlying modulation/coding schemes, spatial reuse factors, transmit power levels and medium access control schemes and parameters. The behavior of each architecture is evaluated by examining its induced packet-delay vs. throughput performance, under a multitude parameter values that include the coverage density of the infrastructure through its installed road-side units. Applications of interest include safety based high priority packet flows that must be disseminated across prescribed spans of the highway system under strict requirements for end-to-end latency levels and packet delivery ratios. Also included are lower priority data flows that induce high throughput levels while still requiring low packet dissemination delays.

Joining the UCLA faculty in 1970, Professor Izhak Rubin has been serving as a Distinguished Professor in the UCLA Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. At UCLA, he was the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award.
Professor Rubin has been engaging in research, consulting, and industrial projects involving in the design and analysis of commercial and military computer communications, telecommunications and networked autonomous mobility systems. He has been publishing papers in leading journals on a wide range of key communications networking topics and received best paper awards. He has been instrumental in contributing to projects that include air traffic control, mobile wireless networks, cellular cross-layer operations, mobile ad hoc wireless networks, autonomous highway transportation systems, UAV aided wireless networks, and adaptive video streaming operations over wireless networks.
During 1979-1980, he served as Acting Chief Scientist of the Xerox Telecommunications Network. He has been organizing and chairing a wide range conferences and workshops, and served as co-chairman of the 1981 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory and as program chairman for the 1987 IEEE INFOCOM conference. He has served as an editor of a multitide of journals, including the IEEE Transactions on Communications, Wireless Networks journal, Optical Networks magazine, IEEE JSAC issue on MAC techniques, Photonic Networks Communications journal, and has contributed chapters to texts and encyclopedia on telecommunications systems and networks. Dr. Rubin is a Life Fellow of IEEE.

The Quantum Internet: Recent Advances and Challenges

Donald F. Towsley

Distinguished University Professor
College of Information and Computer Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Quantum information processing is at the cusp of having significant impacts on technology and society in the form of providing unbreakable security, ultra-high-precision distributed sensing with applications to metrology and science discovery (e.g., LIGO), much higher-rate deep space optical communications than possible with conventional systems, and polynomial speeds up on search with implications to big data. Most of these applications are enabled by high-rate distributed shared entanglement between pairs and groups of users. A critical missing component that prevents crossing this threshold is a distributed infrastructure in the form of a world-wide “Quantum Internet” to enable this. This motivates our study of a quantum network, namely what is the right architecture and how should it be operated, i.e., route multiple quantum information flows, and dynamically allocate resources fairly.
In this talk we review a specific entanglement-based quantum network architecture and present opportunities and challenges related to resource sharing among multiple parties of users. In particular, we focus on issues related to resource allocation based on global/local state information and the benefits of path diversity. Last, we evaluate the performance of an entanglement-based quantum switch.

Don Towsley holds a B.A. in Physics (1971) and a Ph.D. in Computer Science (1975) from University of Texas. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the University of Massachusetts in the College of Information & Computer Sciences. He has held visiting positions at numerous universities and research labs. His research interests include network science, performance evaluation, and quantum networking.
He was co-founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Modeling and Performance Evaluation of Computing Systems (TOMPECS), and has served as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking and on numerous editorial boards. He has served as Program Co-Program Chair of several conferences including INFOCOM 2009.
He is a corresponding member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and has received several achievement awards including the 2007 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Award and the 2011 INFOCOM Achievement Award. He has received numerous Test of Time Awards. He also received the 1998 IEEE Communications Society William Bennett Best Paper Award. Last, he has been elected Fellow of both the ACM and IEEE.