Plenary Talks

Plenary Talks

There will be 5 Plenary talks at SPAWC 2013: Please find the time schedule on page „detailed schedule“.

Plenary 1

Towards Emerging 5G Wireless Broadband Systems

Speaker: Prof. Khaled B. Letaief, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

homepage at Hong Kong Univ.

Unfortunately Prof. Letaief could not attend SPAWC 2013, so another speaker was kindly prepared to held a plenary talk at Darmstadt: Prof. Nikolaos Sidiropoulos !

Plenary 1 – Monday June 17, 2:00 pm ! Short-term CHANGE of Plenary 1: !

Title: Frugal Sensing: Spectral Analysis from Power Inequalities

Speaker: Prof. Nikos Sidiropoulos, University of Minnesota

homepage at University of Minnesota


Wideband spectrum sensing is a key requirement for cognitive radio access. It now appears increasingly likely that spectrum sensing will be performed using networks of sensors, or crowd-sourced to handheld mobile devices. Here, a network sensing scenario is considered, where scattered low-end sensors filter and measure the average signal power across a band of interest, and each sensor communicates a single bit (or coarsely quantized level) to a fusion center, depending on whether its measurement is above a certain threshold. The focus is on the under-determined case, where relatively few bits are available at the fusion center. Exploiting non-negativity and the linear relationship between the power spectrum and the autocorrelation, it is shown that adequate power spectrum sensing is possible from few bits, even for dense spectra. The formulation can be viewed as generalizing classical nonparametric power spectrum estimation to the case where the data is in the form of inequalities, rather than equalities.


Nicholas Sidiropoulos (Fellow, IEEE) received the Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland—College Park, in 1988, 1990 and 1992, respectively. He has served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Virginia (1997-1999); Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis (2000-2002);

Professor in the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the Technical University of Crete, Chania—Crete, Greece (2002-2011); and Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis (2011-). His research interests are in signal processing for communications, convex optimization, cross-layer resource allocation for wireless networks, and multiway analysis – i.e., linear algebra for data arrays indexed by three or more variables. His current research focuses primarily on signal and tensor analytics, with applications in cognitive radio, big data, and preference measurement. He received the NSF/CAREER award in 1998, and the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) Best Paper Award in 2001, 2007, and 2011. He served as IEEE SPS Distinguished Lecturer (2008-2009), and as Chair of the IEEE Signal Processing for Communications and Networking Technical Committee (2007-2008). He received the 2010 IEEE Signal Processing Society Meritorious Service Award.


Plenary 2 – Tuesday June 18, 9:00 am

Rényi information dimension and degrees of freedom in vector interference channels


Prof. Helmut Bölcskei, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland

homepage at ETH


We present a unified framework for the study of degrees of freedom (DoF) in interference channels and elucidate the role played by singularity in achieving full degrees of freedom. Specifically, we continue the Wu-Shamai-Verdú program on characterizing the degrees of freedom in constant interference channels (ICs) through Rényi information dimension. We present a general formula for the DoF of vector ICs, encompassing multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) ICs, time- and/or frequency-selective ICs, and combinations thereof, as well as constant single-antenna ICs, as considered by Wu, Shamai, and Verdú. As in the case of constant single-antenna ICs, achieving full DoF requires the use of singular input distributions. Strikingly, in the vector case it suffices to enforce singularity on the joint distribution of individual transmit vectors. This can be realized through signaling in subspaces of the ambient signal space, which is in accordance with the idea of interference alignment, and, most importantly, allows the scalar components of the transmit vectors to have non-singular distributions. Based on this observation, we systematically develop the role played by singularity – either in terms of input distributions or in terms of canne coefficients – in achieving full degrees of freedom in ICs. We conclude by showing how the DoF-formula we obtain leads to a unified framework for interference alignment.


Helmut Bölcskei was born in Mödling, Austria on May 29, 1970, and received the Dipl.-Ing. and Dr. techn. degrees in electrical engineering from Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria, in 1994 and 1997, respectively. In 1998 he was with Vienna University of Technology. From 1999 to 2001 he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Information Systems Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering, and in the Department of Statistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. He was in the founding team of Iospan Wireless Inc., a Silicon Valley-based startup company (acquired by Intel Corporation in 2002) specialized in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless systems for high-speed Internet access, and was a co-founder of Celestrius AG, Zurich, Switzerland. From 2001 to 2002 he was an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been with ETH Zurich since 2002, where he is Professor of Electrical Engineering. He was a visiting researcher at Philips Research Laboratories Eindhoven, The Netherlands, ENST Paris, France, and the Heinrich Hertz Institute Berlin, Germany. His research interests are in information theory, mathematical signal processing, and applied and computational harmonic analysis.

He received the 2001 IEEE Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award, the 2006 IEEE Communications Society Leonard G. Abraham Best Paper Award, the 2010 Vodafone Innovations Award, the ETH „Golden Owl“ Teaching Award, is a Fellow of the IEEE, a 2011 EURASIP Fellow, a 2013-2014 Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Information Theory Society, and was an Erwin Schrödinger Fellow (1999-2001) of the Austrian National Science Foundation (FWF). He was a plenary speaker at several IEEE conferences and served as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, and the EURASIP Journal on Applied Signal Processing. He is currently editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and serves on the editorial boards of „Foundations and Trends in Networking“, „Foundations and Trends in Communications and Information Theory“, and the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. He is an ERC Advanced Grant panelist, was TPC co-chair of the 2008 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, and served on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Information Theory Society.


Plenary 3 – Tuesday June 18, 2:00 pm

GFDM: Generalized Frequency Division Multiplexing – Signal Design in Time and Frequency


Prof. Gerhard Fettweis, Dresden University, Germany

homepage at Dresden Univ.


Harnessing the complexity of equalization has been one major aspect for moving from single-carrier to spread-spectrum modulation. With the introduction of OFDM the complexity of demodulation has been reduced enough to cope with the implementation of MIMO systems. In addition, OFDM has enabled to design systems with flexible bandwidth requirements, adding subcarriers as needed. Examples of systems exploiting this feature are e.g. LTE or 802.11. Also, OFDMA allows for flexible resource sharing. However, OFDM comes at a price of requiring synchronous subcarrier spacing, and synchronous timing of multiple OFDMA sub-channels. The out-of-band power emission follows the sinc-function which poses a problem in particular when needing to design signals with a discontinuous spectrum and deep power notches in frequency. Reigning the overhead of the OFDM cyclic prefix comes at the cost of a long symbol duration, which again requires many subcarriers. Subcarrier spacing, however, dramatically limits the allowable phase noise for implementation. FBMC (Filter Bank Multi Carrier) is an alternative to OFDM which has attracted increasing attention for overcoming some challenges. GFDM is a novel multi-dimensional modulation technique in frequency and time (and space) which allows for overcoming many of the challenges posed by OFDM. By tail-biting the symbol filtering compact data bursts can be optimized for spectral shaping. In this talk an introduction and overview of GFDM will be given, including current state-of-the art research results. It's flexibility of designing the modulation in time and in frequency opens-up new possibilities, making it a contender in particular for multiple-access systems with highly heterogeneous user requirements.


Gerhard Fettweis earned his Ph.D. degree from Aachen University of Technololgy (RWTH) in 1990. From 1990 to 1991, he was Visiting Scientist at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA, developing signal processing innovations for IBM’s disk drive products. From 1991 to 1994, he was a Scientist with TCSI Inc., Berkeley, CA, responsible for signal processor IC development projects for cellular phone chip-sets. Since 1994 he holds the Vodafone Chair at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.

Gerhard Fettweis has (co-)authored 500 publications and more than 25 patent families. He is TPC Chair of IEEE ICC 2009 (Dresden), and has organized many other events. Among receiving other awards, as the Alcatel-Lucent Research Award, he is an IEEE Fellow. Next to producing scientific innovations, he has spun-out eight start-ups: Systemonic (now NXP and ST-NXP Wireless), Radioplan (Actix), Signalion, InCircuit, Dresden Silicon (Signalion), Freedelity, RadioOpt, and Blue Wonder Communications.

At TU Dresden he setup a team of currently 20 companies sponsoring his research, coming from Asia, Europe, and the US. In addition, an equally large set of companies have funded his Ph.D. research projects so far. A prominent project example is the German EASY-C project, researching on LTE-Advanced technology, and setting up the largest cellular testbed in downtown Dresden.

In his current capacity as the “Vodafone Academic Ambassador” he assists Vodafone in strategic guidance of international academic research collaborations.


Plenary 4 – Wednesday June 19, 9:00 am

Linear Transceiver Design for Interference Alignment: Feasibility and Computation


Prof. Zhi-Quan Luo, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA

homepage at Univ. of Minnesota


Consider a multiple input-multiple output (MIMO) interference channel whereby each transmitter and receiver are equipped with multiple antennas. An effective approach to practically achieving high system throughput is to deploy linear transceivers (or beamformers) that can optimally exploit the spatial characteristics of the channel. The recent work of Cadambe and Jafar suggests that optimal beamformers should maximize the total degrees of freedom and achieve interference alignment in the high signal to noise ratio (SNR) regime. In this talk, we examine several issues related to the design of a linear interference alignment scheme including its computational complexity, feasibility and practical algorithms to maximize the channel throughput.


Zhi-Quan (Tom) Luo is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) where he holds an endowed ADC Chair in digital technology. He received his B.Sc. degree in Applied Mathematics in 1984 from Peking University, China, and a Ph.D degree in Operations Research from MIT in 1989. From 1989 to 2003, Dr. Luo was with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University, Canada, where he later served as the department head and held a senior Canada Research Chair in Information Processing. His research interests lie in the union of optimization algorithms, data communication and signal processing.

Dr. Luo is a fellow of IEEE and SIAM. He is a recipient of the IEEE Signal Processing Society's Best Paper Award in 2004, 2009 and 2011, as well as the EURASIP Best Paper Award and the ICC's Best Paper Award in 2011. He was awarded the Farkas Prize from the INFORMS Optimization Society in 2010. Dr. Luo has chaired of the IEEE Signal Processing Society's Technical Committee on Signal Processing for Communications and Networking (SPCOM) during 2010-2012. He has held editorial positions for several international journals, including currently being the editor-in-chief for IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing.


Plenary 5 – Wednesday June 19, 2:00 pm

Feedback in Wireless Networks: Recent Results & Discoveries


Prof. H. Vincent Poor, Princeton University, USA

homepage at Princeton Univ.


Feedback has long played a major role in the development of wireless networks, from its earliest and simplest uses in protocols such as Aloha, to its more sophisticated uses in advanced multiple-antenna systems. Recent years have seen a considerable research effort in this area, both on the practical uses of feedback and on the fundamental, and sometimes surprising, properties that it can impart to networks. This talk will review some of the latter developments, notably as they relate to physical layer security, the capacities of interference channels, multi-media (i.e. finite-block-length) communication, and related problems.


H. Vincent Poor is the Michael Henry Strater University Professor at Princeton University, where he is also the Dean of Engineering and Applied Science. His research interests are primarily in the areas of stochastic analysis, statistical signal processing, and information theory, and their applications in wireless networks and related fields. He is an IEEE Fellow, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Academy of Engineering of the UK. He received the Technical Achievement and Society Awards of the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Recent recognition of his work includes the 2011 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award and honorary doctorates from Aalborg University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the University of Edinburgh.