Abstracts and Biographies

Shannon's Legacy: Coding Theory from 1948 to 2016
Daniel J. Costello (University of Notre Dame)

Bio: Daniel J. Costello, Jr. was born in Seattle, WA, on August 9, 1942. He received the B.S.E.E. degree from Seattle University, Seattle, WA, in 1964, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, in 1966 and 1969, respectively. In 1969 he joined the faculty of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1973, and to Full Professor in 1980. In 1985 he became Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, and from 1989 to 1998 served as Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering. He also was a Research Associate at Cornell University (Summer 1971) and a Visiting Professor at Notre Dame (1983-84), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Spring 1995), the University of Hawaii (Fall 1998), and the Technical University of Munich (Summer/Fall 2001, Summer 2003, Summer 2005). He has served as a professional consultant for Western Electric, Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute, Motorola Communications, Digital Transmission Systems, Tomorrow, Inc., and Kirkland and Ellis. In 1991, he was selected as one of 100 Seattle University alumni to receive the Centennial Alumni Award in recognition of alumni who have displayed outstanding service to others, exceptional leadership, or uncommon achievement. In 1999, he received a Humboldt Research Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany. In 2000, he was named the Leonard Bettex Professor of Electrical Engineering at Notre Dame. Dr. Costello has been a member of IEEE since 1969 and was elected Fellow in 1985. Since 1983, he has been a member of the Information Theory Society Board of Governors on three separate occasions, and in 1986 he served as President of the BOG. From 1992-1995 he was Chair of the Conferences and Workshops Committee and from 2001-2002 Chair of the Fellows Committee of the BOG. He has also served as Associate Editor for Communication Theory for the IEEE Transactions on Communications, as Associate Editor for Coding Techniques for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and as Co-Chair of the IEEE International Symposia on Information Theory in 1988 in Kobe, Japan, in 1997 in Ulm, Germany, and in 2004 in Chicago, IL. In 2000, he was selected as a recipient of an IEEE Third Millennium Medal. He was co-recipient of the 2009 IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award, which recognizes an outstanding survey, review, or tutorial paper in any IEEE publication issued during the previous calendar year. Dr. Costello's research interests are in the area of digital communications, with special emphasis on error control coding and coded modulation. He has numerous technical publications in his field, and in 1983 co-authored a textbook entitled "Error Control Coding: Fundamentals and Applications", the 2nd edition of which was published in 2004.

Next Generation Wireless Networks
Robert Love (Motorola Mobility)

An overview of the technologies and trends driving improved performance in next generation wireless networks is discussed along with expected performance improvements in terms of capacity and user experience and the new mobile application spaces (verticals) that will be opened up.

Bio: Robert Love received his MSEE in 1984 from University of Florida after attending the US Air Force Academy. Robert spent two years at Texas Instruments on real world multidimensional signal processing and four years at E-systems on software radio and communications signal processing. He spent his last 26 years at Motorola (acquired by Google in 2013 and then Lenovo in 2015) on advanced network radio development for GSM, IS-95, CDMA2000-1X, 1xEVDO (HRPD-A), UMTS wireless radio interfaces and then research, product development in Motorola mobile device group for HSPA, 802.11x, LTE, LTE-Advanced, LTE-Advanced Pro, and New Radio (5G) wireless radio interfaces. Robert has over 120 U.S. patents in the wireless communications area.

Interference as Noise: Friend or Foe?
Natasha Devroye (University of Illinois at Chicago)

The interference channel consists of two independent transmitter-receiver pairs communicating simultaneously. The receivers see combinations of the two transmitted signals — and wish to decode their desired message in the presence of the other pair’s interfering message. It’s a remarkably simple and practically relevant channel model, whose capacity region remains unknown. Numerous achievability schemes exist — some with complex joint decoding and interference cancellation schemes. We look at the Gaussian interference channel and ask how well the very simple scheme of "treating interference as noise" performs. Somewhat surprisingly, we show that using discrete inputs in the Gaussian interference channel performs remarkably well and will discuss implications.

Bio: Natasha Devroye is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She obtained her Honors B. Eng in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in 2001, her M.Sc. and Ph.D in Engineering Sciences from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University in 2007, and was a lecturer at Harvard for 1 year before joining UIC in 2009. Natasha was a recipient of an NSF CAREER award in 2011 and was named UIC's Researcher of the Year in the "Rising Star" category in 2012. She has been an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications, and is currently an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking. Her research focuses on multi-user information theory and applications to cognitive and software-defined radio, radar, relay and two-way communication networks.

Information and Games
Randall Berry (Northwestern University)

Bio: Randall Berry joined Northwestern University in 2000, where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research interests span topics in wireless communications, computer networking, network economics, and information theory. Dr. Berry received the M.S. and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996 and 2000, respectively, where he was part of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems. His undergraduate education was at the University of Missouri-Rolla, where he received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1993. In 1998 he was on the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the Advanced Networks Group. Dr. Berry is the recipient of a 2003 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. He has also received the Best Teacher award for the 2001/2002 academic year from the ECE Department at Northwestern University and was nominated to 2012 Northwestern University Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll. He is an IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer for 2013-14. He has served as an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications from 2006 to 2009, and an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory from 2009 to 2011, in the area of communication networks. He has also been a guest editor for the IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing special issue on Dynamic Spectrum Access and the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory special issue on Relaying and Cooperation. He has served on the program and organizing committees of numerous conferences including serving as the co-chair of the 2012 IEEE Communication Theory Workshop and a technical co-chair of 2010 IEEE ICC Wireless Networking Symposium. He was elevated to IEEE Fellow in the class of 2014 for contributions to resource allocation and interference management in wireless networks.

Information Theory: the Day after Yesterday
Dongning Guo (Northwestern University)

Since its inception in 1948 marked by Claude E. Shannon's seminal paper, information theory has been a major driving force behind numerous life-changing communication, networking, and data processing technologies. This talk will review some of the past successes of information theory and present the speaker's observations of current research trends in the field.

Bio: Dongning Guo is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA. He received the B.Eng. degree from the University of Science & Technology of China, the M.Eng. degree from the National University of Singapore, and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA. He has been an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, an Editor of Foundations and Trends in Communications and Information Theory, and a Guest Editor for the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications. He received the IEEE Marconi Prize Paper Award in Wireless Communications in 2010 and the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2007.

Variations on the Index Coding problem: Pliable Index Coding and Caching
Daniela Tuninetti (University of Illinois at Chicago)

(Joint work with Tang Liu, Kai Wan, Pablo Piantanida and Christina Fragouli)

Index coding is a canonical problem in network information theory in which a server has N files and is connected to N clients via a noiseless broadcast channel, where each client desires a specific files and has stored locally a subset of the other files. More than a decade after it was introduced by Birk and Kol, the index coding problem remains open, and has been shown to include a number of 'difficult' problems in both wired and wireless settings. Recently, generalizations of the index coding problems have found applications in domains of content delivery. In this talk we touch upon two such variations.

Caching is an efficient way to reduce peak hour network traffic congestion by storing some content at a user’s local cache without knowledge of later demands. Our work investigates the two-phase, placement and delivery phase, coded caching scheme proposed by Maddah-Ali and Niesen (winner of the 2016 IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award). By using a index coding outer bound, we show the optimality of the Maddah-Ali and Niesen scheme under the conditions that the cache placement phase is restricted to be uncoded (i.e, pieces of the files can only copied into the user’s cache). We also propose a novel coded delivery strategy, to profit from the multicasting opportunities that arise when a file may be demanded by multiple clients, that outperforms known caching strategies for arbitrary demands.

Pliable Index CODing (PICOD) is a variant of the index coding problem in which a client is satisfied if it can successfully decode at least one massage that he does not already have. PICOD models “content-type coding” applications, such as web searches. PICOD significantly differs from classical index coding: was shown By Brhama and Fragouli that it offers an exponential improvement in the number of transmissions needed to satisfy all the clients. Our work elaborates further on this key result by providing a non-probabilistic lower bound on the fraction of PICOD clients that can be satisfied by a single transmission in the case where all side information sets have the same cardinality; the new bound is tighter than known ones for any number of messages and clients, and sheds light into how the cardinality of the side information sets affects the number of clients satisfied by a single transmission.

Bio: Daniela Tuninetti received her M.S. in Telecommunication Engineering from Politecnico di Torino (Turin, Italy) in 1998, and her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from ENST/Telecom ParisTech (Paris, France with work done at the Eurecom Institute in Sophia Antipolis, France) in 2002. From 2002 to 2004 she was a postdoctoral research associate at the School of Communication and Computer Science at the EPFL/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland). Since January 2005, she is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL USA, where she currently is a Professor. Dr. Tuninetti is a senior member of IEEE and served in various capacities ever the years for the IEEE Communications Society and the IEEE Information Theory Society; for the latter, she is currently the treasurer and an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. Dr. Tuninetti was the recipient of an NSF CAREER award in 2007, and was named UIC University Scholar in 2015. Her research interests are in: (a) wireless interference networks, with special emphasis on cognition and user cooperation, (b) coexistence issues and co-design of radar and communications systems, (c) Pliable Index Coding and Caching, and (d) design of closed loop deep brain stimulators for patients with tremor disorders.

Private Information Retrieval from Coded Data
Salim El Rouayheb (Illinois Institute of Technology)

An information theoretic Private Information Retrieval (PIR) scheme ensures that a user can retrieve records in a database or files in a distributed storage system (DSS) while revealing no information on which record or file is being retrieved. A user can achieve PIR by downloading all the data in the DSS. However, this is not a feasible solution due to its high communication cost. I will present constructions of PIR schemes with low download communication cost when the data is stored on the DSS using Maximum Distance Separable (MDS) codes. I will also discuss open questions in this area.

Bio: Salim El Rouayheb is an Assistant Professor at the ECE Department at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He was an associate research scholar at the EE Department at Princeton University (2012-2013) and a postdoc at the EECS department at the University of California, Berkeley (2010-2011). He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, in 2009. During Summer 2006, he was an intern at the Mathematics of Communication Research Department at Bell Labs. His research interests lie in coding theory and information theoretic security and privacy, with a focus on applications to distributed data storage systems.

Cooperative Networking of Mobile Devices for Energy, Computation, and Throughput Efficiency
Hulya Seferoglu (University of Illinois at Chicago)

New data intensive applications are continuously emerging in daily routines of mobile devices, and are posing significant design challenges for current wireless networks and devices due to their increased demands for more bandwidth, computing power, and energy. Cooperative networking is promising for achieving an efficient utilization of such scarce device/network-level resources. This talk will present the potential and opportunities of cooperative networking in this context by particularly focusing on energy, computation, and throughput efficiency.

Bio: Hulya Seferoglu is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of University of Illinois at Chicago. She received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Istanbul University, Turkey, in 2003, M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Sabanci University, Turkey in 2005, and Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of California, Irvine in 2010. She worked as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Laboratory of Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology during 2011-2013. She worked as a summer intern at AT&T Labs Research, Docomo USA Labs, and Microsoft Research Cambridge in 2010, 2008, and 2007, respectively.

Student Activity

Students will have the opportunity to participate in round table discussions. Each round table will be moderated by a faculty member and an industry representative. Topics:
— impact of IT in future technologies (5G, IoT, big data, etc);
— relevance of IT for industry positions; and
— academic positions in IT and related areas.
At the beginning of the discussion, students will be asked to introduce themselves. It is advisable to prepare a max-5min-long speech (include research interests, description of problem investigated, and main findings if applicable). A possibility, but by no means mandatory, students could have few slides to show to the rest of the participants from their personal laptop.