February 2007 newsletter

Feb 2007 Newsletter: from Archan Misra, Chair TCCC

Dear TCCC colleagues,

Greetings and best wishes for a happy 2007! I had planned to send this newsletter out in mid-January, but I unexpectedly found time to take a much-needed vacation, which I grabbed gleefully! This is the first newsletter for 2007, a year which promises to be an exciting and eventful one for the TCCC and its membership. You will be pleased to note that your ExCom continues to plan and execute on many of our ongoing ideas and projects, with several initiatives set to bear fruit in the next month or so.

Rather than wait for these initiatives to be underway, I thought I should send out this newsletter with the following events and updates: Initiation of convergence-related activities.

  • Up-to-date call for participation/papers at TCCC sponsored conferences
  • Report on the organization and conduct of LCN 2007
  • Overview of an upcoming TCCC ExCoM project.

As always, please feel free to browse the newsletter (also available from our Website: http://tab.computer.org/tccc/) and let us know your opinions and feedback.

Archan Misra
TCCC Chair

After a period of planning and preparation, our Convergence Chair, Sanjiv Rai is now poised to spearhead some activities and initiatives related to the exciting area of Convergence. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Convergence refers to the ongoing research and standardization activities to define a uniform control and signaling layer for both wired and wireless networks, its range extending from efforts at the radio layer on MAC-layer interoperability and spectral sharing to deployment of a common IMS-based services and access control infrastructure for provider networks.

As the first step in this initiative, Sanjiv will be circulating (to be sent out to all members on the TCCC mailing list) a “Convergence Questionnaire”, seeking feedback from our membership on the range of your interests and the types of activities and information you would value the most. Please take a few minutes to respond to this questionnaire, since that will help us determine the future direction of our efforts. This questionnaire will go out via the mailing list within a week. In addition to this Questionnaire, Sanjiv and our Member-at-Large, Prof. Uday Desai are holding the first-ever “Wireless Convergence and Seamless Communications” workshop (as part of the IEEE WoWMoM 2007 conference) in Helsinki, Finland on June 17. Further details on its organization, scope and associated deadlines are available at: http://www.ee.iitb.ac.in/wcsc/index.htm

Once the results from the questionnaire are examined, Sanjiv and his team plan to start a periodical Convergence newsletter, that shall highlight all relevant convergence activities and recent events.


As always, this newsletter reminds you of upcoming deadlines and im portant dates associated with TCCC-sponsored conferences. Please note the important dates below and plan to participate in our activities.

  1. Call for Papers: 32nd IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN), 2007, October 15-18, 2007, Dublin, Ireland. http://www.ieeelcn.org/ The paper deadline for the main conference is April 2, 2007. In addition, LCN 2007 will includes several other workshops, whose details will be available from the Web page above.

  2. Call for Participation: 5th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PERCOM) 2007, March 19-23, 2007,White Plains, USA. http://www.cse.psu.edu/~hurson/percom2007/ Besides the main conference, PERCOM 2007 includes 10 workshops, a special demo session and several panels and keynote speeches. Early registration deadline is February 15, 2007.

  3. Call for Participation: 26th IEEE International Performance, Computing and Communications Conference, (IPCCC) 2007, April 11-13, 2007, New Orleans, USA. http://ipccc.org/ Besides the main conference, IPCCC 2007 includes 4 workshops.

  4. Call for Papers in Workshops and Industry Session: 8th IEEE International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks (WoWMoM) 2007, June 18-21,2006, Helsinki, Finland. http://ieee-wowmom.tml.hut.fi/ Deadline for Workshops and Industry Sessions are all in the next few days.


Joe Bumblis, BAE Systems


The 31st International Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN: http://www.ieeelcn.org) was held from November 14 through November 16, 2006 at the Embassy Suites in Tampa, Florida. The Embassy Suites complex is located on the campus of the University of South Florida (USF: http://www.usf.edu/index.asp); USF is a financial supporter of the LCN conference.

The Conference

The 31st LCN conference was comprised of three primary blocks: 1. Workshops; 2. Keynote Addresses; and 3. Conference papers. On Tuesday, November 14, 2006 the 31st LCN conference started with a full day of workshops; the Workshop block consisted of five workshops:

  1. First IEEE LCN Workshop on Network Measurements (Half-day workshop),
  2. Second IEEE LCN Workshop on Network Security (Half-day workshop),
  3. First IEEE International Workshop on Practical Issues in Building Sensor Network Applications (SenseApp 2006: Full-day workshop),
  4. Second IEEE International Workshop on Performance and Management of Wireless and Mobile Networks (Full-day workshop) and
  5. Sixth International Workshop on Wireless Local Networks (WLN: Full-day workshop).

This author attended the “Second IEEE International Workshop on Performance and Management of Wireless and Mobile Networks.” In Recent years, wireless and mobile communication systems have become increasingly popular as an inexpensive and promising means for ubiquitous communications. However, the performance and resource management of wireless and mobile communication systems are becoming a very crucial phase for future generation of wireless and mobile networks. This workshop focused on the design, performance and resource management of wireless and mobile networks. Of particular interest was a paper by Li, Claypool, and Kinicki titled “Packet Dispersion in IEEE 802.11 Wireless Networks”. Here the authors discussed the issues of 802.11 packet dispersion and the impact such dispersion may have on applications like streaming video and highly meshed networks. Another paper of particular interest was written by Khabiri and Bettayed titled “Efficient Algorithms for Secure Multicast Key Management”. Here the authors present some simulated evidence of security-key loss in wireless secure transaction models. The workshop ended with several short paper presentations (poster session) covering such topics as mesh network routing delays, TV offerings over 3G cellular systems, and dynamic spectrum management.

On Wednesday, 15 November 2006 the first of two keynote addresses took place. This first keynote was offered by Dr. Bob Ianucci, Senior Vice President and Head of the Nokia Research Center. Dr. Ianucci’s talk was titled: “In Search of the Next Big Thing”. During his talk Dr. Ianucci addressed the ongoing revolution in the mobile communications domain, and the urgent signals of change visible within the technology and business environment. He also discussed several ways in which industry, academia, and standardization can adapt to perceive and respond to this rapidly changing and unpredictable environment. Dr. Ianucci discussed how the modern day cell phone has migrated from a “terminal” device to a gateway. The largest challenge has been to keep the internal power dissipation to three watts or less; more than three watts and the cell phone becomes to warm to hold. Moreover, today’s cell phone typically has eight radios and 11 antennas; the antennas consume about 20% of the physical space in the phone. Today’s cell phone executes about three billion micro-instructions per second which allows the cell phone to act more like a gateway to other networked services, offering a very human-centric interface, allowing for an applications development platform, support of virtual/information spaces like WWW and database access, and currently offering limited sensing capabilities of the physical world (including human sensors) through a Bluetooth interface to sensor networks. In addition to the interfaces described above, Nokia continues to support standards like MIPI, Liberty Alliance, W3C, Wi-Fi Alliance, and the Trusted Computing Group to name a few. Dr. Ianucci completed his talk by expressing what he believes will be the “next big things”. He believes the technology Nokia needs to watch includes: 1. Software radio technology; 2. Carbon nano-tube technology as possible filters between A/D converters and the cell phone antenna(s); 3. Environmental metadata for sensing applications; 4. Dynamic 3-D VI technologies with graphics accelerators; and 5. Emerging printed circuit board (PCB) technologies capable of creating a PCB from a printer. Additional detail can be viewed at: http://research.nokia.com

After the keynote address, the paper sessions commenced. The paper sessions were divided into three tracks. This author attended several tracks on a variety of topics including “Performance Evaluation” and “P2P and Overlay Networks”. This author observed many outstanding papers in the paper tracks attended. However report length restrictions prevent a detailed review of any individual paper in this conference report.

On Thursday, November 16, 2006 the second conference keynote address commenced. Dr. Edward Knightly, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas presented his talk titled “Large-Scale Urban Mesh Networks: from Deployment to Applications”. The focus of this talk centered around the activity of many cities which are embarking on ambitious plans to cover large geographical areas with high-performance wireless access networks employing a mesh architecture. With the “digital divide” ever growing, the application of pervasive wireless mesh networks and transformational applications may indeed bring poor communities a step closer to the elimination of poverty. Such an experiment was set up in southeast Houston community. Dr. Knightly described how Rice University established an “access tier” comprised of an IEEE 802.11b mesh network, a “backbone tier” comprising several wireless hops to a gateway, and an “alternate route” tier comprised of a fiber optic network in this Houston community. Each home in the coverage area was equipped with a 10m high antenna and appropriate 200mW wireless hardware. Dr. Knightly explained that network optimization was achieved through a combination of node spacing, path length to the gateway, geometry of the nodes (i.e. clustering), randomness of the node placements, and link VS. network-wide behavior parameters. It was observed that the number of hops between the gateway and the farthest node was three. Dr. Knightly went on to explain that a major problem was the starvation issue in clustered wireless networks. In essence a node (or set of nodes) will be starved of data because of their distance from the gateway node (power issues) and because other closer nodes will “see” a clear channel before the nodes farther away from the gateway (timing issue). Dr. Knightly concluded his talk by briefly discussing the activities of the IEEE 802.11s standards group. His primary concern with the 802.11s committee work is the lack of support to change the 802.11 MAC to address the starvation problem. Additional information regarding Dr. Knightly’s work can be located at: http://networks.rice.edu .

The remainder of the paper presentations followed Dr. Knightly’s Keynote Address. Of particular interest to this author was the paper track on “Modeling and Advanced Techniques”. A paper by Zhou, Pung, Ngoh, and Gu titled “Ontology Modeling of a Dynamic Protocol Stack”. The authors took a holistic approach to the QoS issue of “knowledge” (predominantly the QoS of the Knowledge Base) used in network infrastructures. Of concern to these authors was a lack of end-to-end QoS simulation and real measurements to validate the model. The authors' research was limited to the Resource Description Framework Schema (RDFS) language for representation of information predominantly on the web (see: http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-mt/ for details).


Finally, I’d like to say a few words about a community-based, Web-oriented initiative that we plan to introduce shortly. The TCCC ExCom has been debating on better ways to build more collaborative interaction within our community. We believe that one of the ways to foster such a sense of community will be through the development of a “Community Web page” where various research and technical projects being pursued globally by our members can be categorized and organized for easy access. Such categorization provides two important benefits: a) it allows our members to visit a single TCCC-maintained Web site to obtain easy digestible views of global activities in areas of interest to them and b) allows members from all geographies to describe and advertise their ongoing work. Taken together, these two benefits should hopefully allow our far-flung members to discover and establish collaborative relationships, as appropriate-with communication and technological research becoming increasingly inter-disciplinary, we are convinced that such collaboration opportunities will be critical for future personal and collective success.

To maintain some degree of control over the quality of the information, this “Community Projects” Web forum will be maintained by several TCCC ExCom-controlled volunteers. TCCC members will be free to submit descriptions of their projects/interest via Web-based forms for processing by our staff, who will then categorize and post this information on the Web page. We plan to provide only concise “executive summaries” of projects, as the goal is to facilitate “information discovery”-our hope is that the summary will contain pointers to more detailed Web pages at member institutions, and perhaps contact information, so that our readers can obtain more detailed information, if desired. Clearly, the success or failure of this initiative will depend entirely on how proactive and sincere all of you are in making this content available-this is a purely voluntary effort (we will not be trolling the Web to generate our own interpretation of other people’s projects!). Achieving a basic “critical mass” of project descriptions within a moderate time period is essential to ensure value to all concerned-both the producers and consumers of information. At present, we are testing out alpha versions of these pages, and obtaining internal feedback based on custom content—as soon as we are finished with our prototype, we shall make this resource available for participation by all our members. Please stay tuned for more information on this initiative!