July 23, 2014

27th Biennial Queen’s Symposium on Communications (QBSC 2014)
June 1-3, 2014
Holiday Inn Waterfront Kingston
Kingston, Ontario

The 27th Biennial Queen's Symposium on Communications (QBSC 2014) will be held June 1-4, 2014, at the Holiday Inn Waterfront Kingston, in Kingston, Ontario Canada.
QBSC 2014 continues a tradition begun in 1962. Founded to address the need for developing Canadian expertise in the new field of telecommunications, the symposium is the first of its kind in Canada and continues to foster greater understanding in the fields of coding and information theory as well as telecommunications and signal processing. It connects Canadian and global leaders in academia and industry as well as fosters students in their development as the professionals of the future. For many graduate students attending, it is their first chance to present their work to their future peers. Since its inception, papers presented at the symposium have focused on coding, Shannon, and information theory as well as the mathematical foundations of communications and signal processing.

The Symposium includes plenary and contributed papers. It is also the time when we acknowledge an exemplary colleague with the Canadian Award for Telecommunications Research (CATR). This is a career award that is traditionally presented at the QBSC banquet. The winner is chosen by their senior and prominent peers for the contributions made to the field of telecommunications. The competition for this award is and has been fierce.

The duration of the symposium will be four days in total. On Sunday, June 1, there will be two tutorials held; one in the morning and one in the afternoon with breaks and lunch. Registration and a reception will be held in the evening. The technical program will be held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with keynote speakers on Monday and Tuesday. Two-hour lunches are planned to allow for collaboration and networking. The banquet will be a 1000 Island dinner/dance cruise aboard the Island Star with live music on Tuesday evening. The 2014 Canadian Award in Telecommunications Research will be presented during the cruise.

QBSC 2014 is initiating a number of new features. To increase interest and participation by students, student travel grants, student paper competitions, and tutorials are planned. The plenary speakers and the tutorial presenters will be of the highest international caliber: engaging, visionary, and highly effective presenters are considered.
For further information, please see the QBSC website


Sunday, June 1, 2014, Sponsored by: The Fields Institute and IEEE

Lara Dolecek, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering Department,, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Coding Methodologies for Emerging Data Storage Systems: Opportunities and Challenges
Results from information and communication theory have been used with phenomenal success in data storage systems, and have helped computer storage become ubiquitous and cheap. However, currently available solutions have hit a performance wall: existing approaches are designed for simpler channels, and do not match the needs of new memory and storage technologies where the data is accessed in an asymmetric manner and is packed as densely as possible on increasingly adverse mediums. Such performance provisioning not only violates fundamental information-theoretic laws but directly increases the cost of a storage system. This tutorial will succinctly present recent exciting research developments in theory and practice of coding and signal processing schemes for emerging green data storage technologies, including novel asymmetric channel models, associated error-correcting codes, codes for rewriting data, rank modulation schemes, coding and communication techniques for cloud storage and distributed storage, and novel file compression methods. The purpose of this tutorial is to provide a synthesized source of recent research results and to serve as a springboard for future work in this emerging area.

Robert M. Cannistra (Marist)
Software Defined Networking from the ground up using OpenFlow

Within the past two years, Software Defined Networking (SDN) has grown to establish itself as a promising and emerging technology. Academia, researchers, vendors, and customers within industry are all performing research, development and testing around the area of SDN and the OpenFlow protocol. We are on the cusp of developing the next generation network and are currently testing the scalability, resiliency and how adaptive this open standard protocol is. This tutorial will begin with an introduction to SDN, walk through the fundamentals of the OpenFlow protocol and move into the strengths of network programmability using a few open source applications developed by the Marist SDN Innovation Lab student team. This tutorial will conclude with a discussion of NFV, and what is on the horizon in the area of SDN.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Bhaskar D. Rao, Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering Department University of California, San Diego

Bayesian Methods for Sparse Signal Recovery
Compressive sensing (CS) as an approach for data acquisition has recently received much attention. In CS, the signal recovery problem from the observed data requires the solution of a sparse vector from an underdetermined system of equations. The underlying sparse signal recovery problem is quite general with many applications and is the focus of this talk. The main emphasis will be on Bayesian approaches for sparse signal recovery. We will examine sparse priors such as the super-Gaussian and student-t priors and appropriate MAP estimation methods. In particular, re-weighted l2 and re-weighted l1 methods developed to solve the optimization problem will be discussed. The talk will also examine a hierarchical Bayesian framework and then study in detail an empirical Bayesian method, the Sparse Bayesian Learning (SBL) method. If time permits, we will also discuss Bayesian methods for sparse recovery problems with structure; Intra-vector correlation in the context of the block sparse model and inter-vector correlation in the context of the multiple measurement vector problem. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Syed Ali Jafar, Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Henry Samueli School of Engineering. University of California, Irvine

Topological Interference Management
We will revisit the robust principles of ignoring interference when it is weak and avoiding it when it is strong, in both cases exploring information theoretic optimality with very limited channel knowledge at the transmitters. Optimal interference avoidance will be shown to be essentially equivalent to the index coding problem which will be explored from an interference alignment perspective. Ignoring interference, i.e., treating interference as noise will be shown to be optimal for the entire capacity region (within a constant gap) if for each user, desired signal strength is no weaker than the sum of the strengths of the strongest interference caused by the user and the strongest interference suffered by the user, with all signal strengths measured in dB scale.

Amir H. Banihashemi (Carleton) On Characterization of Elementary Trapping Sets of Variable-Regular LDPC Codes
Hussein T. Mouftah (Ottawa) Architectures and Models for Connected Electric Vehicles in the Smart Grid
Sofiène Affes (Montréal) The Wireless Opportunity: Challenges & Enablers with Focus on Wireless Access Virtualization
Vijay K. Bhargava (Vancouver) Energy Efficient Design of Fifth Generation Cellular Networks

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