June Updates

(1) Congratulations to Mauro de Freitas at the University of Lille for the successful defence of his PhD thesis. I was very pleased to co-supervise with Prof. Laurent Clavier. The details of his thesis are:

Title: Wireless Communications in Dynamic Interference – Modelling, Capacity and Applications

Abstract: This thesis focuses on the study of noise and interference exhibiting an impulsive behavior, an attribute that can be found in many contexts such as wireless communications or molecular communications. This interference is characterized by the presence of high amplitudes during short durations, an effect that is not well represented by the classical Gaussian model. In fact, these undesirable features lead to heavier tails in the distributions and can be modeled by the alpha-stable distribution. In particular, we study the impulsive behavior that occurs in large-scale communication networks that forms the basis for our model of dynamic interference. More precisely, such interference can be encountered in heterogeneous networks with short packets to be transmitted, as in the Internet of Things, when the set of active interferers varies rapidly.

The first part of this work is to study the capacity of alpha-stable additive noise channels, which is not well understood at present. We derive lower and upper bounds for the capacity with an absolute moment (amplitude) constraint. The second part consists in analyzing the impact of our bounds in practical contexts.

Jury:

Philippe Ciblat (Professeur, Telecom ParisTech, France)
Marco Di Renzo (Chargé de recherche CNRS, L2S, Centrale Supélec, France)
Mérouane Debbah (Directeur laboratoire R&D en mathématiques et algorithmes, Huawei Technologies)
Gareth W. Peters  (Prof. Chair, Statistics for Risk and Insurance, Heriot-Watt University,
Edinburgh, UK)
Michèle Wigger (Maître de Conférence, Telecom ParisTech, France)
Atika Rivenq (Professeur, Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, France)

(2) I presented a talk on 12th June in the workshop “IoT and Mathematics” in IRCICA, Lille organised by Prof. Laurent Clavier.

Title: The Information Capacity Map: Perspectives from Sensitivity Analysis

Abstract: The Shannon capacity for scalar, stationary and memoryless point-to-point channels is a fundamental concept in information theory. However for continuous non-Gaussian channels, there are no closed-form characterizations in most cases. A key question is therefore how to understand the impact of model parameters on the Shannon capacity. In this talk, I will introduce the notion of capacity sensitivity and its analysis. The analysis relies on three lemmas drawn from non-smooth optimization theory in general metric spaces and provides new insights into the impact of variations in the input constraints and the noise distribution. This talk will highlight three aspects: the generality of the methods (beyond additive absolutely continuous noise models); insights into the structure of the optimal input distribution; and on-going work into generalizations of capacity sensitivity for multi-user channels.

 

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May Updates

(1) From 7-9th May, Slava Kungurtsev from the Czech Technical University in Prague is visiting me. During his stay, he is presenting a seminar:

Title: Optimization Algorithms for Solving Problems Arising from Large Scale Machine Learning

Abstract: In the contemporary “big data” age, the use of Machine Learning models for analyzing large volumes of data has been instrumental in a lot of current technological development. These models necessitate solving very large scale optimization problems, presenting challenges in terms of developing appropriate solvers. In addition, especially for problems arising from Deep Neural Network architectures, the resulting problems are often nonconvex, and sometimes nonsmooth, giving additional difficulty.

In this talk I present the standard structural elements of this class of problems, and how these structures can be handled with appropriate parallel architectures. I discuss the state of the art in terms of optimization algorithms for this setting and summarize the prognosis for ongoing and future research.

Date: 7th May 2018, 14h00 in TDC.

(2) From 20-24th May, the IEEE International Conference on Communications will be held in Kansas City, USA. Our paper on chemical dynamics for molecular communications will appear in the Symposium on Molecular, Biological and Multi-Scale Communications:

Malcolm Egan, Trang C. Mai, Trung Q. Duong and Marco Di Renzo, “Coordination via advection dynamics in nano networks with molecular communication”, accepted for publication in IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), (2018).

The preprint is available here.

April Updates

(1) Since the 19th March until the end of the month, I am visiting in Prof. Vincent Poor’s group in the Department of Electrical Engineering in Princeton University.

(2) On the 11th April at 3:30pm, I will present a seminar in New York University in the NYU Wireless group. Here are the details:

Title – The Information Capacity Map: Perspectives from Sensitivity Analysis

Abstract – The Shannon capacity for scalar, stationary and memoryless point-to-point channels is a fundamental concept in information theory. However for continuous non-Gaussian channels, there are no closed-form characterizations in most cases. A key question is therefore how to understand the impact of model parameters on the Shannon capacity. In this talk, I will introduce the notion of capacity sensitivity and its analysis. The analysis relies on three lemmas drawn from non-smooth optimization theory in general metric spaces and provides new insights into the impact of variations in the input constraints and the noise distribution. This talk will highlight three aspects: the generality of the methods (beyond additive absolutely continuous noise models); insights into the structure of the optimal input distribution; and on-going work into generalizations of capacity sensitivity for multi-user channels.

(3) Between the 4th-6th April, the 3rd Workshop on Molecular Communications was held in Ghent, Belgium. Unfortunately, due to the current strikes by the train service SNCF, we were unable to present our paper. Nevertheless, it can be found on HAL:

Malcolm Egan, Trung Q. Duong, Marco Di Renzo, Jean-Marie Gorce, Ido Nevat and Valeria Loscri, “Cognitive molecular communication (technical abstract),” accepted for publication in the 3rd Workshop on Molecular Communications, (2018).

The preprint for the paper can be found here.

March Updates

(1) Between 19th March and 28th April I am visiting Prof. H. Vincent Poor’s group in the Department of Electrical Engineering in Princeton University.

(2) On I presented a seminar in Prof. Poor’s group. Details are below:

Title – Capacity Sensitivity: Three Lemmas and Their Application

Abstract – The Shannon capacity for scalar, stationary and memoryless point-to-point channels is a fundamental concept in information theory. However for continuous non-Gaussian channels, there are no closed-form characterizations in most cases. A key question is therefore how to understand the impact of model parameters on the Shannon capacity. In this talk, I will introduce the notion of capacity sensitivity and its analysis. The analysis relies on three lemmas drawn from non-smooth optimization theory in general metric spaces and provides new insights into the impact of variations in the input constraints and the noise distribution. This talk will highlight three aspects: the generality of the methods (beyond additive absolutely continuous noise models); insights into the structure of the optimal input distribution; and on-going work into generalizations of capacity sensitivity for multi-user channels.

(2) From 21-23 March I attended the 52nd Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems (CISS) 2018 in Princeton and presented joint work with Samir Perlaza on our most recent results characterizing capacity sensitivity:

Malcolm Egan and Samir M. Perlaza, “Capacity approximation of continuous channels by discrete inputs”, in Proc. CISS 2018 (Invited Paper)

(3) My extended abstract with Trung Duong, Marco Di Renzo, Jean-Marie Gorce, Ido Nevat and Valeria Loscri has been accepted in the 3rd Workshop on Molecular Communications:

Malcolm Egan, Trung Q. Duong, Marco Di Renzo, Jean-Marie Gorce, Ido Nevat and Valeria Loscri, “Cognitive molecular communication (technical abstract),” accepted for publication in the 3rd Workshop on Molecular Communications, (2018).

(4) My paper on mechanism design for on-demand transport with Jan Drchal, Jan Mrkos and Michal Jakob has been accepted in EAI Transactions on Industrial Networks and Intelligent Systems:

Malcolm Egan, Jan Drchal, Jan Mrkos and Michal Jakob, “Towards data-driven on-demand transport”, accepted for publication in EAI Transactions on Industrial Networks and Intelligent Systems.

 

Updates: January 2018

(1) In October I began my current position as enseignant-chercheur in the Laboratoire CITI at INSA Lyon and INRIA.

(2) I am now an Associate Editor for IEEE Communications Letters.

(3) I am now a Guest Editor for the IEEE Access Special Section on Molecular Communication Networks with Andrew Eckford, Chan-Byoung Chae, Trung Duong, Marco Di Renzo and Arumugam Nallanathan. Details on the call can be found here. The deadline for submission is 1st August 2018.

(4) A new paper has been accepted for IEEE ICC 2018:

Malcolm Egan, Trang C. Mai, Trung Q. Duong and Marco Di Renzo, “Coordination via advection dynamics in nano networks with molecular communication”, accepted for publication in IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), (2018).

A preprint is available here.

(5) An invited paper will appear in CISS 2018:

Malcolm Egan and Samir M. Perlaza, “Capacity approximation of continuous channels by discrete inputs”, accepted for publication in CISS 2018 (Invited Paper)

A preprint is available here.

(6) In December, our paper appeared at GLOBECOM 2017:

Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Mauro de Freitas, Anne Savard and Jean-Marie Gorce, “Wireless communication in dynamic interference”, Proc. IEEE Global Communications Conference, 2017. [HAL]

(7) Our new preprint on coexistence in molecular communications is available on HAL:

Malcolm Egan, Trang C. Mai, Trung Q. Duong and Marco Di Renzo, “Coexistence in molecular communications,” 2017. [HAL]

 

(8) I am currently compiling a collection of references related to molecular communications, with an emphasis on methods to study the behaviour of these systems in the presence of external biochemical or biological systems. The references can be found here. This is in progress and I welcome any suggestions, which can be sent to malcolm dot egan at gmail dot com or malcom dot egan at inria dot fr.

 

July Updates

(1) With Andrea Tassi, Rob Piechocki and Andy Nix, I have a new paper accepted in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology:

Andrea Tassi, Malcolm Egan, Robert J. Piechocki and Andrew Nix, “Modelling and Design of Millimeter-Wave Networks for Highway Vehicular Communication”, accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology.

Check it out on arXiv here.

(2) With Laurent Clavier, Mauro de Freitas, Louis Dorville and Jean-Marie Gorce, I have a new paper accepted in IEEE GLOBECOM 2017:

Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Mauro de Freitas, Louis Dorville, Jean-Marie Gorce and Anne Savard, “Wireless communication in dynamic interference”, accepted in IEEE GLOBECOM 2017.

This work applies our previous information theoretic results on additive alpha-stable noise channels to large-scale wireless networks to support the Internet of Things.

June Updates

(1) Trang Mai from Queen’s University Belfast is visting me from 31st May until 19th June to continue our joint work on nanoscale networking exploiting molecular communication. He will be presenting this work in Lyon on the 16th June. You can find the details here.

We are also visiting IEMN in Lille on the 13th June to present our work and discuss ongoing investigations into the coexistence problem in molecular communications.

(2) On the 22nd June I will be presenting in the INRIA POLARIS seminar in Grenoble on the topic of mechanism design for on-demand transport. You can find the details here.

(3) Between 26th June until the 30th June I will be attending the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory. I will present joint work with Samir Perlaza and Slava Kungurtsev on our capacity sensitivity framework. You can find the paper here.

(4) I have a new paper with Andrea Tassi on arXiv.

Tassi, A. Egan, M., Piechocki, R. and Nix, A., “Modeling and design of millimeter-wave networks for highway vehicular communication,” available arXiv:1706.00298.

 

May Updates

(1) A joint paper with Jean-Marie Gorce and Leonardo Cardoso on spectrum scanning for cognitive radio has been accepted:

Egan, M., Gorce, J.-M. and Cardoso, L., “Fast initialization of cognitive radio systems”, accepted in IEEE Workshop on Signal Processing Advances in Wireless Communications (SPAWC), 2017.

You can now find it on HAL.

(2) I will present in the POLARIS seminar at INRIA Grenoble on the 22nd June. Details are below.

Title: Mechanism design in on-demand transport

Abstract: Uber is one of several recent companies adopting a business model that lies in stark contrast with the standard approach used by taxi services. Underlying Uber’s business model is a new architecture–based on a market mechanism–which governs how commuters, drivers, and the company interact with each other. In this talk, we develop a new general model for on-demand transport networks with self-interested passengers and drivers. With this model, we introduce market mechanisms to allocate and price journeys, as well as the market formation subproblem. By analysis and simulation, we characterize the performance of the mechanisms and discuss insights using data obtained from a real on-demand transport provider.

(3) On Wednesday 24th May, I will be attending the GDR ISIS meeting on “Entropies, divergences et mesures informationnelles classiques et généralisées” in Paris.

(4) Mauro de Freitas from Université Lille 1 has been visiting me in Lyon from the 12th to 18th May. He presented some of our joint work on impulsive noise in communications. Here are the details:

Title: Wireless Networks in Dynamic Interference

Abstract: This work is motivated by the Internet of Things, where devices can transmit for very short periods of time. A consequence is that interference is dynamic; that is, the active transmitter set can change very rapidly. In this case, the Gaussian interference model may not be the most appropriate. In fact, dynamic interference can be better modeled by impulsive interference, particularly alpha-stable noise. In this talk, we characterize the capacity in the presence of alpha-stable noise via upper and lower bounds, and consider the behavior in medium interference regimes. This analysis reveals many similarities with the well understood Gaussian case, such as outage probability characterizations and power control in parallel channels.

April Updates

Some news:

(1) A new paper on capacity bounds for the symmetric alpha-stable noise channel is to appear in IEEE Transactions on Information Theory:

Mauro de Freitas, Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Alban Goupil, Gareth Peters and Nourddine Azzaoui, “Capacity bounds for additive symmetric alpha-stable noise channels,” to appear in IEEE Transactions on Information Theory.

(2) A new paper on molecular communication in the presence of anomalous diffusion is to appear in IEEE Communication Letters:

Trang C. Mai, Malcolm Egan, Trung Q. Duong and Marco di Renzo, “Event detection in molecular communication networks with anomalous diffusion,” to appear in IEEE Communication Letters.

(3) A new paper on capacity sensitivity in non-Gaussian noise channels is to appear in IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory:

Malcolm Egan, Samir M. Perlaza and Vyacheslave Kungurtsev, “Capacity Sensitivity in Additive Non-Gaussian Noise Channels,” to appear in IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory 2017.

An extended version of this work can be found in the INRIA report here.