November Updates

(1) Paulo Goncalves from INRIA and LIP in Lyon presented in our seminar on information theory and related topics:

Speaker: Dr Paulo Goncalves (INRIA, LIP)

Date14th November 2018.

Title: $L^{\gamma}$ Semi-Supervised Learning for Classification

Abstract: Graph-based semi-supervised learning are methods for classification that combine expert knowledge from (generally few) labelled samples with the structural organization (natural or inferred) of large datasets. PageRank is one famous algorithm that undergoes a standard random walk interpretation to explain how the a priori information diffuses over the entire graph. After extending PageRank to long-range diffusion processes, such as Levy flights, we will show how powers of the combinatorial Laplacian can improve classification performances in critical situations where standard SSL methods are known to behave poorly. Then, we will show that $L^{\gamma}$-SSL yields a pertinent proxy for the NP-hard problem of unsupervised normalized cut.

(2) On 21 November 2018 along with speakers including Petar Popovski, I will be lecturing in the 1st Winter School on Information Theory and Signal Processing for Internet of Things.

For work this lecture will build up to, see:

Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Ce Zheng, Mauro de Freitas and Jean-Marie Gorce, “Dynamic interference in uplink SCMA for large-scale wireless networks without coordination,” accepted for publication in EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking

Mauro de Freitas, Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Alban Goupil, Gareth W. Peters and Nourddine Azzaoui, “Capacity bounds for additive symmetric alpha-stable noise channels”, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 63, no. 8, pp. 5115-5123, (2017).

(3) During 25th – 29th November I will be attending the IEEE Information Theory Workshop (ITW) in Guangzhou, China. My paper is joint work with Alex Dytso, Samir Perlaza, Vincent Poor and Shlomo Shamai:

Alex Dytso, Malcolm Egan, Samir M. Perlaza, H. Vincent Poor and Shlomo Shamai (Shitz), “Optimal Inputs for Some Classes of Degraded Wiretap Channels,” accepted for publication in IEEE Information Theory Workshop (ITW), (2018).

(4) I have a new paper accepted in IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience with Valeria Loscri, Trung Duong and Marco Di Renzo:

Malcolm Egan, Valeria Loscri, Trung Q. Duong and Marco Di Renzo, “Strategies for coexistence in molecular communication,” accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience.

For related work, see also:

Malcolm Egan, Trang C. Mai, Trung Q. Duong and Marco Di Renzo, “Coexistence in Molecular Communications,” Nano Communication Networks, vol. 16, pp. 37-44, (2018).

(5) I have a new paper accepted in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems with Nir Oren and Michal Jakob:

Malcolm Egan, Nir Oren and Michal Jakob, “Hybrid mechanisms for on-demand transport,” accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems.

For related work see also:

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.

Malcolm Egan and Michal Jakob, “Market mechanism design for profitable on-demand transport services”, Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, vol. 89, pp. 178-195, 2016.

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October Updates

(1) From 1st – 6th October I will be attending Sequences and Their Application (SETA) held at the HKUST Institute for Advanced Study in Hong Kong. During the conference, I will be presenting my paper “On Regular Schemes and Tight Frames”. The abstract is below, the paper can be found here.

Title: On Regular Schemes and Tight Frames

Abstract: Finite frames are sequences of vectors in finite dimensional Hilbert spaces that play a key role in signal processing and coding theory. In this paper, we study the class of tight unit-norm frames for C d that also form regular schemes, called tight regular schemes (TRS). Many common frames that arise in applications such as equiangular tight frames and mutually unbiased bases fall in this class. We investigate characteristic properties of TRSs and prove that for many constructions, they are intimately connected to weighted 1-designs—arising from quadrature rules for integrals over spheres in Cd —with weights dependent on the Voronoi regions of each frame element. Aided by additional numerical evidence, we conjecture that all TRSs in fact satisfy this property.

(2) Next month from the 18-22 November 2018 along with speakers including Petar Popovski, I will be lecturing in the 1st Winter School on Information Theory and Signal Processing for Internet of Things. If you are a PhD student interested in these subjects, please see here for registration information.

September Updates

(1) During 3rd – 4th September I have been visiting IRCICA Lille, hosted by Prof. Laurent Clavier and also discussing variance reduction methods for optimisation problems in information theory with Victor Elvira (IMT Lille Douai). I also dropped by at INRIA Lille to discuss ongoing projects on molecular communications with Valeria Loscri.

(2) On 12th September, Aline Roumy from INRIA Rennes will be presenting in our Information Theory Seminar in Lyon.

Title – Source coding under massive random access: theory and applications.

Abstract – In this presentation we will introduce a novel source coding problem allowing massive random access to large databases. Indeed, we consider a database that is so large that, to be stored on a single server, the data have to be compressed efficiently, meaning that the redundancy/correlation between the data have to be exploited. The dataset is then stored on a server and made available to users that may want to access only a subset of the data. Such a request for a subset of the data is indeedrandom, since the choice of the subset is user-dependent. Finally, massive requests are made, meaning that, upon request, the server can only perform low complexity operations (such as bit extraction but no decompression/compression). After describing the problem, information theoretical bounds of the source coding problem will be derived. Then two applications will be presented: Free-viewpoint Television (FTV) and massive requests to a database collecting data from a large-scale sensor network (such as Smart Cities).

Date – 12/09/2018.

(3) On 17th – 18th September, I am co-organizing a workshop on Molecular Communications in London, funded by the French Embassy in the UK. Speakers will include Weisi Guo, Adam Noel, Yansha Deng, Irene Otero-Muras, Bao Quoc Tang, Michael BarrosMauro Femminella, and myself. A summary of the workshop is available here.

(4) On 19th September, I will present a seminar in Kings College London, hosted by Yansha Deng. Below are the details:

Title –  Interference in Dynamic Wireless IoT Networks: Non-Gaussian Models and Information Theoretic Limits

Abstract – Two features of wireless IoT networks not present in cellular settings are: (i) small quantities of data transmission; and (ii) heterogeneous devices. The first feature implies that active transmitter sets in the network change rapidly and the second feature implies that the symbol duration for each device may vary throughout the network. A key consequence is that interference can be impulsive and not well modeled by Gaussian noise. Using a system setup based on a stochastic geometry model, we show that memoryless stationary additive isotropic alpha-stable noise channels arise in the point-to-point communication setting. Using this observation, we formally study the optimization problem for the capacity of this channel, establishing existence and uniqueness of optimal input distributions, and new achievable rates. We also briefly present some initial results on the impact of this new model for design and connections with recent results on the sensitivity of the capacity in non-Gaussian models.

Related Publications – 

Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Ce Zheng, Mauro de Freitas and Jean-Marie Gorce, “Dynamic interference in uplink SCMA for large-scale wireless networks without coordination,” accepted for publication in EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking.

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

Mauro de Freitas, Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Alban Goupil, Gareth W. Peters and Nourddine Azzaoui, “Capacity bounds for additive symmetric alpha-stable noise channels”, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 63, no. 8, pp. 5115-5123, (2017).

Malcolm Egan, Mauro de Freitas, Laurent Clavier, Alban Goupil, Gareth W. Peters and Nourddine Azzaoui, “Achievable rates for additive isotropic alpha-stable noise channels”, In Proc. of the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, (2016).

Malcolm Egan, Samir M. Perlaza and Vyacheslav Kungurtsev, “Capacity Sensitivity in Additive Non-Gaussian Noise Channels”, accepted for publication in IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT), (2017).

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

 

August Updates

(1) With Alex Dytso, Samir Perlaza, Vincent Poor and Shlomo Shamai, we have a new paper accepted in the IEEE Information Theory Workshop:

Alex Dytso, Malcolm Egan, Samir M. Perlaza, H. Vincent Poor and Shlomo Shamai (Shitz), “Optimal Inputs for Some Classes of Degraded Wiretap Channels,” accepted for publication in IEEE Information Theory Workshop (ITW), (2018).

(2) With Trang Mai, Hien Quoc Ngo and Trung Duong, we have a new paper accepted in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technologies:

Tang C. Mai, Hien Quoc Ngo, Malcolm Egan and Trung Q. Duong, “Pilot power control for cell-free massive MIMO,” accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology.

(3) With Laurent Clavier, Ce Zheng, Mauro de Freitas and Jean-Marie Gorce, we have a new paper accepted in the EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking:

Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Ce Zheng, Mauro de Freitas and Jean-Marie Gorce, “Dynamic interference in uplink SCMA for large-scale wireless networks without coordination,” accepted for publication in EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking

July Updates

(1) On the 4th April, I am happy to announce that Guilia Cervia from ETIS, ENSEA, Cergy-Pontoise will be presenting in our seminar on information theory on the 4th July. Below is the information, details can also be found here:

Presenter: Giulia Cervia (ETIS)

Title: Strong coordination of signals and actions over noisy channels with two-sided state information

Abstract: In decentralized networks, communication devices must be able to cooperate, to take decisions in a distributed fashion and to reconfigure dynamically by reacting to changes in the environment. To achieve such behavior, efficient techniques to coordinate the actions of different nodes must be developed.
In this talk, we consider a two-node network with a noisy channel and two-sided state information, in which the input and output signals have to be coordinated with the source and its reconstruction.
We propose a joint source-channel coding scheme and derive inner and outer bounds for the strong coordination region. Moreover, we are able to give a complete characterization of the coordination region in some particular cases. Finally, we show that polar codes achieve the best known inner bound for the strong coordination region.

Date/Location: 4th July, 14h, TD-D Building Chappe, INSA Lyon.

(2) I am pleased to announce that the workshop on molecular communications I am co-organizing with Prof. Trung Duong (Queen’s University Belfast) will go ahead in September. A special thanks to the French Embassy in the UK for their support. More details to come.

(3) I am currently a guest editor for an IEEE Access special issue on molecular communication networks. You can find details for submission here.

(4) My paper on data driven on-demand transport with colleagues from the Czech Technical University in Prague is now published. You can find it here.

Malcolm Egan, Jan Drchal, Jan Mrkos and Michal Jakob, “Toward data-driven on-demand transport,” EAI Transactions on Industrial Networks and Intelligent Systems, vol. 18, no. 14, 2018.

(5) On 9th July Anne Savard from IMT Lille Douai in Lille will be presenting in our seminar on information theory.

Presenter: Anne Savard (IMT Lille Douai)

Title: IF Neuron: theoretical study and application to digital communication

Abstract: In the context of digital communication, one main mechanism proposed in the literature to overcome the large consumption of MAC layers when establishing communications is called wake-up radio: The main processor is only waking up when receiving a specific signal, as for instance the node ID in the network. Unfortunately, since most of the wake-up receivers rely on standard micro-controller, they suffer a large decrease of energy efficiency. Nevertheless, if the wake-up receivers was designed with neuromorphic circuits, one could achieve high energy efficiency for IoT and ad hoc networks.

The main question that is tackled in this presentation is whether a neuro-inspired detection scheme using an Integrate-and-Fire neuron is reliable enough when one needs to detect a weak signal surrounded by noise.

(6) On 12th July I will be presenting a seminar at IETR in Rennes, hosted by Philippe Mary.

Title: Communication in Open Systems: From the IoT to the Nanoscale

Abstract: The large-scale nature and varying levels of coordination in modern communication systems means that they no longer can be viewed as isolated. That is, control in the form of resource allocation and scheduling cannot be done, either in a centralised or decentralised fashion, for all devices in the network. Necessarily, for a given transmission the quality of communication is influenced by the behaviour of devices external to those devices directly involved in the transmission. In the context of the Internet of Things, such a setting arises due to the multiple operators and uncoordinated nature of supporting wireless communication networks. In this talk, I will discuss design in the presence of external wireless IoT devices, leveraging our recent work on information theoretic limits for these systems. I will also introduce emerging communication strategies for nanoscale networks, which should also be viewed as open systems. These nanoscale networks are subject not only to the influence of other communication networks but also external biological processes. To begin understanding the capabilities of these communication networks, information theoretic models and their limits will be developed via new analogies to open wireless communication systems.

(7) My paper in Sequences and Their Applications (SETA2018)

Malcolm Egan, “On regular schemes and tight frames,” Proc. Sequences and Their Applications (SETA2018), 2018

is available here.

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.

(3) I have a new paper accepted for Sequences and Their Applications (SETA) 2018 in Hong Kong:

Malcolm Egan, “On regular schemes and tight frames,” accepted for publication in Sequences and their Applications (SETA), 2018.

(4) On Friday 29th June I am presenting in the working group “Evaluation de performances des réseaux” hosted by Razvan Stanica (CITI) and Isabelle Guérin Lassous (LIP). Slides will be available here.

Title: “Sensitivity of Communication Networks: An Optimization Theoretic Perspective”

Date: 14h, 29th June 2018.

Location: Salle de Réunion, TC Department, INSA Lyon.

 

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.