May Updates

(1) I am pleased to announce that with Klemens Fellner and Bao Tang at the University of Graz I am co-organizing the workshop “Reaction, diffusion and molecular communication” on the 25th May. Our speakers are:

Eugenio Cinquemani (Inria Grenoble)
Werner Haselmayr (JKU Linz)
Stefan Müller (Uni Wien)
Maximilian Schäfer (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Florian Wodlei (Living Systems Research, Klagenfurt)

Full details can be found at the workshop website here. Due to COVID-19 complications, it will be held as an online workshop. Participation is open to all for free, with registration information (for access to the videoconferencing software) here.

(2) I am currently looking for PhD candidates to work on problems at the interface of information theory, statistical signal processing and control theory. If you have a background in at least one of these subjects (e.g., undergraduate studies in electrical engineering, mathematics or computer science), I can be contacted here. For further information on the kind of research that I do, my recent publications can be found here.

April Updates

(1) We have a new paper lead by my student Ce Zheng accepted for IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) 2020:

Ce Zheng, Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Troels Pedersen and Jean-Marie Gorce, “Linear combining in dependent alpha-stable noise,” Proc. IEEE ICC, 2020. Available here.

(2) We also have two new preprints continuing our work impulsive interference modelling in the IoT.

The first paper is concerned with statistical analysis of a measurement campaign in Aalborg, where we show strong evidence for heavy tails. While this has long been expected from theory, it appears to be the first empirical study of this phenomenon.

Laurent Clavier, Troels Pedersen, Ignacio Rodriguez, Mads Lauridsen and Malcolm Egan, “Experimental evidence for heavy tailed interference in the IoT,” 2020. Available here.

The second paper is concerned with interference modelling in NB-IoT type scenarios, where devices transmit on multiple subbands. This leads to multivariate statistical models with nontrivial dependence structures. We deal with this problem using a combination of alpha-stable and copula models.

Ce Zheng, Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Gareth Peters and Jean-Marie Gorce, “Impulsive interference models for IoT networks,” 2020. Available here.

This work builds on our previous paper from ICC 2019:

Ce Zheng, Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Gareth Peters and Jean-Marie Gorce, “Copula-based interference models for IoT wireless networks,” Proc. IEEE ICC, 2019. Available here.

(3) With my postdoc Bayram Akdeniz, we have a new paper accepted in IEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological and Multi-Scale Communications:

Bayram Akdeniz and Malcolm Egan, “A reactive signalling approach to ensure coexistence between molecular communication and external biochemical systems,” IEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological and Multi-Scale Communications, In press, 2020. Available here.

This work studies the problem of coexistence in molecular communication from a more practical signalling point of view. Our previous work introducing the problem of coexistence can be found in:

Malcolm Egan, Valeria Loscri, Trung Q. Duong and Marco Di Renzo, “Strategies for coexistence in molecular communication,” IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 51-60, 2019. Available here.

Malcolm Egan, Trang Mai, Trung Q. Duong and Marco Di Renzo, “Coexistence in molecular communications,” Nano Communication Networks, vol. 16, pp. 37-44, 2018. Available here.

(4) With Bayram Akdeniz and Bao Tang, we have also introduced a new signalling scheme for molecular communications. This scheme has a desirable property of being highly robust to uncertainty in the geometry of the system, exploiting the equilibrium theory of stochastic reaction-diffusion systems. A preprint of this work is now online:

Bayram Akdeniz, Malcolm Egan and Bao Tang, “Equilibrium signaling: molecular communication robust to geometry uncertainties,” 2020. Available here.

 

November Updates

(1) During 20-21 November, I visited Laurent Clavier at IRCICA in Lille as part of the ARBurst workshop on fundamental limits and statistical modelling for IoT wireless networks.

(2) On the 3rd December, I will be on the PhD committee for Pierre Escamilla supervised by Michele Wigger and Abdellatif Zaidi hosted by Telecom ParisTech and Huawei. Before the defence, I will present a talk:

Title: Tight Frames that are Regular Schemes

Abstract: Finite frames are sequences of vectors in finite dimensional Hilbert spaces that play a key role in signal processing (vector quantisation) and coding theory (spherical codes). In this talk, we focus on the class of tight unit-norm frames for \mathbb{C}^d that also form regular schemes, which we call tight regular schemes (TRS). Many common frames that arise in applications such as equiangular tight frames and frames from 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 cubature rules for integrals over spheres in \mathbb{C}^d 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.

This talk is based on my paper: “Properties of tight frames that are regular schemes,” in Cryptography and Communications – Discrete Structures, Boolean Functions and Sequences available here.

(3) On the 16th December, I will be on the PhD committee for Yasser Mestrah hosted by the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and IMT Lille Douai.

September Updates

(1) Starting on the 1st October, I will commence a new position as Chargé de Recherche (Tenured Researcher) in Inria.

(2) During the 25-27 September, I will be attending ACM NanoCom 2019 in Dublin Ireland. I will present two papers: with Bao Tang and Bayram Akdeniz,

Malcolm Egan, Bao Quoc Tang and Bayram Akdeniz, “On the Input-Output Relationship for Molecular Communications in General First-Order Chemical Reaction-Diffusion Systems,” accepted for publication in ACM NanoCom, (2019).

and with Valeria Loscri, Ido Nevat, Marco Di Renzo and Trung Duong,

Malcolm Egan, Valeria Loscri, Ido Nevat, Trung Q. Duong and Marco Di Renzo, “Estimation and Optimization for Molecular Communications with a Coexistence Constraint,” accepted for publication in ACM NanoCom, (2019).

July Updates

(1) I have two papers in ACM NanoCom this year. With Bao Tang and Bayram Akdeniz,

Malcolm Egan, Bao Quoc Tang and Bayram Akdeniz, “On the Input-Output Relationship for Molecular Communications in General First-Order Chemical Reaction-Diffusion Systems,” accepted for publication in ACM NanoCom, (2019).

and with Valeria Loscri, Ido Nevat, Marco Di Renzo and Trung Duong,

Malcolm Egan, Valeria Loscri, Ido Nevat, Trung Q. Duong and Marco Di Renzo, “Estimation and Optimization for Molecular Communications with a Coexistence Constraint,” accepted for publication in ACM NanoCom, (2019).

(2) During 8-10th July, I will be visiting Laurent Clavier at IMT Lille-Douai and will present a seminar:

Title: Decoupling Communication and Control in Biochemical Systems: An Information Theoretic Perspective

Abstract: In many natural and synthetic biochemical systems, information is exchanged from one component to another via a chemical signal. For example, quorum sensing in bacteria colonies exploits the exchange of autoinducers in order to establish consensus. While it is highly desirable to coordinate via such information exchange, it comes at the cost of producing information carrying molecules. In complex biochemical systems, these molecules may interact chemically or physically with other components controlling the emitting system or with other biochemical systems in the environment. A basic question is therefore what kinds of constraints must be imposed on the communication mechanism such that normal regulation still functions; that is, the systems can coexist.

In this talk, I will formalise this problem in the context of systems modelled via stochastic chemical reaction systems. By developing a new coexistence constraint on communication imposed by the environment, I will then establish information theoretic limits on the quantity of information that can be sent. The constraint provides a means of abstracting how complex biological control mechanisms interact with the communication mechanism. Under the coexistence constraint, the number of bits of information that can be sent scales sublinearly with the number of transmitted symbols. This implies that significantly less information can be transmitted than in classical communication systems.

(3) On Thursday 11th July, I will be visiting in the group of Cedric Adjih in INRIA Saclay.

June Updates

(1) On the 10th-11th June, I am in Skopje, North Macedonia for BalkanCom 2019. I am presenting our paper

Malcolm Egan and Bayram Akdeniz, “On the Limits of Molecular Communication with Coexisting Biological Systems Towards Internet of Bio-Nano Things (Invited Paper),” accepted for publication in BalkanCom, 2019 [Hal]

in the special session “Beyond Internet of Things: Internet of Everything” hosted by Prof. Ozgur B. Akan and Dr. Ergin Dinc.

May Updates

(1) With Mauro de Freitas, Laurent Clavier, Anne Savard and Jean-Marie Gorce, I have a new paper to appear in SPAWC:

Mauro de Freitas, Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Anne Savard and Jean-Marie Gorce, “Power control in symmetric alpha-stable noise channels,” accepted for publication in IEEE International Workshop on Signal Processing Advances in Wireless Communications, (2019).

This will be presented in Nice, France.

(2) Ce Zheng will present our paper in IEEE ICC in Shanghai, China:

Ce Zheng, Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier and Jean-Marie Gorce, “Copula-Based Interference Models for IoT Wireless Networks,” accepted for publication in IEEE ICC, 2019.

While he is in China, Ce will also present a seminar on copula interference models at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China:

Title: Interference Modeling for Wireless IoT Networks

Abstract: As the Internet of Things (IoT) is largely supported by wireless communications in unlicensed bands, there has been a proliferation of technologies that use a large variety of protocols. An ongoing challenge is how these networks can coexist given that they have different power levels, symbol periods, and access protocols. A key difficulty is that interference from a large number of devices, even if they operate at low power levels, can significantly degrade the performance of other nearby wireless communication networks. As network design, from receiver architectures to throughput analysis, depends on the statistics of the interference, it is important to have accurate characterizations. A key observation is that sets of active devices change rapidly, and this leads to impulsive interference, i.e., high amplitude interference is significantly more likely than in Gaussian models. Moreover, these devices operate on multiple partially overlapping resource blocks. As such, we propose a new model based on copula theory and demonstrate that it effectively captures both the marginal alpha-stable model and the dependence structure induced by overlapping resource blocks. By comparing with other models in terms of Kullback–Leibler divergence, we show that t copula is a promising one in modeling the dependence structure in our system.

(3) In his first solo work since joining our group, Bayram Akdeniz has participated in the molecular MIMO competition at the IEEE Communication Theory Workshop in Iceland. Great work having second place! Congratulations!

(4) With Bayram Akdeniz, I have a new invited paper in BalkanCom:

Malcolm Egan and Bayram Akdeniz, “On the Limits of Molecular Communication with Coexisting Biological Systems Towards Internet of Bio-Nano Things (Invited Paper),” accepted for publication in BalkanCom, 2019.

Looking forward to presenting the paper in the special session “Beyond Internet of Things: Internet of Everything” hosted by Prof. Ozgur B. Akan and Dr. Ergin Dinc.

(5) With Ce Zheng, Laurent Clavier, Gareth Peters and Jean-Marie Gorce, I have a new paper accepted for GRETSI 2019 in Lille, France:

Ce Zheng, Malcolm Egan, Laurent Clavier, Gareth Peters and Jean-Marie Force, “On the Validity of Isotropic Complex -Stable Interference Models for Interference in the IoT,” accepted for publication in GRETSI, 2019.

 

April Updates

(1) On the 15th April, I presented an invited paper in the MoTION workshop of the IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference in Marrakech, Morocco:

Malcolm Egan, “On capacity sensitivity in additive vector symmetric alpha-stable noise channels,” Proc. IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC), 2019.

Many thanks to Philippe Mary, Samir Perlaza and Peter Popovski for their kind invitation.

(2) On the 19th April, I presented an invited lecture in the European School on Information Theory in Nice, France. The details for the talk are:

Title: Stability and Sensitivity of the Capacity in Continuous Channels

Abstract: Many notions in information theory admit variational interpretations. One of both theoretical and practical importance is the Shannon capacity, which via the noisy channel coding theorem informs maximum achievable rates. In this talk, we study the capacity from an optimisation-theoretic point of view. In recent years, there have been a number of significant results establishing properties of the optimal input distribution. We briefly overview the key ideas behind this progress and then turn to studying the impact of channel parameters and constraints on the capacity. This approach emphasises perturbations of the optimisation problem for which we present the main tools. Some applications of these results in non-Gaussian noise channels with non-standard constraints are given.

Slides are available here. Many thanks to Paul de Kerret, Ligong Wang, Claudio Weidmann and Michèle Wigger for their kind invitation.

(3) With Bayram Akdeniz and Valeria Loscri, I had two papers presented during April 16th-18th in the 4th Workshop on Molecular Communications in Linz, Austria:

Malcolm Egan, Bayram Akdeniz and Valeria Loscri, “Coexistence Within Communicating Biological Systems,” Proc. 4th Workshop on Molecular Communications, 2019.

Bayram Akdeniz and Malcolm Egan, “Noise Modeling for Molecular Communication via Chemical Reactions and Diffusion,” Proc. 4th Workshop on Molecular Communications, 2019.

 

 

February Updates

(1) In April, I will be presenting a lecture in the 2019 European School on Information Theory. Details on the tutorials, lectures and registration can be found here.

(2) With Ce Zheng, Laurent Clavier, Gareth Peters and Jean-Marie Gorce, I have a paper accepted in IEEE International Conference on Communications:

Zheng, C., Egan, M., Clavier, L. and Gorce, J.-M., “Copula-based interference models for IoT Wireless Networks,” Proc. IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), 2019.

(3) On the 15th of February, Pratyush Pranav will be presenting in our seminar on information theory and its applications. The details are as follows:

Speaker: Pratyush Pranav (ENS Lyon)

Title: Algebraic topology and its application to (cosmological) data-sets

Abstract: In the last couple of decades, algebraic topology has matured from a purely theoretical field to a one with strong applicability in various research domains. Combining Morse theory, Homology and Persistent homology, this has enabled a new branch in data analysis called topological data analysis (TDA). The central tenet is based on the identification of topological changes that occur in a manifold as a function of the excursion sets of the field. The topological changes are accounted for by tracking the creation and destrution of $p$-dimensional topological holes in a $d$-dimensional manifold. Intuitively, in spatial dimensions, restricting to 3D, these changes correspond to creation and destruction of connected components, loops/tunnels and voids.

Towards the end, I will present an example of application of the formalism to the Cosmic Microwave Backgroound (CMB) radiation. The CMB is the earliest visible light in the universe, and studying its properties has the potential to reveal information about the physical processes occuring in the nascent stages of the Universe.

Time/Place: 14h on 15th February, Salle Vitrine, Building Chappe, 6 avenue des arts, Villeurbanne.