Welcome to NCC 2019!


All the plenary talks will be held in Faculty Hall, IISc main building.

Ashutosh Sabharwal Rice RENEW: Empowering 3Rs of Research via Open Wireless Platforms & Testbeds February 21 10:00-11:00
Yashwant Gupta Signal processing challenges en route to understanding the Universe February 22 9.30-10.30
Ness Shroff A Fresh Look at an Old Problem: Network Utility Maximization—Convergence, Delay, and Complexity February 23 10:00-11:00

Rice RENEW: Empowering 3Rs of Research via Open Wireless Platforms & Testbeds

Ashutosh Sabharwal


Speaker:  Ashutosh Sabharwal
Rice University, USA



Abstract: Three R's are crucial for any scientific research endeavor that relies on an experimental component: repeatability, replicability, and reproducibility. In the first part of our talk, we reflect on our (personal) journey in developing and disseminating open-source wireless research platforms, and how they have shaped how we do research. Both successes and shortcomings from the past are at the heart of our next major step: the POWDER-RENEW platform, which is being designed to be the world's first open platform for next-generation massive-MIMO wireless research, with an emphasis to empower the 3R's for wireless research. In the second part of our talk, we reflect on our recent experimental research results in massive MIMO, to appreciate how flexible platforms can lead to novel research insights, and potentially shape the future wireless research and standards.

Bio: Ashutosh Sabharwal works in two areas. His first area of research is wireless. He is the founder of WARP project (warp.rice.edu), an open-source project which is now in use at more than 125 research groups worldwide, and have been used by more than 450 research articles. He received 2017 Jack Neubauer Memorial and 2018 Advances in Communications Awards for full-duplex wireless. His second area of research is healthcare technologies. He is currently leading several NSF-funded center-scale projects, notably Rice RENEW (open-source massive MIMO) and “See below the skin” for non-invasive bio-imaging. He founded the Rice Scalable Health Labs (http://sh.rice.edu), which is developing a new engineering area called “bio-behavioral sensing.” His research has led to four commercial spinoffs (one in wireless and three in healthcare).

Signal processing challenges en route to understanding the Universe

Yashwant Gupta


Speaker:  Yashwant Gupta
TIFR, Pune



Abstract: Contrary to what one might imagine, signal proessing -- both algorithms and hardware -- play a crucial role in our quest to unravel the mysteries of the Universe. We will look at this interesting and challenging interplay between signal processing and astrophysics, primarily in the context of radio astronomy -- the branch of astronomy that works on the faint radio signals received from a host of natural phenomena (and maybe from extra-terrestial intelligence!). From the complexity of processing of the weak signals from a multitude of receptor antennas to extract the signals of interest, to the algorithms that allow for combining of the signals to obtain useful images or high time resolution temporal data from astrophysical sources; from the challenges of real-time processing of the wide bandwidth signals, to the sophisticated off-line processing techniques that today span the realms of big data and machine learning : we will explore these various aspects, in the light of some of the existing modern radio observatories such as the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India, as well as in the context of upcoming large international facilities of the furute such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. Specific case studies to highlight the signal processing aspects will be presented.

Bio:Professor Yashwant Gupta obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Radio Astronomy from the University of California, San Diego in 1990, after completing his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1985. Since 1991, he has been working at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA, Pune) of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research where he currently holds the position of Senior Professor. For several years, he has been the Dean of the GMRT Observatory -- a world class instrument built and operated by the NCRA and located about 80 km from Pune. In March 2018, he took over as the Centre Director of NCRA.

His Ph.D. thesis was on the study of propagation of radio signals from pulsars through the inter-stellar medium of our Galaxy. His present research interests continue to be mainly in the area of pulsars : studying the details of their emission process and discovering new objects of this exotic species -- activities he continues to pursue actively using facilities such as the GMRT. He has over 100 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings.

In addition to research in the astrophysics of pulsars, Prof Gupta also has significant interest and involvement in instrumentation and signal processing applications in radio astronomy. Since the early days of the GMRT, he has made significant contributions towards the development of the complex digital back-end receivers for the telescope. A considerable amount of his time at present also goes in leading the effort of a major technological upgrade of the GMRT, which is now almost complete. In addition, he also leads the technincal involvement of India in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) -- an international collaborative project to design and build the next generation global radio astronomy facility.

Prof Gupta was conferred the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in the Physical Sciences, for the year 2007. He has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences of India, in 2007; and also elected a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in January, 2008.

Prof Gupta has figured in several popular news and TV interviews, as well as some videos, many of which can be found on YouTube :

  1. CNN-IBN program on "Superstars of Science" featuring Prof Gupta (Aug 2009) :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N1Ru5P39Yo
  2. Eureka with Yashwant Gupta (by Rajya Sabha TV) made in 2016 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msMt22HJXDQ
  3. Public talk by Prof Gupta at "Science at the Sabha" at Chennai, Feb 2017 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C3DyfDsrPE
  4. Interview of Prof Gupta with Persistent Systems on work done for SKA (Oct 2018) : https://wn.com/ persistent_teams_with_india's_national_center_for_radio_astrophysics_to_develop_ska/video-details

A Fresh Look at an Old Problem: Network Utility Maximization—Convergence, Delay, and Complexity

Ness Shroff


Speaker:  Ness Shroff
Ohio State University, USA



Abstract: Network Utility Maximization has been studied for resource allocation problems in communication networks for nearly two decades. Nonetheless, a major challenge that continues to remain open is how to develop a distributed congestion control and routing algorithm that can simultaneously provide utility optimality, fast convergence speed, and low delay. To address this challenge we take a fresh perspective on this old problem and develop a new algorithm that offers the fastest known convergence speed, vanishing utility optimality gap with finite queue length, and low routing complexity.

Our key contributions in this work are:

  • the design of a new joint congestion control and routing algorithm based on a type of inexact Uzawa method in the Alternating Directional Method of Multiplier
  • a new theoretical path to prove global and linear convergence rate without requiring the full rank assumption of the constraint matrix and
  • a clear path for implementing the proposed method in a fully distributed fashion.

Bio: NessB.Shroff received his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University, NY in 1994 and joined Purdue university immediately thereafter as an Assistant Professor. At Purdue, he became Professor of the school of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of a university wide center on wireless systems and applications (CWSA) in 2004. In July 2007, he joined the ECE and CSE departments at The Ohio State University, where he holds the Ohio Eminent Scholar Chaired Professorship of Networking and Communications. From 2009-2012, he also served as a Guest Chaired professor of Wireless Communications at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and currently holds an honorary Guest professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University in China and visiting position at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Dr.Shroff's research interests span the areas of communication, networking, storage, cloud, recommender, social, and cyberphysical systems. He is especially interested in fundamental problems in learning, design, control, performance, pricing, and security of these complex systems. He currently serves as chair of the ACM Mobihoc steering committee, editor-at-large in the IEEE/ACM Trans. on Networking, and as senior editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control of Networked Systems. He also serves on the editorial boards of the IEEE Network Magazine, and the Network Science journal. He has served on the technical and executive committees of several major conferences and workshops. For example, he was the technical program co-chair of IEEE INFOCOM'03, the premier conference in communication networking, the technical program co-chair of ACM Mobihoc 2008, the General co-chair of WICON'08, and the conference chair of IEEE CCW'99. He has served as a keynote speaker and panelist on several major conferences in these fields. Dr.Shroffwas also a co-organizer of the NSF workshop on Fundamental Research in Networking in 2003, and the NSF workshop on the Future of Wireless Networks in 2009.

Dr.Shroffis a Fellow of the IEEE, and a National Science Foundation CAREER awardee. His papers have received numerous awards at top-tier venues. For example, he received the best paper award at IEEE INFOCOM 2006, IEEE INFOCOM 2008, and IEEE INFOCOM 2016, the best paper of the year in the journal of Communication and Networking (2005) and in Computer Networks (2003). He also received runner-up awards at IEEE INFOCOM 2005 and IEEE INFOCOM 2013. In addition, his papers have received the best student paper award (from all papers whose first author is a student) at IEEE WIOPT 2013, IEEE WiOPT 2012, and IEEE IWQoS 2006. Dr.Shroff is on the list of highly cited researchers from Thomson Reuters ISI (previously ISI web of Science) in 2014 and 2015, and in Thomson Reuters Book on The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds in 2014. He received the IEEE INFOCOM achievement award for seminal contributions to scheduling and resource allocation in wireless networks, in 2014