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IEEE Communications Magazine
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IEEE Communications Magazine covers all areas of communications such as lightwave telecommunications, high-speed data communications, personal communications systems (PCS), ISDN, and more. It includes special feature technical articles and monthly departments: book reviews, conferences, short courses, standards, governmental regulations and legislation, new products, and Society news such as administration and elections.
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2017-03-30
Special Issues
Special Issue on Point-to-Multipoint Communications and Broadcasting in 5G
Submission Date: 2017-06-30

In the last few years since the development of the Internet, streaming video and mobile devices such as Tablets and Smartphone have played prominent roles in modern daily life, and the global communications industry has started working on new, more effective digital broadcast systems that can simultaneously deliver signals to both fixed and mobile devices. Digital broadcast systems are suitable for large-volume broadband information delivery, especially for multimedia communication. In fact, the global rapid growth of mobile data traffic is primarily driven by the massive deployment of mobile video services on modern large-screen devices. In the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 9 standards, multimedia broadcast/multicast service (MBMS) has evolved to achieve improved performance with higher speed and more flexible service configuration, named as evolved MBMS (eMBMS). 3GPP Release 11 has also improved service layer with video codec for higher resolution and frame rate and introduced Forward Error Correction (FEC) technique. New technologies such as time frequency slicing (TFS) can increase the network spectral efficiency (in terms of bps/Hz) by potentially tolerating a higher carrier-to-interference signal (C/I) ratio for the network. The TFS is part of an informative (not normative) annex of the digital video broadcasting terrestrial 2nd generation (DVB-T2) specification and is fully adopted in the mobile broadcasting standard digital video broadcasting next generation handheld (DVB-NGH) specification. It is also proposed to adopt layered division multiplexing (LDM) in the upcoming advanced television system committee (ATSC) 3.0 standards, where multiple physical layer data streams are superimposed with different power levels, channel coding and modulation schemes for different services and reception environments. However, in 5G, traffic data volume and terminal mobility model will change dramatically compared with the existing 4G and other communications systems. Related studies and implementation of new technologies are constantly challenged with the growth of requirements by large numbers of users, improved device capabilities and deployment of higher capacity networks. To create new hybrid services and augmented regular broadcasts with greater interactivity, current development projects address the following requirements that may apply in 5G: 1) Higher quality signals and better source coding, such as immersive audio, Ultra HDTV, and multi-screen/multi-view system, 2) Simultaneously broadcast everywhere, to both fixed users at home and mobile users on smart phones and tablets. 3) Higher data volume and density of transmission, such as super layered division multiplexing (SLDM). 4) Terminal mobility considering fast moving scenarios. To meet these requirements, proposed solutions include the following items: 1) More effective utilization of spectrum. 2) Providing broadcasters the option to offer multiple channels within the same bandwidth, plus the ability to simultaneously broadcast to TVs at home and to Smartphones / Tablets on the go. 3) Cooperation among cells to support broadcasting demands, 4) Broadcast transmission of content developed for and sent over the Internet based on the Internet protocol. To seek solutions to the current challenges, we have planned this Feature Topic (FT) to describe recent progress in academic and industrial research and help both the industrial and academic research communities better understand the progress and potential research areas on the converging paths of point to multi-point communications and broadcasting in 5G.
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2017-02-12
Special Issue on Advanced Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks and Intelligent IoT
Submission Date: 2017-07-01

Over the past decade, the fast expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm and wireless communication technologies have created many scientific and engineering challenges that call for ingenious research efforts from both academia and industry. The IoT paradigm now covers several technologies beyond RFID and WSNs (Wireless Sensor Networks) and the application field expansion has exceeded expectations. According to Cisco IBSG (Internet Business Solution Group), more than 50 billion devices are expected to be connected to the internet by 2020 and 20 % of which are from the industry sector. Therefore, integrating the IoT concept and Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks (IWSNs) is an attractive choice for industrial process and is mainly needed to reap the full benefits of the IoT. Indeed, IWSNs are an emerging class of WSNs that face specific constraints linked to the particularities of the industrial production. IWSNs bring several advantages and have become inseparable from the manufacturing process due to their low-cost, reliability and robustness in harsh environments, energy efficiency and mobility. IWSNs involve large amount of wireless devices such as sensors for failure monitoring and detection and RFID tags for machine identification. Combining IWSN with IoT may optimize the operational efficiency, automation, maintenance and rationalization. Moreover, it ensures large scale interconnection between machines, computers and people enabling intelligent industrial operations. However, IWSN and IoT integration will need to solve a more complex challenge of combining reliable communications and low- cost computing together. The aim of this Feature Topic (FT) is to address together innovative developments resorting to the state-of-the-art technologies and ideas in areas related to advanced industrial wireless sensor networks and intelligent IoT. The FT is seeking latest findings from research and ongoing projects relevant to industrial networks' smart integration with IoT. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: - Intelligent Middleware for IWSN Integration - Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) - Energy Efficient Technologies for Industrial Networks interconnection - Cloud Computing for IoT over Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks - Big Data Analysis and Mining for IIoT
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2017-05-17
Special Issue on Advances in Next-Generation Networking Technologies for Smart Healthcare
Submission Date: 2017-08-01

With the advancement of next-generation mobile and wireless networking technologies, “Smart healthcare” and/or “Connected Healthcare“ is getting tremendous attention from the academia, the governments, the industry, and the healthcare community. The next generation mobile and wireless networking technologies such as 5G wireless networks, mobile-edge computing (MEC), software-defined networking (SDN), and cloud radio access networks (Cloud RAN), can play a significant role in the smart healthcare by offering better insight of heterogeneous healthcare media content to support affordable and quality patient care. While researchers have been making advances to the study of next-generation networking and healthcare services individually, a very little attention has been given to make cost-effective and affordable smart healthcare solutions. Connected or smart healthcare has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our society; however, many technical challenges need to be addressed before this potential can be realized. Some of these challenges include how to develop rich and real-time services or applications for smart healthcare solutions by adopting next generation mobile and wireless networking technologies? How can the next-generation networking technologies assist with right patient care at the right time and in the right place? How can networking technologies facilitate healthcare data representation, storage, analysis and integration for effective smart healthcare solutions? The next-generation wireless technology that makes highly connected healthcare environments has the potential to address each of those challenges and can revolutionize the future of connected healthcare services. It is envisioned that the next-generation networking technologies will be the success factor for realizing the true vision of smart healthcare since they will contribute to facilitate resource constrained devices to communicate efficiently, faster data generation and processing as well as for quality data transmission to stakeholders. This Feature Topic is intended to report high-quality research on recent advances in various aspects of the next-generation networking technologies in healthcare services, more specifically to the state-of-the-art approaches, methodologies, and systems in the design, development, deployment and innovative use of those networking technologies for providing insights into smart healthcare service demands. Authors are solicited to submit complete unpublished papers on the following topics. Topic includes but not restricted to: Cloud RAN for smart healthcare Software-defined wireless networks for smart healthcare Mobile Edge Computing for smart healthcare IoT-Cloud for smart healthcare Wireless technologies for connected medicine Cyber-physical and socially-aware network for smart healthcare Context-aware 5G-supported services for smart healthcare Data security, and privacy for connected healthcare Wearable Internet of Things (WIoT) and 5G access technologies for smart healthcare Innovative communication protocols, algorithms and test beds for 5G-enable connected healthcare
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2017-03-30
Special Issue on Key Technologies for 5G New Radio
Submission Date: 2017-08-01

With expected 2020 initial commercialization, 5G mobile communications is gathering increased interest and momentum around the world. Following discussions on the 5G vision and key requirements (such as high data-rate, low latency, and massive connectivity), various candidate technologies have been proposed and investigated. The candidate enablers for 5G mobile communications include massive antenna technologies (from legacy cellular frequency bands up to high frequencies) to provide beamforming gain and support increased capacity, new waveform (or a new radio access technology (RAT)) to flexibly accommodate various services/applications with different requirements, new multiple access schemes to support massive connections, and so on. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has categorized the usage scenarios for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) for 2020 and beyond into three main groups: Enhanced Mobile Broadband, Massive Machine-Type Communications, and Ultra-reliable and Low Latency communications. In addition, they have specified target requirements such as peak data rates of 20 Gb/s, user experienced data rates of 100 Mb/s, a spectrum efficiency improvement of 3X, support for up to 500 km/h mobility, 1 ms latency, a connection density of 106 devices/km2, a network energy efficiency improvement of 100X and an area traffic capacity of 10 Mb/s/m2. While all the requirements need not be met simultaneously, the design of 5G networks and radio access should provide flexibility to more efficiently support various applications meeting part of the above requirements on a use case basis. There is also increased interest in the use of spectrum above 6 GHz for 5G mobile communications. Several researchers in academia and industry have explored the feasibility of using mmWave frequencies for 5G mobile communications, considering frequencies up to 100 GHz. This has also been supported by regulatory bodies with ITU-R investigating the spectrum between 6 – 100 GHz for possible global harmonization and usage by 2020 and regulatory bodies such as FCC in the US and OFCOM in UK, starting a notice-of-inquiry (NOI) for using mmWave spectrum for mobile communications. 3GPP has officially started the standardization of 5G and the new 5G spec is codenamed NR (New Radio) in 3GPP discussions. The study on 5G use cases, requirements and key technology components are expected to be completed by March 2017, with the first official release of core radio spec slated for the first half of 2018. We think it is a very timely Feature Topic if we can bring a first look of the key technologies of 5G New Radio to the IEEE Communication Magazine readers in early 2018. With this Feature Topic, our hope is that researchers worldwide can understand the state-of-art of these 5G technologies, both in terms of their design considerations and, equally importantly, their limitations, so that they can use these references to guide their research for future releases of 5G. Scope Original contributions are invited on the latest advancements on key component technologies of 5G New Radio, especially in the following areas of 5G NR system design: NR-MIMO, especially new feedback and reference signal methods NR control mechanism for reducing signaling overhead and improving battery life Support of new 5G bands, including both mmWave bands and below 6GHz bands Beam-centric or UE centric cellular design in support of seamless mobility and UE experience enhancement New channel coding in NR: LDPC and Polar codes Technologies for low latency transmission
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2017-03-30
Special Issue on Multi-Channel Cognitive Radio Ad Hoc Networks
Submission Date: 2017-08-01

Cognitive radio (CR) is an emerging network technology that has been around for more than 15 years towards solving the problem of wireless network spectrum inefficiency. Cognitive radio ad hoc networks (CRAHNs), equipped with the intrinsic capabilities of cognition and self-organization, provides an ultimate spectrum-aware communication paradigm in wireless networks. By nature, CRAHNs mostly operate on multiple channels based on the fact that the available spectrum usually appears as discontinuous spectrum. Concurrent communication over multi-channel CRAHNs can alleviate interference and improve the spectrum utilization with greater flexibility for channel access. However, multi-channel CRAHNs impose unique challenges as a result of high fluctuation in the available spectrum, distributed dynamic network topology, and the time and location varying spectrum availability. To overcome these challenges, some fundamental problems in multi-channel CRAHNs have to be carefully resolved, both in theory and in practice. Specifically, the following key questions need to be addressed: How can the fragmented available spectrum be recognized? How can multiple channels with the available spectrum be constructed in an efficient way? How can the multiple channels be allocated among the users and coordinate their concurrent communications in a distributed manner? How to evaluate the abilities of CRAHNs to support the quality of end-to-end services? This Feature Topic (FT) solicits technical papers describing original, previously unpublished, not currently under review by another conference or journal pertaining to trends and issues and challenges of multi-channel CRAHNs. The scope of this Feature Topic calls for novel research contributions including, but not restricted to the following topics. New theories, architectures and models for multi-channel CRAHNs Capacity analysis for multi-channel CRAHNs Spectrum sensing, sharing and management in CRAHNs Medium access control, scheduling, and routing protocols for multi-channel cognitive radio networks Transport layer design, TCP extension for multi-channel cognitive radio networks Joint route and spectrum allocation, adaptive cross-layer design and optimized resource management Security challenges in multi-channel CRAHNs Application scenarios and emerging markets over multi-channel CRAHNs, such as smart grids, emergency responders, disaster recovery, high bandwidth multimedia communication, military deployment, and homeland security among others.
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2017-03-30
Special Issue on Achieving Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Edge/Fog Deployment
Submission Date: 2017-09-01

It has been predicted that there will be more than 50 billion Internet-connected things (e.g., mobile devices, sensors, wearable devices and other computing nodes) by the year 2020 across the globe. This emerging trend is also known as the Internet of Things (IoT). In other words, IoT will generate nearly 40% of the global data. Another emerging computing trend is edge/fog computing. Edge/fog computing is considered to be an extension of cloud computing. With the significant increased focus on climate change, cloud data centers are also seeking ways to reduce carbon emissions and consequently, electricity costs. While there are existing energy efficiency initiatives in place (e.g. increasing the use of clean energy sources to power data centers), researchers are also examining sustainability. There are a number of challenges in ensuring sustainable energy efficiency for an edge-fog environment, such as the need to ensure that workload distribution, resource and data migrations, energy efficiency, quality of service, etc. are not affected by energy efficiency measures. One potential approach is to introduce a programmable, scalable, and flexible platform (i.e., software-defined network-SDN) to achieve energy-efficiency without affecting other key performance metrics. Since energy of the communication devices is one of the most challenging and critical issues which needs to be exploited by designing new solutions. We would like to investigate the major areas that include energy management, sustainability, fog devices' deployment, communication architecture between fog devices and data centers, resource management, and data analytics. This FT is to present state-of-the-art technical advances on addressing energy efficiency and sustainability in edge/fog environment. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: - SDN-based edge/fog interactions and enabling protocols - Communication and networking protocols for edge/fog environment - SDN and network function virtualizations supporting edge/fog environment - Edge/fog based data services, including distributed data centers, data analytics, caching - Edge/fog caching for big data - Quality of experience and quality of service for edge/fog environment - Big data analytics for workload management in edge/fog environment - Security technical solutions for edge/fog environment - Privacy and privacy-preserving technical solutions for edge/fog environment - Energy-efficient architecture including wireless powered communications, high-density small cells, green heterogeneous network design and architecture in edge/fog environment - Use of clean energy /renewable energy for managing edge/fog infrastructure - Energy management of edge/fog infrastructure - Issues, challenges, and solution related to sustainability in edge/fog environment
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2017-05-17
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