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Breakthrough for WISENET Lab at UiA

The WISENET Lab has managed to have six papers accepted at a top international conference.

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Six papers accepted at a top conference
The research group at Wisenet Lab got six of seven papers accepted at a top international conference. From left to right: Baltasar Enrique Beferull Lozano, Daniel Romero, Mohamed Gafar Ahmed Elnourani, Yves Teganya, Luis Miguel Lopez Ramos and Thilina Nuwan Weerasinghe.

«This is an important milestone for the university and the lab,» says Baltasar Beferull-Lozano, Professor at the University in Agder (UiA) and in charge of the WISENET Lab ( http://wisenet.uia.no).

The IEEE ICASSP conference is the top international and most comprehensive technical conference in the area of signal and data processing, including theory, algorithms and applications.  

IEEE stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and ICASSP for International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing.

The main theme of ICASSP 2018 is “Signal Processing and Artificial Intelligence: Changing the World.” The conference will feature world-class international speakers, tutorials, exhibits, lectures and poster sessions from around the world.

The website link to IEEE ICASSP 2018: https://2018.ieeeicassp.org  

«Very few Labs in the world can manage to have such a large number of accepted papers in the ICASSP conference. This is unique and places the WISENET Lab directly in the world-wide first-front research map in these research areas, showing its clear international leadership and visibility,» Beferull-Lozano says.

Six of seven papers accepted

The Professor is happy to confirm that six of seven papers submitted from WISENET Lab were accepted at the conference. «We might actually break some record by publishing six papers in this top conference, but we can not confirm it yet. The most important labs in the world working in these areas, will have typically three or four papers accepted at most,» Beferull-Lozano says.

He underlines however that the most important achievement here for UiA is not about the number of papers, but the quality of these. «In the first place, in our Lab, we focus only on top international conferences, then we plan for how many papers can reach publication at these conferences. We submitted around 10 papers to different conferences in 2017, but these numbers can vary substantially every year,» he says.

Top-ranked universities

According to Beferull-Lozano, selective hiring of researchers has also helped the lab to be successful and receive funding from the most competitive funding programmes. «We put a lot of work in weekly careful advising of PhDs and postdoctoral researchers, reading groups and brainstorming sessions, generation of new PhD courses and seminars to maximize the efficiency of the researchers, international cooperation with both the US and Europe, and of course, very dedicated substantial effort in research itself,» he says. 

Most of the professors in the Wisenet Lab are educated in top-ranked international institutions, including American and European universities, such as the University of Southern California (USC), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), AT&T Shannon Labs (previously Bell Laboratories), and the University of Minnesota, among others.

«The key to our success is the focus on quality, not on quantity. We have always been trained to publish only in the best high quality conferences and journals. So, we have acquired this mentality and we stick to it,» he says. 
Important milestone

Beferull-Lozano points out that the Faculty of Engineering and the ICT Department at UiA have provided a very good environment to work intensively. «UiA supports strategic top research centres that receive strategic funding over several years,» he says.  

WISENET Lab will apply to become a strategic UIA Top research centre in April 2018, paving also the path for an application to become later a SFF Center in the next call (three-four years from now) from the Research Council of Norway for SFF Centres.

«I would say that the approval of six papers is a breakthrough for us. Before, when I worked some years ago at other institutions such as EPFL, which is a top institution too, the maximum number of ICASSP papers we managed to publish one year was around four papers,» says Beferull-Lozano. 

NOK 100 million in three years

Wisenet Lab was established less than 3 years ago and has already more than NOK 100 million of funding, and is thereby the highest funded Lab in the whole University. 

The Lab has led more than 20 research projects funded by the Research Council of Norway and EU Programmes, maintaining world-wide international collaborations.

The diversified WISENET project portfolio is currently secured from six different programmes from the Research Council of Norway: TOPPFORSK, PETROMAKS2, IKTPLUSS, SFI, INFRASTRUKTUR and INTPART.

The Lab has also the only existing research project in the areas of Signal & Data Processing & Communications in Norway within the TOPPFORSK programme, the most competitive programme from the Research Council of Norway. 

These are the papers accepted:

         • Y. Teganya, L. M. Lopez-Ramos, D. Romero, B. Beferull-Lozano, “Localization-Free Power Cartography”, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2018.
         • M. Elnourani, M. Hamid, D. Romero, B. Beferull-Lozano, “Underlay Device-to-Device Communications on Multiple Channels”, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2018.
         • M. Hamid, B. Beferull-Lozano, “Joint Topology and Radio Resource Optimization for Device-to-Device Based Mobile Social Networks”, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2018.
         • T. Weerasinghe, D. Romero, C. Asensio-Marco, B. Beferull-Lozano, “Fast Distributed Subspace Projection via Graph Filters”, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2018.
         • C. Asensio-Marco, B. Beferull-Lozano, “Energy efficient consensus over directed graphs”, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2018.
         • D. Ramírez, D. Romero, J. Vía, R. López-Valcarce, I. Santamaría, “Locally optimal invariant detector for testing equality of two power spectral densities”, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2018.