Technical Program

Friday, 19 June 2020

Please join us on Zoom

Welcome from Program Chairs 10:40–10:50AM

Keynote 1: "Drone Cellular Communications: From Theory to Real Networks" 10:50–11:30AM

Speaker: Giovanni Geraci


As we head towards a pervasive digital transformation aiming at more efficient, automated, and flexible processes, a growing number of tasks are being delegated to machines. Drones—a.k.a. UAVs—, the most mobile of them all, are the logical candidates to take over many such missions. What will it take for drones—and the whole associated ecosystem—to take off? Arguably, infallible command and control channels for safe and autonomous flying, and high-throughput links for multi-purpose live video streaming. Meeting these aspirations may entail a full cellular support, provided through 5G-and-beyond hardware and software upgrades by both operators and UAV manufacturers. Will current cellular networks suffice to meet the demanding UAV communication link requirements? Or should the operators, primarily catering to ground users, implement substantial upgrades? In this talk, well founded answers to such—and many other—key questions will unfold as we discuss:

  • Outside the classroom: a fresh look at the 3GPP standardization status.
  • Enabling 5G-and-beyond network-connected UAVs through massive MIMO: lessons learnt and essential guidelines.
  • UAV-to-UAV communications in the sky, what will it take?

Speaker Bio

Giovanni Geraci is an Assistant Professor at University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He was previously a Research Scientist with Nokia Bell Labs and holds a Ph.D. from the UNSW Sydney. He serves as an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and IEEE Communications Letters, and has been a panelist, workshop keynote and co-chair, and industrial or tutorial speaker at IEEE ICC, IEEE Globecom, IEEE WCNC, IEEE PIMRC, and IEEE VTC. He is co-inventor of a dozen granted or pending patents on wireless communications and networking. He was the recipient of the IEEE PIMRC’19 Best Paper Award and of the 2018 IEEE ComSoc Outstanding Young Researcher Award for Europe, Middle-East & Africa.

Virtual Lunch Break 11:30AM–12:30PM

Session 1 12:30–2:00PM

  • Distributed Reinforcement Learning for Flexible UAV Swarm Control with Transfer Learning Capabilities – Federico Venturini (University of Padova), Federico Mason (University of Padova), Francesco Pase (University of Padova), Federico Chiariotti (University of Padova), Alberto Testolin (University of Padova), Andrea Zanella (University of Padova), Michele Zorzi (University of Padova)
  • Performance of a Networked Human-Drone Team: Command Response and Interaction Effects – Alexander Freistetter (JKU Linz), Manuela Pollak (JKU Linz), Karin Anna Hummel (JKU Linz)
  • (Short Paper) PENGUIN: Aquatic Plastic Pollution Sensing using AUVs – Huber Flores (University of Tartu), Agustin Zuniga (University of Helsinki), Naser Hossein Motlagh (University of Helsinki), Mohan Liyanage (University of Tartu), Monica Passananti, Sasu Tarkoma (University of Helsinki), Moustafa Youssef (Alexandria University), Petteri Nurmi (University of Helsinki)
  • (Short Paper) Connected Ad-Hoc Swarm of Drones – Kiril Danilchenko (Ben Gurion University), Michael Segal (Ben Gurion University)
  • (Short Paper) First Experiments with a 5G-Connected Drone – Raheeb Muzaffar (Lakeside Labs GmbH), Christian Raffelsberger (Lakeside Labs GmbH), Aymen Fakhreddine (University of Klagenfurt), José López Luque (Magenta Telekom GmbH), Driton Emini (Deutsche Telekom AG), Christian Bettstetter (University of Klagenfurt)
  • (Short Paper) DRUBER: A Trustable Decentralized Drone-based Delivery System – Novella Bartolini (Sapienza, University of Rome), Andrea Coletta (Sapienza, University of Rome), Gaia Maselli (Sapienza, University of Rome), Mauro Piva (Sapienza, University of Rome)

Virtual Coffee Break 2:00–2:10PM

Keynote 2: "Toward Autonomous, Software-Defined Networks of Wireless Drones" 2:10–3:00PM

Speaker: Tommaso Melodia


Recent advances in drone technologies are making it possible for drones to transport goods, monitor disaster areas, and bring various forms of relief, connectivity, and assistance to areas that are otherwise difficult to access. This talk will cover our recent work on developing autonomous, programmable, and optimized wireless networks of unmanned aerial vehicles in a number of different scenarios. We will discuss applications of drones to augment cellular connectivity while carrying software-defined base stations, or to stream live video in cellular networks. We will then cover applications of self-optimizing networks of drones in disaster and in tactical scenarios, and discuss open research challenges that need to be solved to enable true seamless and programmable connectivity for wireless networks of drones.

Speaker Bio

Tommaso Melodia is the William Lincoln Smith Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston. He is also the Founding Director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things and the Director of Research for the PAWR Project Office. He received his Laurea (integrated BS and MS) from the University of Rome - La Sapienza and his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007. He is an IEEE Fellow and recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award. Prof. Melodia is serving as Editor in Chief for Computer Networks, and has served as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, among others. He was the Technical Program Committee Chair for IEEE Infocom 2018, and General Chair for ACM MobiHoc 2020, IEEE SECON 2019, ACM Nanocom 2019, and ACM WUWNet 2014. Prof. Melodia’s research on modeling, optimization, and experimental evaluation of Internet-of-Things and wireless networked systems has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, several industrial partners, the Air Force Research Laboratory the Office of Naval Research, DARPA, and the Army Research Laboratory.

Virtual Coffee Break 3:00–3:10PM

Session 2 3:10–4:50PM

  • Implementable self-organized flocking algorithm for UAVs based on the emergence of virtual roads – Victor Casas (Ilmenau University of Technology), Andreas Mitschele-Thiel (Ilmenau University of Technology)
  • Robust Mission Planning of UAV Networks for Environmental Sensing – Ahmed Boubrima (Rice University), Edward Knightly (Rice University) Best Paper
  • Measuring Fixed Wing UAS Networks at Long Range – Russell Shirey (Purdue University), Sanjay Rao (Purdue University), Shreyas Sundaram (Purdue University)
  • DroneNet-Sim: A Learning-based Trace Simulation Framework for Control Networking in Drone Video Analytics – Chengyi Qu (University of Missouri-Columbia), Alicia Esquivel Morel (University of Missouri-Columbia), Drew Dahlquist (University of Missouri-Columbia), Prasad Calyam (University of Missouri-Columbia)
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