To set the research agenda – Reflections from WCNC 2014 and the paper review for WCNC 2015

About WCNC

The IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conferences (WCNC) cover a number of research areas and include the following tracks with a mix of papers and panel discussions:

  • Track 1: PHY and Fundamentals
  • Track 2: MAC and Cross-Layer Design
  • Track 3: Mobile and Wireless Networks
  • Track 4: Services, Applications, and Business

I attended the WCNC 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey, 6 – 9 April 2014 and I would like to share some reflections on conference participation related to establishment of new research areas.


Regular papers vs panels, workshop and tutorials

At the WCNC 2014 in Istanbul KTH researcher besides presenting some papers also organized and participated in a number other revents. I myself wase involved in the following sessions at WCNC 2014:

  • I gave a techno-economic tutorial that Jens and I have proposed
  • I lead a panel session on business and technical challenges for small cell networks
  • I participated in a panel discussion on spectrum sharing lead by Arturas Medeisis

KTH had proposed the spectrum sharing panel and also a M2M panel (finally chaired by Mischa Dohler) but it was seen as “too much” by the organizers with KTH chairing all these panels.

My conclusion is that these type of activities create soem level of visibility, both for KTH and for the teh type fo resarch that we do. I have been contacted by several researchers after WCNC 2014 asking for papers or contacts in the techno-economic area. KTH was also invited to a joint research application by researchers at another university because: “we saw you at the session in Istanbul….”


Problems to establish a new research area

The last years I and my colleges doing techno-economic- research have been faced with problems getting papers properly reviewed at a number of conferences. The typical situation is like this:

  • we submit techno-economic or business papers to business tracks
  • if uncertainty exist we contact the conference chairs and check that cross-disciplinary contributions are welcome, the answer is always YES
  • papers are rejected based on lack of technical details even papers are submitted to business tracks

I myself have seen this many years, it is very common that a paper is rejected because “there are no curves…or formulas..”,the paper does not include any radio wave propagation modelling ..”, “.. the system model is not detailed enough..”. From the review of papers to WCNC 2015 some comments are:

  • “The reviewer holds a solid argument by highlighting the business nature of the paper , although s/he mentioned that it is against the technical nature of WCNC”
  • The whole paper performed only a qualitative study. Few quantitative result or reference is provided.”
  • “This is a business proposal instead of a scientific research paper.”


What do to?

The question is what to do if you want to publish techno-economic results at IEEE conferences with business track. The working assumption is that we cannot focus on business school conferences, then we will face the same but opposite problem , i.e. too much technical issues. So what to do? Should we:

  • Continue a long term mind changing activities as described for WCNC 2014 above?
  • React strongly for each case when review of business papers is based on” lack of technical results”?
  • Be more active to organize techno-economic or business tracks?
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One Response to To set the research agenda – Reflections from WCNC 2014 and the paper review for WCNC 2015

  1. S. Fahad Yunas says:

    … a paper is rejected because “there are no curves…or formulas..”, “the paper does not include any radio wave propagation modelling ..”, “.. the system model is not detailed enough..”.

    This is so true especially, at least for some top tier conferences (ICC, VTC). We need more lobbying for having papers of techno-economic nature published in mainstream conferences. Although, organizing specialized conferences focused on techno-economics studies will also be good.

    Its sad that CTTE conference has not been organized since 2012. I guess its was the only conference of its kind which focused on techno-economics of wireless networks. NETWORKS 2014 was also good but the number of submission in the ‘Cost Modelling and Analysis’ section had only 2 papers.

    ITS has been doing its part for quite sometime now. Maybe a collaboration with ITS can help revive the CTTE conference again.

    But anyways, its nice to see senior level academician raising such questions and showing concern.


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