Skip to main content
Publications lead hero image abstract pattern


Blog on Selected Ideas in Communications
Written By:

Petar Popovski, Editor in Chief of IEEE JSAC

Published: 6 Jul 2023

Clarivate has released the 2023 version of the Journal Citation Reports (JCR), which calculates the impact factor of scientific journals. The impact factor of IEEE JSAC has been upgraded to 16.4, an improvement of more than 3 points with respect to the last year (13.081). This makes IEEE JSAC a journal with the second highest impact in communication engineering, behind IEEE Communication Surveys & Tutorials. Considering that the scope of IEEE Communication Surveys & Tutorials covers tutorial/survey papers, IEEE JSAC can be considered as a highest-impact factor journal that publishes technical articles in communication engineering.. The credit goes primarily to our Authors, Guest Editors, Reviewers, and Board of Senior Editors. I am currently in my second year as the EiC, and, considering the inertia in the process of building impact factor, a large fraction of the credit should be given to the two past Editors in Chief, Raouf Boutaba and Muriel Médard.

The ambition of IEEE JSAC is to reflect the “spirit of time” in terms of communication engineering, provide deep technical articles on current themes in communication systems and pave the way for the topics and systems that will be relevant in the future. Thus, browsing the recent issues can give us a sufficiently good snapshot into the main directions along which the research on communication systems is moving.  

  1. June/July 2022: A double issue on Integrated Sensing and Communication (ISAC), Part I and Part II. ISAC-related technologies are instrumental towards the gradual integration of the physical and digital worlds, which is one of the (many) ambitions of the upcoming wireless 6G systems. Sensing with radio waves can be seen as a form of analog communication in which the physical world is the “transmitter”, such that we do not have access to the transmission “codebook”. This form of communication should co-exist and be possibly co-designed with the digital communication in order to utilize the overall information-processing resources in an efficient and purposeful way.
  2. August/September 2022: These were the Fifth and the Sixth issue of the Series on Machine Learning in Communications and Networks. As almost every other area of work and play, Machine Learning has taken communication engineering by a storm and this IEEE JSAC series has evolved into a new journal IEEE Transactions on Machine Learning in Communications and Networking. The importance of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in communications will certainly grow in the coming years. One observation that supports this prediction is that, as the communication devices and nodes become more intelligent, communication protocols have to evolve in a way that follows this intelligence, making the overall communication more efficient.
  3. October 2022: A special issue on Antenna Array Enabled Space/Air/Ground Communications and Networking. This issue featured articles on wireless communication and networking for satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), airships, balloons, terrestrial vehicles, and high-speed trains (HSTs). These connected entities are exhibiting 3-D mobility, which puts unique challenges and opportunities for operating antenna arrays, both for communication and sensing.
  4. November 2022: A special issue on Edge-Based Wireless Communications Technologies to Counter Communicable Infectious Diseases, a follow up of the sense of urgency that emerged within the scientific community during the Covid-19 pandemic and the desire to create technologies that can help to cope with similar events. I believe that this type of topics should be regularly featured in the articles of our community, as we have understood (in a hard way) that there is a “pandemic use case”, which significantly relies on digital communication capabilities (I still remember the question I received from multiple people when we were all sent to work online – “will the current Internet, WiFi and mobile networks allow all of us to work from home simultaneously?”).
  5. December 2022: This was a special issue on Intelligent Blockchain for Future Communications and Networking: Technologies, Trends, and Applications. Blockchain has been a rather controversial topic within the general public due to the rise and fall of cryptocurrencies. Yet, its principles have a much wider use in interconnected digital system to support decentralization, data provenance, or trustworthiness. For instance, the ubiquitous use of AI will require access to a vast amount of data; blockchain is one of the technologies that can be used to incentivize the data owners to provide their data for participation in training of ML algorithms or support inference/decision making.
  6. January 2023: Following the recent excitement about semantic communication as a research space beyond the standard “technical communication”, as classified by W. Weaver, IEEE JSAC has featured a special issue on Beyond Transmitting Bits: Context, Semantics, and Task-Oriented Communications. This becomes relevant now due to (again!) the larger role of ML in communications and increased intelligence in the communication nodes. Such developments have driven the researchers in both academia and industry towards analyzing the “value” or “relevance” of collected data, and filter and prioritize the delivery of data based on its value/relevance as well as the wireless channel and network conditions.
  7. February/March 2023: Two issues on Multi-Tier Computing for Next Generation Wireless Networks, consisting of Part I and Part II. These special issues follow the trend of integration between communication and computation in cloud and edge services. Multi-tier computing enables flexible computation and communication resource sharing by offloading computation-intensive tasks to nearby servers along the cloud-to-thing continuum. This is done by distributing distribute computing, storage, and communication functions anywhere between the cloud and the endpoint to take full advantage of the resources available along this continuum.
  8. April 2023: A special issue on Communication-Efficient Distributed Learning Over Networks. Distributed learning is critically dependent on iterative information exchange between agents, which may lead to high communication overhead and thus challenge the limited communication resources. Overall, distributed learning can be seen as a general use case within the goal-oriented communications, where the goal is clearly defined in terms of ML performance.
  9. May 2023: This issue is geared towards the wireless access technique of Rate Splitting for Future Wireless Networks. Rate splitting is rather general set of techniques for interference management and multi-user strategies in wireless systems and networks. 
  10. June 2023: The special issue on 3GPP Technologies: 5G-Advanced and Beyond makes a bridge between the academic and industrial research, providing technical contributions that are relevant in the context of evolution of wireless cellular standards. This bridge is important in order to keep the academic research relevant for the systems that will be deployed within the next decade, while making the industrial community aware of the new concepts that emerge within the academic research.

Statements and opinions given in a work published by the IEEE or the IEEE Communications Society are the expressions of the author(s). Responsibility for the content of published articles rests upon the authors(s), not IEEE nor the IEEE Communications Society.

Sign In to Comment