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Publication Date

Fourth Quarter 2022

Manuscript Submission Deadline

Special Issue

Call for Papers

The emergence of infectious diseases such as SARS, MERS, Ebola, and COVID-19 have challenged the world in an unprecedented manner. Unanticipated pandemics with no specific vaccines or immediate treatments demand integration of novel technologies that can be used to gain key insights towards potential mitigation strategies and sources of new knowledge of the virus that can be used to support the design of therapeutic vaccines. This knowledge traditionally has come from understanding the viral genetic as well as physiological properties, but other new source of knowledge can also be sought and this includes the mechanism of understanding airborne pathogen propagation patterns as well as infection patterns caused by people’s interactions. Based on contact patterns that may including distance between people or close interactions (e.g., secretion of external bodily fluids), this information can be used to better understand how the infection are transmitted between individuals. As a complement to ongoing efforts for vaccination, researchers from several domains within the field of communications are now exploring novel approaches of utilizing the current Edge infrastructure as well as theories from communications and networking that can be developed to support new knowledge discovery for communicable infectious diseases. Given the highly interdisciplinary approach towards tackling pandemics, contributions in the field of communication and network engineering as well as other emerging fields and technologies have the potential to become effective weapons to tackle future unanticipated pandemics. Bringing together researchers with diverse research expertise can enhance new strategies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and facilitate their prevention, control, and elimination.

This special issue focuses on motivating the Edge-based wireless communication and networking communities to develop new solutions that can be used to gain new knowledge and insights into communicable disease. This includes the use of IoT sensing (e.g., biosensors) devices that communicate to wireless infrastructures, mechanisms for processing and disseminating data at the Edge, characterizing biological to wireless infrastructure communications such as propagation of communicable disease molecules to wireless sensing devices, and use of AI and ML algorithms for processing airborne pathogen and communicable disease data at the edge. Prospective authors are invited to submit original manuscripts reporting novel theoretical and experimental contributions on topics, including but not limited to: 

1)   Edge-based wireless communication for crowd monitoring and contact tracing:

  • Modeling and characterizing wireless communication networks for contact tracing during pandemics and sensing for surveillance of outbreaks
  • Edge-based wireless communication systems to manage data for contact tracing
  • Modeling the behavior of crowds interacting with proximity/density-sensing devices
  • Modeling evolution of political attitudes and behavior in response to conflicting social media information (e.g., fake news) and scientific information at the Edge (pattern formation / Ising-like models).
  • Use of wireless multimedia technologies at the Edge for processing crowds, such as wireless multimedia cameras, thermal imaging systems, or radar sensing
  • Solutions that address data security and governance, as well as privacy issues in response to the crowd monitoring and contact tracing.


2)    IoT sensing at the Edge for detection of communicable infectious disease:

  • IoT sensing, including the use of nano materials in wireless sensing for Edge devices
  • Cooperative Edge self-organization between bio-sensor networks and wireless access for processing data to capture airborne molecule propagation patterns
  • Use of novel AI and ML algorithms (e.g., lightweight algorithms) at the Edge for early detection, risk assessment, and risk prevention analysis of communicable diseases
  • Low-cost wireless Edge infrastructures for frontline make-shift testing labs that integrates IoT sensing for disease analysis (in particular for developing countries)


3)   Interplay and integration between biological communications and Edge-based wireless infrastructure for capturing airborne pathogens and communicable disease molecules:

  • Molecular Communication modeling of airborne pathogen (e.g., viruses, bacteria, and other parasites) progression, including droplet dispersion in the air, that can assist in designing wireless bio-sensor networks at the Edge
  • Edge-based wireless infrastructures that incorporates Internet of Nano Things and out-of-body Internet of Bio-Nano Things solutions for detecting airborne pathogens and communicable disease molecules  
  • Modeling the interplay between disease propagation and crowd dynamics, including correlation between infection and public opinion, and corresponding policy interventions.

Submission Guidelines

All original manuscripts submitted to this special issue should be prepared in accordance with the IEEE JSAC format. Papers must be submitted electronically through EDAS, according to the following schedule:

Important Dates

Manuscript Submission Deadline: 15 January 2022
First Notification: 1 March 2022
Revised Papers Due: 15 April 2022
Acceptance Notification: 1 June 2022
Final Manuscript Due: 1 July 2022
Planned Publication: Fourth Quarter 2022

Guest Editors

Sasitharan Balasubramaniam (Lead Guest Editor)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

Sudip Misra
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

Massimiliano Pierobon
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

Robert Schober
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

Peter Thomas
Case Western Reserve University, Ohio