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ComSoc's Conference Development

Conferences represent one of the key pillars and products for the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc.) These events are very important for researchers and practitioners in our fast-changing field because they provide excellent opportunities for networking and for keeping up-to-date with the latest developments and innovations. Managing our vast portfolio of conferences is led by a dedicated team of volunteers and staff. These include Stefano Bregni, VP-Conferences of IEEE IEEE ComSoc; Hikmet Sari, IEEE ComSoc’s Director for Conference Operations; and Joel Rodrigues, IEEE ComSoc’s Director for Conference Development. Under their leadership and working with the President, the conference volunteers endeavor to guarantee the technical excellence of our events while making sure that our events remain the world’s reference for sharing and presenting the state-of-the-art communication and networking technologies.

The President’s Page this month is shared with Joel Rodrigues, who is a professor at the National Institute of Telecommunications, Brazil, and senior researcher at the Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal. He received the Academic Title of Aggregated Professor in computer science and engineering from the University of Beira Interior (UBI), Portugal; the Habilitation in computer science and engineering from the University of Haute Alsace, France; a Ph.D. degree in computer science and engineering and an MSc degree from the UBI; and a five-year B.Sc. degree (licentiate) in informatics engineering from the University of Coimbra, Portugal.

He is an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer (2018- 2019), Technical Activities Committee Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Latin America Region Board (2018-2019), Past-Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Technical Committee on eHealth (2014-2015, Secretary and Vice Chair 2010- 2013), the Past-chair of the IEEE ComSoc Technical Committee on Communications Software (2013, Secretary and Vice Chair 2009-2012), Steering Committee member of the IEEE Life Sciences Technical Community and Publications co-Chair, and Member Representative of the IEEE Communications Society on the IEEE Biometrics Council. He has been general chair and TPC Chair of many international conferences, including Symposium co-chair of ICC and GLOBECOM, IEEE HEALTHCOM General and TPC Chair (serving as the current Steering Committee Chair), and IEEE LATINCOM TPC co-Chair (2018).

He is the leader of the Inatel–Internet of Things research group (CNPq), Research Productivity Scholarship from the Brazilian National Council for Research and Development (CNPq), the editor-in-chief of two International journals and editorial board member of several highly-respected journals. He is a member of many international TPCs and he has participated in several international conferences’ organization. He has authored or co-authored over 650 papers in refereed international journals and conferences, three books, and two patents. He had been awarded several Outstanding Leadership and Outstanding Service Awards by IEEE ComSoc and several best papers awards. The Conference Development Board is responsible for i) the strategic planning, technical scope, and growth of all conferences financially sponsored or co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) (namely, Portfolio Conferences), and ii) the Technical Co-Sponsorship process for those non-ComSoc events seeking technical co-sponsorship from IEEE ComSoc. IEEE ComSoc “Portfolio Conferences” are defined in the Bylaws as all those conferences where IEEE ComSoc is full or partial financial sponsor.

This board reports to the Conferences Council, chaired by the Vice President-Conferences. The Director for Conference Development, Joel Rodrigues, chairs the Board. He also represents the Board on the Board of Governors (BoG) and on the Conferences Council, coordinates with the Conferences Council in the preparation of the agenda and the outlining of issues to be brought to the Council meetings, provides guidance and direction to Board members in the conduct of their responsibilities, coordinates with IEEE ComSoc Staff in the conduct of his responsibilities, appoints additional Board non-voting members as needed per the Bylaws, and may assume leadership for specific projects, as delegated by the Board.

The Board members include a representative from the Technical Educational and Activities Council (TEA-C) and at least four Members-at-Large, with at least one having served as the Technical Program Committee chair and at least one as the General Chair of a major conference, appointed by the Director. The Board members-at-large (2018-2019) are the following:

  • Charalampos Skianis, Greece, TEA-C representative.
  • Tom Hou, USA, Member-at-Large, INFOCOM Representative.
  • Ali Ghrayeb, Qatar, Member-at-Large, WCNC Representative.
  • Doug Zuckerman, USA, Member-at-Large, OFC Representative.
  • Luis Correia, Portugal, Member-at-Large, PIMRC Representative.
  • Qingqing Zhang, USA, Member-at-Large, MILCOM Representative.
  • Zhisheng Niu, China, Member-at-Large.
  • Carlos Lozano, Colombia, Member-at-Large.

The Conference Development Board shall:

  • Monitor the performance of all portfolio conferences.
  • Evaluate new conferences for possible addition to the portfolio.
  • Manage the Technical Co-Sponsorship (TCS) process.
  • Coordinate with the Conference Operations Board regarding policies pertinent to IEEE ComSoc’s portfolio events. The main tasks planned for this period include the following:
  • Review and approve the Policies and Procedures (P&Ps) regarding the Conference Development Board (already approved during the BoG meeting at IEEE ICC 2018).
  • Manage the IEEE ComSoc Technical Co-Sponsorship (TCS) process.
  • Verification of all the charters and Steering Committee Chairs term of the Portfolio Conferences and contribute to its verification and update.
  • Identify promising and/or well-established (mainly, regional conferences) for being considered for the portfolio.

IEEE ComSoc Technical Co-Sponsorship (TCS) is an important service offered by IEEE ComSoc. It is handled by Joel Rodrigues (with staff support from Portia King) with granting decisions taken jointly by Joel and Hikmet Sari, the Director for Conference Operations. It is available to those events that are financially sponsored by a not-for-profit organization, the technical scope of the event is within the IEEE ComSoc field of interest, and at least three IEEE ComSoc Technical Committee members have direct and substantial involvement in the organization and development of the technical program. IEEE ComSoc has no financial involvement in the event. All IEEE ComSoc technically co-sponsored events are available at the IEEE ComSoc Conference Search tool.

The benefits of IEEE ComSoc Technical Co-sponsorship are summarized as follows:

  • The conference will be included in the IEEE ComSoc Conference Search tool.
  • The conference proceedings will be submitted to IEEE Xplore® as well as other Abstracting & Indexing (A&I) databases.
  • The conference Call for Papers will be announced in the conference section of IEEE ComSoc E-news within a few months before the CFP deadline.
  • The conference will be listed in the IEEE Communications Magazine calendar pages.
  • The conference will be eligible for 40 percent off the list price of CFP and General Announcement advertisements in IEEE ComSoc Magazines: IEEE Communications Magazine, IEEE Network Magazine, and IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine. For advertising information, IEEE ComSoc Staff should be contacted.

The importance of the IEEE ComSoc TCS is increasing for the conferences given its prestige and a standard quality of excellence (including the Proceedings publication on IEEE Xplore). The conference organizers recognize its great importance and the number of TCS application is increasing. This year, we expect to have about 60 TCS applications. The IEEE ComSoc TCS policy shall apply to all conferences requesting technical co-sponsorship from IEEE ComSoc. The TCS process is available at the IEEE ComSoc Event Sponsorship web page.

The list of IEEE ComSoc Portfolio Conferences was consolidated, by a joint effort of the Conference Leadership, led by the VP-Conferences, and it is available at the IEEE ComSoc Portfolio of Conferences & Events web page. The current conference categories are as follows:

Flagship Conferences:

Core Conferences:

Small Conferences and Workshops:

Regional Conferences:

Conferences Financially Co-Sponsored with other Societies:

Industry Summits and Forums:
Brooklyn 5G Summit, Fog World Congress, IEEE 5G Summit, IEEE Greening through ICT (GtICT) Summit, IEEE IoT Summit, IEEE WF-IOT.

The Portfolio Conferences analysis is being performed by the conference leadership (both Directors and the VP-Conferences). First, all the charters and steering committees were revised and updated. All the portfolio charters should follow the template, and all the Steering Committees follow the rules set in Charters. The evaluation parameters were already identified, and the data collection work is ongoing. This is a systematic task that is being performed in straight cooperation with IEEE ComSoc staff.

The Board follows emerging topics relevant to the community and IEEE ComSoc members and promotes conferences related to them. In this sense, this year, a new conference was approved to join the conferences portfolio: the IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency (ICBC). This conference is 100 percent financially sponsored by IEEE ComSoc, originally proposed with KICS (from Korea) and IFIP. The first edition of IEEE ICBC 2019 is led by James Hong, Korea (General Chair) and will take place in Seoul, Korea, May 15-17, 2019.

IEEE ICBC will be the first premier technical conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency that will be sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society. IEEE ICBC will feature keynotes, tutorials, technical paper presentations, posters, demos, exhibitions from world-leading service providers, solution vendors, research institutes, open source projects, and academia. IEEE ICBC will be the primary forum for the technical exchange of the latest research and innovation results, regulations, policies, standards, and applications in this exciting and challenging area.

The Conference Development Board works to guarantee the technical distinction of IEEE ComSoc Conferences, to provide attractive content for all segments of membership (academia, industry, students, young, and senior members), promote member participation and involvement offering opportunities for networking with the best researches/scientists and meet VIPs. IEEE ComSoc conferences cover and should address the most relevant and updated research topics for the community and should be the world reference in innovation and excellence for presenting and sharing the new state of the art in information and communication technologies for/from both academia and industry.

In this column, we gave an overview of the Conference Development Board. We hope to hear from you if you have any advice and/or comments regarding our conferences and meetings.