Prof. Dr. Ali Ghrayeb

Texas A&M University, Qatar


Utilizing Machine Learning for Planning Unsupervised Future Cellular Networks


Reducing the cost of deploying cellular networks is of great interest to all concerned parties, including service providers and users. Such cost can be associated with operation (OPEX) or capital (CAPEX). Towards achieving this goal, the wireless industry is moving towards zero-touch cellular networks, i.e., zero human intervention. The need for having unsupervised (i.e., automated) cellular networks is aligned with the vision of having a dynamic cellular architecture, enabled by the use of mobile equipment (e.g., unmanned aerial vehicle base stations), which gives the architecture flexibility to adapt quickly and frequently to service demands. To this end, the concept of self-organizing network (SON) has been established and added to the list of 5G/6G key enabling technologies that aim at automating the processes of planning, configuration, management, and healing cellular networks. Among these processes, radio access network (RAN) planning has received special attention, since it decides on the required radio resources and the equipment to deploy, which directly affects CAPEX. Motivated by the above, we present in this talk a framework that aims at developing an unsupervised planning process that provides the essential planning parameters of cellular networks, including the minimum number of required base stations (BSs), their positions, coverage, and antenna radiation patterns, while taking into consideration the inter-cell interference and satisfying capacity, coverage and transmit power constraints. We make use of the statistical machine learning (SML) theory to solve the problem at hand. The core idea of SML is that the planning parameters are treated as random variables. The parameters that maximize the corresponding joint probability distribution, conditioned on observation of users’ positions, are learned or inferred using Gibbs sampling theory and Bayes theory. The inference process involves linking the observations and the planning parameters through a probabilistic model (i.e., a problem formulation) which yields a Dirichlet process. Through several numerical examples, we show that the performance of the proposed framework is superior to two existing main planning approaches, including the k-mean based approach. We also demonstrate how our approach can leverage existing cellular infrastructures into the new design.



Ali Ghrayeb received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA, in 2000. He is currently a Professor with the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University at Qatar. Prior to his current position, he was a tenured professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada. He has co-authored two books and published over 200 journal and conference papers. His research interests include wireless and mobile communications, physical layer security, massive MIMO, wireless cooperative networks, and visible light communications. He was a recipient/co-recipient of several best paper awards. He served as an instructor/co instructor in many technical tutorials at several major IEEE conferences. He served as the Executive Chair of the 2016 IEEE WCNC Conference. He currently serves as a member of the IEEE ComSoc Conferences Council, a member of the IEEE GITC Committee, and a member of the IEEE WCNC Steering Committee. He served in different editorial capacities for a number of IEEE transactions journals. He is an IEEE Fellow.



Prof. Dr. Nicholas Kathijotes

International Ocean Institute, Cyprus


Climate Change and Rainwater Management – Rain Cities


Climate change is already having wide-ranging consequences for human health, the environment and economies across Europe. Southern and central Europe are seeing more frequent heat waves, forest fires and droughts. The Mediterranean area is becoming drier, making it even more vulnerable to drought and wildfires. Most of the water problems due to climatic changes such as floods, droughts and water shortages are related to rainwater. This concludes that proper rainwater management promises a huge potential for the control or the solution of these problems. As many countries suffer from floods and drought, such disasters can become a blessing with proper rainwater management. This presentation outlines the development of water management technologies from the ancient times up to the most modern smart methods.



Dr. Nicholas Kathijotes is an experienced International senior consultant and academic with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Water Resources and Wastewater Management, Blue Economy infrastructure, Ocean protection and Climate Change. Strong US education professional with a Doctorate focused in Environmental Engineering from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG) BG. Numerous keynote invitations to international events on topics of interest with emphases on Blue Economy, Blue Technology management and Blue infrastructure. Dr. Nicholas Kathijotes received his first degree in Civil Engineering (BSCE), from the University of Massachusetts (USA). After a Fulbright scholarship he received his Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of New Haven (USA). His Doctorate research was carried at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia (BG), and was obtained with the highest distinction. He investigated the effects of irrigation with treated wastewater on various soils of Cyprus. He attended professional courses on pollution management and lysimetry at the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston,USA), and at the Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona (SP), respectively. He represented Cyprus as member of the management committee of European research programs (various COST Actions), and is a member of The Lysimetry Research Group in Austria. He is a Member of the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK), and currently Member of the Management Committee of European Action 15217. He participated as partner and associate in various EU and national research projects and is a member of Editorial Boards and numerous conference scientific committees globally. He presented about 100 articles in scientific journals, as book chapters and Conference proceedings. Invited internationally as keynote speaker, UNDP consultant and invited EU (ERA) expert as research project evaluator and monitor. Since 2008, he is the Focal Point for Cyprus of the ‘International Ocean Institute’, with intense involvement in issues of Blue Economy and emphasis on the Blue Growth of Developing Countries (Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam).