Plenary Lecture

Templates and Other Innovative Research Methods in Telecommunications

Professor Pavel Loskot
Swansea University

Abstract: The current research methods and reporting procedures may be obsolete in spite of the extensive use of ICT. This talk discusses possible future research methods concerning mainly telecommunications which may overcome the accumulated challenges. In particular, the physical layer - a domain traditionally driven by engineers - seems to be ultimately constrained by the noise-limited hardware rather than the outreach of signal processing, so the upper layers - a domain more pertinent to computer scientists - presently hold the main promise for further advances. Moreover, the rising complexity of research problems leads to diminishing returns and incremental contributions, whereas a relatively small space of new ideas is overcrowded by too many researchers which easily disrupts the fairness and the ideas ownership. The combinatorial innovations, transpositions and generalizations (e.g. generalizations of the Internet seem to be particularly popular these days) are today probably among the most attractive research approaches. However, when these methods are used mechanistically and not judiciously, they can easily turn into a wishful thinking in imaginary spaces rather than becoming the pathways to more serious outcomes. More importantly, we argue that we are at the brink of template-driven problem solving methods representing a new form of research automation where the problems are solved by selecting the appropriate and well-defined templates. Such templates can be established by segmenting the traditional workflows to enable more focused and systematic exploration of the research and dissemination pathways. Specialized publications could specifically target different stages of the research such as identifying the most important problems to consider, suggesting alternative problem definitions, enumerating available solutions, and discussing possible applications. Specific examples from the current and recent developments in telecommunications will be used to support our reasoning.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Pavel Loskot has been with Swansea University in the UK since 2007. He also held research contracts with various institutions and companies around the world. He was involved in numerous telecommunication projects since 1996 making contributions in research, standardization as well as product developments. His main expertise as well as the current research interest is in the area of statistical and digital signal processing and software development. He now works on problems in network engineering.

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