O.V. Stukach, B.G. Lvov. "The International IEEE Siberian Conference on
Control and Communications". - IEEE Microwave Magazine. Vol. 18, Issue 2,
March-April 2017. P. 97-99. ISSN: 1527-3342. DOI: 10.1109/MMM.2016.2635928
The 12th International IEEE Siberian Conference on Control and Communications (SIBCON) was held 12–14 May 2016 at the Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics of the National Research University’s Higher School of Economics (MIEM
HSE). The main topics of the conference this year were microwave control systems, communication units, and computer measuring devices. Reports were also delivered on related topics, such as microwave semiconductor materials, sensor and electronic devices, radiophysics, and radar.
SIBCON is the main event for the Tomsk Chapter and student branch of IEEE. The conference organizers were MIEM HSE, the National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, the IEEE Russia Siberia Section, the Krasnoyarsk IEEE Chapter, the Young Professionals affinity group of the IEEE Russia Siberia Section, and National Instruments (NI). Organization of the conference, which takes pride in its 20-year history, was actively promoted by MIEM HSE management as well as NI’s Department of Educational Programs. Thanks to this collaboration, the conference was successfully put together in one-and-a-half years, a record-breaking time for IEEE flagship events.
A record number of 799 submissions were recieved, with 232 papers accepted for oral presentation in 40 sessions over 12 sections. This is more than ever before for this three-day conference. The acceptance ratio was 32.5%. As in previous years, a significant number of authors assisted and guided the members of the program advisory committee. (A significant number of works could have been accepted for the conference but for their poor English. After discussion of this issue among members of the program advisory committee, it was decided to decline such submissions. As Admiral Mahan said, “A man who thinks clearly will very soon want to speak clearly and to have accurate words in which to express his thoughts.”)
More than 200 participants were registered, including 160 university teachers, 74 business representatives, and 46 students and post-graduate students (see Figure 1). International participants represented 14 countries (Nigeria, Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, Thailand, Israel, Italy, Tunisia, Taiwan, Algeria, Iran, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and the Ukraine). For the first time in the history of the conference, the number of international participants exceeded the number of the local ones. Those participants who did not submit papers were welcome to take part in SIBCON without charge, and some took advantage of this great opportunity. The conference organizers hope that next time they will submit their own works.
Traditionally, up to 80% of speakers taking part are new to the conference. This trend is promoted by the fact that the conference is held in various cities in different years. Continual extension of SIBCON participation is of the utmost importance for this country because its vast geography requires considerable travel expense. Holding such an international event with technical sponsorship provided by the IEEE in different cities promotes the improvement of the event’s overall quality as well as international recognition of our research.
It is rather difficult to identify a single general trend for the topics covered at conference sessions (see Figure 2). However, we can see a growing interest in theoretical models and numerical analysis. The role of computers in measurements is becoming more and more important. This year, there were numerous reports on control and communication units with moving objects.
All in all, the conference demonstrated an active interest in control theory as well as software and digital systems. However, the main goal of the conference is to gather researchers from interdisciplinary fields, and its greatest value is the opportunities it provides for networking. Most participants claimed not only to have found solutions to their current problems throughout the course of the conference but also to have established valuable professional contacts. Informal meetings after sessions proved to be especially beneficial in this regard.
The conference has two websites. One (http://ieee.tpu.ru) functions on a regular basis, and the other is created especially for the next upcoming conference with a venue-registration page. With properly organized information sharing for technical and social programs, communication among participants and organizers is always possible.
During preparations for the event, we received more than 500 e-mails. (As for telephone calls, we lost count of them all!) These efforts resulted in our biennial conference becoming an ongoing project for IEEE’s panel of conference organizers, constantly increased with the participation of new volunteers and reviewers. For such projects, the IEEE has created the online community Collabratec (http://ieee-collabratec .ieee.org), to which all IEEE members have access.
NI’s marketing and educational programs provided inspiration for the event, which promoted the IEEE goal of uniting science and industry to speed scientific advances. NI organized an impressive exhibition of products developed in accordance with the company’s platform-based approach. These included industrial products as well as ones developed by students, all of which demonstrated the advantages of NI hardware and software solutions. The exhibition was conveniently located, allowing everyone to visit (Figure 3).
NI also conducted eight special seminars dedicated to the company’s engineering ecosystem, the academic programs developed by NI for universities, and its system-design software, LabVIEW. The company presented an overview of PC-based platforms for measurement, administration, and automation systems, with special attention given to the creation of measurement and monitoring systems. The attendees familiarized themselves with a unique product, VirtualBench, which combines a mixed-signal oscilloscope, function generator, digital multimeter, dc power supply, and digital I/O into a single device. Attendees were also shown the process of creating an industrial measurement system prototype based on the hardware and software components of LabVIEW and VirtualBench. At the end of the sessions, NI representatives delivered two presentations demonstrating its AWR Design Environment 2016.
The proceedings of the conference have been published as full-length articles in English and distributed among participants. The articles presented at oral sessions of the conference have been indexed in IEEE Xplore. The number of downloads of SIBCON materials from IEEE Xplore is increasing rapidly, which shows that we publish popular materials of high technical quality. Today, one in every four technical theses mentions SIBCON either in the list of references or the section on testing. The number of links to all past papers is constantly growing, which strengthens participants’ satisfaction with the work they’ve done.
During the three days of the conference, there were many meetings and special sessions. The program was very intense and ran throughout the working day. In addition to a rich scientific program and constructive discussions, there were also interesting cultural events for conference participants to enjoy.
The guests visited MIEM’s Mission Control Center, a three-dimensional, hands-on visualization laboratory provided by NI, and participated in a sightseeing tour of Moscow on the last day of the conference. Many people were responsible for the success of the conference. Volunteers registered participants, provided technical support in the auditoriums, and arranged the coffee breaks and banquet. A team of reviewers and representatives of the technical program committee engaged in the selection of reports and formation of the proceedings. Members of the IEEE Meetings, Conferences, and Events team provided the final result—publication of the proceedings and its indexing in Xplore.
Most of the organizational work is carried out by the host party. Special thanks go to MIEM and NI for bringing proactive volunteers and experienced professionals onto the team to create a productive synergy. This truly was a unique group of people. Despite the difficulties of our time constraints, they succeeded in ensuring maximum efficiency and excellent financial and technical management.
We are driven by innovation, constant forward motion, interact ion with new and active members, and discovery of new areas of research. We are always working to expand the geography of the conference. In 2017, SIBCON will be held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, immediately following the main events of the world exhibition EXPO. We are pleased to invite all participants of previous years and look forward to welcoming new ones. Do not miss this rare opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and hospitable people of Kazakhstan.
Photo: participants of the Siberian Conference on Control and Communications