Prof. Walid Saad
Towards a Seamless Integration of Drones in Beyond 5G Wireless Networks
Abstract: The use of flying platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), popularly known as drones, is rapidly growing in a wide range of wireless networking applications. On the one hand, UAVs can be used as aerial base stations to enhance coverage, capacity, reliability, and energy efficiency of wireless networks. On the other hand, UAVs can operate as flying mobile terminals within the cellular networks. Such cellular-connected UAVs can enable a wide range of key applications expanding from real-time video streaming to item delivery. In this talk, we discuss the potential benefits and applications of UAVs in wireless communications. In particular, we present a foundational model for three-dimensional (3D) cellular networks that incorporate both drone base stations and cellular-connected drone users. For this novel 3D model, we study a number of key problems that include network planning and cell association. Then, we turn our attention to the integration of cellular-connected UAVs with ground terrestrial networks. In this area, we present a novel model for wireless-aware UAV path planning that leverage tools from deep machine learning, specifically, from the framework of deep echo state networks. We conclude this talk by exposing future opportunities in this burgeoning area.
Walid Saad (S'07, M'10, SM’15) received his Ph.D degree from the University of Oslo in 2010. Currently, he is an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he leads the Network Science, Wireless, and Security (NetSciWiS) laboratory, within the Wireless@VT research group. His research interests include wireless networks, machine learning, game theory, cybersecurity, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cyber-physical systems. Dr. Saad is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2013, the AFOSR summer faculty fellowship in 2014, and the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in 2015. He was the author/co-author of six conference best paper awards at WiOpt in 2009, ICIMP in 2010, IEEE WCNC in 2012, IEEE PIMRC in 2015, IEEE SmartGridComm in 2015, and EuCNC in 2017. He is the recipient of the 2015 Fred W. Ellersick Prize from the IEEE Communications Society, of the 2017 IEEE ComSoc Best Young Professional in Academia award, and of the 2018 IEEE ComSoc Radio Communications Committee Early Achievement Award. From 2015-2017, Dr. Saad was named the Stephen O. Lane Junior Faculty Fellow at Virginia Tech and, in 2017, he was named College of Engineering Faculty Fellow. He currently serves as an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security.