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SIGMOBILE FY'98 Annual Report

July 1997 - June 1998
Submitted by: Victor Bahl, SIGMOBILE Vice Chair


I. Introduction

SIGMOBILE experienced a period of impressive growth and acceptance among both the academic and industrial communities. It easily succeeded in its primary goals of fostering research and inventions and of encouraging intellectual discussions among researchers and practitioners from different areas in the field of mobile and wireless systems and communications.

SIGMOBILE's MobiCom conference also consolidated its position as a premiere international computer science conference in this field. Even though this was the first time the conference was held outside the United States, a record number of high-quality papers were submitted, and many world-renowned researchers attended the 5-day event. SIGMOBILE's on-going initiatives for further growing the field were successful, as it cooperated with and promoted several international workshops and meetings related to the mobility of systems, users, and networks.

SIGMOBILE's official publication, MC2R, also continued to gain popularity, as demonstrated by the increased number of subscriptions and an increased number of article, paper, and report submissions from well-regarded researchers in the field. To meet the demand, MC2R's page budget was increased 50% by the SIG Board. In addition, SIGMOBILE took concrete steps to improve its internet presence, providing members with up-to-date information on relevant key activities and events and a compilation of the first-ever list of Ph.D's granted in this field.

II. Executive Committee Changes

Citing personal reasons and a need to spend more time with their families, the following members of the Executive Committee stepped down in October of 1997:
  • Dr. Kazem Sohraby of Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies
  • Dr. Anton T. Dahbura of Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Dr. Krishan Sabnani of Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies
Understanding that there are certain things in life that take higher priority, we thanked these fine individuals for the time and energy they spent in getting SIGMOBILE on its feet and wished them well. We expect them to continue participating and contributing to SIGMOBILE as members.

While we are sad to lose them, we are delighted to announce that the following well-known researchers and leaders in our field have joined the Executive Committee:

  • Prof. Dave Johnson of Carnegie Mellon University as Treasurer
  • Prof. Chris Rose of Rutgers University as Secretary and
  • Dr. Ramón Cáceres of AT&T Labs as Director of Information Services
All three individuals are passionate about mobile communications and have devoted their careers to this field. Most SIGMOBILE members are already familiar with Dave and Chris, noting the excellent job they did as Program Committee Chairs for MobiCom'97, and Ramón is a well-known researcher who has published papers that are often cited by other researchers. Each of these individuals has clearly demonstrated leadership and drive, and we eagerly look forward to working with them in the coming years. Interestingly, with the inclusion of these three gentlemen, the Executive Committee now has a healthy balance between industry (Victor, On-Ching, and Ramón) and university (Imrich, Dave, and Chris) representation.

In addition, we are also very happy to welcome Dr. Ravi Jain of Bellcore, who has accepted the position of Workshop and Conference Coordinator, a position left vacant by Prof. Chris Rose.

III. Publication Initiatives

Mobile Computing and Communications Review (MC2R): Established in April 1997, MC2R has become the primary news forum for SIGMOBILE members to share and read about recent research directions and results, and to follow relevant meetings and events around the world that they were unable to attend. MC2R continued to maintain the highest publication standards by publishing double-blind peer-reviewed journal-style and tutorial-style papers covering some of the most important and emerging areas of mobile computing and wireless networking. Regularly published articles included: meeting reports from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Wireless ATM Forum (WATM), IEEE and ACM conference reports, and book reviews. In addition to these timely and informative articles, several opinion columns and essays from established leaders in the field were also published.

Since the publication of the first issue in April 1997, five additional issues were published between July 1997 and June 1998. Due to the growing popularity of this newsletter and in response to a request made by the editors, ACM's SIG Board approved a 50% increase in the overall page budget for MC2R in March 1998. Despite this expansion in submitted and ultimately published papers, MC2R has managed to maintain an extremely small average turnaround time of less than 6 months between submission and physical publication.

Some of the notable initiatives taken in MC2R this past year included:

  • Cross-Indexing of Articles: Articles published in MC2R are now indexed within INSPEC:

    INSPEC is easily the most well-used and well-known science and engineering index. This was thus an important milestone for MC2R and SIGMOBILE, as it brings to the forefront the work published in MC2R to a much larger community of researchers worldwide. As INSPEC users' keyword searches hit our articles, we expect that papers published in MC2R will be cited in future publications of these researchers, thus enhancing the reputation of our Newsletter and SIGMOBILE.

  • Web Presence: A leading-edge web site was established for MC2R.

  • Our web site has become the focal point for most author submission activities, providing substantial document preparation information and feedback. We are able to maintain short turnaround times by working exclusively through electronic mail, reducing author, referee and editor burdens.

IV. Conference Highlights

MobiCom'97, Budapest, Hungary: The Third Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom'97), was held 26-30 September 1997, in Budapest, Hungary. The conference sessions took place in the beautiful Hungarian Academy of Sciences building, near the historic Chain Bridge, in the most scenic part of Budapest.

MobiCom'97 marked the third consecutive year of growth for this conference series. We received 101 research paper submissions, a growth in number of about 10% over last year, from which 26 "best of the best" papers were selected for presentation at the conference. The largest number of submissions came from the United States, although papers were submitted from 18 different countries, and well over half of the submitted papers came from outside the United States, demonstrating the truly international flavor of the conference and the research area. The paper review process was double-blind (reviewers were not provided author information) and almost all papers received three or more independent detailed reviews from Technical Program Committee members. All this resulted in an excellent technical program on the cutting edge of mobile computing and networking.

Two workshops were held in parallel on the day following the conference on 1 October 1997:

  • The Second International Workshop on Satellite-based Information Systems (WOSBIS'97) and
  • The First International Workshop on Discrete Algorithms and Methods for Mobile Computing and Communications (DIAL-M).
Overall, MobiCom'97 featured an excellent technical program on the cutting edge of mobile computing and networking. We also had an enjoyable, fun-filled social program, that included a welcoming reception at the Museum of Ethnography, the conference dinner banquet at Visegrád (featuring a 13th century castle with a medieval knight's tournament before a dinner), and a dinner cruise on the Danube River.

The SIGMOBILE Executive Committee approved a request by ACM to provide the past and present MobiCom conference proceedings to ACM DIGITAL LIBRARY subscribers.

V. Workshops/Symposiums

In an effort to attract a wider audience and to foster exchange of ideas and research in upcoming areas, ACM SIGMOBILE is promoting four workshops which will be co-located with MobiCom'98. These workshops will be held in parallel on October 30, 1998:
  • The Second International Workshop on Discrete Algorithms and Methods for Mobile Computing and Communications (DIAL-M'98)
  • The Third International Workshop on Satellite-Based Information Services (WOSBIS'98)
  • Workshop on Wireless Mobile Multimedia (WOW-MOM)
  • Workshop on Service Discovery in the Internet
In addition, ACM SIGMOBILE "cooperated" with several international workshops this last year, including:

VI. Awards

This year's SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award was given to Professor David J. Goodman, the Director of the Wireless Information Networking Laboratory (WINLAB) at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. Professor Goodman has been a leader in the field of wireless networking for the past twenty years, with far-reaching achievements as researcher, manager, teacher, and visionary. In particular, this Award recognizes David's contributions to multimedia wireless communication technology, as exemplified by his pioneering concept of Packet Reservation Multiple Access (PRMA), and his vision and formation of WINLAB, a well renown research laboratory dedicated to advances in wireless information networks.

The principal nominator was Prof. Raymond Steele, Chairman of Multiple Access Communications, Inc., and head of Communications Research, University of Southampton, U.K. The other nominators were Dr. On-Ching Yue from Lucent Technologies, Dr. Larry Greenstein, Head of wirelesss communications research at AT&T, Prof, Jack Holtzman from Rutgers University, and Dr. Sanjeev Nanada from Lucent Technology.

This year's Best Student Paper Award at MobiCom'97 went to Todd D. Hodes, a graduate student in the EECS Department at the University of California, Berkeley, for his paper titled, "Composable Ad Hoc Mobile Services for Universal Interaction".

VII. Collaborative Efforts with Other SIGs or Sibling Societies

MobiCom'97 was co-sponsored by ACM SIGCOMM, the IEEE Communications Society, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, with support from HP, IBM, and Westel 900. MobiCom'98 is being co-sponsored by ACM SIGCOMM and the IEEE Communications Society, with support from Microsoft Research.

VIII. Future Plans

Our membership experienced notable growth after MobiCom'97. Our retention rate has also been fairly high, and when we consider that there were no major membership promotion campaigns during this period, this is very encouraging. This year, we intend to aggressively pursue plans to attract new members. Our Director of Membership is working closely with the MobiCom'98 registration chair to come up with innovative ways of attracting new members.

Our flagship conference, MobiCom'98, will be held October 25-30, 1998, in Dallas, Texas. The number of papers submitted to the conference this year was an all-time high of 148, an increase of 46% over last year's conference. This indicates a substantial increase in interest and coverage for both SIGMOBILE and MobiCom. Also this year, one of our corporate supporters donated funds for the Best Student Paper Award. These funds will enable us to create plaques for all the winners of this Award since 1995. The 1998 Award plaque (along with an honorarium) will be presented during the conference in Dallas, while winners from previous years will be mailed their plaques shortly thereafter.

MobiCom'99 will be held in Seattle, Washington, and MobiCom 2000 is planned for Europe.

IX. Listing of Computer and Other Equipment Purchases

The ACM Special Interest Group on Mobility of Systems, Users, Data and Computing