25th SoftCOM Conference: Academy and Industry Meeting at the Adriatic Coast

By Dinko Begusic - Universiry of Split, FESB, Croatia; University of Haute Alsace, France, Josko Radic - Universiry of Split, FESB, Croatia; University of Haute Alsace, France, Katarina Rados - Universiry of Split, FESB, Croatia; University of Haute Alsace, France, Nikola Rozic - Universiry of Split, FESB, Croatia; University of Haute Alsace, France and Pascal Lorenz - Universiry of Split, FESB, Croatia; University of Haute Alsace, France

The city of Split is the largest academic and industrial center as well as the famous tourist destination at the Croatian Adriatic coast. It provides a perfect environment to organize a conference in the area of ICT. The SoftCOM conference started in 1993 as a joint project of the University of Split, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Croatian Telecom and World Trade Center Split. It has grown to be the major Adriatic area ICT event. Using an innovative approach, SoftCOM has been organized aboard a cruise ship. The sailing conference connected the main cities on the Adriatic coast including Split, Rijeka, and Dubrovnik on the Croatian coast and Trieste, Venice, Ancona and Bari on the Italian coast. Since 1998 SoftCOM has been technically co-sponsored by IEEE ComSoc. Since 2002 the Croatian Communications and Information Society (CCIS), as a ComSoc Sister Society, has been an active participant in the organization of SoftCOM.

The silver jubilee 25th International Conference on Software, Telecommunications and Computer Networks, SoftCOM 2017, was held in the attractive ambience of the Radisson Blu Resort hotel, Split, September 21–23, 2017. The Conference was organized by the University of Split, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FESB) and Crotian Communications and Information Society (CCIS) under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Croatian Academy of Engineering and Croatian Regulatory Agency for Network Industries. The Conference was technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc).

Researchers and experts from industry, research institutes and universities from 47 countries all around the world submitted in total 211 papers for presentation at SoftCOM 2017. Submitted papers were reviewed by more than 250 scientists from universities, institutes and ICT companies all over the world. A total of 104 papers were accepted for presentation within the technical program based on their contribution, relevance, conceptual clearness and overall quality.

At the opening ceremony the participants were welcomed on behalf of the organizers by Prof. Dinko Begusic, SoftCOM 2017 General Co-Chair; Prof. Sven Gotovac, the Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in Split; Prof. Simun Andelinovic, the Rector of the University of Split; Blazenko Boban, Prefect of the County of Split and Dalmatia; Prof. Pascal Lorenz, chair of the IEEE ComSoc France Chapter; Prof. Maja Matijasevic, Chair of the IEEE Croatia Section; Drazen Lucic, Ph.D., President of the Council of HAKOM; and Milan Zivkovic, Director Business and Strategy Development, Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Zagreb. A plenary talk titled “Smart Contract: An Important Building Block of Adaptable and Dynamic Networks,” was presented by Sandor Albrecht, Ph.D., Director of Reasearch Area Digital Services Design, Ericsson Research, Stockholm, Ericsson AB, Sweden.

The technical conference program featured 20 conference sessions, including two special sessions and six symposia: the Symposium on Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks; the Symposium on Green Networking and Computing; the Symposium on Smart Environment and IoT Technologies; the Symposium on Security and Digital Forensics; the Symposium on Information Security and Intellectual Propertys; and the Symposium on Environmental Electromagnetic Compatibility. The special sessions were focused on specific topics, including a Special Session on QoS in Wired and Wireless Networks and a Special Session on Advanced Educational Technologies. The Workshop on IoT and Eldery Friendly Cities and Healthy Ageing Servces was organized by the research groups from the University of Salento, the Fondazione Politecnico of Milan, and the University of Turin, Italy. The Genaral conference featured eight technical sessions, including Software Based Systems and Services; Optical Systems; Signal Processing; Wireless Communcations (three sessions); Virtualization and Software Defined Networks; and Coding.

The conference program featured four invited talks by recognized researchers and institutional representatives as follows: Designing Resource- Aware Applications for the Cloud using Formal Methods, Einar Broch Johnsen, Ph.D., Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway; IoT-Based WSN: Softwarization and Virtualization Towards CPS Intelligence, Adnan Al-Anbuky, Ph.D., AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand; Computational Methods for Fitting Statistical Models to Spatial Data, Murali Haran, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA; and Regulatory Challenges Due to Security and Privacy Requirements for Internet of Things, Drazen Lucic, Ph.D., Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries HAKOM, Croatia.

In conjunction with the SoftCOM 2017 conference, a Business Forum was organized featuring two workshops and two panel sessions and a round table with participation of managers, executives, experts, government and institution representatives.

A professional workshop dedicated to the wide spectra of topics in ICT was organized. A total of 18 professional papers were presented in three sessions and published in a workshop proceedings. The contribution by young professionals from Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Croatia and Lepida Spa, Italy was particularly appreciated by the audience. In addition seven half-day tutorials were held by worldwide recognized experts.

A Dynamic Innovation Panel Discussion was organized by Marko Bervanakis (Ericsson Global Innovation Facilitator), Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Croatia. The subtitle of the discussion was How Innovative Companies Remove Innovative Barriers–Small to Large? The participants discussed the challenges faced by small start-ups, small, mid-size and large companies in innovation development. The Sixth Workshop on Software Engineering in Practice, organized by dr.sc. Darko Huljenic, Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Croatia, gathered researchers from academia and professionals from industry to discuss challenges and new developments in the area of communications software production.

A panel discussion titled “Telco Meets ICT” was organized by dr. sc. Toni Mastelic, Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Split. Experts from renowned institutions took part in the discussion, including: Univ. Prof. Dr. Ivona Brandic, Vienna University of Technology; Dr. David de Oliveira Costa, NewMotion; Dr. Sandor Albrecht, Ericsson Research, Sweden; Ms. Hrvoje Sukic, VIPnet d.o.o.; and Danijel Soldo, IBM Research and Development, Stuttgart, Germany. The participants discussed the topic of the evolution of telecommunications services with emphasis on their convergence aimed at the provision of sophisticated services to users. The focus was on the need for a variety of Cloud services. It was pointed out that high performance, low latency and efficiency requires movig services toward the network Edge.

A roundtable on ‘Smart Cities, Information Security and IoT Challenges” was organized in collaboration with the Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries HAKOM. It was moderated by Prof. Marija Boban, University of Split, Faculty of Law, and MSc. Mario Weber, Director of HAKOM. The development of smart cities in Croatia has been discussed. The round table was particularly interesting for the representatives of local communities preparing projects for development of the broadband access infrastructure of the next generation The examples of the towns of Solin and Knin were put forward. Marko Jelic, mayor of the town of Knin, and Ivica Rakusic, deputy mayor of the town of Solin, took part in the discussions. Tomislav Mihotic, secretary of the MInistry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, expressed the support for the development of broadban Internet access as the fundamental infrastructure. Nina Gumzej, Ph.D., University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law, discussed the state of the art in the area of privacy protection, particularly regarding the new GDPR regulations.

The workshop on doctoral education in ICT was organized by Maria del Carmen Calatrava Moreno, Vienna Office of Technopolis Group, Austria. The focus of the discussion was on the efficient connections between academia and industry to support doctoral students from industry. In addition, the Workshop on Digital Marketing was organized by Igor Jurcic and Ivan Radoc, HT Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The focus of the workshop was the marketing for the new era based on the Vision 2020 in ICT segment.

The Business forum featured a series of industrial presentations: Reinventing the Mainframe with Open Source and Pervasive Encryption, Danijel Soldo, IBM Research and Development (Stuttgart, Germany); Nokia Solutions for Improving Base Stations Energy Efficiency, Darko Giljevic, Nokia Networks (Zagreb, Croatia); CAN-IO Functionality, Development and Production of an Automotive Electronics Device, Nikola Moric, MRS Electronic (Germany); and Collaborative Innovation Myth on Micro Scale Test, Goran Pavlov, IRI centar d.o.o. (Kastela). The expo included exhibits from Groupation for IT–Croatian Chambre of Commerce (Split); INFOKOM (Split), Design Flow, a startup established by the students of the University of Split, FESB (semi-finalists of the Ericsson Innovation Awards 2017.), Mjerne Tehnologije (Zagreb), Amplifico (Split), Split and Dalmatia County.

The presentations of the student projects, following the framework of the Ericsson Nikola Tesla Summer Camp 2017, were held within a special workshop session that was coorganized by Sasa Decic, M.Sc. and Goran Gasparovic (Ericsson Nikola Tesla).

The welcome reception by the Mayor of Split was organized in the attractive ambience of the Villa Dalmatia in Split. The participants also had an opportunity to enjoy the conference boat trip to the picturesque town of Trogir which is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

More information about the SoftCOM 2017 conference may be found at http://www.fesb.hr/softcom