• Lyndon Ong, Ciena Corporation, 3939 N. 1st Street, San Jose, CA 95134 = Dr. Ong is Principal, Advanced Architecture in the Office of the CTO at Ciena Corporation, and is Project Leader for the ONF’s Open Transport Configuration and Control (OTCC) Project. Dr. Ong is focused on open SDN architecture for operator networks and 5G/beyond 5G, and has headed numerous projects in the areas of optical network control and SDN at Ciena, where he received the Ciena Technical Fellow award in 2014. He is also co-chair of the Open RAN Alliance (O-RAN) Orchestration and Cloudification Working Group, and co-chairs the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) Market Awareness Committee. Dr. Ong received his doctoral degree from Columbia University in 1991.
  • Meryem Simsek, VMware Inc., 3401 Hillview Avenue; Palo Alto, 94304. Dr. Simsek is a chief scientist in advanced technologies at VMware where she is defining, launching, and leading academic research projects, PPPs, and contributions to industry alliances. Prior to this, she was a senior research scientist at Intel Labs and the International Computer Science Institute Berkeley as well as a research group leader at the Technical University Dresden, Germany. She holds a Dipl.-Ing. (M.Sc., 2008) and Dr.-Ing. (PhD, 2013) degree from the University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. She is known for her pioneering work on machine-learning based solutions for wireless systems, self-organizing networks (SON), and the Tactile Internet. Dr. Simsek co-authored more than 100 publications has co-edited two books and has delivered 30+ invited talks and keynotes. She is the recipient of the IEEE Communications Society Fred W. Ellersick Prize in 2015 and the Rising Star in Computer Networking and Communications Award by N2Women in 2019. Dr. Simsek’s main research interests are in future wireless systems, AI/ML, and self-* networks.
  • Ashutosh Dutta, Johns Hopkins APL. Dr. Dutta is currently Senior Scientist and 5G Chief Strategist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Labs (JHU/APL), USA. He also serves as Chair for Electrical and Computer Engineering for Engineering Professional Program at JHU. His career, spanning more than 30 years, includes Director of Technology Security and Lead Member of Technical Staff at AT&T, CTO of Wireless at a Cybersecurity company NIKSUN, Inc., Senior Scientist in Telcordia Research, and Director of Central Research Facility at Columbia University. Ashutosh has been serving as the founding Co-Chair for the IEEE Future Networks Initiative that focuses on 5G standardization, education, publications, testbed, and roadmap activities. Ashutosh is IEEE Communications Society’s Distinguished Lecturer for 2017-2020 and as an ACM Distinguished Speaker (2020-2022). Ashutosh served as the Director of Industry Outreach for IEEE Communications Society from 2014-2019. He was recipient of the prestigious 2009 IEEE MGA Leadership award and 2010 IEEE-USA professional leadership award. Ashutosh currently serves as Member-At-Large for IEEE Communications Society for 2020-2022. Ashutosh is a Distinguished Alumnus and obtained BS in Electrical Engineering from NIT Rourkela; MS in Computer Science from NJIT; and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, New York under the supervision of Prof. Henning Schulzrinne. Ashutosh is a Fellow of IEEE and senior member of ACM.

Motivation and Objectives

This session will explore current technological advancements in autonomic/autonomous networking, Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches for Autonomics, various related industry standards, industrial deployment of autonomics paradigms, e.g., solutions for radio access networks, design and architectural approaches of autonomic/autonomic networks, autonomics use cases, as well as associated research challenges. The objective of this session is to bring together experts from the globe and create a joint platform for information exchanges, presentation of results, and fruitful discussions to identify gaps and future directions for the IEEE FNI Systems Optimization Working Group.

Structure Proposal and tentative speakers 

  • Topic area: Autonomic and autonomous networking
    • Speaker 1 – Dr. Mohamed Zhani – ETS – Intelligent Networking in Next G
  • Topic area: System and architecture design
    • Speaker 2 –Sergio Slobodrian, Ciena – Implementing a Distributed Fabric Architecture for Systems Optimization
    • Speaker 3 – Dr. Abdallah Shami, University of Western Ontario – Building an Intelligent and Self-Optimizing 5G Core Platform
  • Topic area: Autonomics use cases
    • Speaker 4 – Dr. Brigitte Jaumard, Concordia University – The 5G Service Assurance & Analytics Challenge
    • Speaker 5 – Dr. Melike Erol-Kantarci, University of Ottawa – Advances in AI-enabled Radio Access

Speaker Bios

Sergio Slobodrian
Sergio is a Senior Director of Network Architecture in the Ciena Office of the CTO, working on advanced architectures and innovative technologies to simplify the use of cloud resources. He has been instrumental working on implementation of the VOLTHA project in the Open Networking Foundation as well as part of the core IPT Team, and has been leading an effort to develop new distributed architectures and computation methods for 5G and beyond networks as part of the Canadian ENQCOR research partnership. Sergio has 32 years of experience in the networking industry and has his Masters in Computer Science from Universite Laval Quebec, QC.

Dr. Melike Erol-Kantarci
Dr. Melike Erol-Kantarci is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of machine learning and wireless communications. She is Canada Research Chair in AI-enabled Next-Generation Wireless Networks and Associate Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ottawa. She is also a Faculty Affiliate at the Vector Institute, Toronto. She has over 150 peer-reviewed publications with citations over 6000. Dr. Erol-Kantarci has received numerous awards and recognitions. In 2019, she was named as N2Women Stars in Computer Networking and Communications (formerly known as “people you should know in networking and communications”). Dr. Erol-Kantarci has delivered 60+ keynotes, tutorials and panels around the globe and has acted as the general chair and technical program chair for many international conferences and workshops. Her main research interests are AI-enabled wireless networks, 5G and 6G wireless communications, smart grid and Internet of Things (IoT). She is an IEEE ComSoc Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE Senior member and ACM Senior Member.

Mohamed Zhani
Mohamed Faten Zhani is an associate professor with the department of software and IT engineering at l’École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS Montreal) in Canada. His research interests include future Internet architectures, cloud computing, network function virtualization, software-defined networking and resource management in large-scale distributed systems. Faten has co authored several book chapters and research papers published in renowned conferences and journals including IEEE/IFIP/ACM CNSM, IEEE/IFIP IM/NOMS, IEEE INFOCOM, IEEE transactions on cloud computing and IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (JSAC). He delivered more than ten keynote speeches in renowned conferences and workshops in the last couple of years. He also served as the general or technical program chair of several international workshops and conferences. He served also as co-editor of the IEEE Communications Magazine series on network softwarization and management, associate editor of the IEEE Transactions of Network and Service Management, Wiley international journal of network management, and managing editor of the IEEE softwarization newsletter. He is co founder and vice-chair of the IEEE Network Intelligence Emerging Technology Initiative and a cluster lead at the IEEE P1916.1 SDN/NFV Performance standard group. Faten recently received the IEEE/IFIP IM 2017 Young Researchers and Professionals Award as a recognition for outstanding research contribution and leadership in the field of network and service management. More details are available on his web page.

Dr. Abdallah Shami
Abdallah Shami is a Professor at the ECE department at Western University, Ontario, Canada where he is the Director of the Optimized Computing and Communications Laboratory ( He serves on the editorial board of leading prestigious journals such as IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and IEEE Internet of Things Journals. In addition, he served as the general or technical program chair for a number of international conferences including IEEE CCECE, WiMob, and ICCIT and chaired key symposia for IEEE GLOBECOM, IEEE ICC, IEEE ICNC, and ICCIT. His research interests are in the areas of network virtualization and network/service management. He has published extensively in these areas and received several Best Paper Awards.

Brigitte Jaumard
Brigitte Jaumard is a professor in the Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE) Department at Concordia University. Her research focuses on mathematical modeling and algorithm design (large-scale optimization and machine learning) for problems arising in communication networks, transportation and logistics networks.
Recent studies include the design of efficient optimization/machine learning algorithms for network design, dimensioning and provisioning, scheduling in edge-computing and clouds, and 5G networks. During her 2020-2021 sabbatical year, she was a senior advisor for the Montreal Ericsson GAIA research center and a research lead for Ciena, while being the chief scientist of CRIM.
Brigitte Jaumard was ranked among the top 2% of scientists in her field of research according to a 2021 study based on research citations. B. Jaumard has published over 300 papers in international journals in Operations Research and in Telecommunications.

Past versions

  • 2020 Virtual Workshop: Systems Optimization Imperatives, Techniques and Opportunities for Future Networks
  • 2019, IEEE 5G World Forum, Systems Optimization, 5G Topical Track
  • 2019, IEEE World Forum IoT, System Optimization for the 5G Era Workshop