Visible to the public CfP: Special Issue on "Time-Critical Wireless Networks for Industrial Systems and Mobile Robotics"Conflict Detection Enabled

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Special Issue on "Time-Critical Wireless Networks for Industrial Systems and Mobile Robotics"

Recently, there has been increasing interest in areas like smart factories, process control, robotics, smart energy grids, and so forth. These entities can be regarded as complex real-life systems, composed of several collaborating computational agents surrounded by a suitable ICT infrastructure to effectively control time-critical physical processes. In particular, such a structure focuses on the intersection between the physical process and computation, where the former provides a feedback loop to the computational side, and vice versa. This kind of system is often identified with the term Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). To support this framework, the underlying communication infrastructure is required to provide definite and trustworthy performance, strong reliability, and bounded latencies, while supporting self-healing and flexible network deployment.

It is collectively recognized that high-performance wireless protocols will represent a breakthrough in future CPS, enabling the exploitation of an ad hoc, rapid, and adaptive connectivity while ensuring the required performance. Unfortunately, wireless communications are prone to disturbances and external interferences and are often affected by nonnegligible packet loss rates, random delays, and jitter. Indeed, their actual low penetration in industry-grade control scenarios is mostly due to these long-existing challenges to meet the specific time-critical applications' constraints reliably. A broad range of high-performance applications may benefit from the adoption of time-critical wireless communications, such as industrial control and factory automation systems, mobile and cooperative robotics (e.g., robotic manipulation, vision), and coordination and control of mobile computing agents (e.g., smart drones). In all these applications, the underlying communication network has to be able to steadily sustain a high sampling rate of the physical environment, a requirement that current wireless systems might not be able to meet.

In the context of this special issue, several research areas reveal paramount interest.
Interoperability among heterogeneous systems and cost issues push toward the adoption of widespread commercial wireless solutions, such as IEEE 802.11-based ones, which are not specifically designed to support time-critical control applications. Efforts are hence imperative to dramatically enhance the communication performance of wireless systems in order to boost the actual sampling times in critical scenarios. This entails the design and exploitation of new protocols, architectures, and algorithms to enable cooperation and control over wireless lossy channels. The development of effective real-time scheduling techniques is also envisaged for an efficient traffic management. Moreover, fields like coordination and vision over wireless are significantly impacted by these types of networks, and activities are required in this field to match the required and the available performance.

The main aim of this special issue is to attract high-quality research papers addressing the most recent advances in all the highlighted fields. Also, we encourage submissions of survey papers summarizing the state of the art in any of the related research areas.
Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Algorithms, architectures, protocols, and standardization issues of wireless communications in time-critical scenarios
  • Modelling and simulations techniques in time-critical wireless systems
  • Cooperative networking
  • Medium access control, error control, and channel resource management in wireless systems
  • Ultrareliable and low-latency wireless systems in distributed CPS
  • High mobility, energy efficient, and self-powered wireless systems in distributed CPS
  • Full duplex wireless and millimeter wave technologies for real-time communications
  • New advancement of 5G for critical control systems
  • Wireless communication issues in digital smart grids, intelligent transportation, and critical healthcare systems
  • Networking issues of cooperative and autonomous robots
  • Basics, prospects, and trends in future networked wireless mobile robots
  • Telerobotics and teleoperation for semiautonomous robots
  • Wireless networks for telepresence robots
  • Coordination and vision over wireless

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

  • Submission Deadline Friday, 23 March 2018
  • Publication Date August 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

Lead Guest Editor

  • Federico Tramarin, National Research Council of Italy, Padua, Italy

Guest Editors

  • Andreas Willig, University of Canterbury, Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Zhibo Pang, ABB Corporate Research, Vasteras, Sweden
  • Stefano Ghidoni, University of Padua, Padua, Italy