IFIP/IEEE International Symposium on Integrated Network Management
17-21 May 2021 // Bordeaux, France
Virtual Conference

Distinguished Experts Panel

Thursday, May 20, 2021

On the Management of Future (Open and Programmable) Networks: Challenges and Research Opportunities

17:00-18:30 (CEST UTC/GMT +2)

Panel Members

Merouane Debbah, Centrale Supelec & Huawei, France

Marie-Paule Odini, HPE, France

Diego R. Lopez, Telefonica I+D, Spain

Henning Schulzrinne, Columbia University, USA

Nurit Sprecher, Nokia, Israel

Panel Moderator

Noura Limam, University of Waterloo, Canada


In the next decade, mobile technologies such as beyond 5G and 6G are expected to flourish, and applications involving immersive extended reality, holographic telepresence, and digital replica are expected to emerge. These developments are expected to impact the networking landscape, exacerbate the challenges of managing the network, but also create incentives for innovation and opportunities for research.

The goal of this distinguished experts panel is to shed light on the challenges of managing future networks as well as research trends and future research opportunities. Our expert panelists will engage in a live and interactive discussion of:

  • challenges and research opportunities pertaining to emerging technologies such as beyond 5G and 6G
  • challenges and research opportunities pertaining to emerging services, applications and vertical industries. From URLLC to holographic communications, Internet of senses, etc.: how to enable end-to-end high-precision and ultra-low delay networking?
  • challenges and research opportunities pertaining to data analytics for QoE prediction, automated management, and data-driven decision making
  • challenges and research opportunities pertaining to purpose-defined/service-defined/user-defined networking



Mérouane Debbah S’01–M’04–SM’08–F’15) received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, France. He was with Motorola Labs, Saclay, France, from 1999 to 2002, and also with the Vienna Research Center for Telecommunications, Vienna, Austria, until 2003. From 2003 to 2007, he was an Assistant Professor with the Mobile Communications Department, Institut Eurecom, Sophia Antipolis, France. In 2007, he was appointed Full Professor at CentraleSupelec, Gif-sur-Yvette, France. From 2007 to 2014, he was the Director of the Alcatel-Lucent Chair on Flexible Radio. Since 2014, he has been Vice-President of the Huawei France Research Center. He is jointly the director of the Mathematical and Algorithmic Sciences Lab as well as the director of the Lagrange Mathematical and Computing Research Center. He has managed 8 EU projects and more than 24 national and international projects. His research interests lie in fundamental mathematics, algorithms, statistics, information, and communication sciences research. He is an IEEE Fellow, a WWRF Fellow, and a Membre émérite SEE. He was a recipient of the ERC Grant MORE (Advanced Mathematical Tools for Complex Network Engineering) from 2012 to 2017. He was a recipient of the Mario Boella Award in 2005, the IEEE Glavieux Prize Award in 2011, the Qualcomm Innovation Prize Award in 2012, the 2019 IEEE Radio Communications Committee Technical Recognition Award and the 2020 SEE Blondel Medal. He received more than 20 best paper awards, among which the 2007 IEEE GLOBECOM Best Paper Award, the Wi-Opt 2009 Best Paper Award, the 2010 Newcom++ Best Paper Award, the WUN CogCom Best Paper 2012 and 2013 Award, the 2014 WCNC Best Paper Award, the 2015 ICC Best Paper Award, the 2015 IEEE Communications Society Leonard G. Abraham Prize, the 2015 IEEE Communications Society Fred W. Ellersick Prize, the 2016 IEEE Communications Society Best Tutorial Paper Award, the 2016 European Wireless Best Paper Award, the 2017 Eurasip Best Paper Award, the 2018 IEEE Marconi Prize Paper Award, the 2019 IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper Award and the Valuetools 2007, Valuetools 2008, CrownCom 2009, Valuetools 2012, SAM 2014, and 2017 IEEE Sweden VT-COM-IT Joint Chapter best student paper awards. He is an Associate Editor-in-Chief of the journal Random Matrix: Theory and Applications. He was an Associate Area Editor and Senior Area Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SIGNAL PROCESSING from 2011 to 2013 and from 2013 to 2014, respectively. From 2021 to 2022, he serves as an IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Industry Speaker.

Marie-Paule Odini is Distinguished Technologist in HPE Communication Technology Group (CTG) focused on customer innovation and emerging trends in the communication industry including NFV, SDN, IoT, AI and 5G. She holds a worldwide position and drives technical discussions towards 5G with customers and inside HPE around strategy and roadmaps. She also leads CTG standard and opensource group, being personally active in many different forums including ETSI, GSMA, TMForum, NGMN, TIP, 5G Americas and ATIS. She held key positions such as ETSI NFV Vice Chair, IEEE SDN Chair, TIP E2E network slicing co-chair, 5G Americas and GSMA Telco Edge key contributor. Prior to HPE she worked in France Telecom/Orange labs in charge of Value-Added Services for Corporate Enterprise. She holds a Master Degree in EE from Utah State University. She is also teaching telecom at the university.

Marie-Paule is also very concerned with climate change and environmental impact, participating actively to HPE Living Progress program and other personal engagements.

Dr Diego R. Lopez joined Telefonica I+D in 2011 as a Senior Technology Expert and is currently in charge of the Technology Exploration activities within the GCTIO Unit. Before joining Telefónica he spent some years in the academic sector, dedicated to research on network services, and was appointed member of the High-Level Expert Group on Scientific Data Infrastructures by the European Commission.

Diego is currently focused on applied research in network infrastructures, with a special emphasis on virtualization, data-driven management, new architectures, and security. Diego chairs the ETSI ISG on Permissioned Distributed Ledgers and the Network Operator Council ETSI ISG on Network Function Virtualization.

Apart from this, Diego is a more than acceptable Iberian ham carver, and extremely fond of seeking and enjoying comics, and good discussions on any (in)appropriate matter.

More can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr2lopez/

Henning Schulzrinne. Levi Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. He was an MTS at AT&T Bell Laboratories and an associate department head at GMD-Fokus (Berlin), before joining the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering departments at Columbia University. He served as chair of the Department of Computer Science from 2004 to 2009, as Engineering Fellow, Technology Advisor and Chief Technology Officer at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2010 to 2017. In 2019-2020, he worked as a Technology Fellow in the US Senate. He has published more than 250 journal and conference papers, and more than 70 Internet RFCs. Protocols co-developed by him, such as RTP, RTSP and SIP, are used by almost all Internet telephony and multimedia applications.

He is a Fellow of the ACM and IEEE, has received the New York City Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, the VON Pioneer Award, TCCC service award, IEEE Internet Award, IEEE Region 1 William Terry Award for Lifetime Distinguished Service to IEEE, the UMass Computer Science Outstanding Alumni recognition, and is a member of the Internet Hall of Fame.

Nurit Sprecher leads at Nokia the company’s standardization strategy and activities in the areas of management, virtualization and application enablement and is a distinguished member of the Nokia technical committee. Nurit initiated and drove the industry effort to set up the ETSI ISG MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing) and successfully chaired the ISG during its first two-year term. Nurit played an instrumental role in the creation of the ETSI ISG ZSM (Zero-touch network and Service Management) and serves as the vice chair of the group.

With 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Nurit has spent many years working as an expert system architect and technologist, defining the carrier-grade network and service architecture evolution and working on system design. She has contributed to many projects carried out in ETSI, O-RAN, IETF, ITU-T SG15, IEEE and BBF and has participated in core discussions on the Next Generation Network with Tier-1 carriers and a number of governments. Nurit is a contributing author to numerous publications.

Noura Limam is a research assistant professor of computer science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. She received the MSc and PhD degrees in computer science from the University Pierre & Marie Curie (now Sorbonne University), France, in 2002 and 2007, respectively. She is an active researcher and contributor in the area of network and service management. Her current interests revolve around network automation and cognitive network management. Her most recent contributions are in applying AI and in particular ML to networking and network management problems.

In addition to her contributions to research, Noura Limam has been actively involved in the IEEE CNOM community for over a decade. She served and continues to serve on the Technical Program Committees as well as the Organizing Committees of CNOM flagship conferences including IEEE/ACM/IFIP CNSM, IFIP/IEEE IM, IEEE/IFIP NOMS, and IEEE NetSoft.

Noura is on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Communications Magazine (Associate Technical Editor since January 2021), and the ACM/Wiley International Journal on Network Management (IJNM) (Associate Editor since 2018). She was Guest Editor of the 2020 IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (JSAC) SI on Advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Networking. She also serves as the Technical Program Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Network Intelligence (NI) and the Chair of the IEEE CNOM Young Professional Award committee.