Tommaso Melodia

William Lincoln Smith Professor

Northeastern University

Toward Fully Programmable, AI-driven, and Virtualized NextG Cellular Networks


This talk will present an overview of our work on laying the basic design principles for new approaches to programmable, AI-driven, and virtualized next-generation wireless networks. We will cover three four research thrusts, namely architectures, programmability, slicing, and experimental testbeds. First, we will introduce the building principles of end-to-end fully virtualized cellular wireless networks, and discuss architectural alternatives and options. We will also discuss the main recent developments within the leading open-source alliances. Then, we will talk about programmability, or how to develop abstractions and algorithms to automatically control resources in an end-to-end environment. In this context, we will discuss our prior work on developing CellOS, a new Cellular Operating System. The third part of the talk will focus on the role of network slicing, and on recently developed algorithmic and architectural frameworks to provide optimally sized, isolated slices on virtualized infrastructures with differentiated SLAs in terms of performance and security. Last, we will discuss the state of the art of the experimental testing ecosystem for 5G and beyond, focusing on advances in the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research Program, and discuss the role of open testing platforms in advancing the wireless ecosystem.


Tommaso Melodia is the William Lincoln Smith Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston. He is also the Founding Director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things and the Director of Research for the PAWR Project Office. He received his Laurea (integrated BS and MS) from the University of Rome – La Sapienza and his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007. He is an IEEE Fellow and recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award. Prof. Melodia is serving as Editor in Chief for Computer Networks, and has served as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, among others. He was the Technical Program Committee Chair for IEEE Infocom 2018, and General Chair for ACM MobiHoc 2020, IEEE SECON 2019, ACM Nanocom 2019, and ACM WUWNet 2014. Prof. Melodia’s research on modeling, optimization, and experimental evaluation of Internet-of-Things and wireless networked systems has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, several industrial partners, the Air Force Research Laboratory the Office of Naval Research, DARPA, and the Army Research Laboratory.