Prof. Soumaya Cherkaoui

Title: Enabling Machine Learning at the Edge


Giant strides in processing capabilities of pervasive devices, together with concerns over data privacy protection, make it increasingly interesting to perform machine learning at the edge of the network while data is kept local. Edge Intelligence (EI), which brings together Edge Computing and Artificial intelligence (AI), particularly machine learning, is an emerging research field which represents a major departure from centralized cloud-based training and inference approaches.  Interest in edge intelligence is somehow unavoidable for two reasons. On the one hand, cloud-based training, involving massive data communication and storage, will not longer be a sustainable solution in future given the zettabytes of bytes the internet of things (IoT) is expected to generate.  On the other hand, cloud-based training and inference is not suitable for many emerging and highly promising ultra-low latency communication (URLLC) applications powered by the new revolution brought about by 5G communications. Examples of these applications include autonomous systems such as self-driving vehicles and drones, or mission-critical collaborative robotics.

In this talk, we discuss current efforts in making AI suitable for Edge Computing, and challenges and opportunities in wireless/machine learning co-design to enable collective intelligence at edge devices that addresses connectivity, latency, bandwidth, computational and accuracy constraints, in the path to realizing the full potential of Edge Intelligence.


Dr. Soumaya Cherkaoui is a Full Professor at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Université de Sherbrooke, Canada which she joined as a faculty member in 1999.  Her research and teaching interests are in wireless networks. Particularly, she works on  next generation networks (5G and beyond), Edge computing/Network Intelligence, and communication networks for verticals such as Connected and Autonomous Cars,  IoT, and  Industrial IoT. Since 2005, she has been the Director of INTERLAB, a research group which conducts research funded both by government and industry. Before joining U. Sherbrooke, she worked for industry as a project leader on projects targeted at the Aerospace Industry. Pr. Cherkaoui has held invited positions at leading institutions including the  University of California at Berkeley. Bell Laboratories, Monash University, and the University of Toronto, as well as an adjunct position at Lulea University, in Sweden.

Pr. Cherkaoui avails of a long research experience in the wireless networking. She was named  a Distinguished Lecturer by the IEEE Communication Society. Her work resulted in technology transfer to companies and to patented technology.  Pr. Cherkaoui has published over 200 research papers in reputed journals and conferences. She has been an associate editor and guest editor of several IEEE, Wiley and Elsevier Journals. Her work was awarded with recognitions and best paper awards including a best paper award at the IEEE Communications Society Flagship conference IEEE ICC in 2017. She has chaired prestigious conferences such as IEEE LCN 2019, and has served as a symposium co-chair for flagship conferences including IEEE ICC 2018, IEEE Globecom 2018, IEEE Globecom 2015, IEEE ICC 2014, and IEEE PIMRC 2011. She is a Professional Engineer in Canada,  a senior IEEE Member, and is serving as the Chair of the IEEE Communications Society IoT-Ad hoc and Sensor Networks Technical Committee since 2020.