Aug 2016     Issue 2
Research in IE Department bags the 2016 Information Theory Society Paper Award
Prof. Chandra NAIR, Department of Information Engineering, and his former doctoral student Yanlin GENG (now an Assistant Professor of ShanghaiTech University) have received the 2016 Information Theory Society Paper Award for their paper, "The Capacity Region of the Two-Receiver Gaussian Vector Broadcast Channel With Private and Common Messages". The paper was published in the April 2014 issue of IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. A preliminary conference version of this work appeared in 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory.

The paper introduces a new method, radically different from existing ones, for proving the extremality of Gaussian distributions in a family of optimization problems associated with sub-additive functionals in a probability space.  It is part of a larger body of work developed since 2008 regarding extremal distributions in information theory with the students and collaborators of Prof. Nair. This body of work has also resulted in showing the sub-optimality of the Han-Kobayashi region for interference channels (2011-2015) as well as developing a connection between tensorizing parameters in functional analysis and characterizations of the phenomenon using information measures (2013-2016), among other results.

This is the second time that researchers in Department of Information Engineering received this prestigious award.  Prof. Robert LI and Prof. Raymond YEUNG obtained the award in 2005 for their work on Network Coding.

The purpose of the Information Theory Paper Award is to recognize exceptional publications in the field and to stimulate interest in and encourage contributions to fields of interest of the Society. The Information Theory Society Paper Award is given annually for an outstanding publication in the fields of interest to the Society appearing anywhere during the preceding two calendar years.  The list of all award winning papers across all the years can be viewed here.

Bio: Prof. NAIR is an Associate Professor of the Department of Information Engineering (IE).  He also serves as the programme director of the Mathematics and Information Engineering programme (MIE) at CUHK, as well as the associate director at the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science and Communication (ITCSC).   His research interests are mainly in developing news tools and techniques to solve fundamental probabilistic and combinatorial problems with an engineering motivation. His work has spanned across multiple disciplines including combinatorial optimization, algorithms, and multiuser information theory. In his doctoral dissertation he resolved a set of distributional conjectures and consequently the Parisi and the Coppersmith-Sorkin conjectures in the Random Assignment problem.
		Prof. Chandra Nair and Prof. Yanlin Geng (from left)
Prof. Chandra Nair and Prof. Yanlin Geng (from left)
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