Mini-Symposium: ‘ML Techniques and Challenges’

This Mini-symposium is led by MENTOR and co-organised jointly by the MSCA projects FONTE, REAL-NET and POST-DIGITAL, all coordinated by Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AiPT).

The aim of this mini-symposium is increasing the ESRs’ knowledge in machine learning and the research challenges machine learning presents. There will be Q&A sessions after every talk, with high level discussions.


24th November 2021,  online

All times are CET, Paris, Berlin, Rome time.

A participation link has been emailed.


9:50-10:00 Opening Remarks
10:00 – 11:00 Prof. Darko Zibar
Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark
Optimum phase measurement in the presence of noise
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:15 Prof. Magnus Karlsson
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Modulation and shaping in optical communications
12:15 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:00 Prof. Vittorio Curri
Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy
Experimental results summary on using ML at the physical layer in synergy with GNPy
15:00 – 15:15 Break
15:15 – 16:15 Associate Prof. Andrea Carena
Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy
ML applications to optical systems and devices: from the design of Raman amplifiers to the management of NxN switches
16:15 – 16:30 Closing



Darko Zibar is Professor at the Department of Photonics Engineering, Technical University of Denmark and the group leader of Machine Learning in Photonics Systems (M-LiPS) group. He received M.Sc. degree in telecommunication and the Ph.D. degree in optical communications from the Technical University of Denmark, in 2004 and 2007, respectively. He has been on several occasions (2006, 2008 and 2019) visiting researcher with the Optoelectronic Research Group led by Prof. John E. Bowers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, (UCSB). At UCSB, he has been working on topics ranging from analog and digital demodulation techniques for microwave photonics links and machine learning enabled ultra-sensitive laser phase noise measurements techniques. In 2009, he was a visiting researcher with Nokia-Siemens Networks, working on clock recovery techniques for 112 Gb/s polarization multiplexed optical communication systems. In 2018, he was visiting Professor with Optical Communication (Prof. Andrea Carena, OptCom) group, Dipartimento di Elettronica e Telecomunicazioni, Politecnico di Torino working on the topic of machine learning based Raman amplifier design. His resrearch efforts are currently focused on the application of machine learning technqiues to advance classical and quantum optical communication and measurement systems. Some of his major scientific contributions include: record capacity hybrid optical-wireless link (2011), record sensitive optical phase noise measurement technique that approaches the quantum limit (2019) and design of ultrawide band arbitrary gain Raman amplifier (2019). He is a recipient of Best Student paper award at Microwave Photonics Conference (2006), Villum Young Investigator Programme (2012), Young Researcher Award by University of Erlangen-Nurnberg (2016) and European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant (2017). Finally, he was a part of the team that won the HORIZON 2020 prize for breaking the optical transmission barriers (2016).


Vittorio Curri is a founding member of OptCom and of PhotonLab. He is currently Associate Professor at Dipartimento di Elettronica e Telecomunicazioni, Politecnico di Torino. He has been visiting researcher at Stanford University and UC at Santa Barbara in 1997–98. His major research interests are in fiber transmission modeling, including nonlinearities, transmitter and receiver optimization for advanced modulation formats, design strategies for optical links, including PON’s, Raman amplification and simulation and modeling of optical communication systems. Recently, Prof. Curri has started to investigate the impact on physical layer on transparent network performances. Since 1998, Prof. Curri has developed software tools for simulation of optical systems. He has co-authored more than 180 technical publications, including two JLT best paper awards, and 3 patents. According to Scopus, Prof. Curri owns the following bibliometric parameters: overall citations of 2857 and h-index of 27.


Magnus Karlsson is professor in photonics, with focus on fiber optics and optical communications. His expertise is wave propagation in optical fibers, polariztion effects, nonlinearities and optical communications. Together with Prof. Peter Andrekson, he leads the fiber optics group at the Photonics Laboratory. In 2010 he co-founded the Fiber Optic communication Research CEnter (FORCE) at Chalmers. Besides teaching SSY085, “Wireless an Photonics System Engineering” and MCC046 “Photonics and Lasers” he is Deputy Editor for Optics Express, Assoc. Editor for J. Lightwave Technol., and member in the technical program committee for Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO). He is also vice-head of department at the Dept. of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, with responsibility for research and the graduate school.


Andrea Carena is Associate Professor in the Optical Communication Group at Dipartimento di Elettronica e Telecomunicazioni, Politecnico di Torino. In 1998. He has been a Visiting Researcher with the Optical Communication and Photonic Network Group, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, directed by Prof. Blumenthal. He collaborated in the development and implementation of OptSim, an optical transmission system simulator. His research interests are in the physical layer design of optical communication systems: coherently detected systems, digital signal processing techniques for advanced modulation formats, digital nonlinearity mitigation, Nyquist-WDM, multi-subcarrier systems, modelling of non-linear fiber propagation, and algorithm for computer simulation of fiber propagation. Recently he started to work on the application of Machine Learning to optical communications and on Spatial Division Multiplexed systems. He has co-authored more than 200 scientific publications. In 2014 and 2015, he received the IEEE/OSA “Journal of Lightwave Technology” Best Paper Award. He is Associate Editor for the IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society in the area of Optical Communications and Networks.