History of the ITC
1955 - 2015: ITC celebrates its 60th anniversary!
It is a pleasure to announce that ITC as the first conference in networking science & practice celebrates its 60th anniversary with special events to be held during the next edition, hosted in Ghent, Belgium, on September 8th-10th, 2015. ITC has steered the evolutions in communications since its creation in 1955 and remains at the forefront of innovation regarding modeling and performance.
Over the past 60 years, ITC has provided a forum for leading researchers from academia and industry to present and discuss key technological and methodological advances in the design, performance evaluation and control of communication networks like the Internet. Today, ITC addresses the emerging paradigms such as an increasing diversity of distributed applications and services over various media like mobile/optical networks, enabling new markets and economy. For example, the convergence between networking and information technology enabled by virtualization techniques and cloud architectures is providing new stakes in terms of network architecture and service operations. Beyond performance and Quality of Service (QoS), different challenges like Quality of Experience (QoE), economic aspects and business models, energy savings, but also societal impact are considered.
In 1955, ITC emerged as the conference for all theoretical fundamentals and engineering practices regarding the large-scale deployments of telecommunications networks. For long time, ITC was the sole venue that brought together at large scale researchers from industry, network operators and service providers, as well as scientists from academia. These groups are the strong traditional roots of ITC. For decades, the scientific roots of communications traffic have been primarily based on the theory of probability and stochastic processes, modelling and performance evaluation and gave rise to the neologism ‘teletraffic’. However, along with time and technology and service evolutions, additional scientific areas have been considered to address issues raised by network design, economics and regulatory challenges.
ITC congresses were organized all over the world and visited 16 different countries while Specialist Seminars were organized in 14 different countries. Additionally, as part of its objective to disseminate know-how and expertise, ITC has set up regional seminars in 11 developing countries including Africa and Oceania, at a time when opening to the world was not as common as today. ITU was then the leading standardization body in telecommunications and the huge expertise developed at ITC fostered the liaison activity for standardization at ITU-T and the development program in connection with ITU-D.
The evolution of technologies of the 20th century
ITC has been witnessing the change of communication and networking technologies which are reflected in the proceedings and programs of the congresses. The specialist seminars and the motto of the congresses thereby reflect the hot topics of that time and the evolution. Selected topics of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were
1998: Traffic Issues related to Multimedia and Nomadic Communications
1995: Traffic Modeling and Measurement in Broadband and Mobile Communications
1990: Broadband Technologies: Architectures, Applications, Control and Performance
1986: ISDN Traffic Issues
1984: Fundamentals of Teletraffic Theory
1977: Modeling of SPC Exchanges and Data Networks
Recent topics in the 21st century
With the rise of the Internet, new networking paradigms and technologies but also new challenges emerged:
2014: Towards a Sustainable World
2013: Energy Efficient and Green Networking
2010: Multimedia Applications - Traffic, Performance and QoE
2009: Network Virtualization - Concepts and Performance
2008: Future Internet Design and Experimental Facilities
2008: Quality of Experience
2002: Internet Traffic Engineering and Traffic Management
The origin of the teletraffic congresses
In the late forties and early fifties it became clear to many of those working on traffic theory questions that closer contact between researchers in the field would be of great value. A meeting at which people could present their work, where ideas and experience could be exchanged, and, not least, where personal contacts could be made, was considered to be greatly desirable. In the autumn of 1953 an organizational committee was formed consisting of
E. Brockmeyer, Denmark
C. Jacobaus, Sweden
A. Jensen, Denmark
L. Kosten, Holland
N. Rodenburg, Holland
The committee considered that Denmark should be host nation for the first congress in view of the decisive contribution made within telephone traffic research by A. K. Eriang. Denmark also undertook with enthusiasm to organize he first teletraffic congress. It was held in Copenhagen on June 21-23, 1955, and was attended by 69 delegates from 13 countries. Twenty-six papers were presented and discussed.
The delegates considered generally that the congress had been very successful and fruitful and it appeared self-evident that future congresses should be arranged.
At the first congress a council entitled the International Advisory Council (IAC) was set up. From the start IAC has been composed of researchers from the leading countries within the field. The chairman has been Professor Dr. Arne Jensen from 1955-1991, who has also played the greatest part in drawing up the lines for the congresses; more than any other he has set his mark upon them.
The responsibility for the organization and arrangement of the various congresses has rested with the host countries. Through great generosity on the part of administrations and industry in the various host countries the congresses have always been very well organized. Highly appreciated programmes for the wives of delegates have been a common feature. All events, as also the congresses themselves, have been free of charge to the delegates.
Source: ERICSSON REVIEW Vol. 50, No. 4, 1973
Development of the ITC Congresses
The ITC Plenary Congresses were scheduled tri-annually from 1955 until 1997 when the interval became bi-annual to account for the ever-accelerating development of network technologies, products and services and the associated dramatic increases in network demands. Similarly, to better cover the impact of dramatic changes undergoing in the field of computer and communication systems, networks and usage, it has been decided to hold the Plenary Congress on an annual basis from 2009.
1955 – 1991: Arne Jensen
The first ITC took place in 1955 in Copenhagen and subsequent congresses have been held at three yearly intervals in The Hague, Paris, London, New York, Munich, Stockholm, Melbourne, Torremolinos, Montreal, Kyoto, Torino and Copenhagen (again). The present vitality of the ITC, which promotes specialist and regional seminars in addition to the triennial congresses, owes much to the energy and enthusiasm of Professor Arne Jensen. Between the first and last congresses in Copenhagen, both of which he chaired, he has overseen an impressive development in the science (or art) of teletraffic theory and engineering as chairman of the International Advisory Council.
1991 – 2007: Paul J. Kühn
At the end of the ITC 13 in 1991 in Copenhagen, Arne Jensen became Chairman Emeritus of the IAC. He left the executive responsibility for the ITC to a new chairman, Professor Paul Kühn. ITC 14 was the first congress under a new chairman. It differed in two important respects from its predecessors. Firstly, the papers to be presented were selected by an international programme committee after a thorough review of the full paper (and not just an abstract) by three independent referees. It was possible to accept only slightly more than half of the submitted papers. The high rejection rate does, however, ensured an exceptionally high standard for the work presented in ITC 14. The second innovation concerned the congress schedule. ITC 14 took place from Monday to Friday, breaking with the traditional Wednesday to Wednesday schedule of previous congresses.
2007 - 2015: Prosper Chemouil
He was elected in 2007 at ITC 20 in Ottawa where he chaired his first IAC meeting. Since ITC 21 in Paris, 2009, the ITC conference is held annually. ITC as annual event brings together researchers interested in understanding and improving the way traffic is handled in communication networks. Additionally, the conference comes at the right time to honor the centenary of the publication of the Danish mathematician A.K. Erlang’s famous article in 1909: “The Theory of Probabilities and Telephone Conversations”. This article, considered to be the first publication on queuing theory, was doubtlessly one of the cornerstones in the creation of the International Teletraffic Congress.
- 1955: ITC 1 Copenhagen
First ITC; Review of abstracts; Schedule: Wednesday to Wednesday
- 1978: First ITC Specialist Seminar
- 1991: ITC 13 Copenhagen
Arne Jensen chaired his last ITC in his home country. Paul Kühn is elected. Review of full papers by three independent referees. Congress schedule: Monday to Friday
- Since 1997: ITC 15, Washington
- 2009: ITC 21 Paris
Annual Congresses. Prosper Chemouil, elected 2007 at ITC 20 in Ottawa, chairs his first IAC meeting.
- 2015: ITC 27 in Ghent
Michela Meo elected as chairperson.
- 2016: ITC 28 in Würzburg
ITC is structured into areas.
Recent changes in the IAC and ITC Conference in 2016
Since its creation in 1955, the ITC is steered by an International Advisory Council (IAC). The role of the IAC is quite significant in the choice and the follow-up of all ITC-organized events. During the successful ITC 27 in Ghent, Belgium, we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of ITC, which makes ITC the oldest still-running event in ICT. It was a perfect opportunity to hand over the responsibility of the IAC to a new team that has been progressively involved in the IAC since last year. The former IAC did an excellent job and was chaired by Prosper Chemouil with the very strong support and dedication of: Luigi Fratta, Ulf Körner, Deep Medhi, Hiroshi Saito, Phuoc Tran-Gia, Hans Van den Berg, Villy-Baek Iversen, Peter Key, Paul J Kuehn, Xiongjian Liang, Jim Yan. See all honorary IAC members.
The new IAC team is very motivated and enthusiastic and is chaired by Michela Meo:
- Michela Meo, Politecnico Torino, Italy
- Markus Fiedler, BTH, Sweden
- Tobias Hossfeld, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
- Fabrice Guillemin, Orange Labs, France
- Michael Menth, University of Tuebingen, Germany
- Zhisheng Niu, Tsinghua University, China
- Dario Rossi, Telecom ParisTech, France
- Benny Van Houdt, University of Antwerp, Belgium
ITC 28 introduced also some changes, which are the concept of areas and a demo session. ITC 28 is structured into eight different areas which address hot topics in networking. Each area is chaired by two international well recognized experts in that area. The area chairs have formed a smaller TPC per area. The idea is that the area chairs invite the experts for their area, that are experts from the ITC community as well as well-known experts worldwide. On the one hand, the concept aims at opening the ITC community and attracting submissions. On the other hand, the areas help to improve the quality of the review process. The area chairs assign the reviews to the experts in their domain and evaluate all papers in their domain.
In addition, we introduced demo sessions for ITC 28. The demo session is distinguished only in presentation format. ‘Demo papers’ are simply papers whose content is best understood by an audience if the material is demonstrated rather than presented in a slideshow. With the demo session, we aim at attracting more submissions and make ITC attractive for other communities.