UCL team win 2021 JLT Best Paper Award

Current and former TRANSNET members from the Optical Networks Group at UCL have won the 2021 Journal of Lightwave Technology (JLT) Best Paper Award, honoring the most influential, top-cited original papers published in JLT from 2018.

Congratulations to Boris Karanov, Domanic Lavery and Polina Bayvel on their winning publication ‘End-to-End Deep Learning of Optical Fiber Communications’ which reconsiders how optical fibre communication systems are designed using artificial neural networks.

The JLT Best Paper Award is given annually by the Journal’s Steering and Coordinating Committee to the top-cited original papers published in the Journal two to three years prior to the award. The 2021 award considers all original papers published in the Journal of Lightwave Technology in 2018.

The UCL-based team share the accolade with collaborators from Nokia Bell Labs (Mathieu Chagnon, Henning Bülow, Laurent Schmalen), Georgia Institute of Technology (Félix Thouin) and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo (Tobias A. Eriksson). The award will be presented to all authors on the paper at the 2021 Optical Networking and Communication Conference later this year.

Dr Boris Karanov, first author on the paper and TRANSNET student alumnus, said:

"To receive the Best Paper Award from the flagship journal in our community is fantastic recognition for our work – it’s a great honour! I believe this work to be an important contribution to the development of AI in optical networks. The outcome is efficient, reconfigurable and versatile transceivers which exploit the potential for high-speed data transmission over optical fibres to a greater extent."

Professor Polina Bayvel, the Head of the Optical Networks Group at UCL and Director of the TRANSNET Programme, said:

We are extremely proud of Boris Karanov and colleagues, and honoured that researchers from the Optical Networks Group are winning this award for an incredible third time, all working in different aspects of optical communications.”

In 2020, the JLT Best Paper Award was presented to Professor Robert Killey and colleagues for their 2017 paper 'SSBI Mitigation and the Kramers–Kronig Scheme in Single-Sideband Direct-Detection Transmission with Receiver-Based Electronic Dispersion Compensation'. And in 2018 it was awarded to ‘Replacing the Soft-Decision FEC Limit Paradigm in the Design of Optical Communication Systems’ published in 2015 and authored by Alex Alvarado, Erik Agrell, Domanic Lavery, Robert Maher, and Polina Bayvel.


The 2021 JLT Best Paper Award was also won by Xi Chen (Nokia Bell Labs) and colleagues for their paper ‘Kramers–Kronig Receivers for 100-km Datacenter Interconnects’ published in the Journal of Lightwave Technology in 2018.