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Martin Maier

Réseaux optiques du futur

Développement des réseaux optiques du futur et fusion avec les réseaux sans fil de la prochaine génération, modernisation évolutive des réseaux


MARTIN MAIER is a full professor at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Montreal, Canada. He was educated at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, and received MSc and PhD degrees (both with distinctions) in 1998 and 2003, respectively. In the summer of 2003, he was a postdoc fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge. He was a visiting professor at Stanford University, Stanford, October 2006 through March 2007. Further, he was a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow (IIF) of the European Commission from March 2014 through February 2015. Dr. Maier is a co-recipient of the 2009 IEEE Communications Society Best Tutorial Paper Award and Best Paper Award presented at The International Society of Optical Engineers (SPIE) Photonics East 2000-Terabit Optical Networking Conference. He is the founder and creative director of the Optical Zeitgeist Laboratory ( His research activities aim at rethinking the role of optical networks and exploring novel applications of optical networking concepts and technologies across multidisciplinary domains, with a particular focus on communications, energy, and transport for emerging smart grid applications and bimodal fiber-wireless (FiWi) networks for broadband access. He is the author of the book "Optical Switching Networks"(Cambridge University Press, 2008), which was translated into Japanese in 2009, the lead author of the book "FiWi Access Networks" (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and (co)author of over 100 journal and conference proceedings publications. He served on the Technical Program Committees of IEEE INFOCOM, IEEE GLOBECOM, and IEEE ICC, and is an Editorial Board member of the IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials as well as ELSEVIER Computer Communications. He is a Senior Member of IEEE. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the IEEE Technical Subcommittee on Fiber-Wireless (FiWi) Integration.


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream." (Mark Twain, 1835-1910)

Research Interests

Dr. Maier's research activities aim at providing insights into technologies, protocols, and algorithms shaping the future of bimodal Fiber-Wireless (FiWi) networks for unified broadband access as well as exploring new ways of deploying emerging optical fiber and wireless technologies in related multidisciplinary research areas. His work aims at rethinking the role of FiWi access networks in order to unleash their full potential, including their future convergence with other technologies and economic sectors. Together with his students, he currently focuses on FiWi enabled human-to-robot communications to help merge and recombine mobile Internet, automation of knowledge work, Internet of Things, cloud technology, and advanced robotics, which represent the five technologies with the highest estimated potential economic impact in 2025. The group's FiWi research activities are intended to merge and recombine these five general purpose technologies in order to multiply their impact on society.


  • Fiber-Wireless Networks and Entrepreneurial Design (Summer 2019, Winter 2016/2017)
  • Computer Networks (Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011)
  • Optical Networks (Fall 2008)


Current projects

Tactile Internet
The Tactile Internet is expected to be an extremely robust and reliable system that supports consistent user experience and tactile applications/services in a connected world. To realize this vision, several technologies like Fiber-Wireless (FiWi) access networks, cloud based platforms, robotics etc. are expected to converge by the end of this decade. We will investigate key enabling techniques and architectures to improve the overall system performance. We expect that the outcomes of our project will significantly reduce the end-to-end delay for tactile applications and will inquire into new ways of complementing, rather than substituting, men with machines.
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Artificial Intelligence based Mobile-Edge Computing
Two-level cloud-cloudlet architectures leverage both centralized and distributed cloud resources and services, whereby the cloudlet infrastructure is typically based on data-centric FiWi access networking technologies. Cooperative automation is a key feature that is expected to enhance unified FiWi and Het-Net networks by means of artificial intelligence (AI) based mobile edge-computing (MEC) capabilities. This research project will address the key challenges towards enabling AI based MEC in FiWi enhanced 4G networks to meet key design requirements such as ultra-low latency. Moreover, TensorFlow, an open source machine-learning library, will be exploited to realize collaborative automation as an important stepping stone towards human-robot symbiosis.
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Ethereum: Decentralized Applications and Autonomous Organizations
The objective of this research project is to combine the capabilities of Ethereum blockchain and emerging Tactile Internet technologies to build a truly distributed P2P architecture that is capable of adopting a resilient, autonomous, and decentralized control for the Tactile Internet applications. Furthermore, this project will promote interaction between humans, machines, and smart contracts. The outcomes of this research project will lead to significant transformations across several industries and open new challenges and business opportunities that are set to revolutionize our digital world.
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Extended Reality and O2O Communications
The recently emerging trend of extended reality (XR) aims at combining real and virtual world and human-machine interaction. XR is anticipated to be the next-generation mobile computing platform that creates a reality-virtuality continuum for the extension of human experiences. This research project investigates the potential and limitations of exploiting online-to-offline/offline-to-online (O2O) communications to further tie online and offline​ closer together for the creation of novel business models, given that 70% of millennials prefer shopping in conventional brick-and-mortar stores despite the fact that they spend an average of 7.5 hours a day online.​
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Previous projects

Cloud Computing for Smart Grids and Smart Cities
There exists a plethora of readily available wired and wireless networking technologies to build smart grid communications infrastructures. The major roadblocks toward a sustainable low carbon society might be less technological feasibility and maturity but more the lack of compelling business cases and regulatory frameworks for emerging smart grids. Similar problems have been faced during the early appearance of cloud computing in the 1960s, while now cloud computing is widely deployed. This research project aims at unveiling the potential and limitations of cloud computing in smart grids and exploring the role of cloud computing assisted smart grids as enablers for smart cities.
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Advanced WBANs for an Ageing e-Health Society
As societies around the world will face populations with a significant increase of people aged over 65 years during 2010 and 2030, it will be key to find more cost-efficient healthcare solutions. This project aims at investigating advanced wireless body area networks (WBANs) and examining the involved challenges, including energy-efficient MAC protocol design, interoperability, as well as co-existence and integration with FiWi access sensor networks.
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Unveiling the Hidden Connections between E-mobility and Smart Microgrid
Electric mobility (e-mobility) and smart microgrid are two different game changing concepts for sustainable transportation and energy solutions. This research project aims at unveiling the hidden connections between local intermittent renewable energy sources and the stochastic characteristics of electric vehicle use patterns, thereby paving the way for a more holistic design of zero-emission smart zones by means of FiWi communications technologies.
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Smart Grid Communications over Über-FiWi Networks
This research project inquires into fiber-wireless access sensor networks, new communications paradigms, migration paths, and implementation models to integrate and efficiently control e-mobility, distributed renewable energy sources, and future smart microgrid technologies.
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Green Video-Dominated P-OTNs
This research explores next-generation P-OTN switch architectures with advanced packet switching capabilities and new forwarding models, paying particular attention to their control, evolutionary migration not only from legacy SONET/SDH TDM but also widely deployed wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) circuit-switched network infrastructures.
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Optical Coding (OC) enabled Carrier-Grade Ethernet Networks
The purpose of this research project is to reconcile a partly sceptical networking community with OC technologies and establish them as a viable next step to enhance carrier-grade Ethernet network architectures with novel OC enabled control plane and OAM processes.
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Fiber-Wireless (FiWi) Broadband Access Networks
This research project investigates the design and performance of future-proof FiWi broadband access network architectures, medium access control and path selection protocols, and scheduling algorithms required to ensure QoS continuity and end-to-end QoS support across heterogeneous optical and wireless platforms.
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Martin Maier, professeur au Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications

Martin Maier, professeur au Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications