Report from PerCom 2021

IEEE PerCom is the premier conference for presenting scholarly research in pervasive computing and communications. It is an annual conference providing a forum for researchers and practitioners to exchange new achievements and discuss future developments in pervasive computing and communication research and technologies. The PerCom 2021 conference was planned for Kassel, Germany, however due to the dramatic COVID-19 pandemic situation it had to change to a virtual conference (synchronous digital meeting supported by ZOOM and other conferencing platforms to provide the best possible meeting experience).

PerCom 2021, like the successful previous PerCom conferences, offered a rich program to its audience over five days that included three days of the main conference and two days of workshops and other affiliated events.  The conference had 331 participants from which 31 were supported by student participation grants funded by NSF, IEEE TCPP and IEEE TCCC.

The three day long main conference had a research paper track, and in addition included two keynote speeches on monitoring people and their vital signs using radio signals and machine learning (speaker: Dina Katabi, MIT, USA),  and on enabling technologies for the future indoor networks  (speaker: Klaus Doppler, Nokia Bell Labs, USA), as well as a panel  on the role of pervasive computing in achieving resilience in urban and critical infrastructures (moderator: Max Mühlhäuser, TU Darmstadt, Germany). The research paper track included 20 papers (14 full papers and 6 concise papers) selected out of 132 submitted papers (15% acceptance rate). The accepted papers were selected through a double-blind review process followed by an online TPC meeting.  The paper presentations were distributed over seven paper sessions: Pervasive computing at the edge, Learning in pervasive environments, Data for pervasive computing, Activity recognition and tracking, Best Paper Candidates, Sensing, and Applications. The best paper selected from the three papers in the Best Paper Candidates session was awarded the IEEE PerCom 2021 MarkWeiser Best Paper Award sponsored by Elsevier. Also, as in the past PerCom conferences, the authors of several highest scoring papers presented in the paper track were invited to extend the papers and submit to another round of reviews for publication in a special issue on PerCom in the Elsevier Journal on Pervasive and Mobile Computing (JPMC).

The remaining part of the conference included thirteen thematic workshops and four affiliated events: Work-in-Progress, PhD Forum, technical Demonstrations, and Industry Track.  The PerCom papers were published in two separate proceedings: the main PerCom conference proceedings and the PerCom 2021 Workshops and other Affiliated Events proceedings. The latter also includes artifact certificates for several papers. The proceedings are now available through IEEE Xplore digital library.


Jadwiga Indulska (The university of Queensland, Australia)

Klaus David (University of Kassel, Germany)